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Study of 6M patients shows Pfizer, Moderna vaccines are safe

The study, involving Minnesota's HealthPartners, found no serious health effects linked to the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Editor's Note: The above video is from May 15, 2021. 

A new study from Bloomington-based HealthPartners Institute has found that no serious health side effects are linked to the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. 

According to a release from HealthPartners, the study included 6.2 million patients and examined 23 potential side effects within three weeks of vaccination, and three to six months of vaccination. 

The study found that there were no "recurring concerns" of any studied side effects because of the vaccines. 

The news release says the study monitored patients for several potential side effects, including neurological disorders, cardiovascular problems and other possible issues such as Bell's palsy and multisystem inflammatory syndrome.

According to the release, the study only identified 34 cases of heart inflammation in patients between the ages of 12 and 39, with 82% of those patients hospitalized for an average of one day. The release says per one million doses administered, there is a slight risk of 6.3 additional cases of heart inflammation within the first week of vaccination. 

HealthPartners notes that a separate study found heart inflammation is more likely after COVID-19 infection than it is after vaccination.

“Our data validates the safety profile of these mRNA vaccines,” Elyse Kharbanda, MD, senior investigator with HealthPartners Institute and co-author on the study, said in the release. “Vaccines are our best hope for returning to more normal lives. They help prevent COVID-19 and we can feel even more confident that they’re safe.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control's website, mRNA vaccines are different than many vaccines because they do not put a "weakened or inactive" live virus that cause COVID-19 into the body. Instead, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines teach the body how to produce or a piece of a protein that will trigger an immune response. 

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