COVID vaccines slightly affect menstrual cycles but do not affect menses

woman wearing pink top

A new peer-reviewed paper showed that COVID-19 vaccines slightly and temporarily increased the length of menstrual cycles. The research also showed that the vaccine did not change the number of days of menses. The effects are so minor as to not warrant concerns about these vaccines.

This brief post is just going to lay out the data from the article and try to show that if you are a woman considering the vaccine, this shouldn’t be a concern.

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COVID vaccine safety and effectiveness for 5-11-year-olds

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On 30 December 2021, the Centers for Disease Protection and Control (CDC) released two studies on COVID-19 vaccine safety for 5-11-year-olds that showed that there were few serious safety issues and showed that the vaccines prevented serious illness and hospitalization.

These two studies provide strong evidence for COVID-19 vaccine safety and effectiveness for children and should provide confidence for parents to make sure their children get the vaccine.

This post will examine these peer-reviewed articles and pull out the key data for the reader.

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COVID vaccine booster effectiveness may wane quickly against Omicron

This pandemic just doesn’t give us much good news — research from the UK indicates that COVID-19 vaccine booster effectiveness may wane significantly at the 10-week mark post-vaccination. This may allow the Omicron variant to spread much further than originally hoped.

Before I explain the research, I want to make a few things very clear. First, this doesn’t mean the vaccine is ineffective, it is just that the immunity appears to wane more quickly than other vaccines. Second, this doesn’t mean that the vaccines are worthless — hospitalization and, more importantly, death rates are much lower in the vaccinated group. And finally, this is how science works — we accumulate data and then, after reviewing the data, change recommendations.

Let’s take a look at this new research and determine what it may mean for future vaccination efforts.

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Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID vaccines are really vaccines – obviously

person aspirating the vaccine from the vial

Here we go again – I keep seeing the new anti-vaxxer claim that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are not, in fact, vaccines but are either “medical devices” or “gene therapy.” I keep trying to stay up with every single myth and trope pushed by the anti-vaxxers, but I swear that there’s a new one every day.

I would really love to write about something other than COVID-19 vaccines – I’ve got a ton of articles I want to write about GMOs, supplements, and cancer that are just sitting in a virtual pile on my desk. Unfortunately, I’m very worried that the anti-vax hatred of these new vaccines will allow this pandemic to keep going. That’s why many of us keep doing the best we can to stamp out the myths.

Just to be clear, the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are actually vaccines – they are biological preparations that provide active acquired immunity to an infectious disease, in this case, COVID-19. But, I’m going to have to debunk these myths.

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Pfizer COVID pediatric vaccine will require a third dose during clinical trials

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On 17 December 2021, Pfizer stated that trials for its pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 2 to 5 show that it did not provide the expected immunity. Therefore, it is adding a third dose to the clinical trial, and it will probably mean a significant delay in getting Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the COVID-19 vaccine for that age group.

Pfizer, after its independentData and Safety Monitoring Board examined the data, decided to add the third dose for all children and babes, ages 6 months to 5 years, that were included in the clinical trial. Apparently, the data showed that the two pediatric-sized doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine were not producing the expected immunity in the 2- to 5-year-old group. Although they did not have the data for babies up to two years old, they decided to add the booster to them.

person getting vaccinated Pfizer COVID pediatric vaccine
Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

The Pfizer pediatric vaccine includes a 3 microgram (µg) dose as opposed to the 10 µg dose for individuals 5-12 years old, and a 30 µg dose for those older than 12-years-old. Pfizer said that the third 3 µg dose will be given at least two months after the second dose in the two-dose series that was included in the original clinical trial protocol.

The independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board, which can see clinical trial data without giving details to the company or investigators, also indicated that there were “no safety concerns were identified and the 3 microgram dose demonstrated a favorable safety profile in children 6 months to under 5 years of age.” This should assure anyone that a third dose will not bring up any safety issues.

person holding test tubes
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Pfizer stated:

The decision to evaluate a third dose of 3 micrograms for children 6 months to under 5 years of age reflects the companies’ commitment to carefully select the right dose to maximize the risk-benefit profile. If the three-dose study is successful, Pfizer and BioNTech expect to submit data to regulators to support an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for children 6 months to under 5 years of age in the first half of 2022.

Pfizer is also planning to test third doses in older children, who do not yet have authorization for booster doses of vaccine. Kids ages 5 to 11 and 12 to 15 will get full-dose third shots in the trials.

It’s clear that Pfizer is taking extreme care with its lower-dose pediatric COVID-19 vaccine. They want to make certain that they are providing effective doses without any serious safety signals.

One final point — whenever someone makes a claim that companies somehow cheat during vaccine clinical trials, nothing could be further from the truth. Companies, such as Pfizer, institute a number of protocols and independent advisors to make certain that these clinical trials provide unbiased and quality data that support the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines.

Dr. Gregory Michael — what happened after he got the COVID vaccine?

Gregory Michael

Dr. Gregory Michael, MD, a Miami, FL OB-GYN, died a little over two weeks after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.  Almost everything that happens after someone gets this new vaccine is under the microscope by just anyone that has an interest in vaccines.

Of course, anti-vaxxers jumped on the bandwagon after reading that Dr. Gregory Michael’s wife stated that he died because of the vaccine. Similar to the story about Tiffany Dover, who fainted soon after being vaccinated because she had a fear of needles and, of course, did not die, the anti-vaccine forces are doing everything they can to discredit the vaccine.

Dr. Michael was one of our brave healthcare workers who delivered babies during a pandemic. He was pro-vaccine, and that’s why he received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Let’s take a close look at what happened to Dr. Michael. Is there a correlation to the COVID-19 vaccine? Did the vaccine cause his death?

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Adverse events surveillance after 11.8 million COVID mRNA vaccine doses

adverse events COVID-19 vaccine

A paper was just published that reviewed adverse events after 11.8 million COVID-19 mRNA vaccine doses were administered in the USA. Because it is the topic of discussion these days, I felt it was important to review this paper.

Even though anti-vaxxers love to claim excess adverse events after people receive the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, there are excellent methods that the CDC has developed to monitor these issues in vaccines, and this new paper looks at one of them.

The news is good, in case you’re wondering.

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Viagra may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease — no, not a joke

viagra alzheimer's disease

Now for something completely different — a newly published peer-reviewed article shows that Viagra may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Yes, you read that right, sildenafil (brand names of Viagra or Revatio) users have a substantially lower risk of subsequent diagnoses for dementia.

And, as you know, I’m a proponent of biological plausibility — there appear to be physiological and biochemical reasons why Viagra can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

So, let’s take a look at how sildenafil works (no, it’s not about sex), the paper itself, and the plausible mechanisms that may allow it to work. And yes, I’m going to try to avoid the jokes, but you are more than welcome to place them in the comments!

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Why do we need COVID vaccine boosters for the Omicron variant?

COVID-19 vaccine boosters omicron

I have seen a few comments about the need for COVID-19 vaccine boosters before and after the appearance of the new Omicron variant. Of course, anti-vaxxers use this as a reason to deny the effectiveness of the vaccine. However, I’ve even seen pro-vaxxers misunderstand why boosters are needed.

Today, Pfizer announced that its preliminary studies showed that individuals who have received boosters produce about 25X more neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant than those who received the COVID-19 vaccine alone. This is awesome news with the caveat that this has not been peer-reviewed or published, it is just a report from Pfizer itself. In the hierarchy of vaccine research, it is pretty low until it is published in a medical journal.

I’m going to try to explain the reasoning behind the need for COVID-19 vaccine boosters against the Omicron variant. I hope it provides some science-based facts about boosters so that it might help you in discussions about the vaccine and new variant. I’m dividing my explanation into three broad areas, with the intent to make the science as clear as I can.

And just to remind everyone, I am fully boosted with the Moderna vaccine.

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