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The United States Centers for Disease Control is continuing its investigation into the risk factor for those 65 years and older who receive the Pfizer/Biontech updated COVID-19 booster shot to experience ischemic strokes.
The CDC and FDA announced earlier this month that they had flagged a possible link between the new COVID booster and the risk of ischemic stroke in those 65 and older but that the risk was minimal and the agencies still recommended getting boosted as scheduled. This week, in an update, the CDC reported it is still looking into the risk from the booster, and it is believed that the risk factor for ischemic stroke is lower than initially thought.
“Sometimes signals are not clear. It makes sense to look into it more, and it doesn’t make sense to change practice given the known benefits (of getting the booster) in this age group,” said Dr. Walid Gellad, a professor of medicine to Reuters. The CDC said this week it stands by its recommendation to continue to get boosted as recommended in spite of the low stroke risk.
Some experts contend patients who receive the updated COVID booster and flu shots at the same time and are over 65 years of age may be at the greatest risk for ischemic strokes. Food and Drug Administration scientist Richard Forshee told Business Insider the FDA will be looking into whether combining the two vaccines increases the risk of older people experiencing strokes after the shots.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: REUTERS