‘Hypervaccinated’: Doctors study man who’s had 217 COVID-19 vaccines

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Is there such thing as too many vaccines?

That’s the question German scientists set out to explore recently, as they examined the case of a man who voluntarily received 217 jabs of the COVID-19 vaccine over the course of 29 months.

The 62-year-old man from Magdeburg, Germany, told doctors he had the large number of vaccines — an average of 7.5 doses per month or a shot every four days — for “private reasons,” researchers from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, who examined him, reported in their study.

While the man definitely exceeded vaccine recommendations, he also became a walking experiment for how the immune system reacts when it is frequently vaccinated against the same pathogen.

This “hypervaccination” did not result in any adverse health effects, the study published Monday in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases found, but it also did not significantly worsen or improve his immune response.

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According to the study, the man self-reported 83 of the shots, while the other 134 were confirmed by a prosecutor and through vaccination documentation in the country. The vaccinations were received between June 2021 and November 2023.

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The researchers contacted the man after media in Germany reported that he was accused of getting so many vaccinations in an attempt to collect stamped and signed vaccination cards to forge them and sell them to people who did not want to get the vaccination, but wanted to skirt Germany’s restrictions for unvaccinated people.

An investigation was opened into the case, but no criminal charges were ever filed.

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According to the study, the man has not had a COVID-19 infection to date and has never reported any vaccine-related side effects. Researchers say it’s important to remember that this is just one person and one case study and it’s not clear that his COVID-19 status is directly related to getting so many shots.

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They also say they do not endorse hypervaccination as a strategy to enhance immunity.

“The benefit is not much bigger if you get vaccinated three times or 200 times,” Dr. Kilian Schober, senior author of the study and a researcher at the university, told CNN.

The man claims to have received 217 vaccine doses of eight different COVID-19 vaccines — including all mRNA versions — over 29 months.

According to his immunization history, he started out relatively slowly, receiving 16 shots in 2021. In the new year, he doubled down on his efforts, getting shots in both his right and left arms almost every day in January 2022, for a total of 48 needles in one month.

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In February and March 2022, suspicions were raised after he received an additional 40 shots.

CNN affiliate RTL reported in April 2022 that the German Red Cross had issued a warning to other vaccination centres, urging them to call police if he showed up at one of their clinics.

He was arrested in early March 2022 and an investigation was launched at a time when much of the world required proof of vaccination to travel and attend public events, venues and restaurants.

By the time researchers reached out to him, he was “very interested” in participating in their study, Schober said in a press release.

The scientists looked at the man’s history of blood samples and asked him to get an additional four vaccines. They studied his blood samples following those vaccines.

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“The observation that no noticeable side effects were triggered in spite of this extraordinary hypervaccination indicates that the drugs have a good degree of tolerability,” Schober said.

The researchers found that his immune system was fully functional.

Further tests also found that the man’s immune system also remained unchanged for other viruses, proving that his immune system had not been damaged by the hypervaccination regime.

The latest guidelines from Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommend that most Canadians be vaccinated for COVID-19 every six months, usually in the spring and fall. For all the information on their latest recommendations, visit the government of Canada website.

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