Spain is adamant that the best way to convince the unvaccinated to get the jab is to feed them the facts, positive and negative, and let them decide.
The Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (Aemps) on Wednesday published a pharmacovigilance report which sheds light on the information that those unconvinced by getting the vaccine often want to see before deciding.
Of the 71,746,002 Covid-19 vaccines administered to 38.32 million people in Spain up to November 14th 2021, there have been 50,824 notifications of side effects.
That means that out of every 100,000 people vaccinated in Spain, 71 people have experienced adverse reactions, only one in five of them serious.
In the majority of cases, they’re heightened versions of common disorders such as a high temperature, pain in the arm around the vaccinated area, headaches, dizziness, muscle aches and joint stiffness.
Women appear to be more likely than men to suffer these side effects after getting the Covid-19 vaccine, representing 74 percent of notified cases.
Numerous scientific reports point to insufficient testing among women during trials for the Covid-19 vaccine as a potential reason why they tend to be the ones who suffer side effects more often.
In total there have been 10,091 cases of serious side effects to the Covid-19 vaccine in Spain.
Spain’s Agency for Medicines and Health Products classifies as serious “any adverse event that requires or prolongs hospitalisation, results in significant or persistent disability, or congenital malformation, endangers life or is fatal, as well as any other condition that is considered clinically significant”.
According to Aemps, there have been 346 deaths among people in Spain following their Covid-19 vaccination.
However, these deaths cannot be linked to Covid-19 vaccines by the mere fact of being notified until a study confirms the causal relationship between the vaccine and death or the serious side effect.
In other words, if a person dies due to a blood clot a few days after getting vaccinated against Covid-19, there is an undeniable possibility that this may have occured for other reasons than the Covid-19 vaccine.
As Aemps’s report points out , “vaccination does not reduce deaths from causes other than Covid-19, so during the vaccination campaign it is expected that deaths from other different reasons will continue to occur”.
Out of the roughly 51 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine administered in Spain, there have been 28,967 notifications of side effects, affecting women in most cases (75 percent) between the ages of 18 and 65 (84 percent).
5,725 of which were classified as serious.
A total of 221 people vaccinated with Pfizer have developed myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) or pericarditis (inflammation of the pericardium) after vaccination, three of whom died.
Two of these people were over 60 and displayed pre-existing conditions that could result in heart problems. The majority of the 221 patients were recovering or had recovered by the time health authorities were notified.
Seventy-one percent of these cardiac issues affected men, in 61 percent of cases after receiving the second dose and in 62 percent of cases in the first week following inoculation.
In people under 40 in Spain, 0.8 cases out of every 100,000 doses resulted in these heart complications.
According to the EMA’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC), there is not enough evidence to link the Pfizer vaccine to any form of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS).
Out of 9.16 million Moderna doses administered to 4.8 million people in Spain, there have been 8,352 notifications of side effects, again mainly among women (75 percent) and people aged 18 to 65 (90 percent).
The majority of these common side effects were similar to Pfizer’s – a temperature, headaches, muscle ache – but a total of 1,260 of these side effect notifications were classified as serious.
Of these, 79 cases were also related to myocarditis or pericarditis, again mainly in men (90 percent), after the second dose (65 percent) and within the first week after getting the second vaccine (78 percent).
In under 40s in Spain, 1.4 out of every 100,000 doses administered were followed by cases of myocarditis or pericarditis, but none resulted in death.
Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine
Of the 1.9 million single-dose J&J vaccines administered in Spain, there have been 1,370 notified cases of side effects, 368 of which were classified as serious.
Most of these were experienced by women (59 percent) and in people aged 18 and 65 (86 percent).
Common side effects are the same as for other Covid-19 vaccines: headaches, fever, muscle and joint ache, but there’s one difference.
More than 20,000 women in Spain have reported menstrual cramps, delays, shorter cycles or heavier bleeding after being vaccinated against Covid-19.
These side effects on women’s menstruation are being studied at the University of Granada where current evidence shows any possible side effect is temporary and does not affect fertility.
“There is not enough evidence to support a possible causal relationship between this vaccine and the appearance of menstrual disorders,” PRAC has reported.
The inoculation developed by Sweden and Oxford University stopped being used in Spain over global fears surrounding very rare cases of unusual blood clots that could result in a type of stroke.
Before Spain stopped administering AstraZeneca, there were 20 reported notifications relating to this out the 9.8 million doses administered, 15 of which saw patients recover quickly, one who didn’t recover and four whose current health status is unknown.
The main focus of this article is to give information on the data relating to Covid-19 vaccine possible side effects and deaths released by Spanish authorities.
Spain’s Health Ministry knows that by doing so and contrasting it with the data for vaccinations, it will become clear to all, especially those most apprehensive about the inoculation, that the benefits of getting vaccinated far outweigh the very small risk factor.
To give a few examples based on Spanish health authorities’ data:
Vaccinated people are three times less likely to contract the Covid-19 Delta variant.
In the 30-50 age group, the risk of admission to hospital is ten times lower if people are vaccinated.
In the 60 to 80 age group, the risk of death is 25 times higher for unvaccinated people.
Spain’s current infection rate (149 cases per 100,000 people) is roughly the same as it was last March when only 4 percent of the population was vaccinated, but Covid hospital occupancy has gone from 22 percent back then to 5 percent now and Covid ICU occupancy has dropped from 7 to 2 percent, thanks to the fact that almost 90 percent of Spain’s elegible population is now vaccinated.
The World Health Organisation on Thursday reported that Covid-19 vaccine has saved 470,000 lives across Europe.
This list could continue but the data is clear in Spain and elsewhere – Covid-19 vaccines may not always stop people from getting infected with the coronavirus but they do considerably lower the risk of ending up in hospital or dying, whatever your age.