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Study: Vaccinated More Likely to Suffer Ear Conditions, Menstrual Disorders, Herpes Zoster, Glaucoma

A pre-print study by Suh Jee-hyun and Kim Hong-jin et al titled “The spectrum of non-fatal immune-related adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination: The population-based cohort study in Seoul, South Korea” posted on 22 November 2023 compared immune-related conditions between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.

As expected, the vaccinated are mostly worse off—hazard ratios higher than two are not uncommon.

The paper is short, a total of 21 pages with the main text at under 12 pages. The remaining are references, tables and figures.

The data is taken from the Korean National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) database, randomly selecting 50% of residents in Seoul. Those under 20 years of age were excluded. For the vaccinated group, only those who received two doses were included.

The index date for the unvaccinated group is 1 October 2021. For the vaccinated group, it is the individual’s date of receiving the second dose prior to 30 September 2021. The study period is in effect one year before and three months after the index date.

Ultimately, the vaccinated group for the study consisted of 1,748,136 individuals and the unvaccinated group 289,579. Over half the vaccinated received Pfizer (56.69%), with Astrazeneca being the next most popular (34.98%).

Thirteen conditions of gynecological, hematological, dermatological, ophthalmological, otological or dental nature were investigated and listed (although the number “14” is stated in the main text).

In short:

Among the non-fatal irAEs in this study, the cIRs at three months following COVID-19 vaccination were higher in vaccinated subjects than in non-vaccinated subjects, except for endometriosis. The highest cIR of the non-fatal irAEs in vaccinated subjects was observed in other ear diseases (cIR, 51.78%; 95% CI, 50.61-52.94) followed by inner ear diseases (cIR, 47.10%; 95% CI, 45.99-48.21), herpes zoster (cIR, 45.08%; 95% CI, 43.99-46.17), menstrual disorders (cIR, 44.43%; 95% CI, 43.35-45.51), and glaucoma (cIR, 39.42%; 95% CI, 38.40-40.43). Among the non-fatal irAEs, 50% exhibited a significant difference in cIRs one-week post-vaccination.

Table 2: Cumulative incidence rate (cIR) of non-fatal immune-related adverse events (irAEs) following COVID-19 vaccination.
Table 2: Cumulative incidence rate (cIR) of non-fatal immune-related adverse events (irAEs) following COVID-19 vaccination.


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