Monday, December 04, 2023

US Military Study on Postvaccination Myocarditis Released

A small U.S. military study on postvaccination myocarditis has been quietly released, with authors saying they found no overt or subclinical heart inflammation.

Outside experts said the study did show some concerning signs and that the military researchers failed to explore those signs further.

The U.S. military was one of the first entities in the world to detect myocarditis and a related condition, pericarditis, after COVID-19 vaccination. The military also mandated COVID-19 vaccination for the force.

With those facts in mind, "it is particularly important to understand the prevalence of subclinical myocarditis/pericarditis along with the potential for additional complications," the authors of the new paper said.

The researchers recruited people who received a Pfizer or Moderna modified messenger RNA (mRNA) shot, were between 12 and 40 years of age, and were enrolled in TRICARE, which provides health care for many service members and their family members. The people received a second or subsequent dose of a vaccine between June 2022 and June 2023.

Participants visited investigators within 24 hours of and three to seven days after vaccination. Their symptoms, troponin T levels, and C-reactive protein were measured. Researchers also used electrocardiograms on the patients.

Thirty people ended up being part of the study, with 23 being active-duty military members. Four had a jump in troponin T, an indicator of subclinical heart damage, from 1 to 16 nanograms a liter after vaccination. However, the researchers said none had subclinical myocarditis because they defined subclinical myocarditis as an increase of more than 20 nanograms a liter. A fifth participant reported chest pain and shortness of breath, two possible signs of heart inflammation, but did not have a rise in troponin T.

"This is the first study to report on signs or symptoms of myocarditis/pericarditis collected through active surveillance following administration of mRNA vaccination in a military setting," Dr. Richelle Homo, a pediatric resident at Madigan Army Medical Center and a fellow at Brooke Army Medical Center, and her co-authors wrote.

The authors acknowledged that the study was not large enough to estimate the incidence of myocarditis after vaccination "due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic and delays in recruitment." By June 2022, many people, including military members, had stopped getting COVID-19 vaccines.

"Nonetheless, the absence of myocarditis/pericarditis in this study offers some reassurance. As mRNA technology continues to advance, a deeper understanding of the incidence and extent of these complications will be necessary to ensure populations are well informed on the risks, benefits and potential need for monitoring following administration," the authors added.

The paper was published by the British Medical Journal.

Experts Weigh In

Several experts who reviewed the paper said the study did not provide any reassurance due to its small population and the definition of subclinical myocarditis.

Rates of clinical myocarditis, or heart inflammation manifesting through symptoms, run around 1 in 3,000 to 6,000 in multiple previous studies.

Defining subclinical myocarditis as troponin raised to a certain level without cardiac MRI cannot rule out the condition, doctors said.

The levels recorded in some of the participants indicate that there was "some damage to the myocardium," according to Dr. Kirk Milhoan, a pediatric cardiologist. He said he'd have liked to see cardiac MRIs performed on those participants.

"Why don't we look further and see what that is, as opposed to saying, 'well, since nothing was over 20, it was just ignored,'" he told The Epoch Times.

Dr. Sanjay Verma, a cardiologist in California, said that elevated troponin, especially at low levels, can have non-vaccine causes and that cardiac imaging helps differentiate between the causes.

Dr. Verma said the study population was important, noting that researchers only included people who received at least their second dose of a vaccine.

"This inclusion criteria by definition would exclude those who may have already had myocarditis after dose 1. Furthermore, 70% of the study population received a fourth dose (i.e., they did not have myocarditis after the first 3). The study therefore is a self selected population of those who didn’t have myocarditis from dose 1-3," Dr. Verma told The Epoch Times in an email.

"Therefore, the study doesn’t prove or disprove anything about the true rate of myocarditis or subclinical myocarditis in all comers who receive dose 1 and 2 of mRNA COVID-10 vaccination."

It's unclear why the researchers chose the 20 nanograms per liter definition. The first study from the military used a definition of 10-fold to 400-fold the upper limits of reference ranges, which, according to the Cleveland Clinic, can be as low as 0.01 nanograms per liter. The first study did require acute chest pain as well, as it looked at clinical myocarditis.

A newer study from Switzerland examining subclinical myocarditis used a minimum of 8.9 nanograms per liter in women and 15.5 nanograms per liter in men, although other requirements were also considered for the final diagnoses.

Dr. Homo did not respond to emailed questions, nor did the Defense Health Agency, which funded the study.


New Report Reveals Biden Admin Pressured YouTube To 'Crack Down On Vaccine Misinformation'

According to a new report, the Biden Administration pressured YouTube to target alleged misinformation relating to the draconian COVID-19 vaccines.

Documents obtained by the House Judiciary Committee show that the Biden White House forced the streaming platform to suppress any negative COVID-19 vaccine information to push more people to get the jab.

In April 2021, President Joe Biden's former Director of Digital Strategy, Robert Flaherty, emailed Google team members to "connect […] about the work you're doing to combat vaccine hesitancy, but also crack down on vaccine misinformation."

More from Fox News Digital:

Flaherty continued, asking for trends surrounding vaccine misinformation on the website while offering government assistance in the form of COVID experts at the White House to partner in product work with YouTube. Google, in an internal email, noted that after a subsequent meeting with Flaherty, the White House staffer "particularly dug in on our decision making for borderline content" — which is content that doesn't cross Community Guidelines but rather brushes up against it, according to YouTube. A week later, Google acknowledged that it sent the White House the total amount of videos removed for COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, while discussing the government's desire for even more data. The next day, YouTube's Government Affairs team emailed YouTube's Product team, flagging the interactions with the White House.

An internal email from YouTube revealed a "high degree of interest" coming from the White House regarding vaccine misinformation and hesitancy.

"Unfortunately, the role of tech in addressing vaccine hesitancy is about to come under a massive spotlight, particularly as the supply of the vaccine is soon to outpace demand," the email continued. "The White House is very interested in our work on borderline content, and more specifically vaccine-related content as well as our work to promote authoritative sources for vaccines."

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) told FOX Business that they knew the White House was working closely with Big Tech to censor the First Amendment and that "internal documents from Google obtained by the Judiciary Committee and Select Subcommittee show that their scheme extended to YouTube."


Big Korean Study of Post-COVID-19 Vax Inflammatory Musculoskeletal Conditions

University researchers from Ewha Womans University College of Medicine, Mokdong Hospital and University Guro Hospital, both in Seoul, Korea conducted a retrospective nationwide cohort study tapping into data at the Korean National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) database. With a total of 2,218,715 patients from January 1, 2021, to 12 weeks post the second dose of vaccine for vaccinated persons and 12 weeks after September 30, 2021, for unvaccinated persons, the study team sought to investigate the incidence rates of inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders post COVID-19 vaccination, comparing to the unvaccinated cohort.

Among the two cohorts, the vaccinations included mRNA vaccine (Moderna/Pfizer-BioNTech), viral vector (AstraZeneca, J&J) and mixing and matching. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine the risk factors of musculoskeletal disorders after adjusting for potential confounders.

The authors report in their still-to-be-reviewed study paper that individuals who received any COVID-19 vaccine were more likely to be diagnosed with inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders than those who did not. The authors believe that the information will be useful in clarifying the adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines and informing people about their potential for inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders after vaccination.

The authors point out that earlier research on COVID-19 vaccines points to a range of adverse reactions related to proinflammatory actions that can lead to an excessive immune response and sustained inflammation. However, they claim no study has been conducted on the association between inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders and COVID-19 vaccines.

A strong study, the 2+ million individuals randomly selected from the Korean NHIS offers a substantial national cohort. Because Korea uses comprehensive medical databases for population-level analysis, overall, the reliability and representativeness bolsters these findings. The authors report that such large population-based databases, which are available only in Taiwan, Sweden, and Korea, offer “excellent resources for answering questions that are difficult to address using single-institution or small-scale studies.”

Conditions such as adhesive capsulitis, also known as frozen shoulder, an inflammatory condition characterized by shoulder stiffness, pain, and significant loss of passive range of motion, can debilitate individuals, interfering with work and quality of life. Long-term disability has been reported at 10-20% in patients, and the persistence of symptoms at 30-60%.




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