Scientists are investigating a new condition believed to be caused by the Covid vaccine, dubbed ‘Long Vax’.
Harvard and Yale experts are studying the array of debilitating problems that appear hours, days or weeks after receiving an injection but can persist for months.
Patients with the so-called Long Vax appear to suffer from symptoms similar to ‘Long Covid’, including headaches, severe tiredness, and abnormal heart rate and blood pressure. However, one possible symptom that may be unique to the vaccine-induced condition is tingling, burning pain, and blood circulation problems.
The actual number of people affected is still unknown, but Yale cardiologist Dr. Harlan Krumholz, is leading a study of about 2,000 people on the subject.
Experts stress that the condition is extremely rare, relatively mild compared to severe covid, and that the benefits of vaccination likely outweigh the risks; for example, getting vaccinated significantly reduces the risk of prolonged covid.
Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a cardiologist at Yale University, who is leading a study of about 2,000 people on the subject, admits it’s controversial because Covid vaccines have saved millions of lives. Needlesticks also reduce the risk of long-term Covid by around a third, according to some studies, making the topic even more contentious.
Dr. Krumholz admits it’s controversial because Covid vaccines have saved millions of lives. And studies show that injections also reduce the risk of prolonged covid by around a third, making the topic even more contentious.
By comparison, long-term covid is relatively common, with one in eight adults who become infected with the virus suffering symptoms months after the acute illness is cured, according to the CDC.
The huge benefit of vaccinating against covid and the toxic anti-vaccine movement has made scientists uncomfortable talking about Long Vax, according to Dr. Krumholz, who includes himself in that.
He said he feared that any study on the subject would be taken advantage of by conspiracy theorists. But after observing a growing number of Long Vax cases, he said: “I am convinced that something is going on.” [with these side effects].
‘It is my obligation, if I am really a scientist, to have an open mind and learn if there is anything that can be done.’
Dr. Anne Louise Oaklander, a neurologist and researcher at Harvard Medical School, echoed his comments.
She said Science: ‘You see one or two patients [with possible Long Vax] And you wonder if it’s a coincidence. But when you’ve seen 10, 20… Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.’
Long Covid is believed to be caused by lingering pieces of the Covid virus lurking in the body or a hyper-reactive immune system unable to reset itself.
Patients with the condition appear to suffer from symptoms similar to ‘long Covid’, including persistent headaches, severe tiredness, and abnormal heart rate and blood pressure.
In Long Vax, the researchers suggest it is being caused by an immune overreaction similar to the Covid spike protein that the vaccine uses to generate antibodies.
One idea is that some people produce a second round of antibodies that then mistakenly attack healthy cells.
The antibodies could also bind to ACE2, a receptor that helps regulate blood pressure and heart rate, but is also used by Covid to enter the body.
If the antibodies get in the way of ACE2 signaling, that could lead to faster heart rates and fluctuating blood pressure.
Researchers believe it is different from Long Covid “depending on when the symptoms appear,” Dr Krumholz told DailyMail.com.
He said it is difficult to compare the prevalence of Long Vax compared to Long Covid “as studies provide conflicting information.”
About a year ago, Dr. Krumholz and Yale immunologist Dr. Akiko Iwasaki began enrolling vaccinated and unvaccinated patients in a new study called LISTEN, which stands for Listening to Immunology, Symptom and Treatment Experiences Now.
The purpose of the study is to “understand the symptoms of Long Covid and the corresponding immune responses.”
The study also includes Long Covid patients. Their goal is to look at participants’ symptoms along with their immune cell patterns to see how people’s immune systems change after vaccination.
Tom Shimabukuro of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told a government advisory committee in January that Long Vax and other symptoms that occur after vaccination are a “difficult outcome to monitor.” .
Researchers are discovering more and more overlaps with other medical conditions.
One is small fiber neuropathy, where nerve damage can cause tingling sensations, burning pain, and blood circulation problems.
The second is postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), which is sometimes triggered by symptoms of small fiber neuropathy.
It causes muscle weakness, heart rate and blood pressure fluctuations, fatigue, and mental confusion.
Patients with symptoms after a covid vaccine can show aspects of either condition, even if they don’t meet the threshold for diagnosis, meaning milder cases could go undetected.
More than 24 patients have surfaced detailing POTS or small fiber neuropathy after a Covid vaccine, regardless of manufacturer.
Symptoms can appear hours, days or weeks after vaccination and are difficult to study.
While researchers on the ground are taking Long Vax more seriously, US and European regulators said they have looked for a connection between Covid injections and small fiber neuropathy, or POTS, but found nothing.
Dr. Vinay Prasad, a hematologist-oncologist and professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, said the Twitter: ‘I think “Covid vaccine-induced prolonged Covid” should be subject to the same scientific criticism and skepticism as autism caused by MMR vaccines.
It is strange that this article does not have any solid data to back up this speculation. It’s strange what side effects of the vaccine it’s okay to speculate about.
Peter Marks, director of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biological Research and Evaluation, which oversees vaccines, said: “We can’t rule out rare cases.” If a provider has someone in front of it, they may want to get serious about the concept. [of] a side effect of the vaccine.
But Dr. Marks also stressed that the benefits of vaccines far outweigh any risks.
In March, German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said that prolonged COVID-19-like symptoms after an injection are a real phenomenon, although rare, and promised funding for studies.
About 13.3 percent of people infected with Covid get Long Covid.
Getting vaccinated cuts your risk of Long Covid by 35 percent, according to a analysis from 2022.
An analysis published in the journal Antimicrobial Stewardship & Healthcare Epidemiology in December 2022 showed that people who received a single dose of the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine before testing positive for covid had a 35 percent lower risk of develop Long Covid compared to unvaccinated people who contracted Covid.
Covid vaccines have been extensively studied and are perhaps the most studied vaccines in human history for safety. There are only very rare examples of prolonged side effects.