Within the first five weeks of administering COVID vaccines in Alaska, at least 111 Alaska residents have suffered adverse reactions and at least five of these people have died. The information, which goes through Jan. 22, was reported on the VAERS website, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control uses to track vaccine injuries across the nation.
The actual number of adverse reactions is likely much higher. According to a 2010 Harvard study on VAERS, the reporting system records less than 1% of all adverse events from vaccines in the United States. That’s because data acquisition is passive and relies on healthcare providers to submit information. Also, many ordinary citizens are unfamiliar with how to use the program.
Of the 111 adverse reactions in Alaska, 59 included anaphylactic reaction and 45 required emergency doctor/room visits.
The five deaths reported in Alaska occurred after patients received the Pfizer vaccine. This included four men and one woman between the ages of 73 and 100. The deceased all had pre-existing medical conditions before getting the shot. In at least three instances the physician who entered the data did not believe the death was directly tied to the vaccine. Two other reports, however, did not rule out the vaccine as a possible cause of death.
Nationwide, VAERS lists 329 deaths in the wake of COVID vaccines. About 65% of these individuals were between 65 and 75 years old. Another 9,845 instances of adverse reactions are listed from all across the country.
Of the 111 adverse reactions in Alaska, 59 included anaphylactic reaction and 45 required emergency doctor/room visits. In most cases patients suffering adverse reactions experienced some combination of chest tightness, difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, swelling of lips, mouth and tongue, heart palpitations, severe dizziness, rashes and pain at the injection site.
A 29-year-old woman from Alaska endured severe high blood pressure and nausea, along with rash and hives on her arm and face after taking the Pfizer vaccine in December. Her reaction included head and body aches, chills and high fever. This happened within 20-30 minutes of taking the vaccine. She was admitted to the emergency room twice over two days with unresolved complications.
In another report a woman said she was breastfeeding her five-month-old son just four hours after receiving the vaccine. Two days later, while in daycare, the boy fell limp and was in and out of consciousness. He also suffered a body rash and was taken to the emergency department where he recovered that day and was released.
ALASKA WATCHMAN DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX
These are just two of many pages documenting adverse reactions among Alaskans.
Even though daily COVID case counts are in steady decline and hospital capacity and medical supplies are not overburdened, the State of Alaska continues to encourage all residents who can to get vaccinated. As of Feb. 2, nearly 97,000 Alaskans have received at least part one of the COVID vaccine.
Alaska has reported 1,209 hospitalizations and 277 deaths ascribed to COVID. As of Feb. 2, there are only 42 patients hospitalized who have COVID, although the reason for their hospitalization may have nothing to do with the virus.
According to the state’s COVID website, all vaccinated residents should continue to wear masks, social distance, avoid gatherings and quarantine after contacting someone with COVID. It suggests that vaccinated individuals can still contract COVID and pass it along to others.
“Research is ongoing to look into the question of how likely it is that someone who has been vaccinated can get COVID-19 but have no symptoms at all and still pass it to someone else, and our recommendations may change as we learn more over the coming weeks and months,” the website states.
On Dec. 10, the FDA released its analysis of the Pfizer vaccine, including known risks. Of the 44,000 people who participated in the clinical trials, this is the percentage who had adverse reactions: injection site reactions (84.1%), fatigue (62.9%), headache (55.1%), muscle pain (38.3%), chills (31.9%), joint pain (23.6%), fever (14.2%). Severe reactions occurred in up to 4.6% of subjects.
The FDA analysis noted that there is “insufficient data to make conclusions about the safety of the vaccine in subpopulations such as children less than 16 years of age, pregnant and lactating individuals, and immunocompromised individuals.”
The Pfizer vaccine is an experimental mRNA vaccine, which has never before been approved for widespread use in humans.
- Click here to learn how to report an adverse reaction to the COVID vaccine to the CDC.