Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Thousands of Children Prescribed Ivermectin or Hydroxychloroquine for COVID: Study

Doctors prescribed ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine more than 4,400 times to children with COVID-19 during periods of time when the drugs were not recommended against the illness by authorities, according to a new study.

Doctors issued 813 prescriptions of hydroxychloroquine to minors with COVID-19 after the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society on Sept. 12, 2020, advised against using hydroxychloroquine outside of a clinical trial, researchers found. The recommendation came after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revoked emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine against COVID-19.

Another 3,602 prescriptions of ivermectin for children with COVID-19 were issued after Feb. 5, 2021, when the Infectious Diseases Society of America released guidelines advising not to use ivermectin outside of a trial. The FDA later in 2021 urged people not to take ivermectin against COVID-19, although it has since been forced to rescind those warnings.
Dr. Julianne Burns, a clinical assistant professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, and other researchers examined records from Komodo Healthcare Map, a health care claims database that Komodo Health says covers 330 million patients. They looked for children who had acute COVID-19 from March 7, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2022.

After excluding some children, including those who did not have continuous insurance coverage for at least one year prior to diagnosis, the researchers found approximately 4,480 prescriptions of “nonrecommended medications.”

All but a few dozen of the prescriptions were for ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine.

Both drugs are approved by the FDA, but not against COVID-19. Some agencies, groups, and doctors say the drugs should not be used against the illness, pointing in part to clinical trials that have found little or no evidence that they’re effective. Other organizations and doctors, though, say the drugs work against COVID-19, citing their own experience and other trials that found the drugs were beneficial. Off-label prescriptions are common in the United States.

Dr. Burns and the other researchers who conducted the new study, which was published by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ journal, said their findings showed “children were prescribed ineffective and potentially harmful medications for acute COVID-19 despite national clinical guidelines.”

The only data on effectiveness or lack thereof they cited was the FDA’s authorization revocation for hydroxychloroquine and the guidance from the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and Infectious Diseases Society of America. As for their safety description, they pointed to a federal advisory that found a 24-fold increase in ivermectin prescriptions and a five-fold increase during the same time of ivermectin-related calls to poison control centers.

Dr. Robert Apter, who was not involved in the study, highlighted how the study referred to potential issues but cited no evidence of actual issues from usage of the drugs against COVID-19.

“The fact that there was a report of increased calls to poison control centers about ivermectin doesn’t mean a thing. When something gets in the news and people are curious about it, they may call the poison control center,” Dr. Apter told The Epoch Times.

He said that the drugs “have a long history of safe use in children.”

Dr. Apter has prescribed treatments for thousands of COVID-19 patients and was one of the doctors who sued the FDA over its anti-ivermectin statements. He said he’s prescribed ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine for several teenagers who became so sick that their families became concerned. Those children improved quickly and there were no side effects, according to the doctor.

Dr. Burns did not respond to a request for comment.

The researchers said limitations to their study stemmed from their reliance on health care records, which can’t account for COVID-19 infections that were not reported to a health care provider and might contain mislabeled codes. Funding came from the Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Institute. No conflicts of interest were listed.

A previous study, examining claims data from Dec. 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021, identified 128 prescriptions of ivermectin for children for non-parasitic infections, with researchers assuming the prescriptions were for COVID-19. That paper drew from IQVIA’s health claims database. The researchers also examined data from patients with Medicare Advantage insurance and found some ivermectin prescriptions, though none for children.


UPenn Led Researchers Find Political Bias in Who Reports COVID-19 Vaccine Adverse Events

True, the COVID-19 pandemic became ultra-politicized but was this something that manifested in the reporting of injuries linked to the COVID-19 vaccines? Researchers affiliated with University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis sought to investigate.

Designing a cross-sectional study involving 620,456 adverse event reports, David A. Asch, M.D., MBA, Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, and the John Morgan Professor at the Perelman School of Medicine and at The Wharton School, and colleagues at UPenn uncovered aw10% increase in state Republican voting was associated with a 5% increase in the odds that a COVID-19 vaccine adverse events would be reported, a 25% increase in the odds that a severe adverse event would be reported, and a 21% increase in the odds that any reported adverse event would be severe.

Interesting Data Points

With 620,456 adverse events (435,797 from women [70.2%]; mean [SD] age, 51.8 [17.7] years) linked to COVID-19 vaccination, the UPenn-based team found a 10% increase in state-level Republican voting associated with increased odds of adverse event reports (odds ratio [OR], 1.05; 95% CI, 1.05-1.05; P < .001). Looking at severe adverse event reports (OR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.24-1.26; P < .001), plus the proportion of such adverse events reported as severe (OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.20-1.22; P < .001) such positive associations between political inclination and reports of COVID-19 vaccination adverse events are revealed in the table above against no associations between political inclination and reports of influenza AEs.

The authors also report the same pattern across all age strata in stratified analyses and in analyses less the District of Columbia, all sustained in the previously cited sensitivity analysis.


Does the association between observation and belief run both ways? Does the saying “seeing is believing” recognize that humanity’s individual experiences inform our sense of truth? Does “believing is seeing” recognize that human preconceptions control what we experience in the first place? Asch and his colleagues write, “In finding that Republican-inclined states show higher COVID-19 adverse event reporting than Democrat-inclined states, this study suggests that Republicans are more likely to perceive or report those adverse events and that Democrats are less likely to.”


While vaccine reporting and political voting happen at an individual level, they are measured at the level of states, and the authors ponder the likelihood of their assumptions as not high.

Yet what’s interesting is that clearly, highly intelligent authors don’t educate the reader on the true limitations of a study such as this one. For example, such cross-sectional studies are unable to establish causality. While this class of study can certainly provide a snapshot of a population as a specific point in time, establishing cause-and-effect relationships between variables is very difficult.

Moreover, such studies are generally fixed in time, meaning they cannot capture changes in variables over time—in this latter case, longitudinal data is superior. What about any bias in sample selection? And then there is the reality that such studies can provide prevalence data but lack the ability to determine incidence. And there is the potential for confounding variables, and other limitations.

Despite these limitations, cross-sectional studies can help generate hypotheses, estimating prevalence, identifying associations between variables, and providing a snapshot of a population's characteristics at a specific point in time.


Australia: Three years on from Covid lockdown protests Judge Liz Gaynor of the County Court slams police for responding with 'unjustified violence'

In a shock decision, a judge has ruled that Victoria Police used 'unlawful' and 'unjustified violence' on anti-lockdown protesters during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Judge Liz Gaynor of the County Court ruled the police were the 'aggressors' at a protest in Melbourne on May 29, 2021 which left a man with a dislocated arm.

Victoria had some of the world's strictest lockdown conditions at the time, including that people could only move within a 5kilometre area of their home for shopping or exercise, and the banning of public and private gatherings.

The May 29 gathering at Flagstaff Gardens saw police officers vastly outnumbering the 150 protesters who turned up, more than a dozen of whom were arrested for offences such as assault and breaching the chief health officer's directions.

Jason Reeves, Nicholas Patterson and Adam Roob were each thrown to the ground and arrested at the protest after being asked to leave, the Herald Sun reported.

Judge Gaynor said the men's arrests were unlawful and that they had done nothing to warrant the violent response captured on the police's body-worn cameras.

Mr Reeves was punched in the face by police and thrown to the ground, which the judge said was an 'immediate and violent' response.

Mr Patterson and Mr Roob said they tried to defend Mr Reeves and in doing so were pepper sprayed and thrown to the ground, with Mr Paterson's arm dislocated in the scuffle.

Mr Roob and Mr Patterson were in court for charges such as common law assault and assaulting an emergency worker on duty.

But the judge ruled that the police evidence was inadmissible because 'by their unlawful violence police instigated the response by the accused which underlies the charges they now face'.

Judge Gaynor said the police had several options to deal with the pair, such as issuing infringement notices or telling them they breaching restrictions and were to be placed under arrest.

'However, the police chose not to respond that way. I am satisfied that in arresting Mr Reeves, police used unnecessary and unwarranted force and violence.'

She said video of the group in the 30 minutes before the arrest did not indicate they would be violent and that she was 'satisfied that (police) were the aggressors in the situation and that they employed unjustified violence on Mr Reeves'.

The judge said the police did not speak to him and tell him he was under arrest or why he was arrested, but instead 'confronted, pushed, and attacked him before bringing him to the ground'.

She also found that Mr Paterson and Mr Roob 'were met with physical intervention'.




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