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Three new side effects linked to Pfizer and Moderna vaccines

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Kuldeep Singh
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The European Union is testing possible new side effects of mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.

Three new conditions reported in a small number of people following vaccination with Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 shots are being investigated to determine if they are possible side effects, Europe’s drugs regulator said Wednesday.

In particular, a small number of those vaccinated complained of three new side effects:

  • erythema multiforme – a form of an allergic skin reaction,
  • glomerulonephritis – kidney inflammation,
  • nephrotic syndrome – a renal disorder characterised by heavy urinary protein losses.

These conditions are being studied by the safety committee of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), according to the regulator.

Pfizer, the European Union’s single largest supplier of COVID-19 vaccines, and Moderna did not immediately respond to our requests for comment.

As of July 29, the EMA reported that just over 43.5 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine, Spikevax, had been administered in the European Economic Area, compared to more than 330 million doses of Pfizer’s shot, Comirnaty, developed in collaboration with Germany’s BioNTech.

The EMA discovered a possible link between very rare heart inflammation and mRNA vaccines last month. The European regulator and the World Health Organization, on the other hand, have emphasized that the benefits of these vaccines outweigh any risks.

The watchdog did not disclose how many instances of the new conditions were recorded on Wednesday, but stated that it had requested additional data from the companies. The EMA made no recommendations regarding vaccine labelling changes.

Moderna’s stock, which had risen more than 75% to Tuesday’s close since joining the S&P 500 index in mid-July, fell about 16% to $384 on Wednesday.

Pfizer was down nearly 4% and BioNTech was down 14.4% on the New York Stock Exchange.

Photo by HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images

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