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People aged 75 years and older have zero risk of serious adverse cardiovascular events after vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, a new nationwide study has found.

Researchers in France and Britain used France’s national COVID-19 vaccination database to evaluate the short-term risk of severe cardiovascular events in this population. Although the drugmakers reported no such events in their late-stage clinical trials, “questions emerged once the vaccine was used on a large scale because older people were underrepresented in the trials,” the current study’s authors said.

As of April 30, 2021, nearly 3.9 million people in France aged 75 years or older had received at least 1 dose of the Pfizer vaccine and 3.2 million had received 2 doses. During the study’s observation period, more than 11,000 of these elders were hospitalized for an acute myocardial infarction, 17,000 for an ischemic stroke, 4,800 for a hemorrhagic stroke, and 7,200 for pulmonary embolism. About half of these patients had received at least 1 dose of the vaccine. 

The data analysis showed no increase in the incidence of acute myocardial infarction, stroke, and pulmonary embolism at 14 days following each of two Pfizer vaccine doses. There also was no significant increase for any of the cardiovascular events in two subdivided exposure intervals: 1 to 7 days and 8 to 14 days.

“This study provides further evidence regarding the risk of serious cardiovascular adverse events in older people,” the researchers concluded. 

Full findings were published in JAMA.