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    People in red states report more COVID vaccine side effects: Study

    By Joseph Choi,


    A new study found that states with a higher percentage of Republican voters are seeing more reports of adverse side effects from COVID-19 vaccines.

    The study published in the JAMA medical journal looked at 620,456 vaccine adverse events reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) from adults 18 and older.

    Researchers separately looked for three outcomes: rates of adverse events among vaccine recipients, rates of any severe adverse effects among this group and the proportion of adverse events reported as severe.

    They found that a 10 percent increase in state-level Republican voting was linked to increased odds of adverse event reports. This relationship between political inclination and reports of adverse events was comparatively not seen when it came to flu vaccines.

    Some limitations were noted however. Vaccine recipients could file more than one report so each report was not necessarily from a unique individual. One strength of the analysis that was noted was how the results remained the same across different statistical modeling.

    “The association between observation and belief runs both ways. The adage ‘seeing is believing’ recognizes that our individual experiences inform our sense of truth, and ‘believing is seeing’ recognizes that our preconceptions modulate what we experience in the first place,” the study concluded.

    Like all immunizations, the COVID-19 vaccines do carry some potential side effects. A multi-country study published in February affirmed an increased association between coronavirus vaccinations and side effects like Guillain-Barré syndrome, myocarditis and pericarditis.

    The researchers in this study, however, noted that these conditions were more likely to occur from COVID-19 infections than vaccinations.

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