- 22/04/2021 at 6:08 PM #35468Anonymous UserParticipant
After Covid-19 vaccinations: shingles as a side effect?
The Swiss licensing authority Swissmedic reports an increased number of cases of shingles, which were reported as side effects of the Covid-19 vaccinations. The authority is now examining whether the vaccine can cause the infectious disease as a side effect.
Side effects to be expected
The Swissmedic authority evaluated 1,174 reports of side effects as a result of vaccinations with BioNTech and Moderna products. Most of these were reactions to primary vaccinations that were not considered serious. Those affected were on average 64.9 years old and the majority were women. While some side effects can be expected and are normal reactions to vaccination, one specific condition has been uncommonly associated with immunization: herpes zoster reactivation, better known as shingles.
When chickenpox immunity lapses
Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV). Most of us first come into contact with these pathogens as small children when we develop chickenpox. After that, we are immune to the viruses. However, with age, this immunity slowly decreases, making re-infection possible. This can lead to a feeling of illness, headache and body aches, fever and a skin rash with blistering. These are all common symptoms of herpes zoster disease. Risk factors for this include immunosuppressive treatments, diabetes mellitus, female gender, psychological stress or mechanical injuries. Vaccinations against the pathogen offer reliable protection against the disease.
Local reactions to injection most common
Even more frequently than shingles, reactions at the injection site such as redness, itching, pain or swelling, as well as fever, shortness of breath and headache or migraine were reported as side effects. In combination with the preparation from Moderna, local reactions at the site of the injection were particularly frequent. In addition, in some cases chills, dizziness, fatigue, vomiting, or nausea occurred. In almost three percent of the cases there was also death, whereby according to the current state of knowledge, it was not the vaccinations but the illnesses that were the cause. This is the result of other countries and the World Health Organization (WHO) when classifying deaths in relation to Covid-19 vaccinations.
Relationship is being investigated
The licensing authority Swissmedic is currently analyzing the connection between vaccinations and herpes zoster reinfections. It is currently not yet clear whether the immunizations are responsible for the increased cases of the disease. In any case, it continues to apply that the benefits of Covid-19 vaccinations outweigh the risks and side effects, reports the authority.
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