Title: Small Increase in Stroke Risk Associated with COVID Vaccine Found in Combination with High-Dose Flu Shot, Health Officials Confirm
In a recent announcement, health officials have revealed that the COVID vaccine may be linked to a slight increase in stroke risk when administered alongside a high-dose flu shot. The link was discovered to be most prominent in adults over the age of 85 and specifically tied to the Pfizer and Moderna bivalent COVID booster vaccines.
Although it is uncertain whether the risk originates from the flu vaccine alone or is unrelated to the COVID shots, experts emphasize that the overall risk remains extremely low. Reports indicate that approximately three strokes or stroke-like events were reported for every 100,000 doses administered.
Interestingly, when comparing this data to the death rate from COVID in individuals over the age of 85 in 2022, it becomes evident that the risk posed by the virus outweighs the potential stroke risk associated with the vaccine.
This is not the first time that an analysis has suggested a potential association between strokes and seniors receiving combination seasonal vaccines. A separate analysis uncovered a small increase in seizures among children aged two to five following COVID vaccinations.
Though these studies have yet to be peer-reviewed for publication, vaccine safety experts deem them well-executed. However, it is crucial to note that both studies were observational and are only able to establish an association rather than a causal link.
Experts believe that the body’s immune response to vaccines may contribute to physiological changes resulting in strokes and seizures. These findings align with the first analysis, which examined medical claims from nearly 5.4 million Americans aged 65 and older who received the high-dose Fluzone flu shot and a COVID booster. The study revealed an elevated risk of stroke, particularly transient ischemic attacks (often referred to as ‘mini strokes’), in individuals who received the flu shot alongside the Moderna or Pfizer booster on the same day. It is suspected that increases in blood pressure and an abnormal immune response contribute to this heightened stroke risk.
Moreover, a second analysis identified a weak correlation between seizures in children aged two to five and older versions of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. However, experts advise interpreting the association between convulsions and shots with caution, as febrile seizures (seizures caused by fever) are common in young children.
Despite these findings, health officials emphasize that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks associated with COVID infection. Nevertheless, some parents have opted not to vaccinate their children due to the lower risk observed among younger age groups.
In conclusion, while a small increase in stroke risk has been identified when the COVID vaccine is administered alongside a high-dose flu shot, experts maintain that the overall risk remains minimal. As research progresses, it is essential to remain informed to make well-informed decisions regarding vaccination.