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An article that states that “The COVID injection” in the UK, specifically the Pfizer / BioNTech and Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccines, has caused “403,469 adverse reactions” has been shared hundreds of times since last March 31. But it’s actually based on preliminary data that doesn’t necessarily have to do with vaccines. The official report on adverse effects mentions reactions at the injection site, headaches, chills, fatigue, nausea, among other symptoms that “are not associated with a more serious or lasting disease” and are common compared to other vaccines.
Article of the Natural Science and Health portal, known for publishing disinformation, was shared dozens of times in Facebook (1, 2) and Twitter (1, 2), as it could be verified with the tool CrowdTangle. Others sites they retorted information.
“WHAT THE MEANS OF HANDLING DO NOT TELL US: 403,469 adverse reactions from C0 V ¡D injection in the UK, 1 in 166 people injected, only 1% of adverse effects are reported”Reads some publications.
The note quotes reports on adverse effects of both vaccines, which the UK government publishes weekly from the so-called “yellow card reports”, “A mechanism by which anyone can voluntarily report any suspected adverse reaction or side effect to the vaccine”, Details the Agency Regulatory of Medicines and Health Products of that country (MHRA).
The article cites these reports as of March 14 last and details, with screenshots of the reports, the main effects revealed for the vaccine of Oxford/Astrazeneca and for that of Pfizer/BioNTech to that date.
The “403,469 adverse reactions “ mentioned in the text arises from the sum of the totals of these reports, grouped as “Total reactions to the drug”, At the end of a long table that distinguishes them in more than twenty categories. The Oxford / Astrazeneca has 294,820 reactions and the Pfizer / BioNTech has 108,649.
Proven adverse effects?
However, as the MHRA, “It is very important to note that a yellow card report does not necessarily mean that the vaccine caused that reaction or event”.
A spokeswoman for the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency explained to AFP Factual that “yellow cards are not proven side effects, but suspicions of a possible side effect by informants”, Which can be health professionals or the general public.
The government website explains: “Many suspected adverse reactions reported on a yellow card have nothing to do with the vaccine or the drug, and it is often a coincidence that both occurred at the same time. The reports are continually reviewed to detect possible new side effects that may require regulatory action, and to differentiate them from those that would have occurred regardless of the vaccine or drug administered, for example due to an underlying or undiagnosed disease “.
Those initial reports on suspected adverse reactions “are evaluated, along with other sources of evidence, by a team of security experts to identify any new security problems or side effects “, is detailed in the official analysis of the yellow cards received between December 9, 2020 and March 14, mentioned in the viralized article.
The spokesperson detailed in an email to AFP Factual that the MHRA “uses a number of additional data sources, such as electronic health records that link vaccination records to medical events, to monitor suspected adverse reactions and vaccine safety ”. He also stressed that “all reports are continually reviewed to identify potential new risks ”.
As explained in the official analysis, this is complemented by an analysis of international experience based on data from other countries using the same vaccines.
As of the date of publication of this verification, two anticovid vaccines, that of Pfizer/BioNTech and that of the Oxford University / AstraZeneca, were applied in the United Kingdom from December 8, 2020.
According to the most recent analysis of the data extracted from the yellow card reports, published on April 1 with reports until March 21, 10.8 million first doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine had been administered, 15.8 million of the Oxford vaccine / Astrazeneca and about 2.2 million second doses, “mostly from the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine. “
As of that date, 40,883 yellow cards had been notified for the first vaccine and 99,817 for the second, that is, between 3 and 6 yellow card reports for every 1,000 doses given.
“For both vaccines, detailed examination of all reports has revealed that the vast majority refer to injection site reactions (arm pain, for example) and generalized symptoms such as illness, headache, chills, fatigue. (tiredness), nausea (feeling sick), fever, dizziness, weakness, muscle pain and rapid heartbeat”, Details the analysis. “In general, these symptoms occur shortly after vaccination and are not associated with a more serious or lasting disease,” Add.
Among the adverse effects that it details, such as myocardial infarctions, cardiac arrests and cerebrovascular accidents, among others, the Science and Natural Health article also distinguishes those that resulted in death.
Regarding the total deaths reported by the yellow card system, the official analysis as of March 14 reports that the MHRA received 259 reports of suspected adverse reactions to the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine in which the patient died shortly after being inoculated and 326 for the Oxford / Astrazeneca vaccine.
However, it clarifies that “Most of these reports occurred in the elderly or people with underlying diseases” and concludes that “Review of individual reports and reporting patterns does not suggest that the vaccine played a role in death.”
The authorities add that “no other security issues have been identified from the reports received to date”And that the cases of other reported diseases “In temporary association with vaccination”, the evidence collected “They do not currently suggest that the vaccine caused the event.”
Finally, they point out that “the number and nature“Of the notifications of suspected adverse effects, by means of the yellow cards,”they are not unusual compared to other types of vaccines in routine use ”.
“Sadly, more than 125,000 people in the UK have lost their lives to what is now a vaccine-preventable disease. We know that these vaccines are effective and that they will prevent many deaths and complications from covid-19 “the MHRA spokeswoman assured AFP Factual in the email sent on March 29.