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What are the side-effects from Covid vaccine rollout?

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What are the side-effects from Covid vaccine rollout?

When Pfizer-BioNTech shareholders and execs met online at a conference hosted by Barclays Bank in March to discuss how the biggest campaign with the fastest-produced vaccine in world history was progressing, adverse events did not make the agenda. 

The discussion was primarily focused on manufacturing and rollout, projected revenues, pricing, the power of franchise and growth opportunities.

There was no mention of the headlines across the globe about nursing home residents dying suddenly after injections of Covid vaccine or people testing Covid positive after the shot or those who had anaphylactic shock reactions or data finding high rates of facial paralysis.

Blood clots

Investors are not generally interested in product side-effects unless they impact the bottom line. European stock markets fell in March, however, as one after another, government regulators in 20 different European countries suspended distribution of all or some of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine over growing concerns about blood clots. 

Italy was investigating the death of a 52-year-old music teacher, Sandro Tognatti, who died within hours of taking the vaccine, and two other deaths on the island of Sicily.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health also said it was investigating a death and other reports of health care workers under 50 who had rare and serious brain hemorrhaging and blood clots. It issued a press release calling on people who find large bluish patches or dots on their skin and are feeling unwell following receipt of AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine to see a doctor immediately.1 

The Danish Medicines Agency released a statement saying it was investigating the death of a woman in Denmark shortly after she received the vaccine and several other reports of blood clots.2 

No other explanation

While the European Medicines Agency (EMA) was investigating 37 reported blood clotting incidents with AstraZeneca’s vaccine, a top Norwegian health official investigating three high-profile cases of blood clots in healthcare workers met with reporters to announce that the reason for the condition of the patients had been found. 

Chief physician and professor Pål Andre Holme said there was evidence of a rare hyper-inflammatory immune response to the vaccine that generated antibodies which attacked the patients’ blood platelets. 

“We’re talking about relatively young people that have become very sick here, and died, that probably wouldn’t have got such a serious case of Covid.”

“There is nothing in the patient history of these individuals that can give such a powerful immune response. I am confident that the antibodies that we have found are the cause, and I see no other explanation than it being the vaccine which triggers it,” Holme said.3 

In Norway, only the three cases of serious blood clots were mentioned out of about 120,000 doses of the vaccine that had been delivered in the country, although it’s unknown how many other people had deep vein thromboses and less serious blood clotting reactions. 

It’s a small risk, but orders higher than the “one-in-a-million” risk that is advertised, and it’s another reaction no one thought about before the campaign rolled out. How many other ‘rare’ deaths were occurring because of the vaccine?

Sixty-nine doctors, including prominent German microbiologist Sucharit Bhakdi, signed an open letter to the EMA citing serious potential consequences of Covid-19 vaccine mRNA technology, warning of “possible autoimmune reactions, blood clotting abnormalities, stroke and internal bleeding, including in the brain, spinal cord and heart.” They asked, had these dangers been excluded in preclinical animal models with all three vaccines prior to their approval for use in humans by the EMA?4 

“Safe and effective”

There was no answer to the question from the EMA, which ruled that its review of the clotting events had found the “benefits outweigh the risks” and that the vaccine was “safe and effective.”5  

Peter Clegg from Oakham, England, whose twin brother George died of a large blood clot on his lung 10 days after receiving a shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine, is angry that doctors, the government and health agencies are dismissing the link between the vaccine and the blood disorder.

George Clegg had received the shot as a requirement of his job at the Maidstone prison. He was feeling unwell and went to Tunbridge Wells hospital nine days later on February 23, where he was treated for a large blood clot on his lung. 

He was revived twice when he stopped breathing, his brother said, “but the third time they were unsuccessful and an incredible man was gone.”

“I loved that man more than my own life and would change places in a second given the chance. I really don’t know how I can survive without him in my life,” said Peter Clegg.

He said his twin, 55, a “big strong man with no serious underlying conditions” and no family history of blood clots, had not complained after the shot.

“They are working overtime to make everyone believe it’s safe. It might be to a large number of people but not everyone,” Clegg said. “One person dying from this is too many.”

Anaphylaxis

Reports of two severe anaphylactic reactions came on the first day of Pfizer’s vaccine rollout in the United Kingdom. Soon there were more.  Three healthcare workers at one hospital in Alaska, four at a hospital in Chicago, and they kept trickling in.

Anaphylactic shock is a potentially lethal immune system response to exposure to a foreign trigger such as the ingredients in vaccines. It can cause sudden hives, wheezing, swelling of the throat, nausea, confusion and blood pressure drops that can lead to vascular collapse. If it is not treated immediately, usually with adrenaline, it can be fatal.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK issued a warning that people who had known severe allergies to any vaccine ingredient should not take it.6 

Notwithstanding that advice and perhaps since many people are unaware of an allergy until they are exposed to the offending ingredient, by March 28, 714 people had experienced anaphylactic reactions in the UK alone, according to the MRHA. 

In the US, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) logged 829 anaphylactic reactions by April 9, including 124 hospitalizations and 15 deaths.

While health officials continue to say such reactions are rare, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in March found that “severe reactions consistent with anaphylaxis occurred at a rate of 2.47 per 10,000 vaccinations.”  This translates to 247 cases of severe anaphylaxis per every million Covid vaccinations—hardly “one in a million,”  and that’s just the tip of an iceberg of side-effects from vaccines.7 

Yellow Card reports

Not four months into the vaccination rollout, 160,071 case reports of adverse reactions, including 786 deaths, had been reported to the UK’s Yellow Card scheme for both Covid vaccines as of March 28 (of the deaths, 472 of them after AstraZeneca’s vaccine, 302 following Pfizer’s vaccine and 12 following unidentified vaccines). 

These reports include unusual symptoms showing up in thousands of people. For example:

  • 119,058 nervous system disorders from seizures and strokes to loss of sense of taste (95,234 of them, including 63 deaths, associated with AstraZeneca’s vaccine)
  • 5,899 cardiac disorders including 102 deaths (4,325 events and 57 deaths associated with AstraZeneca’s vaccine)
  • 794 reports of lip swelling
  • 2,223 reports of eye pain (1,894 with AstraZeneca’s vaccine) 
  • 5,478 reports of swollen lymph nodes (3,049 of them from Pfizer’s vaccine)
  • 8,689 reports of vomiting (7,124 of them from Pfizer’s vaccine)
  • 6,394 reports of abdominal pain
  • 7,094 reports of diarrhea
  • 490 reports of facial paralysis (269 with Pfizer’s vaccine)

VAERS

In the United States, where the AstraZeneca vaccine has not yet been given emergency use authorization, the VAERS had recorded 56,722 adverse events including 2,210 deaths, 1,477 life-threatening conditions and  941 permanent disabilities in association with FDA-authorized vaccines, including Pfizer’s and Moderna’s, by April 9.   

Many deaths have occurred among the frail and elderly (who were the first cohort to receive the vaccines). The first report of 29 deaths in a nursing home in Norway came in mid-January. It was followed by similar reports from around the globe: 46 deaths in a Spanish nursing home, 24 in Syracuse, NY, and 22 at a residence in Basingstoke, England, for example.8 

The UK Medical Freedom Alliance issued an urgent open letter to health officials citing data from the Office for National Statistics, which showed that residents’ deaths tripled in the two weeks in January after a massive increase in the rate of vaccinations in care homes.9 

“It is deeply disturbing that two months after the publication of this article [regarding the 29 Norwegian deaths] the fundamental issue of vaccinating the frail posed by it have not been addressed,” John Stone, UK editor of Age of Autism wrote in the British Medical Journal.10 

Many reports of residents becoming ill and testing positive for the coronavirus within days of being vaccinated have also surfaced. In Israel, for example, 4,500 people were diagnosed with the coronavirus after having received the first Pfizer vaccine dose; 375 had to be hospitalized due to the disease.11 

Pfizer was not reporting the incidence of Covid infection in the first two weeks after vaccination in its studies, a letter to the British Medical Journal  by retired pediatrician Alan Cunningham noted. “Why not? Are the manufacturers hiding negative data?” he asked.12 

Covid mRNA vaccines vs. other vaccines

One analysis of VAERS data found that mRNA-based Covid vaccines averaged 2,507.2 reports of adverse events per week compared to just 194.6 reports per week for the flu vaccine. While more people were getting the Covid vaccine over 10 weeks, the flu vaccine data looked at a time frame that was six times longer (60 weeks). 

Whereas 4.5 percent of reported Covid vaccine events were fatal, only 0.75 percent of flu adverse events resulted in death. That’s a six times higher rate of deaths reported for Covid vaccines than for flu vaccines and 10 times higher than for all other vaccines.  

The VAERS data also shows that 10 percent of the adverse events reported for Covid vaccines result in hospitalization—these are not minor events of “flu-like symptoms” that public health says to expect from the vaccine.  The hospitalization rate following Covid vaccination is three times higher than for flu vaccine events and double the rate of all other vaccines.13 

The Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine does not use the new mRNA technology but an adenovirus vector, an older method. The vaccine, which was given emergency-use authorization in February, had only two adverse event reports in the first week of its use, but that shot to 5,324 adverse events including 161 hospitalizations, 48 deemed “life-threatening,” by April 9.

Just a coincidence?

Most reports of injury are never individually assessed, and most times they are dismissed as “coincidence” or on the grounds that “no causal relationship could be found” between the vaccine and the injury. There seems to be an undeniable bias to connect the injection of powerful immune-modulating vaccines only with correlated benefits, and not with clearly connected adverse events.

A Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare study found that fewer than 1 percent of vaccine adverse events are reported to VAERS, which means that the actual numbers of adverse reactions to vaccines are one to two orders of magnitude higher than reported.14 

The reporting system is “passive.” In fact, most doctors are unaware of its existence or reluctant to use it. Most patients have no idea how to report their vaccine side-effects. 

Anyone can report a vaccine adverse event to VAERS at  vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html. In the UK, adverse events should be filed through the Yellow Card scheme at yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk.

a vaccine virtuous circle

What is undoubtedly bad news for most people in the world seemed to be good news for Pfizer Chief Financial Officer Frank D’Amelio. During a virtual meeting hosted by Barclays Bank in March, D’Amelio told investors that the reports of emerging new, more virulent strains of the Covid-19 virus that had been reported across the globe this spring were a “significant opportunity” for the company.

“We’ve got the UK variant, the South Africa variant, the Brazilian variant. And so is there the possibility for more variants to emerge? I think the answer is clearly, there is,” he said. All of these emerging new virus strains mean more shots. 

Pfizer is already looking into a third booster to accompany its two-part vaccination, D’Amelio reported, and it’s “increasingly likely that an annual revaccination is going to take place,” he said, and likely “for the foreseeable future.”1 

More variants, more vaccines

More virus variants mean more vaccines, which equal more money. It’s important that investors know that their product isn’t a one-and-done thing, but a continuous income stream from customers who must keep coming back to upgrade, time and again. 

However, no one at the Barclay’s investors’ conference mentioned claims that had been raised about the potential problems of mass global vaccination actually promoting the rise of variants.

Canadian viral immunologist Dr Byram Bridle is one of those raising questions about the role of vaccination in the genesis of variants. He told a symposium of scientists challenging government responses to the pandemic in February that the best way to boost the generation of potentially more dangerous variants would be “slow expansion of narrowly focused immunity among people that are surrounded by others that are not immune,” just as we are doing. Vaccines are being rolled out with a very narrow immunity—focused on a single spike protein in the SARS-Co-V2 virus. 

“If a variant emerges that has altered its spike protein enough to bypass vaccine-induced immunity, this could be a recipe for failure of the rollout,” Bridle’s slide presentation said.

While natural immunity from acquiring the virus would likely provide broader protection against variants with modifications, vaccines targeted only at the spike protein of the virus may have to be continuously re-engineered to offer protection, he added.2 

For Bridle, this represented a serious side-effect of the current global coronavirus vaccination campaign. For the Pfizer CEO, however, it wasn’t an admission to a huge and fatal flaw in the original vaccine that had been hailed during its rollout just three months earlier as a “holy grail” that would return the world to normal. It wasn’t even presented as under-performance, but collateral damage—simply part of the business model. 

A vaccine couldn’t be expected to keep up with Mother Nature’s wiles. So the investors were assured that their money would multiply.

 
 
Main Article

References

1 

 Norwegian Institute of Public Health, March 13, 2021 press release. www.fhi.no 

2 

Danish Medicines Agency, March 11, 2021 press release. laegemiddelstyrelsen.dk

3 

“Professor says cause of rare bloodclots in people vaccinated with AstraZeneca has been found.” www.vg.no, March 18, 2021.

4 

Doctors for Covid Ethics, March 10, 2021. doctors4covidethics.medium.com

5 

European Medicines Agency, March 18, 2021 press release. www.ema.europa.eu

6 

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Drug Safety Update, January 2021. www.gov.uk

7 

JAMA, 2021 Mar 8.  doi: 10.1001/

jama.2021.3976

8 

The Defender, Feb 16, 2021. childrenshealthdefense.org/defender

9 

UK Medical Freedom Alliance, Open letter, February 7, 2021. www.ukmedfreedom.org

10

BMJ, 2021; 372: n149

11 

Israel National News, January 12, 2021. www.israelnationalnews.com

12

BMJ, 2021; 372: n728

13

vaers.hhs.gov/data/datasets.html

14

Agency for Healthcare Research and  Quality, grant number R18 HS017045. “Electronic Support for Public Health –  Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (ESP:VAERS)”

 

A vaccine virtuous circle

References

1 

Pfizer Inc at Barclays Global Healthcare Conference (Virtual), edited transcript. assets.documentcloud.org/documents/20514141/pfe-usq_transcript_2021-03-11.pdf

2 

Dryburgh.com, February 24, 2021

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