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Rare Blood Disorder a Side-Effect of the COVID Vaccine? Here’s What You Should Know

With the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines hitting the markets consistently in the past few weeks, people continue to line up to gain immunity from the dreadful virus that stole their 2020. Good news came in the form of mild side effects from the vaccine, including slight fever, pain, and fatigue.

However, a recent headline claiming that one of its side effects is immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), a rare blood disorder, lots of people have stopped in their tracks and are refraining from getting the vaccine.

Shutterstock | People showed up in thousands for the vaccine

The News Breaks Out

The first week of February ushered a news post from the New York Times reporting problems that a few recipients of the vaccine had to face. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System received 36 of the disease in recent days.

The same condition led to the brain hemorrhage-caused death of a Florida physician last month. Anyone can report adverse effects of the vaccination to the US Food and Drug Administration. Data is reviewed by both the FDA and the CDC for the VAERS. The reporting system serves as a valuable tool in keeping tabs on the effectiveness of the vaccine.

What is Immuno Thrombocytopenia?

According to Mayo Clinic, platelets, specifically thrombocytes, are blood cells that aid in blood clotting. Thrombocytopenia, therefore, is a medical condition signifying a low platelet count. In ITP, the immune system produces fewer platelets and starts attacking what little platelets it has in the first place.

The annual statistics for the disease is 1 in 35,000 in the US. Heavy bleeding- even during menstruation- and bruising are common effects of the disease. Other than that, reddish-purplish dot-sized marks start appearing on the skin. Remedies include steroids and/or intravenous immunoglobulin.

Shutterstock | Nosebleeds are a common symptom of the disease

Is There a Connection in the First Place?

As indicated by the Times, currently there seems to be no connection between immune thrombocytopenia and the vaccine. Of the 36 reports received, only 19 suggest clear signs of the disease. Was the problem caused by the shots, or did these people develop ITP on their own? Is it a coincidence that they noticed after getting the vaccine?

Shutterstock | So far, ITP can’t be tied to the vaccine

Most likely, even if the vaccine did cause ITP in these patients, it will be a very rare occurrence. Both Pfizer and Moderna tested the vaccine on over 30,000-40,000 individuals in clinical trials, and serious adverse effects were just as minimal as they are after distribution. Additionally, trial data released by the two pharmaceuticals have no mention of thrombocytopenia.

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