On Thursday, health authorities said that new data from one database maintained by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates a probable stroke risk connection for older persons who had an upgraded Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 booster injection; however, the signal is lower than what the agency had identified earlier in January.
Officials from the United States Food and Drug Administration said that they had not found any evidence of a connection between the injections and strokes in two additional databases that monitor safety. The new information was discussed in a conference of independent consultants that the FDA consults for advice on vaccine policy.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services said earlier this month that they had found a probable relationship to ischemic strokes in adults over the age of 65 who had the newer booster injections in the database known as the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD). At the time, they said that there was an extremely little possibility that it posed a genuine clinical danger.
Dr. Nicole Klein of the healthcare business Kaiser Permanente, which keeps VSD data for the CDC, said that while the number of strokes recorded in the database has reduced in recent weeks, the signal was still statistically meaningful, implying that it was likely not coincidence.
She said that the fact that the majority of the verified cases had also gotten a flu vaccination at the same time might be a contributing factor.
A scientist from the FDA named Richard Forshee said that the organization intends to investigate whether or not getting the two doses at the same time increases the recipient’s chance of having a stroke.
Both organizations continue to advise that older persons take the booster injections, which have been modified to target Omicron strains of the coronavirus in addition to the original coronavirus.