Largest COVID Vaccine Study Finds Links to Health Conditions

    Largest COVID Vaccine Study Finds Links to Health Conditions
    Photo: Joe Raedle/Staff/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • The most comprehensive study of COVID vaccine safety, published last week in the journal Vaccine, has found that jabs that offer protection against severe illness, death, and long COVID symptoms were linked to slight increases in neurological, blood, and heart conditions.

    • For their study, researchers from the Global Vaccine Data Network observed expected rates of 13 different medical conditions, among over 99M individuals across eight countries, for up to 42 days following their vaccination.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    This study has validated widespread concerns about potential side effects stemming from the experimental jabs people were coerced to take during the pandemic amid calls to "trust the science," showing that the so-called conspiracy theorists were right to question the safety of COVID vaccines.

    Narrative B

    Given that side effects aren't exclusive to shots against COVID, it's always essential to analyze the risks and benefits of getting vaccinated or a booster jab. The study validates that vaccine-related risks — which have previously drawn controversy and problems in relation to public health — are extremely rare, with adverse and more severe effects more probable to stem from infection than vaccination.

    Narrative C

    The publication of this report risks heightening vaccine hesitancy, rather than addressing it. Although there was good initial uptake of COVID vaccines, medical professionals have observed widespread hesitation about subsequent, updated doses, making it all the more crucial to encourage confidence in the preventative treatment. Nuanced reporting of this kind is beneficial for the scientific community's understanding, but the specificity of continuing hesitancy about COVID jabs over other sorts of vaccines suggests more must be done to stem the spread of misinformation.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that the US FDA and CDC will recommend at least 6 SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine doses for at least 15% of the US on Dec. 31, 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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