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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have released a joint statement regarding an increased risk for stroke being found amongst those who have received bivalent booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, those designed to target the original strain of the virus, as well as several more recent mutations.
While coronavirus vaccines have proven effective in many ways in curbing the spread of the COVID-19, they have also come with a well-documented series of adverse side effects that, while uncommon, can nonetheless be debilitating – and perhaps even deadly – to the unfortunate few that suffer them.
According to data pulled from the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) – a portal that medical professionals and the public can utilize to record instances of harmful side effects to various inoculations – there have been numerous reported cases of heart attacks, Bell’s palsy, myocarditis or pericarditis, and other adverse ailments associated with COVID-19 vaccination.
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VAERS data is generally not considered definitive, since any member of the public can report an event and not include any verified clinical information; however, VAERS nonetheless serves as a vital resource for early warnings of potential problems with vaccines, and on average the system records approximately 40,000 incidents annually.
Now, according to the FDA and CDC, you can add an increased risk of strokes for those who have received the Pfizer COVID-19 booster.
According to the statement released by the federal health agencies, Pfizer’s bivalent booster – especially when combined with a standard flu vaccine – saw an increase in stroke risk in individuals aged 65 and older anywhere from 1-21 days after receiving the jab, with the most significant risk period taking place in the 11–21-day range.
The FDA and CDC noted that a “safety signal” for ischemic stroke had been detected in one of their vaccine safety surveillance systems, and are recommending that people who are at risk of suffering a stroke to avoid the Pfizer COVID-19 booster.
“CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), a near real-time surveillance system, met the statistical criteria to prompt additional investigation into whether there was a safety concern for ischemic stroke in people ages 65 and older who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine bivalent,” the statement read.
Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks or narrows an artery leading to the brain.