Study: Covid creates higher risk of blood clots than vaccines

The largest study published to date on some post-vaccine side effects found that people had a slightly higher-than-normal risk of blood ...

The largest study published to date on some post-vaccine side effects found that people had a slightly higher-than-normal risk of blood clots after being injected with AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech. But the same clotting conditions were significantly more likely to occur – and over longer periods of time – in people infected with the coronavirus, according to the study.

Associated to another study this week from Israel, the data, published Thursday night in the British Medical Journal, added to growing evidence that although coronavirus vaccines are associated with some rare side effects, these risks are overshadowed by the risks of Covid-19.

The study was based on the electronic health records of over 29 million people in England. He went beyond previous analyzes by finding a link not only between very rare coagulation conditions and the AstraZeneca vaccine, but also between these conditions and the Pfizer vaccine. Previous studies had detected increased clotting risks after the AstraZeneca vaccine, but not after the injection of Pfizer.

In interviews, the co-authors of the new article said the number of detected cases – involving clots blocking a vein that drains blood from the brain – was small enough that further studies were needed. Even the increased risk of these clots was far outweighed by the chances of people developing them after contracting the virus itself, according to the study.

“While there are some risks, it is clear that the risks of these events are very rare,” said Aziz Sheikh, study co-author and primary care research professor at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. “And the most important point is that the risks associated with Covid-19 are really orders of magnitude higher. “

The study looked at the electronic health records of people who received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine in the first five months of the vaccination campaign in England. Of those 29 million people, nearly 1.8 million people have also tested positive for the coronavirus before or after being vaccinated. The study compared the risk of blood clots soon after vaccination to the risk during other times, as well as weeks after someone developed Covid-19.

After a first injection of the AstraZeneca vaccine, people had a slightly increased risk of certain blood clots, as well as a disease characterized by low platelet counts that can make them prone to abnormal bleeding. A first injection of Pfizer vaccine appeared to put people at a slightly elevated risk of strokes caused by blockages in a blood vessel.

And both vaccines were linked, albeit in low numbers, to the very rare clots that prevent blood from flowing from the brain.

Even so, these risks were much lower than those associated with the development of Covid-19. For example, the authors said that for every 10 million people receiving a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, about 66 more people than normal would develop clots starting in a vein. But among the same number infected with the virus itself, 12,614 more people than normal would develop these clots.

In the United States, 300,000 to 600,000 people a year develop blood clots in their lungs or in the veins of the legs or other parts of the body, according to the CDC With nearly one million people a day now vaccinated, some of these clots will occur in those who receive the injections by chance, unrelated to the vaccine.

Some countries have restricted the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after a small number of people in Europe who had received an injection were seriously ill or killed by a very rare disease characterized by both clotting and abnormal bleeding.

Carol Coupland, co-author of the latest study and affiliate professor of medical statistics at the University of Oxford and the University of Nottingham, said the study could not assess this specific condition because the researchers did not not sufficiently detailed readings of patient platelet counts.

The finding of a slightly elevated clotting risk after the Pfizer vaccine conflicted with other analyzes, including Israel’s article published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week. The study from England included many more people, which allowed it to focus on rarer categories of clots. It was also designed differently: It studied the same people over time, while the Israeli study compared the risks in people who were vaccinated and not vaccinated during the same time period.

Ben Reis, co-author of the Israeli study and director of the Predictive Medicine group at the Boston Children’s Hospital Computational Health Informatics Program, said the two studies were testament to how electronic health records allowed researchers to quickly understand even very rare safety signals and compare the risks to those resulting from a coronavirus infection.

“The vaccination decision should not be taken in a vacuum,” he said. “The alternative outcome is the very real risk of being exposed to the virus without vaccination. These are the two scenarios that should be compared.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Study: Covid creates higher risk of blood clots than vaccines
Study: Covid creates higher risk of blood clots than vaccines
Newsrust - US Top News
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