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posted by martyb on Wednesday January 19, @10:36PM   Printer-friendly
from the it's-[almost]-all-in-your-head? dept.

More Than Two-Thirds of Adverse COVID-19 Vaccine Events Are Due to Placebo Effect:

The placebo effect is the well-known phenomenon of a person's physical or mental health improving after taking a treatment with no pharmacological therapeutic benefit – a sugar pill, or a syringe full of saline, for example. While the exact biological, psychological, and genetic underpinnings of the placebo effect are not well understood, some theories point to expectations as the primary cause and others argue that non-conscious factors embedded in the patient-physician relationship automatically turn down the volume of symptoms. Sometimes placebo effects can also harm –the so-called "nocebo effect" occurs when a person experiencing unpleasant side effects after taking a treatment with no pharmacological effects. That same sugar pill causing nausea, or that syringe full of saline resulting in fatigue.

In a new meta-analysis of randomized, placebo-controlled COVID-19 vaccine trials, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) compared the rates of adverse events reported by participants who received the vaccines to the rates of adverse events reported by those who received a placebo injection containing no vaccine. While the scientists found significantly more trial participants who received the vaccine reported adverse events, nearly a third of participants who received the placebo also reported at least one adverse event, with headache and fatigue being the most common. The team's findings are published in JAMA Network Open.

"Adverse events after placebo treatment are common in randomized controlled trials," said lead author Julia W. Haas, PhD, an investigator in the Program in Placebo Studies at BIDMC. "Collecting systematic evidence regarding these nocebo responses in vaccine trials is important for COVID-19 vaccination worldwide, especially because concern about side effects is reported to be a reason for vaccine hesitancy."

Haas and colleagues analyzed data from 12 clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines. The 12 trials included adverse effects reports from 22,578 placebo recipients and 22,802 vaccine recipients. After the first injection, more than 35 percent of placebo recipients experienced systemic adverse events – symptoms affecting the entire body, such as fever – with headache and fatigue most common at 19.6 percent and 16.7 percent, respectively. Sixteen percent of placebo recipients reported at least one local event, such as pain at site of injection, redness, or swelling.

In comparison after the first injection, 46 percent of vaccine recipients experienced at least one systemic adverse event and two-thirds of them reported at least one local event. While this group received a pharmacologically active treatment, at least some of their adverse events are attributable to the placebo – or in this case, nocebo – effect, as well given that many of these effects also occurred in the placebo group. Haas and colleagues' analysis suggested that nocebo accounted for 76 percent of all adverse events in the vaccine group and nearly a quarter of all local effects reported.

Journal Reference:
Julia W. Haas, Friederike L. Bender, Sarah Ballou, et al. Frequency of Adverse Events in the Placebo Arms of COVID-19 Vaccine Trials [open], JAMA Network Open (DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.43955)

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @12:18AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @12:18AM (#1214004)

    Donald Trump telling you "dozens of falsehoods" does not mean that no one can be "trusted with anything". It just means you have to reevaluate who you are trusting. Hope this enlightens.

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  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @03:50AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @03:50AM (#1214055)

    Another leftist reply that doesn't respond to the topic. Your guys in office are failing hard because they think they are above dealing with real world events. Hope this enlightens. *snicker*

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mcgrew on Thursday January 20, @07:30PM

      by mcgrew (701) <> on Thursday January 20, @07:30PM (#1214297) Homepage Journal

      I'm not a Democrat, I'm an independent voter, and your Trump colored glasses are blinding you. Democrats not dealing with real world events? Like Bush's "forever war" that Biden stopped? Like trying to make it easier for people to exercise their right to vote, instead of trying to take that right away? Like your Texas Republican governor when it got cold? Like the moronic Republican governors who are against masks and vaccinations?

      Like fixing our crumbling infrastructure that former President Pinocchio promised to do but didn't even try? WTF did government do AT ALL under the last administration than cut taxes on the super rich, the people who need tax breaks the least?

      Meanwhile, the leader of your party (I have no party except beer and pot) has never once won a popular vote, lost the house and senate, and tried to overthrow the election and are now trying to take the right to vote away from people? And the Republicans think they can't win without that loser?

      What's in that Republican Kool-Aid, cocaine? You accuse Democrats of not regarding real world problems? Sorry your mother was such a heavy drinker when she was pregnant with you.

      Free Martian whores! []
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @07:34PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @07:34PM (#1214299)

      As we see here the deplorables do not respond well to education, thus making a vicious circle resulting in failed relationships, jobs, and in some extreme cases, even murder. Join us next werk as we explore the intricacies of bovine bowel movements.