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COVID ‐19 Vaccine‐Associated Cerebral Venous Thrombosis in Germany

, Peter Berlit, Hans-Christoph Diener, Christian Gerloff, Andreas Greinacher, , Gabor C. Petzold, Marco Piccininni Msc, Sven Poli, Rainer Röhrig,
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Published: 19 July 2021

Abstract: Objective We aimed to estimate the incidence of cerebral sinus and venous thrombosis (CVT) within one month from first-dose administration and the frequency of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) as the underlying mechanism after vaccination with BNT162b2, ChAdOx1, and mRNA-1273, in Germany. Methods A web-based questionnaire was e-mailed to all Departments of Neurology. We asked to report cases of CVT within one month of a COVID-19 vaccination. Other cerebral events could also be reported. Incidence rates of CVT were calculated by using official statistics of nine German States. Results A total of 45 CVT cases were reported. In addition, 9 primary ischemic strokes, 4 primary intracerebral hemorrhages, and 4 other neurological events were recorded. Of the CVT patients, 35 (77.8%) were female, and 36 (80.0%) were below the age of 60 years. Fifty-three events were observed after vaccination with ChAdOx1 (85.5%), 9 after BNT162b2 (14.5%), and none after mRNA-1273 vaccination. After 7,126,434 first vaccine doses, the incidence rate of CVT within one month from first dose administration was 0.55 (95% CI, 0.38-0.78) per 100,000 person-months (which corresponds to a risk of CVT within the first 31 days of 0.55 per 100,000 individuals) for all vaccines and 1.52 (1.00-2.21) for ChAdOx1 (after 2,320,535 ChAdOx1 first doses). The adjusted incidence rate ratio was 9.68 (3.46-34.98) for ChAdOx1 compared to mRNA-based vaccines and 3.14 (1.22-10.65) for women compared to non-women. In 26/45 patients with CVT (57.8%), VITT was graded highly probable. Interpretation Given an incidence of 0.02–0.15 per 100,000 person-months for CVT in the general population, these findings point towards a higher risk for CVT after ChAdOx1 vaccination, especially for women.
Keywords: COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2 vaccination / incidence study / cerebral sinus and venous thrombosis
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