COVID Vaccine and Lingering Dizziness Research

Being in the business of vertigo, initial Coronavirus (SARS CoV 2) symptoms including neurological, balance and hearing side effects, piqued our interest. We’ve been working right alongside our patients through the COVID-19 pandemic to get to the bottom of their symptoms in and out of the clinic.

Recently published research matches our patient’s dizzy experiences, and day by day the understanding of the disease evolves (Koralnik and Tyler 2020, Pinzon, Wijaya et al. 2020, Saniasiaya and Kulasegarah 2021). 

Previously, we covered how COVID may be linked with lasting dizziness, vertigo, and tinnitus. The reasons why COVID may cause balance and hearing side effects is still unknown and further studies are needed.  

COVID Vaccine & Dizziness

But what about the vaccines? At this point in time it’s quite difficult to say for certain if there’s a link between any of the COVID vaccines resulting in balance and hearing side effects. We’ve taken a deep dive for you into balance and dizziness research in particular: the results below are quite mixed.

In regards to the Pfizer vaccine, the first trial of 21,720 receiving the vaccine does not list dizziness/vertigo as a side effect1. But a smaller followup trial of 1,245 vaccine recipients (Kadali, Janagama et al. 2021) reported about 8% of patients reported dizziness and 2% reported vertigo2.

Similarly for the Moderna vaccine, the original trial with 15,210 vaccine participants reported zero instances of dizziness or vertigo3. While a smaller follow-up trial (Kadali, Janagama et al. 2021) with 432 vaccine recipients found that around 3% reported vertigo and around 14% experienced dizziness.

With the J&J vaccine, the original trial with 19,630 receiving the vaccine zero reported vertigo or dizziness initially. Their product monograph lists 21,895 vaccine participants with vertigo symptoms reported by a small percentage of people (13 in the control group and 7 more in the placebo group).

As you can see, the evidence is highly variable. The publicly available data from the Centers for Disease Control’s Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System (CDC VAERS) regarding the vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) is updated regularly. New research is being conducted round the clock. 

See A Vestibular Audiologist

As we addressed in the article about COVID and dizziness:

Viruses that work their way into our inner or middle ear can cause damage and result in hearing or balance problems. We know this to be true of viruses that lead to Vestibular Neuritis or Labyrinthitis. If you’re feeling residual vertigo, dizziness, or just feeling off (whether you had COVID, a vaccine or not), it’s worthwhile getting yourself checked out by a Vestibular Audiologist.  It’s not fun being dizzy!

Our Vestibular Lab at the Dizzy & Vertigo Institute is equipped to find abnormalities and dysfunctions in your vestibular system which are causing dizziness, vertigo, and other balance problems.

Please, reach out to our care team at (310) 954-2207 or fill out our contact form here.

Dizzy patients like yourself don’t have to live their life in fear of their next attack. There are solutions and we’re here to provide them!

Resources:

  1. Polack, F. P., S. J. Thomas, N. Kitchin, J. Absalon, A. Gurtman, S. Lockhart, J. L. Perez, G. Perez Marc, E. D. Moreira, C. Zerbini, R. Bailey, K. A. Swanson, S. Roychoudhury, K. Koury, P. Li, W. V. Kalina, D. Cooper, R. W. Frenck, Jr., L. L. Hammitt, O. Tureci, H. Nell, A. Schaefer, S. Unal, D. B. Tresnan, S. Mather, P. R. Dormitzer, U. Sahin, K. U. Jansen, W. C. Gruber and C. C. T. Group (2020). “Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine.” N Engl J Med 383(27): 2603-2615.
  2. Kadali, R. A. K., R. Janagama, S. Peruru, V. Gajula, R. R. Madathala, N. Chennaiahgari and S. V. Malayala (2021). “Non-life-threatening adverse effects with COVID-19 mRNA-1273 vaccine: A randomized, cross-sectional study on healthcare workers with detailed self-reported symptoms.” J Med Virol.
  3. Baden, L. R., H. M. El Sahly, B. Essink, K. Kotloff, S. Frey, R. Novak, D. Diemert, S. A. Spector, N. Rouphael, C. B. Creech, J. McGettigan, S. Khetan, N. Segall, J. Solis, A. Brosz, C. Fierro, H. Schwartz, K. Neuzil, L. Corey, P. Gilbert, H. Janes, D. Follmann, M. Marovich, J. Mascola, L. Polakowski, J. Ledgerwood, B. S. Graham, H. Bennett, R. Pajon, C. Knightly, B. Leav, W. Deng, H. Zhou, S. Han, M. Ivarsson, J. Miller, T. Zaks and C. S. Group (2021). “Efficacy and Safety of the mRNA-1273 SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine.” N Engl J Med 384(5): 403-416.
  4. Sadoff, J., G. Gray, A. Vandebosch, V. Cardenas, G. Shukarev, B. Grinsztejn, P. A. Goepfert, C. Truyers, H. Fennema, B. Spiessens, K. Offergeld, G. Scheper, K. L. Taylor, M. L. Robb, J. Treanor, D. H. Barouch, J. Stoddard, M. F. Ryser, M. A. Marovich, K. M. Neuzil, L. Corey, N. Cauwenberghs, T. Tanner, K. Hardt, J. Ruiz-Guinazu, M. Le Gars, H. Schuitemaker, J. Van Hoof, F. Struyf, M. Douoguih and E. S. Group (2021). “Safety and Efficacy of Single-Dose Ad26.COV2.S Vaccine against Covid-19.” N Engl J Med.

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