Data analysis refutes anti-vax blood clot claims about COVID-19 vaccines

Vaccination reduces the risk of blood clots, far less than COVID-19.

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SARS-CoV-2 vaccine providers, recipients, and those who have not yet been vaccinated must be well informed about vaccine side effects. To meet this need, the researchers tried to determine the risk of post-vaccination venous thromboembolism (VTE).

Researchers from the University of Buffalo have confirmed that there is a negligible risk of blood clots with the COVID-19 vaccine. The study also discovered a high risk of blood clots associated with COVID-19 infection.

Peter L. Elkin, MD, UB Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB, Said, “This population-based study found only a trivial risk for VTE following COVID-19 vaccination.” 

He said, “Given the large risk of VTE from COVID-19 infection, the risk-benefit ratio strongly favored vaccination.” 

The purpose of the study was to determine whether or not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine increased the risk of developing VTE. This claim has been widely reported in both mainstream and social media.

Elkin said. “There was concern by some that COVID-19 vaccination might cause undue harm and VTE was one of the mechanisms implicated by anti-vaxxers, We wanted to know the truth.

Based on information from veterans 45 years of age and older from the Department of Veterans Affairs National Surveillance Tool, the study covered the period from January 1, 2020, immediately before COVID-19 was discovered in the United States, through March 6, 2022. The data included 321,676 unvaccinated control subjects and 855,686 recipients of at least one dose of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.

To determine whether the vaccines could reduce the risk of VTE, the researchers considered many risk factors for VTE, such as age, race, gender, body mass index, and others.

He said, “The excess risk was about 1.4 cases per million patients vaccinated. Given that the rate of VTE with COVID-19 is several orders of magnitude greater than the trivial risk from vaccination, our study reinforces the safety and importance of staying current with COVID-19 vaccinations.”

A new study shows the importance of staying up to date on COVID. The most important information in this text is that Vaccine Induced Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT) is an immune response that causes fewer platelets to be malformed and stickier, which can lead to VTE.

He said. “This study shows the power of big data where we can exactly use electronic health record data to answer questions that could never be properly answered with a randomized controlled trial due to the small effect size and the need to recruit millions of patients to the trial.” 

The researcher said, “It’s an example of how biomedical informatics is answering important clinical questions that can help people to recognize the benefit of COVID-19 vaccination and improve adherence to this approved clinical guideline.” 

By proving the safety of COVID-19 vaccinations, the study serves as an example of how translational science can be used to address the most pressing scientific issues facing society today.

The study was funded by grants from the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for the Advancement of Translational Sciences (NCATS).

Journal Reference:

  1. Elkin, P. L., Brown, et al. COVID-19 vaccination and venous thromboembolism risk in older veterans. Journal of Clinical and Translational Science. DOI: 10.1017/cts.2022.527