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Health Rising article shares info on Covid vaccines

January 05, 2021

For up-to-date information on the vaccine, including a template letter highlighting that M.E. is an underlying neurological condition that should be in priority group 6, please visit our dedicated vaccine information page.

M.E./CFS journalist Cort Johnson has written an article sharing information about Covid vaccines for people with M.E.

This article lists nine vaccines that have been approved or are going through approval processes. For each vaccine, it describes the localised reaction at the site of the shot in trials, as well as systemic reactions (fatigue, headache, nausea, muscle and joint pain, etc).

For the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the article notes that pain at the injection site was common during trial was common, but that redness or swelling was less common. The most commonly reported systemic reaction was fatigue, which was reported in 45-60% of participants under 55, but this only lasted for up to two days in most cases. For the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, pain and tenderness were common (25-60% depending on age group) but not as common as the other vaccines, while almost 70% of under 55s vaccinated in trials experienced fatigue. For both vaccines, side effects were more commonly reported in under 55s than over 55s.

The article also references the impact of pre-existing conditions on vaccine efficacy:

“All the trials thus far have included a wide variety of age and health levels. People did not have to be healthy to be in the trial, and having a pre-existing condition hasn’t had any effect on vaccine efficacy or side effects thus far. Some conditions were, however, excluded from the study. The Pfizer vaccine was not tested on people diagnosed with an immunocompromising condition or unstable chronic medical conditions.”

Following the vaccine overview, the article presents opinions from several M.E. experts in the US regarding whether they think people with M.E. should take a vaccination. The majority of the medical professionals were in favour of advising people with M.E./CFS to take a vaccine, while two advised the M.E. community to take a 'wait and see' approach before deciding. None of the medical professionals were firmly against people with M.E. being vaccinated.

We regularly update the Covid-19 vaccine section of our website and have added a link to this article along with the latest UK Government information.