Recent findings from an FDA study have confirmed what alternative news sources have long been reporting: COVID-19 vaccinations have been linked to serious heart complications affecting a significant number of individuals worldwide. The study has raised concerns about an elevated risk of stroke, heart attack, and mortality in those who receive COVID-19 booster shots.
This groundbreaking research has garnered attention from mainstream media outlets, with ABC News among those highlighting its significance. While health experts emphasize that there is no cause for alarm, they do recommend that patients and their physicians consider these findings.
Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious diseases specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, insists that there is no need for panic or to halt the concurrent administration of COVID and flu shots in older adults.
Dr. Dan Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, concurs, advising patients to weigh the slight increase in stroke risk against the proven benefits of these vaccines, particularly for elderly individuals. It’s worth noting that a prior safety signal for ischemic stroke in adults over 65 after receiving the bivalent COVID vaccine prompted further investigation last year.
The study revealed a 20-35% higher risk of stroke for older adults who received both shots during the same visit. However, infectious disease specialist Dr. Amesh Adalja from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security suggests that the risk might not be statistically significant on an individual patient basis.
Furthermore, it’s essential to recognize that COVID-19 and influenza infections themselves have been associated with an increased risk of stroke and other severe complications linked to respiratory illnesses like pneumonia, as emphasized by Dr. Chin-Hong.
The FDA remains steadfast in their confidence regarding the safety, efficacy, and quality of authorized and approved COVID-19 vaccines. They stress that ongoing safety surveillance efforts are in place, utilizing various data sources for continuous monitoring and assessment.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention echo this sentiment, emphasizing that COVID-19 vaccines meet rigorous safety standards, and hundreds of millions of doses have been administered in the U.S. under intense safety scrutiny.
Experts emphasize the importance of consulting with healthcare providers to understand the potential benefits and risks of vaccination. For older adults, the choice to receive both the high-dose flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine concurrently or in separate visits is considered reasonable, according to Dr. Adalja.
Dr. Chin-Hong shares a similar sentiment, stating that, for now, he would not discourage his own mother from receiving both the high-dose flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine, even if administered simultaneously. He underscores the need for continued data collection in various countries and over subsequent years to inform best practices in vaccination.