The Internet’s social-media censors have been extremely vigilant at suppressing every tidbit of COVID vaccine “misinformation” that comes their way. So, as readers might imagine, drawing attention to publicly released data about the rare (but sometimes deadly) side effects associated with both mRNA and adenovirus-vector jabs has been…a challenge.
But let’s back up: over the past couple of months, health authorities in the US and Israel connected rare instances of myocarditis – that is, inflammation of the heart – to the mRNA jabs produced by Pfizer and Moderna. After a hurried secret meeting with its advisors in late June, the FDA reluctantly released a warning about a “likely association” between incidences of myocarditis and the new side effects.
And now, a new twist: On Thursday evening, the Washington Post published a report claiming that the Moderna coronavirus vaccine may be associated with a higher risk of myocarditis in younger adults than previously believed. The report relies on new data from a Canadian study that has yet to be released.
How much more dangerous is the Moderna jab than the Pfizer? Well, the preliminary data leaked to WaPo show the risk of myocarditis might be as much as 2.5x higher for the Moderna jab.
The news represents the latest bump in the road for Moderna’s high-flying stock, as patients (especially younger men in their 20s and 30s deemed at highest risk to suffer the side effect) now have an incentive to prefer Pfizer’s jab over Moderna’s (if they still have any confidence in the mRNA jabs at all, that is).
WaPo’s sources stressed that the new research hasn’t yet been concluded, and that there’s still plenty of work to be done before the FDA decides whether to attach another warning label to the Moderna jabs. The sources also claimed that the new data “are not slam bang”.
The investigation, which involves the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is focusing on Canadian data that suggests the Moderna vaccine may carry a higher risk for young people than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, especially for males below the age of 30 or so. The authorities also are scrutinizing data from the United States to try to determine whether there is evidence of an increased risk from Moderna in the U.S. population.
The two people who described the investigation spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing review because they were not authorized to discuss it.
One of the people familiar with the review emphasized it is too early to reach a conclusion. The person said the agencies must do additional work before deciding whether to issue any kind of new or revised warning or recommendation about the situation. In June, the FDA added a warning label for the Pfizer and Moderna shots — both known as mRNA vaccines — about increased risk of myocarditis.
“We have not come to a conclusion on this,” one of the people familiar with the investigation said. “The data are not slam bang.”
The FDA and CDC both said they’re looking into the data. To be sure, WaPo notes that the side effects remain “extremely rare” – or at least “very uncommon.” Probably…
The myocarditis side effect is extremely rare and even if it is more likely in people receiving the Moderna vaccine, it probably is still very uncommon. Officials want to be careful not to cause alarm among the public, especially when officials are trying to persuade more people to be vaccinated amid a surge of cases fueled by the fast-moving delta variant.
So far, the FDA and CDC’s official position is that the threat posed by COVID is far worse than any threat posed by vaccine side effects, and that all Americans over the age of 12 should get the jab. But as with any recent scientific judgment, there are others in the community who disagree – some who believe that the risk of side effects for young people might just outweigh the risk of harm from contracting COVID, which – as we have reviewed before – is virtually nil.