April 20, 2024

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Does the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine cause Leukemia?

Does the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine cause Leukemia?


Does the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine cause Leukemia? No evidence, but also exposed problems. 

Discussions about Leukemia caused by inactivated vaccines have recently fermented online.


The public opinion stemmed from Chinese netizens describing on multiple social platforms including Weibo that they were diagnosed with Leukemia after they or their relatives and friends were vaccinated with inactivated vaccines.


Some netizens had uploaded relevant identification reports, and the identification results said that the correlation could not be ruled out.



Another open letter that was widely circulated before pointed out the same problem, saying that some groups were diagnosed with Leukemia after being vaccinated.

Due to the large number of people, it was questioned as a “coincidental reaction”, that is, “vaccination” and “Leukemia” were just a coincidence in time.


On May 27, Wang Huaqing, chief expert of Immunization Program of China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a press conference that whether the symptoms and diseases after vaccination are related to vaccination, the determination process must be standardized and based. But no conclusion has been drawn on this connection.


Many experts told that there is no evidence to show that various COVID-19 vaccines, including inactivated vaccines, are directly related to “Leukemia”, whether in terms of mechanism or the current global vaccination situation.


However, the problems behind it are also prominent. According to the last time China CDC released the data on adverse reactions after vaccination in China, it has been more than a year. Many experts believe that it is necessary to further improve the dynamic monitoring of adverse events after the vaccine is launched, so that the data is detailed and transparent.



There is no evidence that the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine can induce Leukemia

In addition to mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Brazil, Chile, etc. have all been vaccinated against the COVID-19 inactivated vaccine.


“There is no evidence in any country that inactivated vaccines, or COVID-19 vaccines, can cause Leukemia.” Zhuang Shili, a master of neuroscience at Hokkaido University, told the “medical community”.


According to a report issued by the Singapore government, as of February 28, 2022, a total of 392,122 doses of SINOVAC inactivated vaccine were administered in Singapore, and 312 suspected adverse events (accounting for 0.08% of the administered dose) were reported, including 24 serious adverse events, including Thirteen cases of allergic reactions and one case of myocarditis were reported.


The “Hong Kong COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Supervision” updated by the Hong Kong Department of Health mentioned that as of March 31, 2022, Hong Kong had completed 6,161,700 doses of SINOVAC’s inactivated vaccine, and 3,027 adverse events occurred after vaccination, accounting for 0.05%. 89 people died within 14 days after vaccination, which was not related to adverse reactions of the vaccine.


Does the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine cause leukemia?


The situation in Malaysia, Chile, and Brazil is similar, and no cases of Leukemia have been reported.


“It is almost impossible to cause Leukemia.” Virology expert Chang Rongshan analyzed the “medical community” that the difference between the inactivated vaccine and the “true virus” of the new coronavirus is that it is not pathogenic, but retains the immunogenicity, which triggers anti-infection immunity The effect is closer to natural infection.


“There are not many viruses that may cause cancer themselves. Most of them are DNA viruses, such as HPV and EBV viruses, and some have the ability to integrate into the human genome.” Chang Rongshan said, “The new coronavirus itself is not a carcinogenic virus. The completed inactivated vaccine shouldn’t either.”


“In principle, the stimulation of inactivated vaccines to the body is also short-lived and will be quickly cleared by the immune system, without long-term effects,” he said.


Zhuang Shili also pointed out that in terms of mechanism, there is no evidence to suggest that inactivated vaccines are related to the incidence of Leukemia, and there is no clear case report on the relationship between countries in reality. based on.”



“Possible” Leukemia Adverse Events

According to 2017 data, the annual incidence of Leukemia in China is about 7/100,000, and based on the total population, there are about 8,100 new cases of Leukemia every month, according to Zhuang Shili.


“According to the vaccination rate of about 90% in the mainland, 7,300 Leukemia patients can be seen every month, and they have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 in the past year and a half.”


Zhang Zhenhua, director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Second Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, told  that in his 20 years of experience, he has never heard of any vaccine being clearly associated with the incidence of Leukemia, “especially in the current widespread vaccination of the COVID-19 vaccine. It is normal for a ‘coupling reaction’ to occur.”


After searching PubMed and Web of Science, the “medical community” found that the research on “Leukemia” and “COVID-19 vaccine” mostly focused on “whether the vaccine can stimulate sufficient immune protection against the COVID-19 virus in Leukemia patients”.


In fact, many countries have prioritized vaccination of groups with serious underlying diseases, including cancer, on the basis that they are more vulnerable to the new coronavirus due to weaker immune systems.


The UK Health Security Agency has defined clinical risk groups in the “COVID-19 Vaccine Green Paper” updated on February 28, 2022, including hematological malignancies, such as Leukemia, lymphoma, etc. The COVID-19 vaccine should be given priority.


Does the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine cause leukemia?


The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) have also stated that all cancer patients should be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19.


Does the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine cause leukemia?


However, although there is no evidence yet, Zhang Zhenhua believes that more systematic real-world epidemiological studies are still needed, including surveys of Leukemia groups suspected of adverse events, statistics of incidence rates based on hospitalizations, and comparison with previous years.


“Not only ‘Leukemia’, but all kinds of adverse events after vaccination should be studied in as much detail as possible, and relevant data should be made public.” He said that there are currently various theories on the pathogenesis and causes of Leukemia. Such a large number of vaccinations , everything may just be a matter of probability.



Only this one adverse reaction monitoring report

On May 28, 2021, China CDC announced for the first time the monitoring of adverse reactions to Chinese COVID-19 vaccination.


From December 15, 2020 to April 30, 2021, a total of 265 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered in mainland China, and 31,434 adverse reactions were reported.

Among them, there were 26,078 cases of general reactions and 5,356 cases of abnormal reactions. There were 188 severe abnormal reactions, accounting for less than one in a million.


In the following year, there was no public channel available for inquiring about the latest adverse events. In addition, Chang Rongshan believes that the data in this report is not detailed enough.

The absence of “age group” and “admission status” lacks a comprehensive explanation of the characteristics of specific cases.


Looking at Hong Kong, Zhang Zhenhua cited a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases at the beginning of the year by the Li Ka Shing School of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong, which specifically included nearly 1 million vaccine recipients.

The results showed that the overall risk of “Bell’s palsy” increased after inactivated vaccine, but the probability was extremely low, and the benefits of vaccination still far outweighed the risks.


The latest “Hong Kong COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Supervision” mentioned that “Bell’s palsy” is a rare or very rare vaccine side effect.


Similarly, in 2021, the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System reported a rare case of thrombosis after adenovirus vaccination, and the U.S. CDC has since issued a special reminder of this rare situation.



In China, various provinces, cities and other jurisdictions have set up an expert group for the diagnosis and investigation of abnormal reactions to vaccination.

Zhang Zhenhua told the “medical community” that the relevant expert group is a “loose” organization, mostly composed of expert members from various medical institutions. “The relevant medical records of the patients are collected and judged by the doctors in the hospital and reported to the expert group.”


“There is a system, but the supporting mechanism is not perfect, and the process is not smooth enough.” Zhang Zhenhua said, “At the same time, limited by various objective reasons, the ‘identifier’ collects, studies, and identifies adverse events in detail, and reports and summarizes them. not enough enthusiasm.”


At present, one of the authoritative studies on the safety of SINOVAC inactivated vaccines comes from the Phase III clinical trial conducted in South America last year, but Zhuang Shili believes that the largest clinical trial is only tens of thousands of people , which cannot fully reflect the real world situation.” Post-marketing safety monitoring is a work that must be done.”


According to the “Vaccine Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China” promulgated in 2019, Article 76 states:

If the drug regulatory department of the people’s government at or above the county level finds vaccine safety information that may mislead the public and public opinion, it shall immediately conduct verification and analysis in conjunction with the competent health and health department, other relevant departments, professional institutions, and relevant vaccine marketing license holders, etc. Announce the results in a timely manner.



Whether it should “make up for it”?

According to the definition of the World Health Organization and the “Chinese Emergency Expert Consensus on Emergency Treatment of Adverse Events of Vaccination”, adverse events after vaccination (AEFI) include “adverse reactions after vaccination”, “vaccine quality problems”, “vaccination operation errors”, “psychological factors” and “Coincidental Events”.


Among them, only “post-vaccination adverse reactions” were clearly related to vaccine characteristics.


The “Vaccine Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China” points out that the scope of relevant compensation is limited to abnormal reactions to vaccination, that is, serious adverse reactions after vaccination or that cannot be excluded. General adverse reactions and other reasons are not included in the list.


Chang Rongshan believes that in the face of hundreds of millions of COVID-19 vaccine recipients, it is extremely complicated to refine the definition of compensation to individual cases, and there will be “misjudgments” and “unfairness”.


“Referring to many other countries and regions, a special ‘foundation’ should be established. Except for apparently unrelated random incidents, others should be included in the scope of compensation.” Chang Rongshan said.


“The fund can also pay for expert review fees. Currently, medical institutions undertake relevant appraisal work for free, resulting in low enthusiasm and low reporting rates.” Chang Rongshan said, “With the payment of the main body, the efficiency of adverse event identification will increase, and the discovery will be promoted. More low-probability adverse events, in order to optimize and improve the safety settings in the development of new vaccines, will play a boosting role in China’s future vaccine research and development.”


Zhang Zhenhua believes that the review fee and compensation fee should be separated. For the patient side, he added, “it should be made up”, but the amount should be graded according to the clinical severity.


“In most cases, the relevant production enterprises are responsible for the compensation, but the amount of inoculations is often hundreds of millions, and the high cost exacerbates the smoothness of compensation declaration and implementation, and also increases the difficulty of collecting adverse event information.”


“An authoritative and professional third-party appraisal and compensation agency should be established, with a fixed ‘ compensation fund pool ‘, and the cost is shared with the cost of COVID-19 vaccination.” Zhang Zhenhua said.


Zhang Zhenhua believes that data from all over the world have shown that no matter what technical route of vaccine is used, the incidence of serious adverse reactions after vaccination is extremely low, but to fundamentally dispel the public’s “vaccination concerns”, there should be more detailed information Data is made public.


On April 18, 2022, the School of Public Health of the University of Hong Kong published an online article titled “Why Elderly Groups in Hong Kong, China Delay or Refuse Vaccination”, which conducted an in-depth study of 27 unvaccinated elderly people on the issue of “vaccine hesitancy”. interview.


One of the results showed that official information, which they considered insufficient and irrelevant, led to undue concern about vaccine risks and greater susceptibility to extreme case reports of serious adverse reactions.


The study pointed out that in order to promote the acceptability of vaccines, adequate “vaccine communication” between the elderly and doctors should be strengthened. At the same time, officials should adopt a more honest, situation-based care and communication method to meet the needs of the elderly for information processing.










Does the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine cause Leukemia?

(source:internet, reference only)

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