Vaccination talk

Association Between Menstrual Cycle Length and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) VaccinationA U.S. Cohort

CONCLUSION:

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination is associated with a small change in cycle length but not menses length.

https://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Fulltext/9900/Association_Between_Menstrual_Cycle_Length_and.357.aspx

This report may not do any favors for vaccine advocates but the data support the conclusion cited above.


Here are a couple news media reports you can read to compare their comments to the scientists.

https://www.boston.com/news/coronavirus/2022/01/08/womens-periods-may-be-late-after-coronavirus-vaccination-study-suggests/?p1=hp_featurestack

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/06/health/covid-vaccine-menstrual-cycles.html


What I'm always curious about with vaccine side effects is a comparison to disease side effects. Given that a vaccine triggers an immune response, and that actual infection also triggers an immune response, I'd expect that most vaccine side effects are also observed in cases of infection. Am I off base here?


PVW said:

What I'm always curious about with vaccine side effects is a comparison to disease side effects. Given that a vaccine triggers an immune response, and that actual infection also triggers an immune response, I'd expect that most vaccine side effects are also observed in cases of infection. Am I off base here?

It is true that symptoms one feels when they are suffering from a cold and flu, and now COVID, are due in part to the immune response. Fever is the one we learned about as the most prominent sign/symptom when it came to infectious disease. A vaccine can trigger fever to a lesser degree than an actual infection, but since each person's response is different, it is hard to do a true clinical study at the individual level, You cannot measure how bad a fever someone would have from an infection that week versus getting the vaccine that week. The sniffles and congestion can also be included there to some degree but the vaccine only presents the identifying antigens to an immune system.

In an actual infection, you have the symptoms that result if the person can mount an immune response AND the damage the virus itself can do, whatever that may be. The effects of COVID have had an unfortunate mix of those two sets of effects. The immune response in some people was an all-out effort to attack the virus and it contributed to the glassy lung (ground-glass opacity) appearance on their X-rays, one of the hallmarks of a poor prognosis. That's one of the reasons dexamethasone helped some of those patients. Dexamethasone is a cortisone derivative that has been around for decades and thankfully it happened to tamp down the immune response. the other corticosteroids like prednisone, methylprednisolone, and hydrocortisone can be used but the dosing for them needs to be much more frequent. On the other hand, dexamethasone's plasma half-life is a day and a half to 3 days so you can build up a strong and steady plasma concentration that was needed to stave off an immune response with too much collateral damage.

I wrote about this before but when they were trying to come up with the vaccines they were studying the plasma both from people who survived COVID-19 and those that succumbed. Comparing them showed that those who survived produced antibodies that bound the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein as one of their array of antibodies. That's what led them to focus on that part and get that specific part of the mRNA genome to use as the antigen in the vaccine.

But what about those who didn't produce antibodies attacking that specific region of the spike protein? They weren't able to shut down the infection quickly which induced a more sustained immune broad-spectrum response that potentially involved what they refer to as a cytokine storm. It's not a great analogy but instead of laser-guided missiles, that broader immune reaction is more like dropping a load of bombs from a B-52 circling high above. Those bombs fall where they fall and much collateral damage occurs. In the case of ground-glass opacity, it's our own forces doing the damage. The NIH recognized that really quickly and set up this clinical trial in October of 2020.

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-begins-large-clinical-trial-test-immune-modulators-treatment-covid-19



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