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Why some of the “side effects” of the vaccine may be placebo

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Healthcare workers vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNtechcovid-19 vaccine at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, December 15, 2020.

Healthcare workers vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNtechcovid-19 vaccine at Jackson Memorial Hospital on December 15, 2020. In Miami, Florida.
Photo: Joe Ladle (((Getty Images)

Millions of Americans are currently vaccinated with covid-19 daily on average, but many Proudly share Vaccination status on social media, others have their Immediately after, a mild but definitely noticeable side effect as a badge of honor, such as arm pain and flu-like malaise. However, not all people’s symptoms after vaccination are due to the vaccine. In fact, it could be due to the evil twins of the placebo effect.

Just for clarityFor whatever reason, there is no problem with side effects after vaccination. If anything, these side effects activate the body’s immune system because they are learning to recognize what the coronavirus looks like after getting a blueprint of the appearance of the coronavirus from the vaccine. Often indicates that the virus (usually infects the peplomer cells used by the virus). This immune response tends to cause symptoms such as fever, malaise, and general pain for a day or two after vaccination. Usually, but not always.

Let’s look back Clinical trial data The double-dose mRNA vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech first reached the American population in December last year. Data based on more than 30,000 volunteers show that it is a safe and effective vaccine, but it is not without side effects. Approximately 84% showed injection site reactions such as pain and itching one week after taking the drug. 63% experienced fatigue. 55% experienced headaches.

Looking at these numbers alone, it makes sense for most vaccinated people to feel something.But surprisingly, in the same test, a significant portion of those shot by placebo I also have experience Some of these symptoms.After the first placebo shot, about one-third reported fatigue and about one-third reported headaches... Nearly 12% of people taking placebo experienced diarrhea after the first injection. This is more than the vaccinated group experienced after either dose. As a reminder The placebo was given only saline, also known as salt and water shots.

Now, some of these people who took placebo shots had fatigue, headaches, Or, no matter what, diarrhea of ​​the day — a topic that Gizmodo has, even if they didn’t attend the trial Covered Recently before. Unfortunately, these are very common illnesses and can be caused by a variety of causes. However, some may just have experienced them because of what we call the “Nosebo effect”. Just as our positive expectations can make us feel better after receiving new potential treatments, at least for some time our negative expectations do the opposite and I You can feel clumsy. On Twitter recognized To After taking the placebo, I felt sick later than after taking the real thing.

There is a tendency to dismiss the placebo / nosebo effect simply as a product of the psyche.But all the senses we experience It doesn’t really say much, as it will eventually be processed in the head. This sensation can be due to a strictly physical cause, that is, touching a hot stove, or it can be more complex. The stress that one may feel about taking a newly developed vaccine, or generally about taking a vaccine, will definitely cause headaches or even fatigue if they dislike needles. It may be enough to wear it down.

This is not unusual at all, it’s just humanity. And, needless to say, the cause of human pain, whether nosebo or not, does not diminish the need to recognize the pain and try to improve it if possible. However, the placebo / nosebo effect is one of many reasons why carefully planned studies, such as controlled clinical trials, are needed to better understand the world around us. This is especially important in trying to understand the potential benefits and risks of new drugs and vaccines. Thankfully, the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine and other vaccines have the following benefits in protecting us from severe illness and death: Become clear Every day, especially in countries with high vaccinations.

So go ahead and get vaccinated as soon as possible.Keep in mind that drowsiness after a shot may not be From most Obvious cause.

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