COVID-19 Vaccine Risks

Along with all aspects of life, there are risks related to viruses and the vaccines that are designed to protect us from those viruses. For a majority of the population, many studies strongly suggest that the benefits of vaccine far outweighs the risks of vaccine.

In the case where the risk of a virus is only slightly greater, equal-to, or lower than the risk of a vaccine for a given sub-population group, use of vaccines should be carefully evaluated. For example, with very young children who are at very low risk for a serious COVID-19 case, vaccination may not be of enough benefit to outweigh the risks. The initial December 2020 EUA’s for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines only addressed use in adults. With the very frail elderly, there is increased likelihood of adverse events associated with a strong immune response to a full-strength vaccine and very-near-term booster such as the 21 / 28 day Pfizer / Moderna boost schedules. Many reports of significant immune response side-effects including fever, myalgia, headache, chills, etc. appear to be far more prevalent with dose 2, while many report only injection site side-effects for dose 1. Certain vaccines (e.g., adult tetanus and diphtheria toxoids [Td], pediatric diphtheria and tetanus toxoids [DT], tetanus toxoid) produce increased rates of local or systemic reactions in certain recipients when administered more frequently than recommended. Interestingly, IgM (and IgG) unbound antibody immune responses are generally peaking around the 15 to 30 day period past dose 1 vaccination. Small numbers of anecdotal cases of death 2-3 weeks past dose 1 and immediately following dose 2 do seem to fit a plausible pattern of occurring during the peak immune response period suggesting that additional research of this phenomena and deferral of dose 2 may be prudent. The generally high efficacy of the mRNA vaccines and significant numbers of adverse events may suggest that the dosages are not yet optimized and may be slightly high for some adults and children. Conceivably, the mRNA purification process leaves some undesirable mRNA elements within the resulting product which could lead to very rare odd protein synthesis and unexpected immune response. While the vaccines have proven very favorable for reducing the impact of COVID-19 on many who are not in low-risk categories, improved research could lower the risk of the vaccine to those who are at very low risk of severe COVID-19.

Since there are reasonable perceptions that mRNA vaccines have insufficient long-term safety data and all vaccines have demonstrated adverse events and death in very healthy people at low-risk to COVID-19, optimal dosing options and boost timing, specific to physiology/weight/risk categories should be developed and available as options to the low-COVID-risk population to encourage vaccine acceptance and maximize safety ~Primum non nocere. While it is not possible nor pragmatic to expect elimination of all vaccine risks, it likely that optimizations of dose and schedule could make the vaccine vs COVID risk enticing to the entire population, even those who have recovered from natural infection.

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About 2 to 3 Weeks After Dose 1 Adverse Events And Side Effects

Dose 2 Adverse Events And Side Effects

Overdose reactions could help show what may happen to those more sensitive to normal doses and <30 day dose timing.

This news article data has not been verified, but it is interesting to see that in younger people, risk of COVID-19 vs risk of vaccine may be similar.

For 25 year olds:
Risk of COVID-19 related death: 23 in 1 million
Risk of serious harm due to side-effects: 11 in 1 million

On June 23, 2021, ACIP met to review reported cases of myocarditis or pericarditis in mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) recipients. Cases of myocarditis or pericarditis have occurred predominantly in males aged 12-29 years, with symptoms typically developing within a few days after receipt of the second dose of vaccine” – CDC 7/2/2021