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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: 4, Insightful) by khallow on Thursday January 20, @04:30AM (3 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 20, @04:30AM (#1214063) Journal

    People understand enough. "No one I know had it bad" == "Probability is negligible". "My vaccinated neighbors all got it" == "Vaccines do not work".

    Sure, and my neighbor's pigs fly. The reasoning [soylentnews.org] is more like "We know a girl who missed her period for five months after getting the vaccine" == "Vaccine will make my daughters sterile". It's pure hysteria.

    And my experience, being in Yellowstone National Park with thousands of people a day going through this park is. "A lot of people I know got it" == "Probably ain't negligle". And "Most people who got it (and tested positive for covid) didn't have their booster shot (they all were vaccinated)" == "Get the booster and stop whining".

    If you don't interact with people at all, then you can afford to not get that shot or booster. But if you do, especially if those people are rabid anti-vaxxers, you'll probably need a booster.

    Another thing people increasingly come to understand: "You told us dozens of falsehoods over these two years" == "You are never to be trusted with anything".

    Got to agree with the AC replier, there's a lot of liars out there, and Trump was one of the biggest. It must have been hard to get true believers to do the right thing and vaccinate themselves.

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  • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Thursday January 20, @07:32PM

    by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Thursday January 20, @07:32PM (#1214298) Homepage Journal

    Well, hell. I'd mod you up if I had any points left.

    --
    Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @07:38PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @07:38PM (#1214301)

    "But if you do, especially if those people are rabid anti-vaxxers, you'll probably need a booster."

    it's the vaxxed getting sick, you stupid bitch-ass slave.

    • (Score: 2, Touché) by khallow on Thursday January 20, @07:54PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 20, @07:54PM (#1214310) Journal

      it's the vaxxed getting sick, you stupid bitch-ass slave.

      Sounds like you go vaxxed with stupidity, because that was quite the immune response to an intelligent argument.