Title: Study Finds Slight Increase in Stroke Risk for Seniors Receiving Covid-19 and Flu Vaccines Simultaneously
A recent study conducted by experts at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has suggested that seniors may have a slightly increased risk of strokes caused by blood clots in the brain when they receive vaccines for Covid-19 and influenza at the same time. The study analyzed data from Medicare claims and found that this risk is particularly evident in individuals who are 85 years and older.
This FDA study is the second to reveal a higher risk of stroke in seniors after receiving both Covid-19 and flu vaccinations concurrently. However, it is important to note that the overall risk identified in the study is very small, with approximately 3 strokes or transient ischemic attacks per 100,000 doses given. The increased risk may be primarily driven by high-dose or adjuvanted flu vaccines, which are designed to stimulate a stronger immune response.
A further analysis of the Medicare claims data also showed a slight increase in stroke risk in adults aged 65 and older who received only a high-dose flu shot. This amounted to 1-2 strokes per 100,000 doses. Despite this, experts emphasize that the absolute risk remains minimal compared to the risk of dying from Covid-19 for people over the age of 85.
It’s worth noting that several recent studies have not found any additional risk of stroke after Covid-19 or flu vaccination. Researchers continue to investigate the possible link between vaccines and strokes, but they urge individuals to still get vaccinated, as the overall risk is negligible compared to the risk of stroke or other serious outcomes from a flu or Covid-19 infection.
To minimize any potential interaction or confusion about side effects, some experts suggest getting each shot at different times instead of receiving them simultaneously.
However, it is important to recognize that the study was observational and cannot prove cause and effect. It has been posted as a preprint and has not yet undergone peer review.
In a separate investigation, the FDA also found a small and tenuous link between Covid-19 vaccination and seizures in children ages 2 to 5. However, this link disappeared when compared to seizure rates in the general population in 2022, a year when infectious diseases rebounded. The authors of the study advise caution in interpreting their findings and hope for further investigation in a more comprehensive study. Fevers, which are common in children, may have contributed to the observed seizures after vaccination.
Despite these findings, experts reiterate that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks. They emphasize the importance of getting vaccinated to protect against the severe outcomes of flu or Covid-19 infections.
In the meantime, individuals are encouraged to stay informed about new research and consult healthcare professionals for personalized advice regarding vaccinations.
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