Are Covid vaccines affecting the heart, inducing other non-communicable diseases?
While the Covid-19 vaccines are saving lives, serious side effects, inducing inflammation in the heart, have been reported after vaccinations, along with other premature non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
However, new research now claims the reported adverse events are low in number.
According to the WHO, more than 850 million cases and over 6.6 million deaths from Covid have been reported worldwide.
Currently, the death rate has been reduced due to the decreased pathogenicity of new SARS-CoV-2 variants, but the major factor in the reduced death rates is the "administration of more than 12.8 billion vaccine doses globally".
According to a paper published in open-access scientific journal MDPI, the scientific community must investigate the entire spectrum of Covid-19 vaccine-induced complications so that necessary safety measures can be taken, and current vaccines can be re-engineered to avoid or minimise their side effects.
"We describe in depth severe adverse events for premature metabolic, mental, and neurological disorders; cardiovascular, renal, and autoimmune diseases, and reproductive health issues detected after Covid-19 vaccinations and whether these are causal or incidental," the researchers wrote.
In any case, "it has become clear that the benefits of vaccinations outweigh the risks by a large margin", they added.
However, pre-existing conditions in vaccinated individuals need to be taken into account in the prevention and treatment of adverse events.
Diabetes and Covid-19 have a bidirectional relationship. In addition to causing new onset or worsening pre-existing diabetes, diabetes and hyperglycemia are linked to a worse prognosis in Covid-19 patients.
However, despite the likelihood that severe hyperglycemia is exceedingly uncommon in Covid-19 vaccine recipients, "it is essential for clinicians to be aware of these side effects and anticipate severe hyperglycemia in individuals exhibiting post-vaccination symptoms such as excessive urination, excessive thirst, vision problems, and fatigue," the team wrote.
In the context of cardio-vascular diseases (CVDs), since a causal relationship has not been demonstrated between Covid-19 vaccination and the onset of hypertension, and patients with hypertensive crisis rarely need hospitalization, Covid-19 vaccinations show substantial benefits compared to its risks.
"Regarding arrhythmia, although a case of paroxysmal ventricular arrhythmia was reported for the BNT162b2 vaccine, no causal association was found," said the researchers.
Moreover, exposure to Covid-19 presents a significantly higher risk of developing arrhythmia. The trend of Covid-19 vaccine-related myocarditis, on the other hand, is comparable to that of other viral infections, with a greater prevalence among teenagers and young adult males.
Most notably, the risk of myocarditis and hospitalisation in this group of vaccinated individuals is lower than that in unvaccinated Covid-19 patients, said the paper.
Regarding neurological disorders, mass vaccinations have confirmed that the risks of acquiring severe neurological complications are by far much lower for individuals vaccinated with Covid-19 vaccines than individuals who tested positive for Covid-19, it added.
NCDs, also known as chronic diseases, are non-transmissible diseases of often long duration. Examples of NCDs include mental health conditions, stroke, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease.