Did You Hear Vaccines Cause Stroke? (Umm, Actually…)

Fact-checking for your wellness and convenience. 

Rumor:  The COVID vaccine causes strokes.

Truth:  Close but not quite. Both the vaccine and the virus can trigger an immune response that, in extremely rare cases, can stimulate dangerous blood clotting, leading to strokes that can be fatal. This occurs far more frequently after an infection vs a vaccination.

If you’re concerned about strokes, your best defense is being vaccinated. “The COVID-19 vaccine definitely can help reduce the risk of a debilitating stroke,” the Stroke Foundation said in a recent announcement urging people to protect themselves after sobering research linked the virus to dangerous blood clots. “The fact is, the more severe case you have of COVID, the more likely you are to have a stroke,” they said.

Learn more at thestrokefoundation.org or reach out with your questions, comments, rumors and anecdotes to: editor@nwlocalpaper.com

CBS This Morning, April 15, 2021

DR. DAVID AGUS: This study was pulled from large numbers of hospitals, predominantly in the US. The most important finding, I think, is that this particular blood clot in the brain called “cerebral thrombosis” is ten times more common in people with the viral infection as opposed to the vaccine.

People with the virus have dramatically more incidence of this rare blood clot in the brain than with Moderna, Pfizer, J&J or Astra-Zenica. In one study, there were 2 in 500,000 vaccinations — a rate of four per million. That number is 40 per million for COVID-19 infections.

I think it’s an important observation, and that it’s going to change how we can treat and prevent this serious side effect. This is more evidence of how the vaccine is helping people in significant, measurable ways.  (Transcript edited for clarity) 

Double Stuff: Updated Booster for Flu Season 

Data has shown time and time again, vaccines and boosters do an excellent job protecting us from the worst consequences of COVID-19, including strokes, long COVID, hospitalization and death. As we head into the colder months, cold and flu infections will naturally rise. The CDC recommends all individuals aged 12+ receive this year’s booster, which is targeted for the top two most prevalent strains of the virus, including Omicron. 

If it’s been more than 2 months since your last booster (or vaccination) — or more than 3 months since you had COVID — you’re eligible for this free preventative health measure, available thru most pharmacies: CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens, etc.

PRO TIP: Drink a lot of Gatorade a day or so before your appointment, because a little extra hydration will go a long way towards relieving (and even thwarting) possible side effects like aches, pains, and brain fog. It’s probably also not a bad idea to schedule your booster in the evening, if you can, so you can just go home afterwards and crash. Maybe reward yourself with some takeout first, why not? Thank you for being a Public Health rock star.

This series a #BOOSTTRUTH project via WHYY’s News & Information Community Exchange.

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