Friday, November 10, 2023

Nearly 1 In 3 Covid Vax Recipients Suffered Neurological Side Effects

Almost a third of individuals who received a COVID-19 vaccine suffered from neurological complications including tremors, insomnia, and muscle spasms, according to a recent study published in the journal Vaccines.

The study analyzed 19,096 people who received COVID-19 vaccines in Italy in July 2021, out of which 15,368 had taken the Pfizer vaccine, 2,077 had taken the Moderna version, and 1,651 took the AstraZeneca version.

While both Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA vaccines, AstraZeneca, being an adenovirus vaccine, uses a different mechanism to trigger the immune response.

The study found that about 31.2 percent of vaccinated individuals developed post-vaccination neurological complications, particularly among those injected with the AstraZeneca jab. Different vaccines had a different “neurological risk profile.”

The neurological risk profile of the AstraZeneca vaccine included headaches, tremors, muscle spasms, insomnia, and tinnitus, while the risk profile of the Moderna vaccine included sleepiness, vertigo, diplopia (double vision), paresthesia (a feeling of numbness or itching on the skin), taste and smell alterations, and dysphonia (hoarseness or loss of normal voice).

None of the subjects were hospitalized or died.

As to Pfizer vaccines, researchers found “an increased risk” of cognitive fog or difficulty in concentration.
AstraZeneca Risks

More than 53 percent of individuals who took an AstraZeneca shot suffered from headaches, which usually lasted for one day. Over 13 percent developed tremors, which typically reverted after a day as well.

Insomnia was reported among 5.8 percent of AstraZeneca recipients. However, the study notes that researchers were unsure whether the individuals actually developed insomnia or had a “misperception of their sleep quality due to vaccination stress.”

Tinnitus was reported by 2.7 percent of the people who took AstraZeneca shots. Tinnitus is a condition in which an individual hears ringing or other noises which are not caused by an external sound.

All these health complications had a higher risk of occurring after taking the first dose of the vaccine.

The study speculated that complications related to the AstraZeneca vaccine are attributable to two factors. “Firstly, the nature of the vaccine, which is a modified adenovirus vector that results in significant and persistent systemic immune activation; secondly, individual vulnerability related to a predisposing biology.”

Moderna And Pfizer Risks

Sleepiness was found in 39.7 percent of those who took Moderna jabs, with the condition usually lasting for a week. It suggested that there “could be a strict relationship between the development of sleepiness and immune responses to vaccine/infection.”

The study cited a “fascinating hypothesis” which suggests that influenza vaccines may lead to “the selective immune-mediated destruction of orexin-producing neurons, which is T-cell-mediated neuronal damage, thus triggering narcolepsy.”

Narcolepsy is a condition in which the brain is unable to control the ability to sleep or stay awake.

“Considering that the same can occur for COVID-19 vaccines, future investigations monitoring the new-onset hypersomnia findings in vulnerable individuals are urgently needed.”

Hypersomnia is the inability to stay awake and alert during the daytime, even though the person may have had plenty of sleep during the night.

About 15.9 percent of people who received Moderna shots had vertigo, a sensation which makes the individual feel that they or their surrounding environment is moving or spinning. It typically lasted for a day.

Paresthesia—a feeling of numbness or itching on the skin for no apparent reason—was reported in 14.5 percent of Moderna vaccine recipients, which went away after a day.
Among the people who received a Moderna jab, 2.7 percent reported diplopia, also known as double vision, which also lasted for about a day. “Symptomatic people showed an increased risk to develop diplopia after the second dose, as if a reactivation of the immune response was necessary to trigger diplopia.”

Meanwhile, about 6.4 percent of Pfizer vaccine recipients reported suffering from cognitive fog, with the condition usually reversing in a week.

“Brain fog is a type of cognitive impairment that presents as a ‘foggy brain state’, including a lack of intellectual clarity, difficulty with concentration, mental fatigue and anxiety,” the study said.

“Hypotheses including systemic inflammation crossing the blood–brain barrier, neuroinflammation after viral infection leads and microglial activation are emerging as explanations of this phenomenon in COVID-19 patients. An alternative speculation is that symptomatic people may have a subclinical cognitive dysfunction before vaccination, and that vaccination is a trigger.”

Females Highly Affected

The study found that females faced an “increased risk of developing neurological complications” following COVID-19 vaccination. “Our findings are in line with those of a recent study that revealed that several factors, including the female sex, were associated with greater odds of adverse effects,” it said.

The researchers suggested that greater female susceptibility to the vaccines’ neurological complications may be due to “genetic and hormonal factors.”

Females have two X chromosomes while males have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome. As the X chromosome “contains the most prominent immune-related genes in the human genome,” it can also cause “stronger inflammatory immune responses,” the study said.

Moreover, a primary female sex steroid called estradiol triggers a specific immunity process to produce “antibodies against infections.”

The study also raised concerns about comorbidities. In medical parlance, comorbidity describes the existence of more than one disease or condition in a body at the same time, which may or may not interact with one another.

“The evidence that immune system dysfunctions (allergies/immunodeficiency disorders) are frequently reported in our symptomatic group is more than a chance occurrence,” researchers said.

Comorbidities were present in 47.6 percent of the AstraZeneca vaccine recipients, 38.8 percent of those who took Moderna jabs, and 41.5 percent of individuals who received Pfizer shots, the study said.

In the AstraZeneca group, both allergies and non-neurological diseases were reported. “A history of antitumoral and anticoagulant drugs was more frequent in this population,” the study said.

Among Moderna and Pfizer recipients, allergies were “more frequently” observed. While some people who took Moderna had a prior history of neurological diseases and transfusions as well as previous COVID-19 infection, those who received Pfizer vaccines had a history of immunodeficiency disorders.

Even though the study detailed neurological complications arising from COVID-19 vaccination, it admitted to certain limitations.

“Firstly, our results should be interpreted with caution because of a possible overestimation of neurological events resulting from the self-reported symptoms,” it said.

“Secondly, we evaluated the risks associated with the first and second doses of the vaccine; however, the data concerning the second dose were limited, thus representing a potential bias in the study.”

While admitting its limitations, the study concluded that “clinicians should be aware that several neurological complications may commonly occur after COVID-19 vaccines.”

“Caution should be used when administering COVID-19 vaccines to vulnerable people, such as to those who suffer from allergies,” the study stated. “We strongly believe that our findings are relevant for public health regarding the safety of vaccines in a large cohort.”

The Epoch Times reached out to Moderna, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca for comment.

Additional Neurological Findings

Cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough wrote about the study discussing neurological effects following COVID shots in an article on Substack.

“A shocking 31.2 percent of respondents to this large dataset sustained neurologic injury after two injections with verified data in health registries,” he wrote. “Most of the risk estimates indicate the safety profile is unacceptable. It is alarming that all neurological societies to date still recommend COVID-19 vaccines and none have issued safety warnings on the products.”

Dr. McCullough explained that an excess risk of 20 percent or greater is considered “clinically important.”

Multiple other studies have found evidence of COVID-19 vaccines being linked to neurological complications. Back in October 2021, a study published in the Neurological Sciences journal stated that the “most devastating neurological post-vaccination complication is cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST).”

CVST occurs when a blood clot develops in the venous sinuses of the brain. This blocks the blood from draining out of the brain, eventually resulting in the blood leaking into brain tissues and forming a hemorrhage, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

The study found that CVST was “frequently reported in females of childbearing age,” generally among those who took an adenovector vaccine. Individuals who received mRNA vaccination were reported to have Bell’s Palsy, in which facial muscles weaken or enter into paralysis.

A November 2022 study in Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports made similar findings, stating that there is “a greater than expected occurrence of severe neurological adverse events.”

Dr. McCullough cited this study in an article the following month. “Because the vaccines contain lipid nanoparticles loaded with genetic material that code for the damaging Spike protein, each patient faces a Russian Roulette of whether or not the nervous system will be hemodynamically showered with the damaging vaccine particles,” he wrote.

Despite studies suggesting the risk of medical complications, some experts continue to advise people to get COVID-19 jabs. According to John Hopkins Medicine, both Pfizer and Moderna are “highly effective in preventing serious disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.”

It recommended people to get a COVID-19 shot as “we believe that their benefits outweigh their risks,” Johns Hopkins Medicine said.

According to a position statement from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) issued in 2021, the organization recommended COVID-19 vaccine mandates for health care employees and supported vaccinations for children under the age of 12.




Thursday, November 09, 2023

Psychosis, Panic Attacks, Hallucinations: Bizarre Psychiatric Cases Among the COVID Vaccinated

Dr. Patrick William Slater is a 60-year-old neurotologist. A few years ago, he had a full-time medical practice in Austin and enjoyed hunting and fishing in the mountains during his downtime.

Then, in October 2021, Dr. Slater came down with cerebellar ataxia, a disease affecting movement. He couldn’t eat or go to the bathroom without help.

While his ataxia could be managed using drugs, it wasn’t always effective against his biggest complaint: unprecedented panic attacks.

Almost every night, Dr. Slater would experience panic attacks that left him in “abject terror.” He thought about killing himself many times, he told The Epoch Times.

No one could provide a satisfactory answer about why he had developed these symptoms. Nothing abnormal showed up on his laboratory reports, and his neurologists and psychiatrists dismissed his symptoms as anxiety.

But Dr. Slater is convinced that the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are the culprit.

Dr. Slater was suspicious when the symptoms first appeared within about two weeks of getting the second dose of the COVID shot. The second—and worse—wave of career-ending symptoms had coincided with his third shot.

After taking the booster, “there was no question in my mind,” Dr. Slater said.

Psychiatrist Dr. Amanda McDonald noticed a wave of psychiatric destabilization among her stable patients. They experienced flare-ups, often manifesting with worsened or new psychiatric symptoms.

"I couldn't figure out why," Dr. McDonald told The Epoch Times. "My patients typically stay stable." But many stable patients were suddenly arriving at her office with insomnia, depression, and anxiety "without any sort of rhyme or reason."

She increased some patients’ medication doses or added new drugs to their regimen, but it had little effect.

A recurring pattern Dr. McDonald sees is atypical panic attacks, which can feel like having a heart attack. Brought on with no apparent trigger, symptoms typically escalate as the evening progresses and climax at night. A typical panic attack can occur anytime throughout the day but often has triggers, and it is easy to treat if patients can avoid these triggers.

After spending over a year following her patients, Dr. McDonald realized that COVID-19 vaccines may be linked to their psychiatric illnesses.

"I already had an existing patient population when the pandemic hit that I knew very well. What I saw was manifestations in that patient population,” Dr. McDonald added.

Dr. Diane Counce, neurologist and neuroradiologist, observed an increase in severe anxiety and worsened mood.

"People also talk about how their personality has changed," she told The Epoch Times. In cases where a family member has brought in a patient, "[The family] will say, ‘they're just different.’"

Nurse practitioner Scott Marsland, who has treated hundreds of long-COVID and vaccine-injured patients at the Leading Edge Clinic, added that debilitating anxiety, depression, and insomnia are among the most common symptoms he has seen. However, some patients have also developed hallucinations and suicidality.

The Evidence

Unlike myocarditis, no conclusive proof exists that COVID-19 vaccinations cause psychiatric illness. A multitude of studies, however, have linked COVID-19 vaccines with psychiatric symptoms, including depression, anxiety, panic attacks, psychosis, and suicidality.

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a self-reporting database co-managed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), used to surveil for early warning signs of potential adverse reactions. VAERS has documented over 9,400 and 1,600 cases of anxiety and depression, respectively, in relation to the COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccines comprise, respectively, over 60 percent and up to 50 percent of all anxiety and depression reports on VAERS.

Other less common adverse reactions include 1,500 reports of panic attacks (over 80 percent of VAERS reports), over 1,100 cases of hallucinations (over 65 percent), and 975 cases of irritability (10 percent).

Some researchers argue that the rare and fatal cases reported on VAERS may be a sign the system is being abused. In contrast, others believe they suggest a potential link to the vaccine and are worth investigating.


Psychosis includes both hallucinations and paranoia. Acute episodes after taking the shots have been reported in case studies.

In Brazil, a previously healthy woman in her late 30s developed refractory psychosis within 24 hours of getting the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. She was aggressive, had disorganized thoughts, and believed she was being persecuted in the hospital.

Doctors treated her with antipsychotics and mood stabilizers, but four months of hospitalization later, only her behavior had improved. Her psychosis remained.

In Taiwan, a 15-year-old boy was sent to the hospital with agitation and uncontrollable limb stretching and screaming two days after his second Pfizer shot.

He exhibited bizarre behaviors in the hospital, including sitting up and lying down frequently with mannerisms like praying in the bed. He was prescribed antipsychotics, but the behavior persisted for over a month after discharge.

Doctors then put him on a steroid regimen. Steroids are anti-inflammatory and can help calm an overactive immune system. The boy's symptoms improved.

In India, a 17-year-old girl who received an inactive COVID-19 vaccine developed psychosis within 48 hours. She became restless and suspicious, talked to herself, and had insomnia for a month.

She had no neurological abnormalities, and all her lab tests came back normal, including a COVID-19 test. Two weeks after being given psychoactive drugs, her symptoms resolved.

Symptoms onset shortly after vaccination, exclusion of other likely causes, and absence of genetic predisposition "indicate the psychiatric adverse event may be related to the vaccine," researchers from All India Institute of Medical Sciences and District Hospital wrote in the case report.

Cases of psychosis lasting several days, weeks, and months have also been reported in the literature.

Suicides and Suicidality

According to React19, a nonprofit advocacy group supporting people with postvaccine symptoms, suicide is a present risk for people with vaccine injuries. However, often, it is hard to determine whether people become suicidal due to their injuries becoming too unbearable or due to a primarily physiological reaction to the vaccine.

The CDC's review of deaths reported after Pfizer vaccines found 14 deaths among vaccinated teenagers, two of whom died by suicide, with reasons unknown.

A study on 250 dental staff in Pakistan found that nearly 12 percent reported suicidal thoughts for a few days after vaccination. Around 1 percent had thoughts of suicide every day.

Individual case studies identified a Turkish man in his late 50s with no prior mental illness who arrived at the emergency department due to an attempted suicide within three days after taking a second shot. He was irritable, insomniac, and talking to himself.

A Japanese man's case was vividly detailed by doctors from Wakayama Medical University (pdf). He experienced fatigue after the first booster shot and, upon his fourth shot, developed a mild headache and a floating sensation.

Four days after vaccination, however, he became highly talkative with grandiose delusions, "saying that he had won 2 billion yen in horse racing. He also presented with emotional instability, such as crying when saying 'Everyone would be happy.'"

The neurologist he saw found no neurological disorders, such as possible encephalitis, nor signs of infection. Over a week after vaccination, he jumped from the second floor of his house and was returned to the hospital by ambulance.

Suicide cases have been rising in the United States since the pandemic. In 2020, the CDC reported up to 46,000 suicides (pdf). This number increased to over 48,000 in 2021, and in 2022, nearly 50,000 people died by suicide. While pandemic restrictions like lockdowns and long COVID have been linked with suicides, no studies currently link increasing suicide rates with the COVID-19 vaccine.

Overlap With Cognitive Impairments

Psychiatric symptoms can also overlap with cognitive impairments like reduced memory. Dementia, for example, can manifest symptoms like depression.

Dr. McDonald treated a vaccinated patient who developed dementia-like depression. The patient, despite being in her 90s, was highly independent and lived by herself. After getting the booster, she was diagnosed with dementia and placed in a nursing home.

Taking ivermectin reversed her symptoms.

Neurologists like Dr. Suzanne Gazda, however, are concerned about untreated cases. "There are so many people that don't even realize that they're injured."

Dr. Gazda has an integrative practice that treats thousands of patients with neurodegenerative diseases, and many report symptoms of cognitive decline with psychiatric symptoms.

Dr. Counce also has several vaccinated patients who developed brain atrophy. One patient had hippocampal atrophy with symptoms of memory loss and personality changes.

Dr. Counce reasoned that if the hippocampus, which serves as the brain's memory center, atrophies, the adjacent limbic system, which processes emotions, may be similarly affected.

But how exactly can vaccines lead to a person's change of mental status and personality?

According to doctors who treat both postvaccine and post-COVID conditions, the two syndromes are quite similar in their symptoms.

Both the COVID-19 virus and the vaccines expose patients to the viral spike protein, which could cause inflammation. Depression is the disease best known for correlating with inflammation, though bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and anxiety are also linked.

mRNA technology has long been studied, and pre-2020 research clearly shows that mRNA vaccines are highly inflammatory, holistic psychiatrist Dr. Aruna Tummala told The Epoch Times.
Dr. McDonald has found that anti-inflammatory drugs and therapeutics, such as ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, often help patients stabilize their moods.

She prescribed ivermectin for her psychiatric patients who were destabilized after taking the vaccines and saw significant improvement.

As a doctor who treated hundreds of vaccine-injured and long-COVID patients, one day, she herself developed long COVID after infection. She woke up with unexplainable negative thoughts. "I put myself in a hyperbaric machine," she recalled, and 10 minutes after, "my mood symptoms had disappeared.”

Blood clotting, a common harm caused by spike protein, reduces the oxygenation of tissues and renders them unable to function at optimum levels, forcing them to age.

Blood clotting in the brain can cause cognitive impairments and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and psychosis as neurons become stressed and damaged.

Dr. Counce had one patient who reported anxiety, erectile dysfunction, and visual impairment. Upon taking medication for his erectile dysfunction (vasodilator drugs that increase blood volume), his visual problems improved. Realizing that the patient had microclotting, Dr. Counce put him on aspirin and nattokinase and saw positive effects.

Spike protein can also directly harm the brain, possibly leading to a disturbance in brain activity and psychiatric problems.

It can also infiltrate immune cells, causing them to release histamine. Histamine can enter the brain and inflame and irritate the nerves.

Neuroinflammation has been linked to suicidality, and a type of anti-histamine medication has also been linked to reduced suicide.

Mr. Marsland has a postvaccine patient who only had physical symptoms. One day, the patient suddenly became suicidal.

After a painstaking conversation, Mr. Marsland figured out that the only change the patient made was switching from black tea to pu-erh tea.

"Pu-erh has incredibly high histamine content," Mr. Marsland explained. "So he stopped drinking it, and guess what, within two days, he was back to baseline.”




Wednesday, November 08, 2023

What Made COVID-19 Vaccines 'Safe and Effective?

By Clare Pain

I am an Australian medical journalist with over a decade’s experience, who is also a UK citizen.

In September and October 2022 I tried to pitch this story raising concerns about the level of information given to the public when the COVID vaccines were rolled out in December 2020 and early 2021.

I submitted it sequentially to the conservative Sunday papers: The Sunday Telegraph, the Sunday Times, the Sunday Express, and the Sunday Mail.

Obviously, I did not expect that these world-famous newspapers would automatically publish anything I write! However, as a seasoned journalist, I do expect an acknowledgement and polite rejection of my pitch.

For all four newspapers there was no acknowledgement of my email, despite follow up. It was as if I had never sent it.

The aim of the story at that time was to inform people that, even at the beginning of the rollout, a reading of the UK Public Assessment Reports should have raised serious concerns about these new genetic vaccines. But it seems people were not ready for this information then.

But now the mood is changing. Many people know someone who has been injured by the vaccines, and we all know they do not stop transmission. Maybe they will be open to reading this story now?

Here's What I Wrote in 2022

The COVID-19 vaccines have been part of our lives for over 21 months, yet few people realise how different they are from vaccines we have used before.

During the first two years of the pandemic, I was a medical journalist writing for GPs and specialist doctors. I had not come across an mRNA vaccine and I had not heard of a DNA viral vector vaccine.

Nevertheless, like most of us, I was very relieved when the vaccines arrived in December 2020, because my dad was 87 and vulnerable.

Now, almost two years later, I think that the government should have been more transparent about the technology they were rolling out.

Some of us had Pfizer or Moderna injections, for instance, not knowing that a vaccine using mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) technology had never been approved for use in humans before COVID.

AstraZeneca (AZ) used a different technology, based on DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Only two similar vaccines for humans had been approved in the world prior to the AZ vaccine. These were in 2019 and 2020 for the rare and deadly disease, Ebola.

The three COVID injections differ from conventional vaccines because they use gene technology. A small piece of genetic code—in either mRNA or DNA form—is packaged and injected into our arms.

That genetic code tells our bodies to make the spike protein that protrudes from the virus particle. This protein is then recognised as foreign, and our bodies learn how to mount an immune response to it.

That should make us better prepared if we encounter a coronavirus bristling with spike proteins later in our lives.

So, why take this roundabout route of getting our bodies to make the spike protein instead of simply injecting a small amount of the protein as you might with a conventional vaccine?

It’s all about the ease and cost of vaccine production.

First, making DNA and mRNA is relatively easy and can be done quickly. It’s much simpler to do than making a conventional vaccine—that is normally done either by making an inactivated form of the virus or by isolating a protein from it.

Both viruses and proteins are delicate things that must be kept in a precise shape to be useful, so manipulating them to make a conventional vaccine can be tricky.

Unknown Unknowns?

It’s clear that genetic vaccines may be attractive to pharmaceutical companies because they provide a cheaper and more rapid route to market. And making vaccines to tackle new threats more quickly has obvious advantages for us all.
But, of course, we must be sure genetic vaccines are as safe and effective as conventional ones.

With any new technology, there may be new risks, some of which might be “unknown unknowns.”

The biochemistry of the human body is complicated, and a wise medical researcher expects surprises.

What’s more, people differ, so a drug or vaccine that has no side effects for most people may seriously harm a few. This is the reason safety trials include large numbers of participants.

Science is all about asking questions and then doing experiments to answer them. Here are just five of many questions about the genetic vaccines now being raised by people around the world.

First, how much spike protein do people make after a shot? And do different people make different amounts?

Second, how long is the DNA or mRNA active in our bodies? One thing we do know is that both Pfizer and Moderna use a synthetic mRNA that contains N1-methylpseudouridine. This makes the synthetic version last longer than normal mRNA.

Third, it would be nice to be sure that the genetic vaccine stays in the arm muscle and doesn’t reach other parts of the body. There could, for instance, be some organs in the body where making spike proteins would not be a good idea.

Fourth, could this new type of vaccine be harmful in ways that a normal vaccine would not be?

And fifth, when they were rolled out, did we have evidence that the vaccines stopped people from transmitting the virus to others? This is important because we were encouraged to get the injections so that we wouldn’t put other (vulnerable) people at risk.

Is the Devil in the Details?

To try to answer these questions I turned to the public assessment reports (PARs)—a weighty 352 pages in all!
These reports are produced by the UK's Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) when it approves a drug or vaccine, and they give the evidence behind the approval decision (the PAR for the Moderna vaccine was produced by the European Medicines Agency).

All three PARs have been publicly available on the UK government’s website since early in the rollout. Pfizer's was first published on Dec. 15, 2020, AstraZeneca's on Jan. 5, 2021, and Moderna's on Feb. 19, 2021.

None of the PARs show how much spike protein is made in a person's body or how long the DNA/mRNA remains active, so, unfortunately, we draw a blank in answering questions one and two.

The PARs did provide some information from animal “biodistribution” studies that suggest the vaccines may not just stay in the arm muscle.

We are told, for instance, that “low levels” of DNA from the AZ vaccine “were detectable in bone marrow, liver, lung and spleen” of laboratory mice (pdf).

For Moderna (pdf), no biodistribution studies were reported with the COVID vaccine itself, but a study of a similar vaccine was reported.

This showed that in rats, “low levels of mRNA could be detected in all examined tissues except the kidney.” We are told this included the liver, heart, lungs, testes, and brain and that higher levels were seen in the spleen and eye. We don’t know about ovaries because no female rats were tested.

A mouse study for the Pfizer vaccine suggested it reached the liver (pdf). We are told that information on “potential distribution” to other sites had been submitted to the MHRA, but it was not reported.

On the fourth question, whether the vaccines could do harm, we must remember that safety monitoring of people who were injected in the trials was carried out for just two months after the second dose. No long-term safety data was available.

No animal studies were done to see whether the mRNA/DNA in the vaccines could damage our genes (genotoxicity), according to the Pfizer and AZ documents.

For Moderna, a standard genotoxicity test of a similar mRNA vaccine in rats was done that showed raised levels of micronucleated red blood cells. This can be a signal of genotoxicity,but it can also be caused by other things. It was mentioned that genotoxicity data had been submitted for the COVID vaccine itself, but that did not seem to be reported.

Meanwhile, none of the genetic vaccines were tested to see whether they might increase the risk of cancer (carcinogenicity).

Indeed, for our latest approved “Autumn booster” vaccine, the Moderna bivalent Spikevax, the information leaflet for healthcare professionals (pdf) says “Carcinogenicity studies were not performed.”

By the way, the regulators mentioned a “theoretical risk” of Vaccine Associated Enhanced Disease (VAED) for all three vaccines. In other words, the MHRA and EMA were alert to the possibility that vaccination might make people get COVID more severely.

There was no evidence from the trials that this was occurring, but all three PARs say that the vaccine makers were instructed to keep monitoring for VAED.

Moving on to efficacy.

It’s important to be clear about what the word “effective” meant when the vaccines were rolled out.

Strictly, a vaccine can only be described as effective if it works in a real-world situation.

The original trial data could not show that the vaccines would be “effective” at promoting immunity in people such as the very sick and frail, people with immunodeficiencies, pregnant women, and young children, because people like this were not included.

Furthermore, the trials told us only that the vaccine was effective for two months against the strains of the virus that people encountered during 2020 (the year in which the trials were done). Anything else was a hope.

So when the government said they were effective, what exactly were the vaccines effective at doing? Stopping transmission of the virus; preventing people from getting COVID; or preventing severe disease and death?

Here’s what the trials showed.

If we amalgamate the data across the three vaccines, nearly 41,000 people in total were given two doses of a vaccine, while the same number received a placebo.

In the two groups—those vaccinated and those given a placebo—the number of people who developed symptomatic confirmed COVID was measured over a defined period. This window began one or two weeks after the person had received their second dose and ended two months after that dose.

While about 600 people in the placebo groups got COVID, only 100 did so in the vaccinated groups.

Symptomatic or confirmed COVID was defined slightly differently for each vaccine but boiled down to having one or two COVID symptoms (such as a temperature above a stated level, a new cough, loss of smell, etc.) plus a positive PCR test.

The Moderna trial data also indicated protection against severe COVID, with 30 of the 185 cases in the placebo group being classed as severe versus none of the 11 cases in the vaccinated group.

Could We Pass COVID on to Granny?

Turning now to the question of transmission, none of the trials were designed to test whether the vaccines could reduce the passing of the virus from one person to another. Indeed, the Pfizer PAR makes no mention of transmission.

The AstraZeneca PAR describes how rhesus macaque monkeys were vaccinated and then exposed to the virus. The vaccinated monkeys had a reduced viral load in their lungs but were still shedding the same amount of virus from their noses.

“These data support an interpretation that [the AZ vaccine] may not prevent infection nor transmission of SARS-CoV-2, but it may reduce illness,” the PAR authors wrote.

Later in the AZ document, it is said that data looking at the broadest definition of COVID infections in the human trials “suggests” a possible effect of the vaccine on transmission. However, the reasoning behind this statement is unclear, and more data was requested by the regulator.

Meanwhile, the Moderna PAR states that the effect of the vaccine on viral transmission cannot yet be determined, and “therefore the possibility for achieving herd immunity has not been demonstrated at the present time.”

So, it seems fair to say that when the vaccine rollout began and we bared our shoulders to protect granny, evidence that we would indeed protect her was scant.

A Trojan Horse?

Looking back to December 2020, when many of us rejoiced at the arrival of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “scientific cavalry” that would rescue us from COVID-19, was it made clear to us and our doctors that we were rolling out a new genetic approach to vaccination? Or was that perhaps—keeping the equestrian theme—a Trojan horse?

To ask about this, I emailed the UK Health Security and Protection Agency. There has been no response to date, so I turned to the information currently provided on .

In the government’s guidance for health professionals (pdf), I have been unable to find mention that the mRNA vaccines were a world first.

And for the rest of us, assuming the current consent forms (pdf) for adults have not been materially changed, there was no explanation of how the injections worked, nor was there an alert that a completely new approach to vaccination was being rolled out.

I wonder, now, whether our doctors and nurses knew enough to properly inform their patients about these genetic vaccines. And I wonder, too, how many people’s informed consent consisted of knowledge of just three words: “safe and effective.”




Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Should vaccines be adjuvenated with alum?

For a long time vaccines were adjuvenated (made more effective) by adding aluminium salts to them. Eventually, however, sufficient concerns about the practice emerged for the practice to be dropped and Covid vaccines did not contain such adjuvants.

But was something lost by that? Might the Covid vaccines have worked better with adjuvants? The study below used mice to suggest an answer to that. They found that breakthrough infections were much worse with adjuvants.

While COVID-19 vaccines have generally remained effective in stopping more severe illness associated with SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19, significant concerns emerge regarding vaccine-associated enhanced respiratory diseases (VAERD) post breakthrough infections. This means even though people get vaccinated, because the COVID-19 vaccines are not of the sterilizing type, they fail to protect against infection, especially over time, less intermittent boosters to bolster protection. Importantly, this recent animal study reveals spike protein subunit vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 induce VAERD in hamsters, where aluminum adjuvants promote a Th2-biased immune response, leading to increased type 2 pulmonary inflammation in animals with breakthrough infections.

Other research such as a study funded by China’s Beijing Science and Technology Plan and Emergency Key Program of Guangzhou Laboratory, found that both novel low-dose and high-dose adjuvanted inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine with CpG and Alum induced high levels of specific IgG antibodies as well as neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, and the continuous stability of high-level neutralizing antibody titers over time demonstrates long-lasting immunity.

The prominent study team was represented by Weishan Huang, Ph.D. Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, as well as Cornell University’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine.

With a focus on virology and immunology, Huang’s lab studies the development and functions ­­of regulatory immunity and immune memory during vaccination, infections, and cancers.

With this infrastructure and expertise in place, plus support in the form of grants by the National Institutes of Health, and a “Big Idea Research Grant” from the Provost’s Fund at Louisiana State University, Huang and colleagues from Louisiana State University sought to gain a more comprehensive understanding of possible risks and the underlying mechanisms of VAERD designed a study involving the immunization of ACE2-humanized mice with SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein adjuvanted with aluminum and CpG-ODN.

After the immunization, the scientists challenged (intentionally infected) the mice with SARS-CoV-2 to establish the breakthrough condition.

What were the findings?

In this case, the authors report that their experimental vaccine A) elicited robust neutralizing antibody responses, B) reduced viral titers and C) enhanced host survival. Yet upon breakthrough infection, the vaccinated animals presented “severe pulmonary immunopathology, characterized by a significant perivascular infiltration of eosinophils and CD4+ T cells, along with increased expression of Th2/Th17 cytokines.”

Th2/Th17 cytokines are groups of signaling molecules produced by specific subsets of T-helped cells (Th cells) that play an important role in the immune system. These cytokines are involved in regulating responses and inflammation, and they are often associated with various immune reactions.

The study team conducted intracellular flow cytometric analysis (a technique used to identify cell types plus analyze signaling and functional responses within cell lines and heterogenous cell samples), revealing a systemic Th17 inflammatory response, especially intense in the subjects’ lungs.

The study authors report in the uploaded preprint server manuscript that the generated data demonstrate that aluminum/CpG adjuvants induce strong antibody and Th1-associated immunity against COVID-19 but also prime a robust Th2/Th17 inflammatory response, which may contribute to the rapid onset of T cell-mediated pulmonary immunopathology post breakthrough infection.

Food for Thought

There are no easy vaccine fixes for SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19. These authors reaffirm that especially important principle. They declare in this yet-to-be peer-reviewed paper, “In conclusion, this research underscores the complexity of COVID-19 vaccination and the need for a comprehensive understanding of vaccine-induced immune responses. While vaccines remain a vital tool in combating pandemics, the potential for VAERD highlights the importance of ongoing research, surveillance, and careful vaccine development to achieve broad protection and maximal safety.”

Next Steps

Do these findings underscore the necessity for further research to unravel the complexities of VAERD in COVID-19? Does the study output point to the necessity to enhance vaccine formulations for broad protection and maximum safety? The study authors believe so.


DeSantis: Overhaul National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 & Impose More Oversight over FDA Staff

In a recent podcast interview, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis went on the record that he supports changing the current vaccine liability laws promulgated by the Reagan administration back in 1986. Those laws have helped spawn a robust vaccine sector targeting more diseases in the name of public health. Or, that’s what the public is told by a wealth-generating vaccine industry. What were at first, pragmatic measures meant to incentivize vaccine manufacturers, according to DeSantis, have turned into a vaccine development free-for-all, a race to generate the next blockbuster not as concerned with safety and quality but for economic return. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) represents the world’s apex of drug and vaccine regulators. Yet about half of the agency’s budget now derives from Prescription Drug User Fees. This means that the FDA is highly dependent on the very industry it is tasked with regulating. Of the $5.9 billion budget, 45% derives from user fees, and 65% of the funding for human drug regulatory activity comes from user fees.

The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. of 1986, or “the Vaccine Act,” offers vaccine manufacturers a form of universal liability providing “no vaccine manufacturer shall be liable in a civil action for damages arising from a vaccine-related injury or death: (1) resulting from unavoidable side effects; or (2) solely due to the manufacturer's failure to provide direct warnings.”

While DeSantis acknowledges at the time the intention was needed to ensure the pharmaceutical companies needed incentives to invest in public health-related vaccines, the politician said on the Shannon Joy podcast, “I think what has happened now it is has shifted incentives actually away from safety.” He takes a controversial stance, markedly opposed to general sentiment from Washington that emphasizes the comprehensive rigor that goes into regulatory approvals.

The Florida Governor continued, “The incentives are now to produce anything you can get to the market and then make money off it because you aren’t going to be held accountable for the safety. So yes, I would support legislation to fix that because I think we want incentives that are going to be positive for the ultimate health outcome.”

While it’s most certainly true that the number of vaccines has exploded since the 1986 Act, it’s likely, not clear if the standards in regulatory oversight have declined generally, and if that is the case, that it’s due to this legislation.

Vaccine opponents believe regulators are “captured” by industry. But that’s a more complex, nuanced issue that DeSantis at least acknowledges.

On the problem of the intertwined nature of the pharmaceutical industry and the regulatory body in the U.S., DeSantis chimed in, “Of course, a lot of the people who work for the FDA end up going to work for Big Pharma after, so we are going to end the revolving door. We are going to put a grace period in there: five to ten years, whatever would be appropriate so that you can't just keep bouncing back and forth.”

Should the revolving door end? This doesn’t sound very pragmatic, given the real-world circumstances—constraints and realities on the ground. After all, an ongoing shortage of the talent needed to run regulatory bodies, industry, academic, and the growing nonprofit research machine, not to mention the private equity firms now investing in drug development, means that placing further constraints on this limited pool of labor likely would lead to a series of other more severe problems. Much legislation, while well-intentioned, often leads to other even worse problems.

Plus, this sounds like substantial federal regulatory oversight of the type that goes well above and beyond what standard Republican and Democrat politicians would be willing to back. Would that truly be a Republican priority should DeSantis be the winner? Or more political talking points to exploit animosity, fear, and anger due to COVID-19-related pandemic government overreach?

Perhaps what’s needed first is solid research into the problem. Have the regulatory standards declined since the 1986 Act? How could evidence be generated to prove that point? Some of the answers may lie in the real-world data.




Monday, November 06, 2023

The Need for Uncensored Data and Debate on COVID

“Ithink we would have done everything differently,” California Governor Gavin Newsom recently told NBC, conceding that strong criticisms of his state’s strict COVID-19 lockdown policies were “legitimate” in hindsight.

Looking in the rear-view mirror, the strict COVID-19 lockdowns, pursued in California and other states, were indeed a disaster. But it was a collective public policy failure, as Newsom observed. Public officials have a responsibility to look back and revisit what they knew—or should have known—before they proposed or implemented the various lockdown policies recommended by federal officials. The often draconian social and economic measures that many state officials imposed, including extended school closures and business shutdowns, resulted in multiple costly consequences that will plague Americans for a long time.

That’s why congressional investigators should take a deeper dive into the rationale behind federal officials’ guidance on COVID-19 lockdowns. States, especially where the toughest restrictions were implemented, should follow suit. Such reviews could help lawmakers avoid ill-advised government overreach when the next pandemic comes along.

COVID Lockdown Data. Peer-reviewed work of an international team of researchers led by Dr. Steve Hanke, professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University, Did Lockdowns Work? The Verdict on COVID Restrictions, offers some good insight. A comprehensive literature review, the first study of its kind over a broad range of countries, by Hanke, Dr. Lars Jonung of Sweden’s Lund University, and Dr. Jonas Herby of the Center for Political Studies in Denmark, examined over 19,000 studies but focused on 22 relevant studies with actual mortality data. Their “meta-analysis” examined the specific relationship of mortality to various lockdown restrictions, including mandatory stay-at-home orders, business and school closures, and mask mandates, especially in the workplace.

Hanke and his colleagues examined the specific impact of certain government mandates exclusively on mortality. Among other findings, they concluded that stay-at-home orders reduced COVID mortality between 1.4 and 4.1 percent; business closures by 7.5 percent; school closures between 2.5 percent and 6.2 percent; and mask mandates, particularly in the workplace, by 18.7 percent.

Looking at the aggregate impact of these restrictions across Europe and the United States, Hanke and colleagues found that “...lockdowns in the Spring of 2020 in Europe resulted in 6000 to 23,000 deaths avoided. To put those numbers in to context, during an average flu season, approximately 72,000 are recorded in Europe. Our results made clear that lockdowns had negligible public health effects when measured by mortality.”

COVID Masking Data. In a 2023 study, a team of researchers publishing in the Cochrane Review conducted the most comprehensive literature review (78 studies) on masking to date and concluded: “There is uncertainty about the effects of face masks. The low to moderate certainty of evidence means our confidence in the effect estimate is limited and the true effect may be different from the observed estimate of the effect. The pooled results of RCTs (Random Controlled Trials) did not show a clear reduction in respiratory viral infection with the with the use of medical /surgical masks.” Random controlled trials are the “gold standard” of academic research.

The Cochrane researchers did note that there is a further need for “large, well -designed” studies in multiple setting and populations, as well as levels of “adherence,” to get a better understanding of the effectiveness of masking. Hanke and his colleagues agree with the need for future research in this specific area.

The Swedish Experience. It is particularly noteworthy that officials in Sweden followed far less restrictive policies than European and American officials. They emphasized public information and voluntary compliance with public health recommendations, notably social distancing. Writing in The Frontiers of Public Health (2023), researchers recently reported: “Existing official statistics at both the European and global levels regarding total COVID-19 associated and excess overall mortality rates suggest that Sweden was less affected than most comparable countries that implemented stricter lockdown measures.”

Put into broader context, Hanke and colleagues observe, “Social distancing works. If you keep distance from others, your risk of being infected with a communicable disease is reduced. However, that fact that social distancing works does not imply that compulsory non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), commonly known as ‘lockdowns—policies that restrict internal movement, close schools and businesses, ban international travel and/or other activities—work.”

Censorship of Science. An academic consensus on the impact of lockdowns does not, however, exist. For example, the British Royal Society published a 2023 study that concludes that the lockdowns did indeed contain the viral contagion and reduce mortality. Hanke and colleagues dispute the Royal Society conclusions because of its methodological flaws, specifically lumping together the effects of government mandates and voluntary compliance.

Previously, Hanke and colleagues published the methodological protocol for their research project in July 2021 in the Social Science Research Network(SSRN), a prominent academic platform for research papers. On March 2022, the SSRN published a critique of the paper, but in August 2023 refused to publish a reply by Hanke and his colleagues.

Because academic freedom is essential to the advancement of science, censoring or “deplatforming” academic debate is obviously unacceptable, especially in public health, where the safety of the public is so often dependent on the quality of academic research. Congress has a broad agenda for COVID-19 oversight. It should not overlook the consequences of censorship or suppression of scientific dissent.

There is rarely a binary choice between protecting public health and preserving some semblance of social and economic normalcy. Public health is not only threatened by viral contagion, but also by draconian social and economic lockdowns.

As Dr. Daniel Johnson, former president of the American Medical Association, counseled at the inception of the pandemic: The tough policy job is to protect lives and livelihoods, a prudential balancing that can preserve public health in a holistic fashion.

Too often that has not happened. In his book The Contagion Next Time, Dr. Sandro Galea, Dean of the Boston University School of Public Health, recounts his own research work on the effect of lockdowns on public health: “We found that lockdowns and socially restrictive policies can undermine health in both the short and long terms, creating particular challenges for vulnerable populations. Our work suggested that the harmful consequences of such policies should be considered in decision-making about pandemic response.”

Today, few dispute the negative consequences of the COVID-19 lockdown policies: major economic disruption and massive unemployment; the closure of hundreds of thousands of businesses and the loss of small businesses, including minority businesses; unprecedented increases in federal deficit spending and debt; severe damage to childhood education; aggravated economic and educational inequality; social isolation and increased mental health problems; and, of course, loss of personal freedom.

Personally, Dr. Galea leans Left, but as a research scientist he rightly emphasizes that sound public health policy is not, and should not be, an ideological issue. Progress is dependent upon competent assessment of the evidence, open scientific debate and sound data—all of it. Uncensored.


More Than Nine in 10 Americans Say ‘No Thanks’ to Latest COVID-19 Booster Shot

In mid-September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a press release recommending “everyone 6 months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against the potentially serious outcomes of COVID-19 illness this fall and winter.”

Suffice to say, the CDC’s recommendation has fallen on deaf ears. To date, only 7 percent of U.S. adults and 2 percent of children have followed the CDC’s suggestion. In fact, the rate of Americans receiving the latest COVID-19 booster is so low that Dr. Camille Kotton of Harvard Medical School said the situation is “abysmal.”

Nevertheless, CDC Director Mandy Cohen remains unphased, recently telling Politico, “I think we’re on track. Would I love to see more? Of course, that’s my job as CDC director is to want more.”

Actually, Cohen’s job is to protect the health and wellness of the American people; not the bottom line of Pfizer and Moderna.

The American people are obviously skeptical about receiving yet another COVID-19 booster, which makes sense given the doublespeak, disturbing side effects, and lack of efficacy regarding the vaccine and boosters over the past few years.

To begin with, the CDC lost credibility when it changed the definition of “vaccine” and “vaccination” on its website a few months after the initial rollout.

Before September 1, 2021, the CDC defined “vaccine” as: “A product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease.” However, the CDC now defines “vaccine” as: “A preparation that is used to stimulate the body’s immune response against diseases.”

The CDC played semantics with the definition of “vaccination” as well, changing the definition from, “The act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease” to, “The act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce protection from a specific disease.”

“Immunity” and “protection” are not synonyms; they have different meanings.

It is also more than likely that most Americans have trepidation regarding the latest booster shot based on the fact that there have been several side effects linked to the initial round of shots and subsequent boosters.

In 2022, the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health released a study titled “Understanding low bivalent COVID-19 booster uptake among US adults,” which found that 31.5 percent of respondents said they chose not to receive a booster due to concerns about vaccine side effects and 23.4 percent cited concern about booster safety.

These concerns are warranted, considering the CDC acknowledges that myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining of the heart) have been linked to “adolescents and young adult males within several days after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.”

In early 2023, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a study that found, “Various cases of thrombosis have been reported as adverse reactions after vaccination with COVID-19 vaccines.” The NIH study also found “a significant increase in the incidence rate” of “pulmonary embolism following vaccination.”

Worse yet, the Vaccine Adverse Effect Reporting System (VAERS) reported 4,812 deaths, 4,996 permanent disabilities, and 21,440 hospitalizations from COVID-19 vaccines as of June 25, 2021.

As most Americans are well aware, the federal government even went so far as to grant a blanket liability shield for the makers of the COVID-19 vaccines under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act of 2020.

What’s more, why would Americans take an experimental vaccine that has been shown to produce adverse side effects when the so-called vaccines do not prevent them from getting or transmitting COVID-19?

There are countless examples of high-ranking government officials, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, who have received numerous boosters yet still became infected with COVID-19. Moreover, studies show that the original COVID-19 shot and the multiple boosters that have been rolled out over the past three years “decline in effectiveness” shortly after they are administered.

And, considering the fact that COVID-19 poses little to no threat among the young and healthy, why in the world would the CDC promote an experimental vaccine for infants?

The good news is that Americans are continuing to get vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, the flu, and other preventable illnesses. This shows that there is not a general distaste for vaccines as a whole among the American population. However, given the shoddy track record of a set of vaccines that do not meet the classical definition of vaccine, produce dire side effects, and do not even work as intended, it makes perfect sense that only a sliver of the population is willing to keep getting boosted.




Sunday, November 05, 2023

New Covid variant HV.1 variant becomes dominant as America's booster vaccine program lags

A new coronavirus variant is spreading across the United States, but experts have urged people not to be alarmed.

The mutant strain — dubbed HV.1 — is a mutation on the EG.5 variant which sparked concern earlier this year.

It is now dominant in the US behind 25 percent of cases, with experts saying it is more transmissible than other variants. There is no sign it is more likely to cause severe disease.

Experts are not raising the alarm over the mutant strain, however, saying there will 'always be new variants' as Covid continues to spread and mutate.

Concerns are being raised over America's slow booster program, however, with uptake branded 'abysmal' this weekend with less than three percent of Americans having come forward a month into the rollout.

Covid cases and hospitalizations are currently trending downward and deaths are flatlining, although experts warn cold weather leading people to spend more time indoors could lead to an uptick in cases.

Dr Amesh Adalja, an infectious diseases expert at Johns Hopkins University, told WION: 'It is important to recognize that there will always be new variants of SARS-CoV-2.

'[This is] just as there are with any other endemic respiratory virus and most will not be of concern to anyone.'

Dr Ross Kedl, an immunologist at the University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine, added: 'All that people know at this point is that it's increasing in representation.

Doctors urge elderly adults to get Covid, flu and RSV vaccines this winter

Doctors have urged older adults to roll up their sleeves for three different vaccines this fall.

'There's no evidence that it's more severe.'

And Dr William Schaffner, an infectious diseases expert at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Tennessee, told Prevention: 'I don't think people should be very concerned about this.

'Some of the symptoms recorded have been cough, fatigue, congestion and a runny nose. That sounds pretty much like the common cold.'

Scientists say Covid will continue to mutate and create new variants as new cases arise.

But they add that there is little need to fixate on each new strain that comes along because most will not raise the risk of serious disease.

HV.1 was first detected in late July in Costa Rica, according to Covid variant tracking website

It has now spread to more than 41 countries — including the UK, Canada and Israel — and a total of 4,397 cases have been detected, mostly in the United States.

This is likely to be a massive underestimate, however, because many cases are not checked for variants.

The mutant strain was spotted in the US back in July and has been accounting for an ever higher proportion of cases since.

By the end of August it was behind three percent of cases, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

By the final week of September, however, it was behind 12 percent of all Covid cases with latest estimates for this month estimating it is now behind one in four infections.

California — America's most populous state — has the most cases at 115 recorded, followed by New York — a 'bellwether' state — at 70 cases.

The mutant strain has several mutations on its spike protein which experts say may make it better able to dodge immunity and infect cells.

There is no sign that it is causing different symptoms at present either, with doctors likening its symptoms — including a cough and runny nose — to the common cold.

The US is currently rolling out an updated Covid booster vaccine which has been made available to everyone over the age of six months. Top advisers say, however, that only those over 65 years old need to get inoculated.

The vaccine is based on the XBB.1.5 Covid variant — which was dominant this summer — with experts saying HV.1 is a 'grandchild' of this strain.

They suggest that the vaccine will still work well against severe disease caused by HV.1 because it only has a few further mutations.

It comes as Covid cases and hospitalizations continue to trend downward nationwide.

Latest CDC data showed the positivity rate — proportion of tests that detected the virus — was down to 8.7 percent in the week to October 21, compared to 9.4 percent in the prior week.

There were also 13,036 Covid patients hospitalized in the week to October 21, the latest available, down 4.6 percent on the 13,652 at the same time last week.

For comparison, at the peak over the last two years there were 145,636 Covid patients in hospitals on January 8, 2022.

Covid deaths are currently flatlining at 1,347 being recorded every week, with preliminary data suggesting they may soon start to fall.

Some experts warn, however, indicators will start to trend upward in the coming weeks because cooler weather will lead to more people staying indoors.

There are also gatherings for the holidays upcoming, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, which will lead to different generations coming together — potentially fueling the spread of Covid.

Dr Kelly Oakeson, chief scientist at the Utah Department of Health, told Deseret News: 'If this was happening in the summertime, it might have less of an impact on everything.

'But now that it's happening in the fall/winter, people are indoors, it's getting colder outside, there's more holidays.

'You're probably going to see an increase in cases for sure. Is that driven by HV.1? Is that driven solely by the seasonality, what time of year it is?

'No, it's probably a combination of all of those things... we've seen this now, year after year.'

Concerns have also been raised over the Covid variant JN.1, which is a mutated version of the strain BA.2.86, or 'Pirola', that scientists warned could spark a new wave of infections.

There have been 51 cases reported worldwide to date across 11 countries including the United States, the UK and Germany.

Some scientists fear this strain is more transmissible than others and could spark a new wave of infections.

Dr Oakeson described this mutant strain as 'alarming'.

'We're definitely watching it,' she said.

'I'm not sure I'm at the same level fo concern I was with BA.2.86 just because this one is a descendent of those and we didn't see that take off in the US like it did in other parts of the world.'


Government’s Overreach During COVID-19 Is a Likely Contributor to Waning Confidence in Vaccination

The University of Pennsylvania Annenberg Public Policy Center conducted a survey October 5-12, collecting answers from 1,500+ adults across America, and the results in some ways, are not surprising. For example, the number of Americans who believe that generally, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vaccines are safe declined to 71% from the last survey number of 77% done April 2021. Are the numbers of American adults that don’t trust the FDA’s judgment growing? You bet. Now, 16% up from 9% in 2021, don’t believe approved vaccines are safe.

What’s behind this growing distrust of government, particularly in the realm of biomedical and health-related research?

The survey also asked questions about the antiparasitic and quite controversial drug ivermectin. Approved as a parasitic drug in the U.S., the FDA went into an information war against doctors that were prescribing the drug off-label for COVID-19. The agency emphasizes its use primarily for animals, but that’s not really true. It's used as much for humans when looking at programs such as the now 35-year Mectizan program where literally over a billion courses have been administered in tropical Africa to help humans fight off parasite-borne disease.

This media found evidence of improper behavior and of course, in a lawsuit a judicial decision concurred.

The number that believes it's safer to get the vaccines versus succumbing to COVID-19 infection has dropped to lower than two-thirds, down from 77% in November 2021.

But the government, in this case the nation’s public health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tells us the best way to prevent the disease from causing hospitalizations and deaths is to get the COVID-19 vaccine. But does the government legitimately address many concerns we have about safety signals, for example? Do they help us come up with the individual risk-benefit analysis we need?

So, it's a confusing time. In this case, to have any legitimacy from a broader corporate/government ecosystem, a news outlet must declare exactly what government authorities declare as the exact truth: There can be no deviation. That’s why all trade press following the world of pharmaceutical research such as STAT followed this party line, not daring to question any underlying elements of the formal promulgated narratives.

For example, a news platform seeking full credibility must declare, therefore, that the FDA approved antiparasitic ivermectin is not a safe and effective way for treating COVID-19. Of course, when looked at from a narrow lens of the established narrative, this is of course, true--under the regulatory apparatus empowered for making such calls in the United States.

But during the pandemic, especially earlier in the crisis, ivermectin was used extensively in dozens of nations, often as part of a combination regimen including doxycycline and zinc. has tracked the number of ivermectin studies involving COVID-19 during the pandemic. While the administrators remain anonymous, which TrialSite suggests was a mistake (they likely did so to keep their employment in academic medical centers or industry), the data is accurate in every case we have checked.

To date, the website reports over 99 studies involving 1,089 scientists, 137,255 patients in 28 counties that generated quite a bit of data showing that the regimen can statistically lower risk for mortality, ventilation, ICU, hospitalization, recovery cases and viral clearance. See the link.

And we can emphatically declare this media, TrialSite, was the first one to systematically track the study output of this drug in the context of the novel coronavirus, plus real-world usage during the pandemic. We have had prominent advocates for use of this drug such as Dr. Pierre Kory, co-founder of the Front Line COVID Critical Care (FLCCC) Alliance, tell us directly that we changed the course of the pandemic for the better. He and many others first learned about its use around the world on TrialSite News.

Of course, a handful of high-profile studies failed to show efficacy, and not surprisingly, those outcomes were fully embraced by mainstream media big time. We have had academic medical researchers look into those studies, and in a few of them raise serious questions which have not been answered.

We certainly sensed an agenda during the pandemic. The government exhibited a clear bias toward waiting for the vaccines and any branded pharmaceutical options. But from March 2020, to essentially the end of the year, there was nothing else. Doctors had to do something on the front lines.

While we cannot declare that across-the-board ivermectin represents a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19, we also cannot just make blanket statements that this would be false and misleading because of government agency or industry pressure.

The way the survey folks will understand it, even discussing ivermectin in the positive would be considered misinformation. But this is not true because there is some level of evidence that it has helped (Remember Uttar Pradesh as a prominent one). Real world scenarios were not documented in study form, and many of the ivermectin studies done around the world were not that well designed. So, we cannot be certain. But we remain open, like true scientists, to the unfolding stream of data. That’s how science is supposed to work.

We reported other glaring examples of industry bias during the pandemic such as with the ICAM protocol at a major Florida-based health system.

What appeared to be a lifesaving protocol involving blood thinners and steroids was quickly discarded after TrialSite reported the topic, gaining hundreds of thousands of views at that time. But due to an apparent contract Pfizer had the health system sign, the health system was forbidden from coming up with a repurposed regimen for COVID-19. It doesn’t matter if lives are saved or not. That policy was enforced by an industry adhesion-like contract, in a pandemic, designed to maximize profits in the worst emergency.

This is absolutely disgusting behavior, and another reason why trust is waning in our health-focused governing institutions. And frankly, while biased on this topic, I think it makes a case for the importance of TrialSite, a unique media and information service platform committed to translating complex biomedical and health research for broader audiences.