Is there a link between the COVID vaccine and liver disease in children?

While reading the news this morning, I noticed a puzzling item. Reuters was claiming there was no link between the COVID vaccine and an outbreak of liver disease in children.  It seemed strange to me because I had never heard of any COVID vaccine causing liver disease, and I wondered why there was a sudden announcement that the vaccine was not causing liver disease.

I did see an article that the World Health Organization (WHO) was investigating 169 cases of liver disease in children in several countries.  One child has died and seventeen have required liver transplants.  So far, the only thing the WHO is sure of is that the usual viruses that cause acute hepatitis have not been detected.

I immediately wondered if the mass COVID vaccination could be causing this.  So many people rolled up their sleeves, and their children's sleeves, for mRNA vaccines, and mRNA vaccination is an experimental technology with unknown long-term effects.  Looking into the matter, I found a case of autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) in a 65-year-old woman who developed the disease two weeks after she got her first shot of the Moderna vaccine.

Looking further, I found an article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology relating the case of a 38-year-old woman who developed AIH after her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.  The Journal concluded, "This case serves to report a potential association and not necessarily causation between the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination and AIH."

Image (edited) by peoplecreations, from Freepik.

The National Library of Medicine reported a case of a 61-year-old woman who came down with AIH after her Pfizer vaccination.  Again, there was no conclusion that the vaccine caused her liver damage, but the article did state, "As intensive vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 continues, we would like to emphasize that clinicians should be cautious and consider AIH[.]"

It's true that these cases are all of adults, and the recent outbreak is among children between one month and 16 years old.  It's also true that there has been no definitive link established between mRNA vaccine and liver damage, and even if there were a definite cause, this is a tiny handful of cases among millions and millions of mRNA shots.

However, these articles are all from 2021.  The possible danger of severe liver disease from mRNA vaccines was being considered a year ago.  Perhaps in the absence of the usual suspects that cause autoimmune hepatitis, and the presence of cases where AIH developed after the vaccine, the danger of AIH being a rare side-effect of mRNA vaccination needs to be more thoroughly studied now that so many children are suddenly coming down with severe liver disease for no apparent reason.

Pandra Selivanov is the author of Future Slave, a story about a 21st-century black teenager who goes back in time and becomes a slave in the Old South. 

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