Friday, February 03, 2023

Immune Exhaustion Emerges After 3rd Vaccine Dose: Current Findings

Vaccines have been upheld as the best strategy for dealing with infectious diseases, but that’s largely because of a limited understanding of the immune system and how to best complement and support its function. Our bodies are normally able to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to invading pathogens or when a vaccine stimulates an immune reaction, but there are factors that can compromise that.

A study published in Science Immunology in January 2023 (but first submitted in August 2022) shows that incremental doses of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine boosters may be one such factor, based on how they train our immune systems. In this case, the immune system seemed to gain a false sense of security from dealing with the booster version of the vaccine, which is supposed to teach the immune system how to deal with the virus. Unfortunately, in this case, it seemed that the immune system has learned that it doesn’t need to mount a strong counterattack. Worse, the vaccine boosters might not even induce any effect in people at high risk of severe infection.

IgG Subtype Composition Changed After Vaccination
According to the study, the third dose of the mRNA vaccines seems to be linked with a class switch in subtypes of immunoglobulin G (IgG), the dominating serum antibody in our immune system, which raises the question of immune exhaustion. Class switching is when B cells redirect their efforts toward producing IgG. To start, they produce generic immunoglobulin cells such as IgM. But once they find that the invading pathogen is tougher than they thought, they switch to producing the more effective IgG to ward off the infection.

IgG is an important serum antibody that makes up roughly 80 percent of all antibodies in our immune system. After class switching occurs, B cells release different types of IgG instead of other less-effective immunoglobulin cells. Depending on the severity of the infection, the ratio of IgG may also vary.

IgG is the more effective fighter in our immune system, as it has the ability to opsonize and fixate complements, meaning that it attaches to infected cells or pathogens and instructs killer cells to swallow intruders up through phagocytosis. It’s also the only antibody that crosses into the placenta, playing a critical role in protecting the unborn fetus.

However, IgG is split up into four major subtypes—denoted IgG1 through IgG4—and each has its own strengths and limitations.

Out of all four, IgG1 makes up most of serum IgG, as it has the best immune properties. Along with IgG3, these two are the most potent members of the IgG family.

IgG4 is considered one of the weakest types, as it doesn’t do as well in attracting immune cells responsible for eliminating invaders.

Research shows that IgG4 composition usually hovers at about 4 percent, a number matched by the aforementioned study for patients after five months of receiving the second dose of vaccine.

Right after the second dose, IgG4 levels were at 0.04 percent while IgG1 and IgG3—the most potent members in the IgG family—made up 96.55 percent of all IgG, according to the aforementioned Science Immunology paper.

This change in IgG levels indicates that the body interprets the second dose as a serious infection and produces the more effective IgG to tackle the simulated infection. However, things look a little different after the vaccine booster shot.

In the study, the percentage of IgG4 in the blood serum rose to unexpectedly high levels after the third dose. Ten days after the third vaccination, IgG4 levels rose to 13.91 percent and jumped to 19.27 percent five months after. At the same time, IgG1 and IgG3 levels both dropped, showing a significant change in blood serum antibody composition.

This isn’t good, as higher levels of IgG4, without the ability to stimulate immune cells, could indicate immune exhaustion. It’s also an indication that the immune system intentionally dampened the response starting with the third dose of the vaccination.

On the other hand, although IgG3 and IgG1 contribute the most to immune mechanisms, the downside is that they’re costly to produce and can quickly wear out the body. In contrast, IgG4 isn’t as effective but it’s more economical to produce.

The immune system will always place warding off outside intruders at the top of its to-do list while keeping efficiency in mind. This is why the amount of each IgG subtype produced varies with each infection.

In the Science Immunology study, high IgG4 levels after the third dose, even a long time after it, indicate that the immune system is being worn out through the repeated vaccination course. The body treats the third dose with more indifference and deploys the less effective IgG4 in response.

This development of more IgG4 than usual is unhealthy and riskier for people if they encounter the real virus later, as COVID-19 can develop into a rather severe disease, especially for people with chronic conditions. If the body begins to treat the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine like a boy crying wolf, then what if the real virus comes knocking at the door?

The vaccine is meant to train the immune system’s memory cells so that the next time something similar comes along, they know how to quickly defend the immune system. This process is also called antibody acquisition. The aforementioned study demonstrates that the body stops regarding COVID-19 as a serious viral infection after the vaccine booster shot. However, in some people, the boosters actually have no effect at all.

One group of people who might gain the least from vaccination seems to include those who are immunocompromised, such as organ transplant recipients—people who regularly take immunosuppressants as a part of post-operational procedures.

A study published in Nature shows that antibody acquisition rates against COVID-19 were “extremely low” in kidney transplant patients. This finding contradicts the purpose of the vaccine, as it’s meant to induce antibody acquisition.

Similar reports have also surfaced elsewhere, especially in regard to newer variants of COVID-19. An observational study claiming to be the largest when analyzing four-dose vaccinated organ transplant recipients shows that the mRNA vaccine booster demonstrates a “lack of formal neutralization” against “variants of concern including Omicron.”

Data published by Elsevier also shows that antibody neutralization against the Omicron coronavirus variant has seen a 15- to 20-fold reduction when compared with the wild-type virus in transplant recipients. These findings are of grave concern.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends that immunocompromised people receive a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as get their vaccine boosters.

According to data published in the medical journal Transplantation, during the recent Omicron wave, although COVID-19 cases have increased for organ transplant recipients, the death rate of this population has dropped fivefold.

However, is this reduction due to repeated vaccination or to the reduced pathogenicity of Omicron variants? Is it really effective to drive vaccination campaigns for the immunocompromised, based on the trifling level of antibody acquisition? Can the benefits of repetitive boosting outweigh the increased risk of side effects?

It’s really time to reconsider what place the COVID-19 vaccines should take. Are we underestimating the wisdom of our immune system? This stance is similar to that taken in a previous article that mentions how “negative efficacy” should have stopped vaccine recommendations in their tracks.

Now, researchers are saying that vaccines, especially boosters, fail to have a significant effect on the immunocompromised—the very group of people especially susceptible to severe disease and death. We need to stop placing the mRNA shots on a pedestal and consider all options in response to SARS-CoV-2, such as focusing on bolstering our natural immune system and holistic well-being.


Countries with the longest life expectancies revealed in interactive map... and neither Britain or the US are in the top 30

Given its nickname of the 'billionaire's playground', chances are you'll know about the lavish luxury on offer in Monaco.

But did you know the principality, famously so wealthy it doesn't bother tracking poverty rates, also has the world's highest life expectancy? Babies born today in the 40,000-strong nation, sandwiched on the south coast of France, have a life expectancy of 85.9 years, data suggests.

In contrast, the Republic of Chad, a country at the crossroads of north and central Africa, ranks bottom of the world's league table.

The 10 countries with the LONGEST life expectancy

Monaco - 85.9 years
Hong Kong - 85.5 years
Macao - 85.4 years
Japan - 84.8 years
Australia - 84.5 years
Switzerland - 84 years
Malta - 83.8 years
South Korea - 83.7 years
Liechtenstein - 83.3 years
Norway - 83.2 years

The African country, one of the world's poorest countries, has a life expectancy of just 52.5 years.

In fact, all 10 countries with the shortest life expectancy are in Africa, with Chad followed by Nigeria, Lesotho, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Somalia, Eswatini, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea and Mali. None are above 60.

Neither the UK or the US made it into the top 30, according to the league table.

The UK has a life expectancy of 80.7 years, putting it in 34th place. And the US comes in far lower at 69th, with a life expectancy of just 77.2 years.

Life expectancies have extended drastically across the world over the past few decades thanks to medical advances.




Thursday, February 02, 2023

The Deceptive Campaign for Bivalent Covid Boosters

You might have heard a radio advertisement warning that if you’ve had Covid, you could get it again and experience even worse symptoms. The message, sponsored by the Health and Human Services Department, claims that updated bivalent vaccines will improve your protection.

This is deceptive advertising. But the public-health establishment’s praise for the bivalent shots shouldn’t come as a surprise. Federal agencies took the unprecedented step of ordering vaccine makers to produce them and recommending them without data supporting their safety or efficacy.

The idea of updating mRNA Covid shots every season originally held promise. One advantage of mRNA technology is that manufacturers can tweak the genetic sequence and rapidly produce new vaccines targeting new variants. Hence the bivalent boosters targeting the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants along with the original Wuhan strain.

But three scientific problems have arisen. First, the virus is evolving much faster than the vaccines can be updated. Second, vaccines have hardwired our immune systems to respond to the original Wuhan strain, so we churn out fewer antibodies that neutralise variants targeted by updated vaccines. Third, antibodies rapidly wane after a few months.

Two studies in the New England Journal of Medicine this month showed that bivalent boosters increase neutralising antibodies against the BA.4 and BA.5 variants, but not significantly more than the original boosters. In one study, antibody levels after the bivalent boosters were 11 times as high against the Wuhan variant as BA.5.

The authors posit that immune imprinting “may pose a greater challenge than is currently appreciated for inducing robust immunity against SARS-CoV-2 variants.” This isn’t unique to Covid or mRNA vaccines, though boosters may amplify the effect. Our first exposure as children to the flu — whether by infection or vaccination — affects our future response to different strains.

The original Covid vaccines and boosters trained our memory B-cells to produce antibodies against the Wuhan variant. As the University of Pennsylvania’s Paul Offit explains in a New England Journal of Medicine article, previously vaccinated people who received the bivalent booster were “primed” to respond to the Wuhan strain and mounted an inferior antibody response to other variants.

The studies’ findings contradict November press releases from Pfizer and Moderna asserting that their bivalents produced a response to the BA.4 and BA.5 variants four to six times that of the original boosters. These claims are misleading. Neither vaccine maker conducted a randomised trial. They tested the original boosters last winter, long before the BA. 5 surge and 4½ to months after trial participants had received their third shots. The bivalents, by contrast, were tested after BA.5 began to surge, 9½ to 11 months after recipients had received their third shots.

A longer interval between shots would increase the antibody boost to the BA. 5 variant. So would a prior infection with the BA.5 variant. In other words, people who received the bivalent boosters in August would have been primed to produce more antibodies in response to BA.5.

The vaccine makers designed their studies to get the results they wanted. Public-health authorities didn’t raise an eyebrow, but why would they? They have a vested interest in promoting the bivalents.

The Food and Drug Administration ordered the vaccine makers in June to update the boosters against BA.4 and BA.5 and rushed in late August to authorise the bivalents before clinical data were available. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the bivalents for all adults without any evidence that they were effective or needed.

Vaccine makers could have performed small randomised trials last summer and early fall that tested the bivalents against the original boosters and a placebo group. Results could have been available by the end of September. But the public-health authorities didn’t want to wait — and now we know why.

The CDC published a study in November that estimated the bivalents were only 22% to 43% effective against infection during the BA.5 wave — their peak efficacy. As antibodies waned and new variants took over later in the fall, their protection against infection probably dropped to zero.

Another CDC study, in December, reported that seniors who received bivalents were 84% less likely to be hospitalised than the unvaccinated, and 73% less likely than those who had received two or more doses of the original vaccine. But neither study controlled for important confounding factors — for one, that the small minority who got bivalents were probably also more likely than those who hadn’t to follow other Covid precautions or seek out treatments such as Paxlovid.

FDA Commissioner Robert Califf tweeted on Jan. 11 that “COVID-19 vaccines have been associated with a significant reduction in hospitalisation and death” (my emphasis). He should know that correlation doesn’t prove causation. A study found the unvaccinated were significantly more likely to get into car accidents, but that doesn’t mean vaccines prevent crashes.

Many of the same experts who trashed observational studies supporting hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin now flog intrinsically flawed studies on bivalent boosters. After zealously promoting the bivalents, they may be seeking vindication. But science isn’t about vindication.

Covid vaccines mitigated severe illness while most Americans gained immunity through natural infection, which substantially boosts protection. There’s a growing consensus that we need better vaccines and treatments to protect those still at risk. But we also need honest public health leaders.


California's Medical Misinformation Law Struck Down

So far, California has shown to be turning an even deeper corner in 2023. On January 1, several far-left laws went into effect. The state also made headlines last week, as Matt covered, for its new tax policies. There has, however, been some relief. Perhaps one of those most worrisome laws mentioned above included a law that punished physicians for so-called medical misinformation about COVID-19, which was blocked late last week.

According to a report from Reuters' Brendan Pierson:

Senior U.S. District Judge William Shubb in Sacramento ruled on Wednesday that Assembly Bill 2098, which was signed last October by California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, was too vague for doctors to know what kind of statements might put them at risk of being penalized."COVID-19 is a quickly evolving area of science that in many aspects eludes consensus," he wrote.

The preliminary order means that the law cannot be enforced while Shubb hears two lawsuits brought against the law shortly after its passage last year - one by a group of five doctors, and another by a doctor and two advocacy groups including Robert F. Kennedy Jr's Children's Health Defense, which has long promoted false information about standard childhood vaccines.

The law, known as Assembly Bill 2098, which was signed into law last October, required medical licensing boards in the state to take disciplinary action against physicians who were involved in so-called "dissemination or misinformation or disinformation" related to COVID-19.

Doctors found violating the law wouldn't just be faced with a slap on the wrist. A report from The New York Time's Steven Lee Myers noted that expanding medical licensing boards in such a way "could lead to a suspension or revocation of a doctor’s license to practice in the state."

As Pierson's report mentioned, that misinformation was defined as "false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus contrary to the standard of care."

The law certainly had chilling effects on free speech, as Jacob Sullum highlighted in a column from last November, but it also did not provide enough clarity as to what could get doctors into trouble.

Pierson’s report also added statements from those blasting this aspect of the law:

"This Act is a blatant attempt to silence doctors whose views, though based on thorough scientific research, deviate from the government-approved 'party line,'" said Greg Dolin of the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a lawyer for the doctors, in a statement. "At no point has the State of California been able to articulate the line between permissible and impermissible speech."

The doctors said in their lawsuit that the law gave them no way to know what was "contemporary scientific consensus," and violated their right to free speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed briefs supporting the plaintiffs in both cases, saying that while the state did have the power to punish doctors for spreading harmful false information, AB 2098 was a "blunt instrument" that went too far.

Senior U.S. District Judge William Shubb granted a preliminary junction on the law, which is blocked while he considers lawsuits challenging it on free speech grounds




Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Growing Number of Doctors Say They Won’t Get COVID-19 Booster Shots

A growing number of doctors say that they will not get COVID-19 vaccine boosters, citing a lack of clinical trial evidence.

“I have taken my last COVID vaccine without RCT level evidence it will reduce my risk of severe disease,” Dr. Todd Lee, an infectious disease expert at McGill University, wrote on Twitter.

Lee was pointing to the lack of randomized clinical trial (RCT) results for the updated boosters, which were cleared in the United States and Canada in the fall of 2022 primarily based on data from experiments with mice.

Lee, who has received three vaccine doses, noted that he was infected with the Omicron virus variant—the vaccines provide little protection against infection—and described himself as a healthy male in his 40s.

Dr. Vinay Prasad, a professor of epidemiology and biostatics at the University of California, San Francisco, also said he wouldn’t take any additional shots until clinical trial data become available.

“I took at least 1 dose against my will. It was unethical and scientifically bankrupt,” he said.

Allison Krug, an epidemiologist who co-authored a study that found teenage boys were more likely to suffer heart inflammation after COVID-19 vaccination than COVID-19 infection, recounted explaining to her doctor why she was refusing a booster and said her doctor agreed with her position.

She called on people to “join the movement to demand appropriate evidence,” pointing to a blog post from Prasad.

“Pay close attention to note this isn’t anti-vaccine sentiment. This is ‘provide [hard] evidence of benefit to justify ongoing use’ which is very different. It is only fair for a 30 billion dollar a year product given to hundreds of millions,” Lee said.

Dr. Mark Silverberg, who founded the Toronto Immune and Digestive Health Institute; Kevin Bass, a medical student; and Dr. Tracy Høeg, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, joined Lee and Prasad in stating their opposition to more boosters, at least for now.

Høeg said she did not need clinical trials to know she’s not getting any boosters after receiving a two-dose primary series, adding that she took the second dose “against my will.”

“I also had an adverse reaction to dose 1 moderna and, if I could do it again, I would not have had any covid vaccines,” she said on Twitter. “I was glad my parents in their 70s could get covid vaccinated but have yet to see non-confounded data to advise them about the bivalent booster. I would have liked to see an RCT for the bivalent for people their age and for adults with health conditions that put them at risk.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization to updated boosters, or bivalent shots, from Pfizer and Moderna in August 2022 despite there being no human data.

Observational data suggests the boosters provide little protection against infection and solid shielding against severe illness, at least initially.

Five months after the authorization was granted, no clinical trial data has been made available for the bivalents, which target the Wuhan strain as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron. Moderna presented efficacy estimates for a different bivalent, which has never been used in the United States, during a recent meeting. The company estimated the booster increased protection against infection by just 10 percent.

The FDA is preparing to order all Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines be replaced with the bivalents. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which issues recommendations on vaccines, continues advising virtually all Americans to get a primary series and multiple boosters.

Professor Calls for Halt to Messenger RNA Vaccines
A professor, meanwhile, became the latest to call for a halt to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are both based on messenger RNA technology.

“At this point in time, all COVID mRNA vaccination program[s] should stop immediately,” Retsef Levi, a professor of operations management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in a video statement. “They should stop because they completely failed to fulfill any of their advertised promise[s] regarding efficacy. And more importantly, they should stop because of the mounting and indisputable evidence that they cause unprecedented level of harm, including the death of young people and children.”

Levi was referring to post-vaccination heart inflammation, or myocarditis. The condition is one of the few that authorities have acknowledged is caused by the messenger RNA vaccines.

Pfizer and Moderna have not responded to requests for comment.


CDC Acknowledges Overcounting COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Which makes Covid sound worse than it is

The U.S. government overcounts COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but the agency suggested that it doesn’t overcount deaths.

COVID-19 hospitalizations listed on the CDC’s data tracker webpage, which is utilized by a wide variety of health officials, journalists, and others, include three types of hospitalizations, the CDC said in a Jan. 27 statement.

The types are hospitalization because of COVID-19, because of a non-COVID condition “that was likely made worse” by COVID-19, and because of non-COVID reasons after testing positive for COVID-19. The latter is known as an incidental hospitalization.

Experts are increasingly warning against putting forth numbers that include incidental hospitalizations, or hospitalization “with” COVID-19 as opposed to “for” COVID-19. They say that separating the incidental hospitalizations will improve the accuracy of numbers and help the public better understand the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think that’s becoming increasingly important as we move into an era where these variants are clearly more infectious and cause more asymptomatic disease,” Dr. Cody Meissner, professor of pediatrics and medicine at Dartmouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine, said during a recent meeting.

Multiple states and jurisdictions, including Massachusetts and King County, Washington, don’t include incidental hospitalizations in their COVID-19 reporting.

The CDC does make the distinction in some of its studies, including papers analyzing data from COVID-NET, a CDC surveillance system that includes hospitals in 98 counties across 13 states.

“It’s not broken out in the surveillance data that’s reported online, but they do use a reasonable case definition, which is essentially that people who’ve tested positive in a reasonable amount of time before admission, or within several days after admission, are basically called a COVID associated case,” Heater Scobie, a CDC researcher, said during the meeting, which featured experts advising the U.S. government on the future of the COVID-19 vaccination program.

Neither Scobie nor the CDC explained why the agency isn’t separating out incidental hospitalizations.

Death Data

While the hospitalization data is an overcount, the CDC is insisting that its COVID-19 death count is largely accurate.

“COVID-19 death data are tracked differently—they include only the deaths in which COVID-19 played a meaningful role,” the CDC said in its statement.

The agency claimed that most COVID-19 deaths were people who had COVID-19 listed as the primary or secondary cause on their death certificates, noting that “people who happen to have COVID-19 at the time of their death but it is unrelated to their death—for example, someone who dies in a car accident—should not have COVID-19 listed on their death certificates.”

However, the CDC has previously acknowledged that a percentage of deaths involved factors such as poisoning or car accidents, and federal officials have said that any patients who definitely have or are suspected to have COVID-19 would be counted as a COVID-19 death, even if the cause of death was unrelated to the disease.

The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists stated in late 2021 (pdf) that deaths should be counted as COVID-19 deaths if the death occurred within 30 days of a confirmed laboratory test and was defined as due to any natural cause.

In an update in late 2022 (pdf), the council, which develops its guidance in partnership with the CDC, stated that even in some cases in which COVID-19 wasn’t confirmed, they should count as deaths if the certificates indicated COVID-19 “or an equivalent term” was listed as a cause of or contributor to the deaths.

“The reason for this difference is the recognition of the importance of counting all COVID-19-associated deaths, including deaths that may occur after an at-home over the counter antigen SARS-CoV-2 result, if COVID-19 is felt to be a cause of or contributor to death by the healthcare provider certifying the death,” the council stated. “Current applied public health data suggest that these numbers of deaths identified through death certificates only, without accompanying confirmatory or presumptive laboratory evidence, are a low percentage of the total.”

Margery Smelkinson, an infectious diseases expert with the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was among those questioning the CDC’s statement.

“CDC concedes that their hosp data may be a mess but is emphatic that their deaths are totally accurate. Can you really have one without the other? If you incentivize testing, it’ll get on death certificates,” she wrote on Twitter.

Smelkinson noted that families often push to have COVID-19 included on a certificate because they’ll be eligible for benefits from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, including funeral assistance.




Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Pfizer admits 'engineering' Covid mutants in lab studies to ensure its antiviral drug works on new variants — but pharma giant insists tests were not 'gain of function’ and did not pose risk to public

I am not too critical of this. The more we know about what the virus can do, the better. But they should probably have sought some form of approval for the work

Pfizer has admitted it ‘engineered’ mutated Covid viruses in lab tests to ensure its vaccine and drugs remained effective against new variants – but the company denies the experiments posed a risk to the public.

In a press release sneaked out on Friday night, the pharma giant finally responded to an undercover video that went viral last week in which a supposed director at the firm claimed the company was exploring 'directed evolution' research on monkeys to make the virus 'more potent'.

Jordon Trishton Walker, who appears to have been a senior staffer in Pfizer's research and development division, was caught making the explosive claim in a sting by the right-wing activist group Project Veritas.

Pfizer flatly denied conducting gain of function or directed evolution research on monkeys but admitted that ‘in a limited number of cases’ it altered the virus and tested new mutations against its Covid antiviral drug Paxlovid in Petri dishes.

The New York-based firm claims the experiments are essential to get ahead of drug-resistant strains and says similar tests are carried out by 'many companies and academic institutions in the US and around the world'.

But spoke to several independent virologists and epidemiologists who were split about whether Pfizer's experiments posed a risk to the public.

Professor Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, has been an outspoken advocate of the lab leak theory, the idea Covid escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.

He told that Pfizer's press release 'unequivocally' indicates that 'Pfizer and its collaborators performed... high-risk gain-of-function research and enhanced potential pandemic pathogens research'.

But Professor Ian Jones, a virologist at the University of Reading in the UK, told this website: 'I don't find it [Pfizer's statement] alarming for a number of reasons.'

Paxlovid works by blocking the virus from releasing an enzyme crucial for Covid to replicate when it enters the body, known as the 3CL protease, explained Professor Jones.

He said Pfizer's experiments involve looking at 'what changes to the sequence of the protease gene would be necessary to make the virus no longer sensitive to the drug'.

'So they make a range of mutations in the virus, led by computational predictions, and then culture that mutated virus in the drug to see if indeed it is no longer sensitive and if so by what degree,' he added.

150 experts call for gain-of-function research to CONTINUE

The group - mainly virologists and biologists from the US and the UK - argue the experiments are necessary to stop future outbreaks.

'Many of the mutants they make will not do anything, but some could make a Paxlovid-resistant virus. The risk would be that this could escape and spread, making the drug useless.

'My point is that such a virus remains unaltered in every other way, so the overall risk [of the virus being able to infect people and leaking from the lab] is very small.'

Professor Jones said this tiny risk is outweighed by the benefit of 'being ahead' of the virus' evolution in nature.

Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease expert at the University of East Anglia in the UK, also told 'The press release doesn’t cause me too much concern. 'To me, it doesn’t look like Pfizer is doing anything that isn’t being done by many other groups.'

His comments were echoed by Dr Simon Clarke, a microbiologist at the University of Reading. Dr Clarke told 'These are not experiments which might risk the generation of a new variant that transmits more readily between people.

'What Pfizer are doing is to look at how Covid becomes resistant to nirmatrelvir, a component of their PAXLOVID antiviral medicine. 'They are looking to see what mutations to the molecule that nirmatrelvir’s targets can make it resistant to the drug.

'This is important because scientists don’t fully understand how viruses might become resistant to nirmatrelvir.

'These sorts of experiments are routine in the development of new anti-infective drugs and are required by regulators around the world. 'Without this level of understanding, we could end up relying too heavily on drugs that rapidly become useless.'

Pfizer's response was released at 8pm on Friday, three days after the Project Veritas video was released, unleashing a frenzy on social media.

The post was also based out of the Pfizer Pearl River R&D facility, a research lab around 20 miles from New York.

It is the company's only biosafety level three (BSL-3) lab out of its nine major research and development sites in the US and UK.

BSL-3 labs are authorized to handle dangerous pathogens. Experiments at these labs often involve tinkering with animal viruses to advance treatments and vaccines that could be used in a future outbreak.

In BSL-3 labs, researchers do all experiments in a ‘biosafety cabinet’ — an enclosed, ventilated workspace for handling materials contaminated with pathogens.

Work on the live virus that causes Covid must be carried out at a BSL-3 or BSL-4 lab.

Pfizer denied that its work qualifies as gain of function, a loaded term that has become synonymous with questions about Covid's origin.

This type of research involves tinkering with viruses to make them more lethal or infectious - hoping to get ahead of a future outbreak and develop treatments.

The authors of two United Nations reports into the pandemic's origins say a laboratory leak was the most likely cause of Covid.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology - located just 8miles from where the first cluster of cases were detected - was carrying out similar research on bat coronaviruses in the years predating the pandemic using US taxpayer money.

The WIV received government grants through a subcontractor known as the EcoHealth Alliance.

Gain of function was largely restricted in the US until 2017 when the National Institutes of Health began to allow it to take place using government funds.

Research teams wanting to do gain of function research in the US using government grants must have their work approved by an independent review panel that decides whether the benefits outweigh the risks.

But Congress admits privately funded research by pharmaceutical companies are not subject to the same oversight.

Pfizer also claimed that its lab work was not 'directed evolution'. This research is intended to imitate the process of natural selection and push a virus' mutations down a certain path. It can be performed in living organisms - such as monkeys - or in vitro (in cells).

Pfizer did admit that it modified the original Covid virus to produce the spike protein of new variants to test them against its vaccine.

Most scientists agree this does not count as gain of function because the variants already exist in nature and infect people.

The grey area appears to be Pfizer's admission that it conducted 'in vitro resistance selection experiments' on its antiviral drug Paxlovid. In vitro resistance selection experiments involve predicting how a virus will mutate as it develops resistance to treatments.

Their purpose was to test which mutations would need to occur to the piece of the virus that Paxlovid targets to render it ineffective. But exactly what these experiments involve is unclear and Pfizer refused to comment again when approached by today.

Pfizer's official release does not refer to Project Veritas or the alleged employee Mr Walker.

Instead, the statement opens with: 'Allegations have recently been made related to gain of function and directed evolution research at Pfizer and the company would like to set the record straight.'

It adds: 'In the ongoing development of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, Pfizer has not conducted gain of function or directed evolution research.'

But the company does admit to using the original Covid strain to express the spike protein of new variants of concern to test its vaccine.

'This work is undertaken once a new variant of concern has been identified by public health authorities.'

Most scientists endorsed this research because it helped governments assess how effective their vaccine rollouts would hold up against new variants like Omicron and Delta when those variants took off.




Monday, January 30, 2023

Prestigious medical journal probes study that claimed Covid vaccines have killed up to 280,000 people in the US

I have read the journal article and can compare its methods with my own very extensive experience of survey research.

I was long of the view that online sampling is crap but it is so extensively used these days that I have to give it some credence. And this survey did employ extensive precautions to ensure that something like a true sample was obtained.

So the reported doubts about the conclusions would seem to be driven by their unpalatibility rather than any methodological problems. Prof Skidmore did carry out a careful survey by current standards.

His conclusions are probably on the whole at the better end of the available research. If his work is discredited an awful lot of other survey research would also go down in flames

And an alternative way of assessing the numbers was badly needed now we know -- largely courtesy of Elon Musk -- how much the official figures were "edited". American official figures for anything these days are about as trustworthy as the old Soviet production figures

The publisher of some of the world's most prestigious scientific journals is investigating a study which claimed Covid vaccines have killed up to 280,000 people across the US.

The bombshell estimate has since been peddled by anti-vaxx groups across the planet, who used 'the truth' as ammunition to push for roll-outs across the world to be urgently suspended.

It was also shared by the likes of Jordan Peterson, a Canadian psychologist who has shared discredited views online.

Springer Nature told MailOnline it had now launched an investigation into the study, which was published in one of its underling journals.

'Once the journal's investigation has concluded and we have the necessary information to make an informed decision, we will follow up with the response that is most appropriate and that provides clarity for our readers,' it said. 'This may include potentially taking editorial action.'

The study, published this week in the journal BMC Infectious Diseases, was authored by an economist at Michigan State University.

Professor Mark Skidmore, who has posted a number of articles critical of Covid jabs on his personal blog, used an online survey of 2,840 people taken in December 2021 to make his estimate of Covid vaccine-related deaths in the US.

Funding for the survey was provided by Catherine Austin Fitts.

A woman of the same name - the former assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President George H.W. Bush - recorded a lengthy interview as part of the 2021 documentary film 'Planet Lockdown'. The 90-minute video makes a number of unsubstantiated claims about the Covid vaccine programme and cause of the pandemic.

Respondents of the survey were asked if they knew of someone who had suffered a severe health reaction from getting a Covid vaccine.

Of the total 612 people (22 per cent) who claimed they had, 57 people (2 per cent) said that they knew someone who had died as a result. These included deaths from heart attacks, strokes or blood clots.

Professor Skidmore then used the data to create a vaccine fatality ratio and extrapolated that data to the entirety of the US population that received Covid vaccines in the first year they were deployed.

Writing in the journal, Professor Skidmore said: 'The total number of fatalities due to Covid inoculation may be as high as 278,000.' He claimed, however, that the actual death toll could be closer to the 330,000 mark, according to his calculations.

And Professor Skidmore, who is listed by his university as an expert on finances and the economics of natural disasters, stated the figure was 'after fatalities that may have occurred regardless of inoculation are removed'.

Experts raised concerns over the study's methodology.

Dr Simon Clarke, an associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, told MailOnline: 'Any study on a self-selecting cohort of participants, like this one, automatically has a flaw in its methodology.

'They can never be said to be sampling a random selection of people, nor one that uses dispassionate participants. Put simply, people can lie to skew the findings.

'There's nothing wrong with a scientific journal publishing the work of an economist, but we should always be mindful of the limitations any study and just because it's been accepted by a scientific journal does not automatically mean it's right. Editors can make mistakes too.'

'For me, the biggest problem with this paper is that fails to sufficiently highlight its own potential shortcomings and it was the job of the Editors to insist that they be included before they authorised publication.'

US health agencies have said they have received 18,769 reports of death related to a Covid vaccination, about 0.0028 per cent of the 667 million doses administered.

These reports were made via the US's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), and doesn't conclusively mean a death is actually linked to a vaccine, as it could be a coincidence.

All Americans are urged to report any health problem they notice post-vaccination, even if they aren't certain the jab was to blame.

US health authorities have verified nine deaths reported via VAERs that are 'causally associated' to Covid vaccines after reviewing the information like death certificates, and autopsy and medical records.

The UK has a similar reporting mechanism in place, called the Yellow Card Scheme, where around 475,000 adverse events to Covid vaccines have been recorded.

Reports of flatulence, yawning and crying have been logged by vaccine recipients. But it does not mean that the jabs are to blame.

Under the surveillance system in the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has received 19 UK reports of 'suspected adverse drug reactions with a fatal outcome' linked to the bivalent Covid Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and 32 reports for the bivalent Covid vaccine Moderna.

No fatal outcomes following the Novavax Covid vaccine have been reported.

The MHRA does not publicize the exact number of fatal outcomes linked with the AstraZeneca jab, which does not contain mRNA unlike the Pfizer and Moderna jabs.

Multiple real-world studies have repeatedly shown that Covid vaccines are safe and have saved lives in the pandemic.

Yet, like with every medicine, drug and procedure there are risks. People can have allergic reactions to components of vaccines and can suffer from a rare but dangerous heart inflammation called myocarditis.

Some have even died from blood clots, a rare complication of AstraZeneca's jab that eventually saw it restricted for the over-40s. The side effect was so rare that it wasn't spotted in the initial trials involving tens of thousands of people.

But antivaxxers claim deaths from vaccine have also been underreported by global health authorities and masked as a mysterious rise in excess deaths. Such tolls have seen them call for jab roll-outs to be suspended.

Professor Skidmore himself said that the problems reported by survey respondents, including heart attacks and strokes, 'are consistent with Pfizer documentation about the potential risks of the Covid vaccine'.

Health chiefs have repeatedly dismissed fears that mRNA jabs are behind any rise in heart problems.

Latest official data, published earlier this week, shows the US has suffered nearly 300,000 more deaths than usual since the pandemic began that cannot be attributed to Covid.

Leading experts believe these are mostly made up of surges in deaths from cancer, heart disease, drug overdoses and firearms during the pandemic. However, a full analysis by the CDC is still likely weeks away.

Excess deaths across England have been on the rise since summer but have spiked in recent weeks, running a fifth above expected levels. Almost 3,000 more people died than usual during the first full week of January alone.

Experts have blamed the NHS crisis — which has seen record waits for ambulances and in A&E — as well as a brutal wave of flu and the freezing temperatures logged in December.

Charities, including the British Heart Foundation, have warned that 'significant and widespread disruption to heart care services' is to blame for excess coronary heart disease-related deaths.




Sunday, January 29, 2023

Resisting fallacious arguments

The last three years since the start of the pandemic have done more to undermine trust in the institutions that were supposed to uphold this set of commitments to an objective truth than anyone could ever have imagined.

First off, most everything the doctorly caste in the form of the official organisations told us has turned out to be either wrong or highly questionable. Heck, last week a new study came out suggesting elderly people did better versus Covid if they were near young ones. Our politicians, backed up by the doctorly organisations, kept grandparents away from grandchildren and left many old and elderly to die on their own. We got myriad idiotic rules – sorry, no golf or tennis for you – that made no sense to any questioning being.

Then there were all the lockdown supporters. At the end of 2019 every major democracy had pandemic plans that said ‘do not lockdown’. These were based on a century of data. In six weeks, based on what a thuggish, authoritarian China was doing, most everywhere outside of Sweden and soon Florida swapped over to despotism. What new data was there? None. Now Sweden has the OECD’s lowest cumulative excess deaths – the hardest criterion to game – and excess deaths about one-third of the other Scandinavian countries. Moreover, even that mouthpiece of lockdown mania, the Washington Post, is reporting that during the pandemic Covid deaths were wildly over-reported. You don’t say? Upwards of half, maybe more, were people who died ‘with Covid’ not ‘because of Covid’. Know what? When it comes to the flu, dying ‘with it’ is not counted as a flu death. My kingdom for a sceptical reporter!

Then there were the three years of the establishment suppressing dissenting views and nudging fear. Read what happened to three of the world’s best epidemiologists – Jay Bhattacharya (Stanford), Martin Kulldorff (Harvard) and Sunetra Gupta (Oxford) – who wrote the Great Barrington Declaration. They were censored online. With the Twitter Files dump we now know that the Biden administration was pushing for them and many others to be silenced and pilloried. If anyone thinks that sort of ‘we are the government and the medical establishment and we know best’ type thinking is consistent with Enlightenment values – or with long-term good consequences for society – then he or she is frankly deluded.

We saw similar cravenness from the churches (who disgracefully closed their doors); we saw it from Dr Fauci, with his laughable claim that ‘I represent the science’ (when we now see he was wrong on more than he was right, perhaps starting with the lab-leak origin theory); we saw it with the endless appeals to authority (that’s not a scientific argument), claims about disinformation and misinformation and myriad personal attacks on dissenters; we saw it with the media’s fearmongering and distinct lack of curiosity as regards anything fed to it by Big Government and Big Tech. Meanwhile almost no media is reporting Germany’s all-cause deaths are now higher than at any time during the last three years and it’s not Covid.

Here’s something else that needs pointing out. One can believe all the long-established vaccines are virtually medical miracles and those who refuse them basically stupid. That’s my belief. And that same person can have real questions about this mRNA vaccine governments indirectly forced many to take. Having questions about one particular pharmaceutical injection (which was given the label ‘vaccine’) does not mean you have questions about them all. Nor does it make one an ‘anti-vaxxer’. If Jeremy Clarkson dislikes one particular brand of car that does not make him ‘anti-cars’, right? This ‘anti-vaxxer’ label is being thrown around now solely as a rhetorical tool. Look, I got the first two shots but no more. The data coming out is making it pretty clear that no young person needed to get any of these mRNA shots. Firstly, the young were 1,000 times less at risk from Covid deaths than the elderly. Their risk was basically zero. So if this new mRNA shot has any risk to them, and it is plain it does, it makes no sense for them to get it. Well, unless perhaps they’re being forced to take it for others, the old. But now we know these shots do not do anything to slow Covid’s spread or the chances you, the taker, will get it. There is data now that suggests the boosters make it more likely you’ll get it. Explain to me the ethics of forcing the young, or any dissenter, to take it, please.

In fact, there are all sorts of questions out there. In the past we would have had a back-and-forth debate that appealed to studies and empirical evidence. The last three years we’ve had only the cancelling of dissenting views. Such behaviour only makes doubters like me more likely to doubt. You see, the science is never settled. I spent a few years teaching the philosophy of science way back when living in Hong Kong. Anyone who tells you the science is settled simply doesn’t understand how science works. You never know when an Einstein will show that two centuries of Newtonian physics turns out to be wrong at some level. For these experimental vaccines just remember they were not tested nearly as rigorously as standard practice requires and that Pfizer and Moderna got government indemnities. If that’s such a great process then why not make it standard practice for all medicines? And if it really was just a case of ‘we’ll take a lot of collateral damage in the hope this is better than nothing’ then you can see why no government will now say so. Ever.


FDA Quietly Changes End Date for Study of Heart Inflammation After Pfizer COVID Vaccination

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has changed the end date for a key study on post-vaccination heart inflammation without notifying the public.

Pfizer was supposed to complete a study on the occurrence of subclinical myocarditis, or heart inflammation, after receipt of its COVID-19 vaccine. The completion date was listed by the FDA in 2021 as June 20, 2022. Pfizer was also supposed to submit the results of the study to the FDA by the end of 2022 as part of a list of requirements the FDA imposed as a condition of approving Pfizer’s jab.

But after the deadline passed, the FDA quietly changed the date.

Under a list of postmarketing requirements for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the FDA now says the same study has an “original projected completion date” of June 30, 2023. The current status of the study is listed as “pending.”

Jessica Adams, a former regulatory review officer at the FDA, said the wording amounts to misinformation. “By definition, ‘original’ dates can’t change,” she wrote on Twitter, tagging the agency. “Please correct this ‘misinformation.'”

Dr. Vinay Prasad, who has increasingly criticized the FDA over its decisions during the pandemic, said the new timeline “is so slow it will be entirely moot.” “Another FDA failure,” he said on Twitter.


The study is one of nine Pfizer was to complete to examine post-vaccination adverse events. The study is designed to “prospectively assess the incidence of subclinical myocarditis” after receipt of a third dose, or a booster, in people aged 16 to 30.

Pfizer submitted a timetable to the FDA stating the company would submit a final protocol by Nov. 30, 2021, and complete the study by June 30, 2022, according to the FDA’s approval letter for the company’s vaccine. The final report was due to the FDA by the end of 2022.

The study was one of several examining myocarditis and pericarditis, a related condition. Both are caused by the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, according to U.S. officials and other experts.

Some of the vaccine-caused myocarditis cases have led to death.

FDA officials expressed concern about the post-vaccination heart inflammation when considering whether to approve Pfizer’s vaccine.

Signal for Myocarditis After New Booster

The bivalent Pfizer vaccine triggered a safety signal for adults aged 18 to 35, Richard Forshee, an FDA official, told the agency’s vaccine advisory committee on Jan. 26.

Regulators cleared that bivalent and one from Moderna in the fall of 2022 despite there being no clinical data for either shot.

The adverse event happened at a concerning rate after a Pfizer bivalent in recent months, according to analyses of data from the FDA’s Biologics Effectiveness and Safety initiative, which pulls from systems such as one managed by CVS Health.

“The only signal we have detected so far is for myocarditis/pericarditis following the Pfizer bivalent vaccine among adults 18 to 35 years old,” Forshee told the panel.

Safety signals indicate a vaccine may cause events but don’t establish causality. But officials have stressed that the bivalents are similar to the original vaccines in defending the authorization without clinical data, and have acknowledged a causal link between the original messenger RNA vaccines and the heart inflammation.

Most of the meeting presentations that went over adverse events focused on ischemic stroke, which triggered the threshold for a safety signal following Pfizer’s bivalent booster in the elderly and following receipt the original Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in all adults.

Officials said that the stroke has happened in many people who received a flu vaccine on the same day as a COVID-19 vaccine. They’re studying whether there’s a connection, though they noted there was no signal for the stroke after a flu shot alone.

Dr. Nicola Klein, a Kaiser Permanente researcher who helps the CDC monitor vaccine safety, said that the signal for stroke wasn’t as strong as that for myocarditis.

“This is a cluster but … it doesn’t stand out as extremely striking, unlike some other signals which we have seen,” Klein said. “For example, myocarditis, it’s an extremely strong signal that you can see without doing statistics.”




Friday, January 27, 2023

Stroke After Pfizer Booster May Be Connected to Flu Vaccine: Officials

Instances of stroke following receipt of Pfizer’s new booster in the elderly may be connected to the influenza vaccine, officials said on Jan. 26.

One-hundred thirty cases of ischemic stroke, which can be deadly, were recorded among people aged 65 or older within 21 days of a bivalent Pfizer booster, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee heard on Thursday.

That was higher than the 92 cases recorded in the 22- to 42-day window following vaccination, triggering a safety signal.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the administration (FDA) revealed the signal on Jan. 13 but had not said how many cases were recorded from the U.S. government’s Vaccine Safety Datalink surveillance system, which contains records from 12.5 million people across 11 sites.

A preliminary review of medical records at one site, which saw 24 ischemic stroke cases in the three weeks following Pfizer vaccination, revealed that a majority of the people who suffered a stroke had an influenza vaccine administered on the same day as the COVID-19 vaccine.

None of the patients had a history of stroke or transient ischemic attack, which is similar to a stroke and could be a non-vaccine cause of ischemic stroke.

Three of the patients died, including a man who perished one month after the stroke. His death was determined to likely be related to the health event.

Overall, 40 cases of ischemic stroke following both COVID-19 and flu vaccination were identified among people who suffered stroke through Dec. 17, 2022. That post-signal analyses heightened the safety signal, which is a sign a vaccine may cause a condition. Only 34.5 cases were expected based on background rates.

There were 60 cases among elderly people who received a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine without receiving a flu vaccine on the same day. That number did not meet the definition of a signal.

Officials decided to compare the cases recorded among boosted people one to 21 days after vaccination with boosted people 22 to 42 days after vaccination for the primary analysis. The rationale given was that people who recently received a vaccine were “expected to be more similar to current vaccinees than unvaccinated individuals.”

Officials also revealed that they excluded post-vaccination ischemic stroke cases if a person had a personal history of certain conditions, including transient ischemic attack or atrial fibrillation, also known as irregular heartbeat.

The new information came from a set of slides that Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, a CDC official, and Dr. Nicola Klein, a Kaiser Permanente official who works closely with the CDC, presented to the FDA’s vaccine advisory panel.

“CDC and FDA are engaged in epidemiologic analyses regarding coadministration of COVID-19 mRNA bivalent booster and flu vaccine,” one slide stated, following the detection of a “significant cluster” of post-vaccination cases of the ischemic stroke.

The CDC and FDA said previously that an examination of other surveillance systems showed no signal of ischemic stroke for the bivalent boosters but failed to mention that an analysis of reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, which the agencies co-manage, for the original Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines triggered the signal for ischemic stroke and hundreds of other adverse events. Both the original vaccines are still administered in the United States; the bivalents can only be obtained as boosters.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech said in a recent joint statement that the companies were made aware of “limited reports of ischemic stroke” observed in the Vaccine Safety DataLink system.

“Neither Pfizer and BioNTech nor the CDC or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have observed similar findings across numerous other monitoring systems in the U.S. and globally and there is no evidence to conclude that ischemic stroke is associated with the use of the companies’ COVID-19 vaccines,” the companies stated.

Israel and the European Union have said that they have not detected a signal for ischemic stroke following bivalent vaccination. European officials said they also looked at Pfizer’s original vaccine.

Signal First Identified in 2022

The slides also showed that the safety signal from the Vaccine Safety Datalink was first identified in 2022.

The first time the condition met the signal was Nov. 27, 2022, one slide showed. It did not stop meeting the signal as of Jan. 8, 2023.

The signal has been “persistent for 7 weeks,” one slide stated.

While the rate ratio, or the result of the analyses, “has slowly attenuated from 1.92 to 1.47,” it “has continued to meet signaling criteria,” the slides acknowledged.


Judge Blocks California’s COVID-19 Misinformation Law

A California judge on Wednesday halted the state’s so-called COVID-19 misinformation and disinformation law, which was challenged by doctors in two lawsuits, claiming it violates their constitutional rights.

In Hoeg v. Newsom, five doctors alleged that the state law, AB 2098, is unconstitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. A separate related lawsuit, Hoang v. Bonta, makes similar allegations.

Both lawsuits sought a preliminary injunction to prevent California from enforcing the law.

The five doctors, Tracy Hoeg, Ram Duriseti, Aaron Kheriaty, Pete Mazolewski, and Azadeh Khatibi, filed their lawsuit against Gov. Gavin Newsom and other officials, including the president and members of the Medical Board of California.

They argued the law prevents them from providing information to their patients that may contradict what the law permits or prohibits. They also alleged the law was used to intimidate and punish physicians who disagreed with prevailing views on COVID-19.

Judge William Shubb, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote in his ruling (pdf) it was plausible that the medical board would determine their conduct violates AB 2098, and therefore the doctors’ fears are reasonable “given the ambiguity of the term ‘scientific consensus’ and of the definition of ‘misinformation’ as a whole.”

Shubb noted that this weighed in favor of the plaintiffs having standing.

“Because the definition of misinformation ‘fails to provide a person of ordinary intelligence fair notice of what is prohibited, [and] is so standardless that it authorizes or encourages seriously discriminatory enforcement,’ the provision is unconstitutionally vague,” Shubb wrote. “Accordingly, the court concludes that plaintiffs have demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of their vagueness challenges.”

The Law

Newsom signed the bill into law in September 2022, and it took effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

The law defines misinformation as “false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus,” and prohibits physicians from disseminating “misinformation or disinformation related to COVID-19, including false or misleading information regarding the nature and risks of the virus, its prevention and treatment; and the development, safety, and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.”

Doctors who deviate from the established U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance by attempting to assess and advise their patients as individuals may run afoul of the new law.

The state medical board is required by law to act against any licensed doctor charged with unprofessional conduct.

The court’s ruling effectively halts the law while the legal challenge plays out.

The legal organization representing the doctors said their clients were put in a difficult position, fearing repercussions for acting in the best interests of their patients by giving them honest information, depriving them of their right to receive advice and hear treatment options without fear of professional discipline.

According to American Civil Liberties Alliance (ACLA), the First Amendment, which protects Americans’ rights to free speech and expression, applies to minority views and majority opinions.

The doctors alleged they have been threatened by other doctors and individuals on social media to use AB 2098 to have their licenses taken away, according to ACLA.

“They are being put between a rock and a hard place, fearing repercussions for acting in their patients’ best interests by honestly giving them the information they believe their patients need in order to make informed care decisions,” ACLA said in a summary of the case of its website.

One of the doctors in Hoeg v. Newsom welcomed the judge’s ruling.

“The ruling bodes well for our case: it indicates that our arguments that this law is unconstitutional have strong pre-trial facial plausibility,” Kheriaty wrote on Twitter. “Not to get ahead of ourselves, of course, or try to predict the final outcome of the case, but this is a very positive development.”




Thursday, January 26, 2023

Did China Make a Mistake by Ending COVID Restrictions?

Never forget that the New York Times kicked off disease panic in the United States in late February 2020, about a month after China had locked down Wuhan and violated its citizens’ rights to associate on a massive scale. Two weeks earlier, the World Health Organization sponsored a Western junket that was attended by Fauci’s deputy assistant and others. They came back and declared that lockdowns are great and should be adopted by all governments.

The first media outlet in the United States to amplify this China communist propaganda was the New York Times. On Feb. 27, 2020, Donald G. McNeil, the lead virus reporter who was later fired for unrelated reasons, predicted mass death from this virus unless the United States locks down just like China.

The next day, the newspaper published his op-ed arguing for the “medieval” method of virus control. On the same day, the paper ran an article by Peter Dazsak, head of EcoHealth Analysis, which was Fauci’s third-party funding choice to get cash to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for gain-of-function research.

This is a grim history, and one might suppose the newspaper would have moved on. But no! Just yesterday, the same paper ran a piece by Michael V. Callahan, an infectious disease specialist who has been working in China and Southeast Asia for ten years. Listen to what he actually typed:

“China rolled back its longstanding pandemic strategy ‘zero Covid,’ which had protected the country for nearly three years, in early December. This reversal came after historic public protests calling for an ease in restrictions …. The timing could not have been worse.”

Can you even imagine such a thing appearing in any paper, much less the New York Times? We are really being told that this grotesque experiment in mega-totalitarianism that treated the entire population like lab rats was really a successful effort that “protected the country.”

Protected the country! In other words, what we have here is an ongoing effort by the top organ of the mainstream press continuing to shill for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It’s astonishing really, and not only because it is utterly inhumane. It is also a fact that China’s lockdown did not protect the country. What it did was weaken immune systems and make China more vulnerable than ever.

Pretending for a moment that Xi Jinping’s policies were not just a grotesque push for massive power, it was never clear what the exit strategy for zero COVID was supposed to be. Stay locked down forever, as in some dystopian movie? And then what happens on the first exposure to anything? We know from history. Half the native population in the United States died from disease when exposed to colonial travelers. It’s happened to countless native tribes around the world. This is an extremely bad idea, and it is a wonder that a supposed civilized country could ever consider such a thing, and yet most countries in the world did.

Xi actually seemed to believe that he could make a virus go away by muscling his people with enough force and intimidation. It’s arrogance for the ages. But the New York Times was all for it—was and still is!

What is it that Dr. Callahan desires now? He wants the United States to help out this poor country that mistakenly allowed its countrymen to have a modicum of freedom back. His great idea is to export “successful strategies from the United States’ Operation Warp Speed playbook, which accelerated the delivery of mRNA vaccines from the manufacturer into people’s arms. This huge logistical challenge can be revised for the rapid deployment of a new Chinese-made mRNA vaccine.”

What to say to this idea? The CCP is evil but not crazy.

In any case, it appears that China, even after three years of lockdown crazy, is going to deal with this virus the old-fashioned way: get it and shake it off. China’s epidemiologists are now saying that upwards of 80 percent of the population has already been exposed and thus acquired some level of protection. This is how it works: exposure and then protection. It’s what should have happened three years ago. This is how the entire planet will deal with COVID. It adds one more coronavirus to the four that are already endemic.

Let’s turn to Dr. Callahan himself. Why exactly is he the one to author an article urging the United States to work with China to get mRNA shots into billions of arms? Well, the scientist Robert Malone explains his own contact with this man, who might have been responsible for among the first communications from China to the U.S. that warned of a coming virus.

Dr. Malone writes:

“on approximately 04 January 2020 I received an unexpected phone call from Dr. Michael Callahan (known to me to have been a CIA agent, and separately confirmed to me by NY Times reporter Davey Alba in February 2022 as a ‘former’ CIA agent). During this call, Dr. Callahan revealed to me that he was calling from China, and that he was in the country under cover of his Harvard Professor appointment. Further information regarding Dr. Callahan can be found in this article by Raul Diego, with research support by Whitney Webb, entitled ‘DARPA’s Man in Wuhan.’ It is important to know that Callahan has provided advice in the White House to at least three US Presidents, including Obama and Trump. On 04 January 2020, Dr. Callahan told me that there was a novel coronavirus circulating in the Wuhan region, it was looking like a significant biothreat, and I should get ‘my team’ engaged in seeking ways to mitigate the risk of this new agent.”

Malone explains further and more deeply how he comes to the following conclusion concerning Callahan:

“Based on this timeline and history, as well as my own direct personal communication with Dr. Callahan, I strongly suspect that both the gross clinical mismanagement of ventilatory support during the first phase of the outbreak (responsible for up to 30,000 deaths) as well as the stunningly poor management practices of Nursing Home and Extended Care facilities throughout the USA can be directly traced to the influence of Dr. Michael Callahan, DARPA’s Man in Wuhan and arguably the top U.S. Government/CIA expert in both biowarfare and gain of function research.”

If this is the case, let’s just say there are many unquestioned questions, including how it comes to be that Callahan raided the pages of the New York Times only yesterday to praise the CCP’s handling of the virus, adding only that China needs to work with the United States to mass vaccinate its population, even though that strategy has worked nowhere in the world and in fact only prolonged the pandemic and increased infections.

But these days, it seems like facts do not matter anymore, at least not at the New York Times, which has been shilling for the virus police here and abroad for fully three years.


FDA wants once-a-year COVID shots for most Americans

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday proposed once-a-year COVID-19 shots for most Americans. U.S. health officials see this as a simplified approach for future vaccination efforts and protection against the mutating virus.

If approved, Americans would no longer have to monitor how many shots they had or how many months it’s been since their last vaccine.

More than 80% of Americans have had at least one vaccine dose, and only 16% have received the latest boosters authorized in August.

The FDA will consult its panel of outside vaccine experts at a meeting on Thursday. The agency is expected to take the panel’s advice into consideration while deciding future vaccine requirements for manufacturers.

In documents posted online, FDA scientists say many Americans now have “sufficient preexisting immunity” against the coronavirus because of vaccination, infection or a combination of the two. That baseline of protection should be enough to move to an annual booster against the latest strains in circulation and make COVID-19 vaccinations more like the yearly flu shot, according to the agency.

A two-dose combination may be needed for the protection of immunocompromised adults and very small children, according to FDA scientists. Vaccine companies would need additional research on vaccination, infection rates, and other data to come up with who should receive a single shot versus a two-dose series.

The FDA outside panel will vote on whether all vaccines should target the same strains.

In 2020, the initial shots or the primary series from Pfizer and Moderna target the Alpha strain. The updated boosters introduced in October last year were also tweaked to target the dominant omicron strain.

The FDA’s proposal will make the agency, independent experts and manufacturers decide yearly on which strains to target by the early summer. This will allow manufacturers several months to produce and launch updated shots before the fall, similar to the way strains for flu vaccines are changed annually.




Recent findings show that vaccination is much less protective against the latest Covid variants

A high-powered group of scientists employed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Los Alamos National Laboratory submitted some correspondence to the New England Journal of Medicine declaring more challenges with the current mass vaccination program targeting COVID-19.

Reminding that the Omicron BA.5 variant was the predominant strain in circulation from July to November 2022, there was evidence of “substantial neutralization escapes as compared with previous variants.” This variant was followed by ensuing sublineages such as BA.4.6 as well as mutations from BA.5, including BF.7 and BQ.1.1, and mutations derived from BA.2.75.2 and the BA.2 lineages, including recombinant XBB.1. What’s in common with these variants? They all have the R346T mutation in the spike protein. Now, BQ.1.1 and XBB.1 have replaced the one dominant BA.5 around the globe. It’s not clear yet, however, how well these latest mutations evade vaccine-induced antibodies targeting the spike protein of both the original Wuhan variant and BA.5.

Enter the Study

The group of scientists embarked on a study to evaluate the neutralizing antibodies associated with the COVID-19 vaccines. The first study focused on 16 participants who were vaccinated as well as boosted with the monovalent mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNtech) in 2021.

Summary of findings

In the first investigation, the group looked at neutralizing antibody titers before and after receipt of the monovalent mRNA booster 2021 in 16 subjects finding:

“The median neutralizing antibody titers to the BQ.1.1 and XBB.1 variants were lower than the median titer to BA.5 by factors of 3 and 8, respectively.”

Study number two and three centered on neutralizing antibody titers before and after receipt of the monovalent mRNA booster as well as the bivalent booster in 2022. With 15 and 18 participants, respectively, a majority of the subjects had received three previous doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

A third of the participants were infected with Omicron, but this was likely due to the high prevalence of circulation and ensuing infection in 2022.

The authors write:

“The median neutralizing antibody titers to the BQ.1.1 and XBB.1 variants were lower than the median titers to BA.5 by factors of 7 and 17, respectively, in the monovalent booster cohort and by factors of 7 and 21, respectively, in the bivalent booster cohort.”

Unfortunately, the authors continue:

“Our data show that the BQ.1.1 and XBB.1 variants escaped neutralizing antibodies substantially more effectively than the BA.5 variant by factors of 7 and 17, respectively, after monovalent mRNA boosting and by factors of 7 and 21, respectively after bivalent mRNA boosting. The neutralizing antibody titers to BQ.1.1 and XBB.1 were dramatically lower than titers to the WA1/2020 strain by factors of 53 and 127, respectively, in the monovalent booster cohort and by factors of 80 and 232, respectively, in the bivalent booster cohort.”


These findings suggest that the BQ.1.1 and XBB.1 variants may reduce the efficacy of current mRNA vaccines and that vaccine protection against severe disease with these variants may depend on CD8 T-cell responses.”

The spike in neutralizing antibody titers against omicron variants associated with the monovalent boost in 2022 over 2021 suggests an accumulation of vaccination and natural immunity linked to prior infection, which was frequent.

Is convergent evolution a result of the propagation of the R346T mutation across variants? The authors believe so. This study again emphasizes the challenges with the current mass COVID-19 vaccine strategy chasing variants of concern.


Bivalent Boosters Creating Adverse Childhood Experiences in Kids Ages 5-11

We often remember events from our childhood that came from physical experiences, such as a broken arm or falling into a stream. Most patients from yesteryear remember childhood rheumatic or scarlet fever. Parents bringing their children aged 5-11 years for COVID-19 vaccination may be creating adverse childhood experiences based on the most recent CDC safety data published by Hause et al. in MMWR:

"Safety Monitoring of Bivalent COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Booster Doses Among Children Aged 5-11 Years - United States, October 12-January 1, 2023"

Moderna, which had greater frequency of adverse events than Pfizer, for example, caused 30% of children to have fever and vomit. Combined, 22% reported that boosters had a negative health impact, 14% could not perform daily activities to return to school, and 2% were so sick they required acute medical care. Adverse childhood experiences can have lasting social and psychological ramifications later in life, particularly if they are repeated.

No vaccine, no matter how theoretically compelling, should be in public use with these symptomatic side effects. Vaccines should have acceptable safety profiles with <5% having any significant short-term symptoms, be safe over the long term, provide at least 50% protection against a disease, inhibit transmission, and last at least a year.

Faulty vaccines that underperform or make our kids sick should be rejected by parents and removed from the market to protect public safety.


Australia: Conservative minor party to host controversial Covid sceptic

Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party will host a series of coronavirus vaccine conferences next month headlined by controversial American cardiologist Doctor Peter McCullough

Nations across the globe have “completely de-emphasised and almost obfuscated” effective coronavirus treatments in their public health approach to the pandemic, says professor of medicine Dr Peter McCullough.

Doctor Peter McCullough has been heavily criticised for controversial views on the coronavirus, with calls from some quarters for Australian immigration officials to deny him a visa to enter the country.

Numerous health officials and websites have criticised Dr McCullough, who gained widespread attention after an appearance on the podcast of American personality Joe Rogan where he made a series of provocative claims, including that the pandemic was planned as part of a conspiracy.

Several health industry websites have devoted sections to debunking Dr McCullough’s claims, which include statements that masks were useless against Covid and that test subjects in an Australian vaccination trial contracted HIV.

However, speaking on the Gold Coast on Tuesday, Mr Palmer said it was time to hear different points of view on the pandemic and vaccines and he expected conferences on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast to sell out. He said Dr McCullough was a “well respected” cardiologist with “impeccable” credentials.

Mr Palmer, a high-profile opponent of coronavirus vaccines, said he was told he “had six hours to live” at one point during his own Covid health battle, but was treated with alternative therapies in hospital.




Tuesday, January 24, 2023

No Help for the Vaccine Injured: The Government agency involved Is an Abject Failure


TrialSite has tracked growing coverage of COVID-19 vaccine injuries by the mainstream media. From Reuters to CBC and even the BBC as well as local affiliated media across the United States such as NBC affiliate in Atlanta, Georgia, WXIA-TV television which recently showcased the plight of Allen Storey, injured by the COVID-19 vaccines.

Despite him and several thousand others filing claims with the U.S. government’s vaccine injury project for emergencies—the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP)—few have received any decisions. TrialSite has reported that no planning from either the Trump or Biden administrations went into the potential externalities of a mass vaccination program—side effects. That even with an injury rate of 0.005 per 100, over a million would be injured in America alone based on the number of procedures.

Enter Allen Storey, and yet another horror story about how the U.S. government has left its taxpayers (the people) left out of any care despite unprecedented mandates across American society.

In detail:

While he was glad he went ahead and got the COVID-19 vaccine to reduce the risk of severe illness or even death, Mr. Storey ended up having an acute brain stem stroke accompanied by numerous medical diagnoses, likely because providers don’t know how to even diagnose these injuries. According to reporter Rebecca Lindstrom, this process has left the vaccine-injured patient “financially and emotionally dazed and confused.”

Not so-called “Anti-vaxxers” by any means, both Mr. Storey, his wife, as well as their daughter, received the COVID-19 immunization. While Storey’s wife and daughter were left unscathed just days after the first jab, Storey’s response was noticeably different. While his doctors thought he might have vertigo, reports WXIA-TV (11Alive), “His mind was 100% working inside his body. His body just couldn’t move,” as he experienced a form of stroke-induced paralysis explained to his wife.

Both Storey and his wife were unemployed by this point, and given the lack of any support from the CICP, financial catastrophe was just around the corner. The family had to give up their home of 25 years as it wasn’t wheelchair accessible.

Storey’s wife Beverly told the local media, “The burden of proof on you, and that became a problem with cost and logistics.” With medical records scattered across five hospitals, navigating both the CICP application plus obtaining the documentation to advocate for her husband’s case became extremely challenging.

While not surprisingly, doctors refuse to officially connect the injury to the vaccine, they ironically are adamantly opposed to him getting a second jab.

And nearly two years later, the CICP’s response to Storey’s claims: crickets. Although it’s part of the executive branch and subject to congressional funding, Ms. Storey told the local news outlet, “You don’t get any answers. Nobody calls back, nobody has sent anything in the mail.”

Are politicians and governors aware of the situation?

Absolutely. The Storeys wrote not only a letter to President Biden but also to their U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. 11Alive reached out to Senator Ossof’s office, wrote Lindstrom, and apparently, the Senator did respond and request more information.

The Georgia media not only reached out to both Senators but also to Mike Lee, Sen. Utah, who has sponsored a bill making accessing COVID-19 vaccine injury claims easier. A hot potato-like topic, Lee’s office refused to talk, declining to speak on his own legislation, reports Lindstrom.


New Zealand Population Study: Pfizer’s mRNA Vaccine Statistically Significant Linked to Myo/Pericarditis

Researchers from the New Zealand Ministry of Health as well as University of Auckland conducted a real-world observational study probing rates of adverse events of special interest (AESIs) associated with a primary dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2, in the New Zealand population aged 5 years and up vaccinated from February 19, 2021, to February 10, 2022. Tapping into electronic health records, the Kiwi investigators looked for risk within the period of day 0 to 21 days after the jab compared with expected rates based on background health data from 2014 to 2019. Deriving an ‘incidence rate ratio " or "IRR " for each AESI, the study team estimated with 95% confidence intervals (CI), adjusting by age to calculate a risk difference and ultimately estimate the excess numbers of AESIs per 100,000 persons vaccinated.

The results of this study recently surfaced via preprints with The Lancet.

Overall Study—Population-level Cohort Analysis

By February 10, 2022, 4,277,163 had received a first dose, and 4,114,364 second doses of BNT162b2 were administered to the eligible New Zealand population in the cohort covered by the study (age 5 and up). The study authors couldn’t find a statistical delta between the observed rates of AESI and the expected rates.

For example, the authors report:

“The IRR (95% CI) of myo/pericarditis following the first dose was 2.6 (2.2– 2.9) with a risk difference (95% CI) of 1.6 (1.1– 2.1) per 100,000 persons vaccinated and was 4.1 (3.7– 4.5) with a risk difference of 3.2 (2.6– 3.9) per 100,000 persons vaccinated following the second dose. The highest IRR was 25.8 (95% CI 15.6– 37.9) in the 5-19 years age group, following the second dose of the vaccine, with an estimated 5 additional myo/pericarditis cases per 100,000 persons vaccinated. An increased incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI) was observed following the first (1.6 (1.5– 1.6)) and second (1.7 (1.6– 1.7)) dose of BNT162b2.”

Clearly, the risks in the young persons cohort (age 5 to 19) were markedly higher post the second dose of the vaccine which corresponds with other real-world data suggesting risks of this cardiovascular-related set of conditions associated with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. In fact, in the State of Florida the Surgeon General there has gone on the record recommending that healthy young people don’t receive the vaccine. The message from Florida—the risks of serious side effects are higher than the risk of COVID-19 infection for a healthy young population.

Interestingly, the New Zealand government-sponsored study also reports nominal increases in acute kidney injury, but less than the rates associated with myocarditis and pericarditis.


The New Zealand Ministry of Health reports from this study that while “rare” a “statistically significant association between BNT162b2 [Pfizer’s vaccine] and myo/pericarditis and AKI was observed.” They acknowledge that this association has been confirmed internationally but the Ministry of Health-funded investigators do recommend more research into the association with AKI.

Interestingly, the study authors point out that most of the AESIs identified were not associated with the Pfizer vaccine which offered them authors “reassurances around the safety of the vaccine.”