Friday, June 30, 2023


I managed my seasonal virus better than I expected yesterday and managed to put up something interesting on all my blogs. I seem to be on track to do that today as well


COVID-19 can cause brain cells to 'fuse'

Researchers at UQ have discovered viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 can cause brain cells to fuse, initiating malfunctions that lead to chronic neurological symptoms.

Professor Massimo Hilliard and Dr Ramon Martinez-Marmol from the Queensland Brain Institute have explored how viruses alter the function of the nervous system.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been detected in the brains of people with ‘long COVID’ months after their initial infection.

“We discovered COVID-19 causes neurons to undergo a cell fusion process, which has not been seen before,” Professor Hilliard said.

“After neuronal infection with SARS-CoV-2, the spike S protein becomes present in neurons, and once neurons fuse, they don’t die.” They either start firing synchronously, or they stop functioning altogether.”

As an analogy, Professor Hilliard likened the role of neurons to that of wires connecting switches to the lights in a kitchen and a bathroom.

“Once fusion takes place, each switch either turns on both the kitchen and bathroom lights at the same time, or neither of them,” he said. “It’s bad news for the two independent circuits.”

The discovery offers a potential explanation for persistent neurological effects after a viral infection.

“In the current understanding of what happens when a virus enters the brain, there are two outcomes – either cell death or inflammation,” Dr Martinez-Marmol said. “But we’ve shown a third possible outcome, which is neuronal fusion.”

Dr Martinez-Marmol said numerous viruses cause cell fusion in other tissues, but also infect the nervous system and could be causing the same problem there.

“These viruses include HIV, rabies, Japanese encephalitis, measles, herpes simplex virus and Zika virus,” he said.

“Our research reveals a new mechanism for the neurological events that happen during a viral infection.

“This is potentially a major cause of neurological diseases and clinical symptoms that is still unexplored.”

The research was published in Science Advances.


Italian Bombshell—COVID-19 mRNA Vax Cardiac Problems ‘Not Uncommon’

Research led by Italian physician-scientists, including corresponding author Nino Cocco at Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences and Francesco Pelliccia, Ph.D., Sapienza University of Rome shows mounting concerns associated with the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

Sharing that “several patients” complained of heart palpitations or even worse arrhythmic events after receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in their specific clinical practice, the research collective sought to undertake a literature review of post-COVID-19 vaccine heart rhythm disorders which turned up several instances of heart rhythm disorders after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.

Noteworthy, biomedical researchers from both Italy and Switzerland found this problem with other vaccines in addition to the COVID-19 products. Importantly, in regard to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, the study authors call out that serious adverse events are ‘not uncommon” and demand clinical and scientific attention now.


While mass vaccination against SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19, was considered collectively the best way to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and generally, these products helped reduce cases of morbidity and mortality, the Italian-led team reports a troubling concern. They state that “side effects are being reported more frequently as more and more people around the world become treated.”

While the mRNA products are deemed “safe and effective” by regulatory bodies, the study team here emphasizes the importance of not underestimating “other side effects” in addition to the predominant risk of myopericarditis.

Key findings

Reporting on case series of patients affected by cardiac arrhythmias post-mRNA vaccine from their own clinical practice, the Italian-led team evaluate the literature. Reviewing the official vigilance database, Dr. Coco and colleagues report that “heart rhythm disorders after COVID vaccination are not uncommon and deserve more clinical and scientific attention.”

This assessment represents a distinct change in direction as most physician-scientists continue to downplay the linkages between the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines and various cardiovascular and other disorders linked to the novel products.

While the study authors continue to support the use of mRNA technology, arguing in their paper published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences that “the risk-benefit ratio” remains “clearly in favor of vaccination,” they posit that linked “heart rhythm disorders are not a negligible issue, and there are red flags in the literature about the risk of post-vaccination malignant arrhythmias in some predisposed patients.”

The authors raise questions about the impact of COVID-19 vaccines on heart conduction. They also review possible molecular pathways for the COVID-19 vaccines to impact cardiac electrophysiology and cause heart rhythm disorders.


Super fit mother-of-two, 37, 'is left in chronic pain, bound to a wheelchair and forced to find a new home' after Covid jab

A mother-of-two claims she has been left in debilitating pain and now relies on a wheelchair to get around after receiving three doses of a Covid vaccine.

Mel Guevremont, 37, says she has gone from being a keen gym-goer, surfer, snowboarder and rock climber to barely being able to take a few steps around her home before her legs give out.

Ms Guevremont, from Sydney, claims her body has broken down and she has been forced to wear a neck brace since receiving her third Pfizer mRNA vaccine in March 2021.

'It's ruined my life completely and utterly,' she told Daily Mail Australia.

'I am skin and bones. I don't recognise myself. It's not my body and I wake up with a new symptom every day. It's a grieving process.'

Ms Guevremont and her partner Richard Ellison, who moved to Australia from Canada seven years ago, said they were forced to sell their Manly unit because it was located on the fourth floor and she struggles with stairs.

They now live with their two boys in a ground-level home in the south-eastern Sydney suburb of Maroubra.

Ms Guevremont said she has spent more than $25,000 seeing specialists, including neurologists and rheumatologists, but has not found them helpful.

Mel Guevremont says she has been left in a wheelchair after three doses of the Covid vaccine

Her comments come after a landmark Covid vaccine injury class-action lawsuit was filed in April against the Australian government, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Department of Health.

The nationwide suit, which reportedly has 500 members, seeks redress for those allegedly left injured or bereaved by the Covid vaccines.

Ms Guevremont said she was a fit and healthy woman who regularly took part in outdoor activities - but her active lifestyle has drastically changed.

'Right before these jabs I was snowboarding in New Zealand. The only problem I had was a tweaked knee from too much surfing and playing basketball,' she said.

'I was an adrenaline junkie. I did not stop. It's quite the clash for me to be barely able to hold a cup of coffee or hold my own neck.

'How do you go from snowboarding, ripping on a mountain and having a great time, to all of a sudden can't hold your neck?'

Ms Guevremont claims she is also suffering from electric shocks, unexplained weight loss and body weakness.

'I went to a beauty salon and after a while I couldn't feel my legs,' she said. 'When I tried to get up, my legs just completely collapsed. I sort of laughed and brushed it off. 'I thought maybe it was related to post-pregnancy hormones.'

Ms Guevremont says she struggles to do basic physical activities like walk to the park or even pick up her two boys, who are aged two and four.

'It breaks my heart. My young one wants to play soccer, and he knows I played soccer with him before, and all of a sudden I can't,' she said. 'I wonder if I am going to be there for my kids.'

The mother has made farewell videos for her boys just in case she is 'not around' when they grow older.

In July 2021, Ms Guevremont caught Covid-19, which she said took her four days to get over, after which 'she was fine'.

In November 2021, her condition spiralled and she fainted and collapsed. 'My partner rushed me to the hospital and I stayed there for a week,' she said.

She said a specialist suggested she might have 'post-vaccination syndrome and potentially post-viral syndrome' - although she only wrote the second diagnosis in her notes.

In referrals seen by Daily Mail Australia, hospitals and neurologists have diagnosed Ms Guevremont with 'suspected vaccine injury'.

Last year, Ms Guevremont reported herself as a vaccine injury to the TGA but said she was still waiting for a response. 'They fail to follow up and investigate,' she said.

A TGA spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia an 'acknowledgement email requesting further information was sent in response to an adverse event report submitted by Ms Guevremont'.

They added: 'The TGA strongly encourages vaccine recipients and healthcare professionals to report their experience of suspected adverse events, even if there is only a very small chance a vaccine was the cause.

'The TGA uses these reports to look for patterns in reporting that may indicate a new safety signal for a vaccine.'

The spokesperson said such a signal will lead 'to appropriate regulatory action which may include making changes to a vaccine's Product Information and communicating information to doctors.

'To date, the TGA has initiated over 43 regulatory actions to include new safety information in Product Information documents,' the TGA representative said.

But Ms Guevremont said she felt 'abandoned' and turned to Kerryn Phelps, the former head of the Australian Medical Association, for help.

Last December, Professor Phelps told a parliamentary inquiry into long Covid that both she and her wife had been vaccine-injured.

Ms Guevremont said Professor Phelps was very kind and supportive in referring her to a neurologist who 'specialised in vaccine injuries' but who turned out to be too busy to see her.

She also condemned the vaccine-injury compensation scheme run by Services Australia. 'The compensation scheme is a joke,' she said.

The compensation scheme for Pfizer vaccines includes about 10 eligible conditions, but these don't include neurological conditions such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome and Transverse Myelitis, even though they are listed for AstraZeneca shots.

'The TGA and regulators around the world continue to monitor and analyse Covid-19 vaccine safety data covering hundreds of millions of people, and the latest evidence from clinical trials and peer-reviewed medical literature,' the TGA spokesperson said.

'This information continues to overwhelmingly support the safe and effective use of Covid-19 vaccines.

'It remains the consensus view of international regulators and health departments that the benefits of Covid-19 vaccination continue to far outweigh the rare risks.'

Ms Guevremont is currently looking at experimental treatments and possibly moving the U.S. to receive them.




Thursday, June 29, 2023

Partial return

I am still climbing out from under the tyranny of my seasonal virus so am not yet up to resuming a full schedule of blogging. I have however noted the rather shocking article below so reproduce it here today -- JR

Laid Low by the COVID Vaccine, Now They've Got a Bad Case of Federal Unresponsiveness

In April 2021, Adele Fox received a single shot of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Within a few hours, the 60-year-old resident of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, started feeling shooting pains in her legs, arms, and neck. The pain didn’t abate over the next few days. Instead, it got worse and was accompanied by nausea and debilitating fatigue.

Within a few weeks, neurologists affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital diagnosed her with several serious conditions they say were a result of her COVID-19 vaccine, including small-fiber neuropathy (which causes a painful tingling in the extremities) and Sjögren’s Syndrome (which leaves patients pained and fatigued, and in extreme cases, can damage internal organs).

This shot, which was supposed to get Fox back to normal, instead left her with diminished ability to work and enjoy life. Persistent physical therapy and experimental treatments she’s taken since have done little to alleviate her symptoms.

“I used to do so much, and now it’s a struggle,” she says. “Sometimes you just get down.”

With her medical bills mounting and her condition not improving, Fox sought compensation for her damaged health. Federal liability protections prevent the vaccine-injured from directly suing vaccine manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson. Instead, claimants have to go to the federal government for compensation.

But as Fox would soon learn, the government has two starkly different injury programs for vaccines. One operates like a civil court with a neutral judge, lawyers on both sides, and a guaranteed right of appeal. In recent decades, it has approved about 75% of claims and pays out hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

The other, which handles COVID-19 vaccines, has rejected almost every claim brought to it, awarding less than $10,000 since the pandemic. And in a nation nearly numb to the pandemic's toll and its scandals, the program is adding seething frustration atop lasting injury to Fox and people like her in a little reported aftermath to the government’s much criticized performance on vaccines – ranging from erratic booster advice to broad-brush vaccine mandates that cost people their jobs.

Fox filed her claim two years ago, submitting hundreds of pages of medical documents about her condition and diagnoses. She’s nevertheless one of the 10,887 people still waiting on a decision. “You’re not even hearing anything from the organization that’s supposed be helping you,” she says. “The phone keeps ringing, no one is emailing, nobody is doing anything.”

The federal agency overseeing the program, the Health Resources and Services Administration, said in a statement to RealClearInvestigations that the current number of claims “significantly exceeds the previous volume in the program” and that the program has “hired additional staff to address this growth in claims, and the President’s budget requests additional funding to support the additional staffing needed to process claims.”

Tale of Two Compensation Programs

The government’s two contrasting vaccine compensation programs are similarly named and thus easily confused. The first, Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was created in the 1980s and covers most routine vaccines. The second, the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP), is a result of war-on-terror legislation in 2005 and now covers COVID-19 vaccines. Their bureaucratic differences help explain why a nation that has spent trillions of dollars on COVID relief programs has provided almost no assistance to people harmed by the vaccines that the government encouraged, and sometimes required, them to take.

The earlier program was supposed to shore up pharmaceutical companies’ willingness to make childhood vaccines in the face of persistent vaccine injury lawsuits, while also giving the vaccine-injured a fair and expedited process for compensation.

The vaccine-injured would not sue pharmaceutical companies. Instead, they’d petition the government in Federal Claims Court, where special masters (judges) would decide cases. Compensation came from a government-administered trust fund paid for by excise taxes levied on vaccine manufacturers.

Between 2006 and 2021, this court adjudicated cases from 10,602 petitioners and issued compensation to 7,618 of them. The compensation trust fund sits at $4 billion and pays out about $200 million in compensation and attorneys’ fees each year.

This earlier program bears little resemblance to the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program, where the COVID-vaccine cases of Fox and many others are languishing.

It was meant to incentivize pharmaceutical companies to be part of the federal response to one-off, one-in-a-million events like a bioweapon attack or an outbreak of a deadly pandemic. Although almost one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the United States, and health authorities say boosters could become as common as the annual flu shot, it remains the only way people harmed by the shot can receive compensation.

It's far from guaranteed they’ll get it.

Before the pandemic, this program received a little over 500 claims and had paid out compensation to only 30 people – mostly for H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine injuries. In just the past two years, it has been asked to make decisions on over 10,000 injury claims related to COVID countermeasures.

As of June, it made decisions on just 919 of these COVID-related claims and rejected 894 of them. It has so far paid out only $8,593 in compensation to just four people who were injured by a COVID vaccine. The program has deemed another 20 people eligible for compensation, but has yet to pay them.

It’s not a judicial process either. Rather, it’s an administrative process overseen by Health Resources and Services Administration, which is housed within Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). People file a claim and government medical reviewers decide whether to pay out or not. That’s an awkward arrangement, given that HHS is deciding whether to pay for damages caused by products it approved and in some cases mandated.

Because it’s an administrative process, there’s no right to counsel and no neutral arbitrator. A denied claimant can file for reconsideration with HRSA, but otherwise has no right to appeal.

Unlike the earlier program, the CICP offers no compensation for pain and suffering and doesn’t pay attorneys’ fees. Most successful claimants have received compensation totaling a few hundred dollars or a few thousand dollars. The highest award for a COVID-19 vaccine injury sufferer was $3,957.66 to a person who got myocarditis (a heart condition) from a vaccine.

It also has shorter filing deadlines. People have to file a claim within one year of vaccination, a much shorter window than the earlier program’s standard of three years from the onset of symptoms. Of the 894 claims that CICP has rejected, 444 of them were for missing the filing deadline.

CICP also only awards compensation in cases where there’s “compelling, reliable, valid, medical, and scientific evidence” that someone’s injury is linked to a covered countermeasure. HRSA describes this as “a high evidentiary standard.” Renée Gentry, a practicing vaccine injury lawyer who directs the Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic at George Washington University, says it’s a much higher bar than what the earlier vaccine injury compensation program requires, which contributes to a much lower rate of successful claims.

The Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program’s nature as a small emergency program has seen its capacity strained by a flood of COVID-related injury claims. Of the 11,806 COVID-related claims filed, 10,887 are still pending. Those four cases where COVID compensation was paid out didn’t come until after April 2023, over two years since the first vaccines were administered.

Pain and Suffering

The shortcomings of CICP are all too apparent for the people who are forced to wade through it. Even folks who seem to have done everything right are left waiting or disappointed by the program.

Fox filed her claim in May 2021, which was relatively early in the immunization campaign. She also had clear diagnoses from well-credentialed doctors linking her conditions to her COVID-19 vaccination. Fox says she provided the program with no shortage of documentation as well.

After filing all that paperwork, she hasn’t been idle either. After months of not hearing anything back from CICP, Fox started to reach out repeatedly to anyone she thought might be able to move the needle. She spoke repeatedly with representatives from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s and Rep. Chris Pappas’ offices. She also kept calling program administrators, trying to figure out what was taking so long.

“I’m sure they saw my number, and said ‘Ah, Fox, oh no, not her [again]’,” she jokes.

Her congressional representatives did reach out to CICP on her behalf. That was at least effective at getting program administrators to call Fox personally twice, once in July 2022 and again in June 2023. But each time, they could only offer her reassurance that her paperwork had been received. On both calls, Fox says she was told that the program was vastly overburdened by the flood of COVID-19 claims it had received. She, like thousands of others, would have to wait.

The few decisions on COVID-19 claims that have trickled out haven’t offered much relief to the people who’ve received them. That includes Cody Flint, one of the 894 people who’ve had their COVID-related claims rejected.

Flint was vaccinated in February 2021, when he received a single Pfizer dose. He says that he started to feel headaches and had affected vision within 30 minutes of the shot. He was still experiencing symptoms two days later when he headed to his job as a crop-dusting pilot.

While flying that day, he started to experience extreme tunnel vision, followed by a sensation he describes as “a bomb [going] off in my head.” He barely managed to get his plane back to his runway, where his coworkers found him slumped over his controls and shaking.

He was diagnosed with perilymphatic fistula (or tear of the inner ear) caused by elevated intracranial pressure – which could only be relieved through repeated draining of his spinal fluid. Given the timing of his symptoms and the fact that he’d passed a flight physical just a couple weeks prior, his doctors said his condition was almost certainly caused by the vaccine. His injury prevented him from returning to work as a pilot, and his mounting medical bills saw him draw down all of his savings.

In April 2021, Flint filed a claim. In May 2022 – just a few weeks after Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith asked HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra about his case specifically in a committee hearing – Flint’s claim was rejected. The program’s medical reviewers told Flint that it was more likely his injuries were caused by barotrauma from flying a plane.

He petitioned for a reconsideration of his case. His doctors argued that there was no way he’d have experienced barotrauma from flying just a few hundred feet off the ground. Commercial airliners, they noted, are pressurized at 6,000 to 8,000 feet of elevation. Flint’s lawyers also submitted recent studies linking the symptoms he’d experienced to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Nevertheless, a separate medical reviewer at HRSA upheld the CICP’s initial denial in January 2023. That letter succinctly stated that HHS has “no appeals process beyond this reconsideration” and “there is no judicial review of a final action concerning CICP eligibility.”

Efforts at Reform

The federal government’s liability protections for COVID-19 vaccines aren’t scheduled to expire until the end of 2024. Once they do, those claiming a vaccine injury will be able to pursue claims against vaccine manufacturers in state courts.

While liability protections remain in effect, the federal program is injured claimants’ only potential source of compensation.

Whether or not the HRSA succeeds in boosting staffing in line with its statement to RCI, those seeking compensation have started to get organized. They’ve formed the group React19, which is dedicated to advocating for additional research into the side effects of COVID-19 vaccines. It’s grown into a network of tens of thousands of people who say they suffered adverse injuries from the shot. Flint, the pilot, is on its board of directors.

“It’s a very pro-vaccine community,” says Christopher Dreisbach, the group’s legal affairs director. “You say anything about vaccine injuries, you’re branded as anti-vaxxers. We are pro-science, we are not political. We’re just dealing with a very politicized issue.”

He says the politicization of vaccines has made their efforts at compensation reform a challenge.

When the CICP, and the 2005 Pandemic Response and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act that created it, were first being debated, Republican lawmakers were its main advocates, while its main critics were Democrats. The partisan politics of the program and liability protections for pharmaceutical companies has done a 180 since COVID.

In 2005, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee argued during the House floor debate on the PREP Act that the law’s liability shield would leave injured healthcare workers with little protection or chance of compensation. Come 2023, she would return to the floor of the House to argue in favor of mandating those same healthcare workers receive a vaccine covered by the PREP Act’s liability shield.

The PREP Act’s harshest critics during COVID, meanwhile, have mostly been Republicans.

“I call the PREP Act medical malpractice martial law,” says Rep. Thomas Massie, who complains that its liability shield is both incredibly broad and improperly preempts state law. “I think it’s sort of anathema to the way our government is set up. I found it hard to believe that Congress would pass something, much less that a Republican president would invoke it.”

In March 2022, Sen. Mike Lee introduced a bill that would have amended CICP to give claimants the same framework for pursuing compensation as the VICP. They could file in Federal Claims Court and receive an expedited, judicial adjudication of their injury claim.

Gentry argues that it would be far simpler to just move the COVID-19 vaccines into the VICP program, which already has a successful track record of adjudicating injury claims. In order for that to happen under the law that created the VICP, the CDC needs to recommend the vaccines for routine administration to children (which has already happened) and vaccine manufacturers would have to start paying excise taxes. That latter condition will require action from Congress.

VICP needs a number of updates as well, says Gentry, including expanding the number of special masters to handle the backlog of cases and increasing the available levels of compensation (which haven’t been updated since the 1980s).

Increasing the number of special masters is particularly important if the VICP program is going to be expected to process tens of thousands of COVID claims, she says. But she argues it’s the best way of getting the vaccine injured out of CICP and into a program that will work for them. “If you’re taking away someone’s constitutional right to sue, you really have to give them a reasonable and meaningful alternative and that’s what this program is, for all of its faults,” says Gentry.

While efforts at reform in Washington lumber on, React19 has started a privately funded compensation program that’s thus far paid out $552,000.

“Is that making a meaningful difference to all the vaccine injured everywhere? No, that’s not enough,” says Dreisbach, but he notes that it’s far more than what CICP has paid out. “That should be pretty embarrassing to the federal government.”




Wednesday, June 28, 2023

The virus strikes back

Yesterday, I though I had beaten the virus that was attacking me. I was able to have a normal day. But this morning I woke up feeling very washed out and with nesr-zero energy. So I have done very little today. No blogging.

Will I be back on deck tomorrorw? I hope so. But old guys like me have to take it a bit easy so maybe not. A lot of men my age are dead, if I can put it that way. So I am definitely on extra time

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

'Stunning' Emails Show What Biden Administration Officials Knew About COVID Vaccines Very Early On

Newly released emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show that public health officials knew about “breakthrough cases" of COVID-19 in vaccinated individuals early on, but continued pushing vaccine mandates anyway.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky discussed in a January 2021 email how she had spoken to then-NIH Director Francis Collins about the issue.

“Dear all, I had a call with Francis Collins this morning and one of the issues we discussed was that of vaccine breakthroughs. This is clearly and [sic] important area of study and was specifically called out this week here,” she said, adding a link to a paper titled, “SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines and the Growing Threat of Viral Variants.” She goes to say she discussed this with someone “a few weeks ago” and that Dr. Anthony Fauci was also aware.

In media hits months later, however, Walensky was saying that vaccinated individuals “don’t get sick” and “do not carry the virus.”

"Our data from the CDC today suggests that vaccinated people do not carry the virus, don't get sick, and that it's not just in the clinical trials, but it's also in real-world data,” she said on MSNBC in March of 2021.

She then defended those comments in a congressional hearing, arguing it was true when she said it, though it “did change over time.”

In May of 2021, Fauci made similar claims, telling Americans that vaccinated individuals "become a dead end to the virus."

"Even though there are breakthrough infections with vaccinated people, almost always the people are asymptomatic and the level of virus is so low it makes it extremely unlikely — not impossible but very, very low likelihood — that they’re going to transmit it,” Fauci told CBS's "Face the Nation."

“When you get vaccinated, you not only protect your own health and that of the family but also you contribute to the community health by preventing the spread of the virus throughout the community,” he added. “In other words, you become a dead end to the virus. And when there are a lot of dead ends around, the virus is not going to go anywhere. And that’s when you get a point that you have a markedly diminished rate of infection in the community.”

Sharing the email, Stanford School of Medicine professor Jay Bhattacharya called the revelation "stunning."


Australia Removes Moderna Vaccine for Children Under 5

Health authorities in Australia have quietly removed Moderna’s paediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children five years and under, with both options offered by the company now no longer available in the country.

This comes after the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) announced it would no longer recommend COVID-19 vaccines for individuals who are under five unless they have one of seven specific high-risk medical conditions that could place them in heightened-risk categories for severe COVID-19.

The seven conditions include severe primary or secondary immunodeficiency, including those undergoing treatment for cancer or those on immunosuppressive treatments; bone marrow or stem cell transplant or chimeric antigen T-cell (CAR-T) therapy; complex congenital cardiac disease, structural airway anomalies or chronic lung disease, type 1 diabetes mellitus, chronic neurological or neuromuscular conditions or a disability with significant or complex health needs.

“ATAGI does not currently recommend vaccination for children aged 6 months to <5 years who are not in the above risk categories for severe COVID-19. These children have a very low likelihood of severe illness from COVID-19,” the advisory body said.

The Epoch Times has reached out to Moderna for comment on the decision.

Moderna Vaccine Only Gave Modest Protection: ATAGI
In justifying its change of advice, the health authority said that there was a very low risk of severe COVID-19 in healthy children aged six months to less than five years.

“This age group is one of the least likely age groups to require hospitalisation due to COVID-19. Among the small number who are hospitalised or who die due to COVID-19, underlying medical conditions or immunocompromise are frequently present,” ATAGI said.

They also noted that the age cohort had a relatively low rate of paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome (PIMS-TS) following COVID-19 compared to other older children, and this further declined with the Omicron variant compared to ancestral SARS CoV-2 strains.

Further, the health advisory group noted that a clinical trial of 5,500 children aged six months up to five years demonstrated that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine provided only modest protection against infection, while safety data reported patterns of vaccine-related adverse events.

“Up to one in four children in this age group had a fever following vaccination with Moderna vaccine, with higher rates seen in those with a history of previous COVID-19,” they said.

“As fever in this age group can sometimes result in medical review and/or investigations and occasionally trigger a febrile convulsion, the side effect profile for this vaccination needs to be considered in the risk-benefit discussion.”

Additionally, the health authorities also changed their advice on COVID-19 booster shots for those 18 and under, with the body now recommending that children and adolescents aged under 18 years who do not have any risk factors for severe COVID-19, should not receive a booster shot.

Omission of Children’s COVID-19 Vaccine Deaths In Australia Raises Concerns

The changing advice follows concerns in March that Australia’s drug regulator was too slow to update the country’s Database of Adverse Event Notifications (DAEN) despite several deaths being attributed to the vaccine, including two children, aged 7 and 9.

The information came to light following a Freedom of Information request by an Australian doctor that found the delayed response from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Senator Gerard Rennick said he would push for independent oversight of the TGA.

“A third independent medical party should examine the evidence as the TGA has a conflict of interest because they approved the vaccines and would therefore be held responsible for the deaths of these children due to poor regulatory oversight,” Rennick told The Epoch Times.

The senator also said he was concerned that the TGA was soft-pedalling the risks with the COVID-19 vaccines, especially around myocarditis and cardiac arrests.

“They are definitely downplaying the risks. They do not have enough information to rule it out given the known link between the vaccines and myocarditis and myocarditis and cardiac arrests,” Rennick said.

The TGA states that they “rigorously assess any COVID-19 vaccine for safety, quality and effectiveness before it can be supplied in Australia.”

As of June 19, the DAEN states that since the beginning of the vaccination rollout in Australia, there have been 138,645 adverse events reported to the federal government. Of those, 135,126 are believed to be directly related to the vaccines, while 991 are reportedly vaccine-related deaths.

Further, in the age cohort of six months to 17, there have been 5,817 adverse events recorded, with 5,689 attributed solely to COVID-19 vaccines. Nine children and adolescents have also reportedly died as a result of an adverse vaccine reaction.


Large 1.3M Observational Study on Vaccine & Previous Infection-Based Effectiveness Against Omicron

How effective are the COVID-19 vaccines in children? This is a study question pursued by a biomedical research team led by physicians and scientists at University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health in an observational cohort study based on electronic health record-based vaccination records involving outcomes associated with Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) and Moderna (mRNA-1273) mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines.

Data for this observational type of study originate from the North Carolina COVID-19 Surveillance System and the COVID-19 Vaccine Management System for 1,368,721 North Carolina residents aged 11 years or younger from Oct 29, 2021 (Oct 29, 2021 for children aged 5–11 years and June 17, 2022 for children aged 0–4 years), to Jan 6, 2023. Cox regression statistics were utilized to arrive at time-varying effects of both primary and booster vaccination and previous infection on the risks of Omicron infection, hospital admission and death.

Oddly, the study team didn’t collect side effect data. The authors find the mRNA vaccines effective, but their protective effects wane. The study team touts what is highly robust protection associated with previous infection (natural immunity) which against some parameters wanes slower than vaccination.

This study characterized the long-term effects of vaccination and previous infection to Omicron infection and severe outcomes in children aged 5-11 years. They compared the effectiveness of monovalent and bivalent boosters in the cohort. Also, the investigated estimated the time-varying effects of vaccination and previous infection on omicron infection, and severe outcomes in children aged 0-4 years. The study records covered all lineages of the Omicron variant.


What about primary vaccination vs monovalent booster dose? The study team points out in The Lancet that the effectiveness of a monovalent booster dose after month one equaled 24.4% (14.4-33.2) and that of a bivalent booster dose equaled 76.7% (45.7-90.0%).

What about previous infection? That is, children that were infected with SARS-CoV-2 (Omicron variant), and the protective effect against Omicron reinfection. The data reveals preexisting infection is quite effective at 79.9% (78.8-80.9%) after month three, and 53.9% (52.3%-55.5%) by month 6.

When looking at the youngest cohort—age 0-4 years—the University of North Carolina team found that effectiveness of primary vaccination against infection, when compared to unvaccinated status, equaled 63.8% (57.0-69.5%) by month 2 after the jab, and 58.1% (48.3-66.1%) at month 5 after the first dose.

Previous infection for this cohort, which was frequent and represented low risk overall, exceeded vaccination at 77.3% (75.9-78.6) at month 3 and 64.7% (63.3-66.1) at month 6.

Across both age groups, both vaccination and previous infection were reported as better effectiveness against severe illness as measured by hospital admission or death, as a composite endpoint than against infection.


Vaccination was effective in helping to prevent Omicron infection as well as more severe infection, but like all other studies reveal with the mRNA vaccines, that protection wanes over time. The bivalent boosters were more effective as compared to the monovalent boosters. Importantly, the authors denote, “Immunity acquired via Omicron infection was very high and waned gradually over time.”




Monday, June 26, 2023

Was the COVID Vaccine Safe for Pregnant Women?


In December 2020, just before the vaccines for COVID-19 were first released to the public, Dr. Mandy Cohen, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources in North Carolina, urged everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they were able. “Corners were not cut,” Cohen said with confidence.

Then as now, pregnant women asked if COVID vaccines were safe for them. Public health officials said “yes” when the correct answer should have been “we don’t know yet,” given that pregnant and breastfeeding women were excluded from the original COVID vaccine trials. With Cohen set to replace Dr. Rochelle Walensky as director of the Center for Disease Control at the end of June, it is a good time to consider how Walensky performed on COVID—and in particular, on Women’s health issues—and ask whether Cohen will be any different.

In February 2021, to settle the controversy over whether the COVID vaccines should be used during pregnancy, Pfizer launched a randomized controlled trial of 4,000 pregnant women. But five months into the study, after enrolling 349 women, the study mysteriously stopped recruiting. Pfizer never offered a reason. Most concerning, the pregnancy outcomes of those who participated in the trial, and their babies, are still not public today, nearly two years later.

But the CDC did not wait for good data to make a decisive recommendation. In April 2021, just four months after the COVID vaccine was first granted an emergency use authorization and two months into the then ongoing Pfizer pregnancy trial, Walensky decided not to wait for the trial results, and instead recommended that all “pregnant people” get the vaccine. Three months later, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) followed the CDC and “enthusiastically” recommended it as well.

Concerned by the zealousness and absolutism of this recommendation in the absence of evidence, a group of scientists and I petitioned the FDA to add a disclaimer to the vaccine label stating that no randomized trial data is available on the vaccine in pregnant women.

A few months ago, the FDA’s Dr. Peter Marks wrote back to us, denying our request. “The Petition fails to explain how including the fact of no results being reported would be relevant information that would contribute to the safe and effective use of the vaccine,” he claimed.

In other words, women don’t need to know. Just get vaccinated.

Not having any good data didn’t seem to bother the CDC.

Can a vaccine have a different safety profile in pregnant women than in the general population? There’s actually a precedent. The CDC advises that pregnant women not receive the HPV, MMR, or chickenpox vaccines, and instead recommends taking them before or after pregnancy, when indicated.

Remarkably, as the now outgoing CDC director—along with the ACOG—was pushing COVID vaccine absolutism for all pregnant women (regardless of preexisting natural immunity), a June 2021 New England Journal of Medicine editorial on COVID vaccines warned readers of “the dearth of safety information about pregnancy.” The article added the importance of waiting for Pfizer’s pregnancy trial to shed light on the matter, but alas, the early results are still locked up.

Pharma companies actually have a track record of halting trials that aren’t going their way and hiding results they don’t like. It allows them to control the narrative and manipulate markets. In many cases where data is hidden, Pharma companies play doctors like a fiddle.

A 2021 study by Yale, Stanford, and the University of Pennsylvania published in The BMJ found that out of 58 new drugs that the FDA approved in a two-year period, 33% did not make their trial results public, according to the researchers’ review of the data six months after the drugs’ approval. In 2004, Merck famously withheld clinical trial findings that Vioxx, their newly approved drug that was being used by 80 million Americans, increased heart attack risks. Vioxx was eventually pulled off the market.

In the case of the COVID vaccine trial in pregnant women, the trial may have been terminated not because the results were unfavorable, but because no data was needed. The medical and public health establishments had already made up their minds, declaring it safe and effective regardless of what the data was going to show. Why evaluate a product if the CDC and ACOG are already sold on the product?

Using the same groupthink science, the CDC and ACOG are now blindly recommending boosters and the new bivalent vaccine for healthy pregnant women, and once again ignoring the role of natural immunity. The ACOG website does not cite any clinical trials to back their recommendation, of course. Not only does the new bivalent vaccine lack any randomized trial data in pregnant women, it lacks any randomized trial data in humans (it was authorized based on data from eight mice).

Recently, public health officials went a step further and proposed the idea that people will need an annual COVID shot. That would mean that the average 5-year-old girl would need 77 mRNA COVID vaccine shots in her lifetime. Given the known risks of myocarditis and blood clots with each shot, such a sweeping recommendation should be based on trial data, not dogma. A recent study authored by Dr. Joseph Fraiman in the journal Vaccine identified the rate of “serious adverse events” after the COVID vaccine to be 1 in 662 doses.

To their credit, ACOG’s website does acknowledge COVID vaccination could delay menstruation. A large COVID vaccine study published last July found that “periods were late by less than 1 day on average.” When asked about this, Dr. Anthony Fauci told Fox News’ Bret Baier, “The menstrual thing is something that seems to be quite transient and temporary. We need to study it more.” But saying for two years that we don’t have enough studies is ironic when Fauci himself commanded an annual research budget of $6 billion. A Swedish study published last month in The BMJ found that an adjusted 26% increased risk of menstrual disturbance after the COVID vaccine in women age 12-49.

Since early 2021 women were reporting changes to their periods and unexpected vaginal bleeding, calling for proper study. Last October, the European Union’s regulator advised that “heavy menstrual bleeding” be added as a side effect on Pfizer and Moderna vaccine labels. Here in the U.S. there’s been no such update to product labeling.

This lack of humility was also evident when healthy young women were told with incredible absolutism that the COVID vaccine cannot affect fertility. The right answer should have been: We don’t think it will affect fertility but we don’t have any good data on the question. A Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study published last fall concluded that, “Findings of this study suggest that receipt of the first inactivated COVID-19 vaccine dose 60 days or less before fertilization treatment is associated with a reduced rate of pregnancy.”

The medical establishment has also blindly pushed for universal COVID vaccination and boosters in lactating mothers. This recommendation came before a study in JAMA Pediatrics discovered vaccine mRNA particles in breast milk. The finding was so unexpected that it became the journal’s No. 1 most discussed study of 2022, according to the JAMA website. Coming in second was a study reporting myocarditis after COVID vaccination, and third was a study I authored with my teams at Johns Hopkins on durability of natural immunity. It’s telling that the most discussed JAMA studies of 2022 were all on topics that public health officials have consistently downplayed.

In the absence of good data, organized medicine chose the path of stern paternalism. But in my experience as a physician, it’s far better to properly inform a patient rather than steamroll their questions. It may be that Pfizer’s pregnancy trial would have been favorable to the vaccine, showing that the benefits outweigh harms, but Pfizer has not released the data. Perhaps the data was not favorable, or perhaps Pfizer realized they had convinced the medical establishment without data, so why run the risk of sharing what a placebo-controlled trial shows?

In the absence of good data, organized medicine chose the path of stern paternalism.

Perhaps the most famous example of hidden trial data is the 1989 Minnesota study that found there were more deaths in the group that ate a low-fat diet than in the control group that did not. The study was completed in 1973, 16 years before it was released to the public. When asked about the delay, the lead investigator, Dr. Ivan Frantz, famously said “we were just so disappointed in the way they turned out.”

The FDA recently authorized a second round of COVID bivalent vaccines for people over the age of 65, with no supporting clinical data. The authorization came a month after the FDA leaked to the press their intention to do so. This is the Biden administration’s new way of running the FDA. Leak something to the media, gauge public backlash, and fast track authorization of the drug without the supporting data typically required.

Is the COVID vaccine safe in pregnancy? Probably. But cutting corners on research and pushing vaccines without data is dangerous. It’s probably why 58% of women under age 50 say they do not trust public health officials when they say that the COVID vaccine is safe and effective in pregnancy, according to a University of Pennsylvania study published last month. Overall trust in the CDC is down from 69% pre-pandemic to 44% today. Dishonesty has consequences.

Even if the vaccine’s benefit outweighs the risks in healthy pregnant women, a review of 65 studies published in The Lancet in February concluded that natural immunity is at least as effective as vaccinated immunity, and probably more effective. So why is the medical establishment blowing through so much political capital on a blanket campaign to immunize those already immune?

For those who think the boondoggle of COVID policy has ended, consider the fact that just two months ago, public health officials beclowned themselves by insisting Novak Djokovic could not enter the U.S. to play tennis outdoors because he’s not vaccinated. This position, known as Biden’s “Djokovic doctrine,” embodies persistent errors in public health groupthink today, from ignoring natural immunity to downplaying vaccine induced myocarditis in young males to overlooking data on how extremely low risk the virus is for healthy young people to segregating people by vaccine status.

And just this week, the Biden White House required college athletes who won national championships visiting the White House to mask and stay six-feet apart if they are not vaccinated. Even if they have natural immunity. What does Mandy Cohen have to say about this standing policy still in place today?

To rebuild trust, the medical establishment—including physician associations and academic leaders—should be honest about what is known and unknown, rather than lock arms and broadcast its dogmas as science. For every subgroup in the population, medical science has long held high the principle of requiring data before making strong recommendations. Women should not be treated any differently.


All-Cause Mortality Up after Mass COVID-19 Vaccination

Data from Japan and Germany display disturbing trend

Governments around the globe put a huge amount of faith in COVID-19 vaccines as their only intervention to reduce mortality. Yet, no prospective randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial has demonstrated a reduction in death with COVID-19 vaccines. On the contrary, every single data system around the globe has reported increased mortality coinciding with the roll-out of the vaccines.

Scherb and Hayashi used Japan and Germany for study of temporal trends in mortality. Both countries have excellent reporting systems. For Japan (125.7 M) and Germany (83.2 M), the WHO indicates as of 18, June 2023, and 14 May 2023, a total of 392,346,325 and 193,232,623 vaccine doses, respectively have been administered. This equates to 2-3 doses per person.

The authors found a disturbing jump in mortality coinciding with the start of mass vaccination. At the end of a pandemic, since the frail and elderly have suffered disproportionate casualties, there is usually a culling effect and mortality should go down. If the vaccines were effective, then certainly they should have dropped the death rate even more. The figures from Japan and Germany tell a different story.




Sunday, June 25, 2023


I came down with a nasty cold on Friday and am still at the tailend of it. I will not be blogging today but hope to be recovered and back on deck tomorrow. I was tested for Covid but did not have it. It is just a seasonal virus