As per Reuters, new data from a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) database suggests a possible link between older adults who received an updated Pfizer (PFE.N)/BioNTech (22UAy.DE) COVID-19 booster shot and an increased risk of stroke, but the signal is weaker than what the agency had signaled in January, according to health officials on Thursday.
In two additional safety monitoring databases, U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials said they had not discovered a link between the injections and strokes. At a conference of outside specialists who advise the FDA on vaccine policy, the new results were presented.
In its Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) database, U.S. health officials announced earlier this month that they had found a possible link to ischemic strokes in adults over 65 who received the more recent booster shots. They stated at the time that it was unlikely to pose a genuine clinical risk.
Dr. Nicola Klein of the healthcare business Kaiser Permanente, which keeps VSD data for the CDC, reported that the rate of strokes recorded in the database had reduced in recent weeks. However, the signal was still statistically significant, indicating that it was probably not coincidental.
She noted that the majority of confirmed patients had also received a flu shot, which could be a contributing factor. Richard Forshee, an FDA scientist, stated that the agency intends to investigate if receiving the two vaccinations simultaneously increases the risk of stroke.
Both organizations continue to urge that older persons take the booster doses, which have been modified to target Omicron strains in addition to the original coronavirus. Professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Walid Gellad, stated that additional research was necessary.
“Occasionally, indications are unclear,” Gellad wrote in an email. Given the established benefits (of receiving the booster in this age range), it makes sense to conduct additional research but not to alter current practice.