WHO studying reports of hearing issues following COVID-19 vaccination

The World Health Organization is studying a handful of reports of hearing problems following COVID-19 vaccinations.

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The reports of problems include sudden onset of tinnitus — ringing in the ears — and hearing loss.

A newsletter posted on the WHO website chronicled 164 cases of hearing loss and 367 cases of tinnitus. Generally, the cases were reported to have happened within 24 hours after getting the shot.

The reports of hearing loss were collected from 10 countries. The ages of those affected ranged from 19 to 93, and 63% of the cases happened in females.

Of the 164 reported cases, 142 people received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, 15 had the Moderna shot and seven received the AstraZeneca vaccination.

The WHO’s newsletter noted that many of the reports of hearing issues were collected from health care workers, and a large number of health care workers got the Pfizer shot since it was the first to be available.

The ages of people who reported tinnitus following a COVID-19 vaccine ranged from 19 to 91, and nearly 75% were women. The reports of tinnitus following the vaccine came from 27 countries.

Reports of hearing issues with the vaccine are rare considering more than 11 billion vaccine doses have been given since they were approved in late 2020.

A study published in February also examined hearing loss following a COVID-19 vaccination, according to NBC, but the results showed that hearing issues were no more common post-vaccination than would be expected in the general population.