The update of the safety report of the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) on the Coronavirus vaccination shows 1,178 severe reactions to the Covid-19 vaccine. After vaccination, 223 people died.

Covid Vaccination

The Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) has provided an update on the safety report dealing with suspected cases of adverse reactions and vaccination complications occurring in connection with COVID-19 vaccine. The current report lists registered cases that have occurred through February 12. The next update is expected to include reports through the March 4 deadline.

As of that date, nearly four million Covid-19 vaccine doses had been administered, meaning the federal government had reached 4.78 percent of the population with at least a primary vaccination with one of the approved preparations from BioNTech (Comirnaty), Moderna or AstraZeneca.

The PEI lists that 3,848,994 of the total 3,967,246 vaccinations, and thus 97 percent, were carried out with the BioNTech vaccine. 86,967 vaccinations were carried out with the Moderna vaccine. The AstraZeneca preparation was used in the remaining 31,285 cases.

Adverse reactions were reported in 7,690 cases, these were severe in 1,178 cases. The severe reactions appeared in 1,072 cases after the administration of a Comirnaty vaccine, Moderna was involved in such cases with 41 cases, just as slightly above average as AstraZeneca with eleven. In 63 cases, no information was provided on the type of vaccine administered.

Average age of those who died after vaccination

On average, the age of the persons who experienced adverse reactions in connection with the vaccination was 57 years – the youngest person affected was 15, the oldest 107 years old. In 41.9 percent of the cases the reactions had completely subsided at the time of reporting, in 20.2 percent the state of health had significantly improved again.

In 3.6 percent of the reported cases, the persons to whom adverse reactions were reported after vaccination had died in the meantime. The time interval between the injection and the death varied from a few hours to 22 days.

In absolute numbers, 223 people died after vaccination during this period. The deceased were 125 women, 84 men and 14 persons for whom no data were provided, ranging in age from 46 to 101 years. The average age of the deceased was 85 years.

Of 223 deceased persons, 52 were infected with coronavirus. In 36 cases, it was also not stated which vaccine had previously been administered to the deceased. In most of the deceased persons, the vaccination protection was not complete; only in 19 cases had both vaccine doses been administered, which are provided in the preparations of BioNTech and Moderna. Of the deceased who had been vaccinated, 52 had previously been infected with coronavirus.

In one case of a deceased man, COVID-19 infection occurred 29 days after and in the case of another 26 days after vaccination. In the latter case, it was unclear whether the individual had also received the second vaccination.

In one man with pre-existing conditions who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after the second vaccination and who died 10 days after vaccination, the exact cause of death had not been determined at the time this report went to press.

PEI requested further data

In most other cases, a probable cause of death could be established. Thus, 75 persons died from the worsening of their underlying disease, from another disease that had occurred in the meantime, or from an infectious disease other than COVID-19.

The majority of the remaining persons had multiple pre-existing diseases ranging from carcinomas to renal insufficiency or heart diseases to arteriosclerosis. However, in 96 cases, no definitive cause of death was given, as the PEI still wanted to request further information. A causal relationship between the vaccination itself and the death could not yet be established in any of the cases investigated.

Existing allergies and severe side effects

As far as the investigation of side effects is concerned, the data in the updated version also do not deviate significantly from the results that clinical studies had indicated in the run-up to approval. Also with regard to persons with allergies such as hay fever, house dust and bee venom or neurodermatitis or rhinoconjunctivitis, the PEI can so far give the all-clear regarding an increased risk of severe side effects.

Thus, in only two cases of existing allergies after administration of the test vaccine or a placebo were allergic reactions recorded that could be causally attributed to the vaccination. In one case it was a test person with pollen allergy, in the other one with anamnestic mussel and iodine allergy. In this case, a swelling of the pharynx occurred one day after vaccination.

The PEI also reported an increase in sick leave among staff who had been vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s vaccine. Here, nursing staff complained of temporary adverse reactions such as fever, chills, headache, muscle and limb pain. In total, the symptoms were similar to those of a flu-like infection. Similar symptoms had also been observed in the test phase.


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