Thursday, May 02, 2024

CDC Found Evidence COVID-19 Vaccines Caused Deaths

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials found evidence that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines caused multiple deaths before claiming that there was no evidence linking the vaccines to any deaths, The Epoch Times has learned.

CDC employees worked to track down information on reported post-vaccination deaths and learned that myocarditis—or heart inflammation, a confirmed side effect of the vaccines—was listed on death certificates and in autopsies for some of the deaths, according to an internal file obtained by The Epoch Times.

Myocarditis was also described as being caused by vaccination in a subset of the deaths.

In other cases, the CDC workers found that deaths met the agency’s definition for myocarditis, that the patients started showing symptoms within 42 days of a vaccine dose, and that the deceased displayed no virus-related symptoms. Officials say that after 42 days, a possible link between the vaccine and symptoms becomes tenuous, and they list post-vaccination deaths as unrelated if they can find any possible alternative causes.

In cases with those three features, it’s “absolutely” safe to say that the vaccines caused the deaths, Dr. Clare Craig, a British pathologist and co-chair of the Health Advisory and Recovery Team Group, told The Epoch Times in an email.

Despite the findings, most of which were made by the end of 2021, the CDC claimed that it had seen no signs linking the Moderna and Pfizer messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines to any deaths reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

CDC officials in a letter to The Epoch Times dated June 13, 2023, said that there were no deaths reported to the VAERS for which the agency determined “the available evidence” indicated Moderna or Pfizer vaccination “caused or contributed to the deaths.”

The agency also said that evidence from seven deaths from thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome following the Johnson & Johnson vaccination suggested that the vaccine led to people dying.

“That’s a scandal, where you have information like this and you continue to put out this dishonest line that there’s only seven deaths and they’re all unrelated to the mRNA vaccines,” Dr. Andrew Bostom, a heart expert based in the United States, told The Epoch Times.

The CDC is “concealing these deaths,” he said.

A CDC spokeswoman, presented with the file and dozens of questions about it, said that “determining a person’s cause of death is done by the certifying official, physician, medical examiner, or coroner, who completes the death certificate.”

The spokeswoman declined to explain why the CDC doesn’t consider autopsies or death certificates as evidence of causality, the criteria that would establish vaccine-caused deaths, or whether the numbers have been updated since 2023. She also declined to answer questions about specific deaths outlined in the file, citing “privacy and confidentiality.”

People who die in the United States with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are counted as COVID-19 deaths. That count has included a number of deaths from unrelated causes. The CDC also in 2023 advised death certifiers to include COVID-19 on certificates even if the deaths happened years after COVID-19 infection.

“They are taking the exact opposite approach to COVID deaths! Every death after a test was a COVID death. No death after a vaccine is a vaccine death!” Dr. Craig said. She questioned what it would take for the CDC to admit that the vaccines have caused some myocarditis-related deaths.

More People Died

The file, acquired by The Epoch Times through a Freedom of Information Act request, has never before been reported. The file was obtained after U.S. authorities rejected another Freedom of Information Act request for the autopsies themselves. The file outlines the agency’s investigation into reports submitted to VAERS of suspected cases of myocarditis or a related condition, pericarditis, following COVID-19 vaccination.

CDC employees, starting in April 2021, contacted health care providers and other agencies to obtain medical records, death certificates, and autopsies as they sought to confirm whether each report was legitimate.

The file shows the CDC examined 3,780 reports through April 13, 2023, a small number of which were duplicates. Among the reported cases, 101 resulted in death.

In one instance, a 37-year-old man started suffering symptoms that can be caused by myocarditis, such as shortness of breath, shortly after receiving a Moderna COVID-19 shot. The man collapsed three days after vaccination and was soon pronounced dead.

Dr. Darinka Mileusnic, the medical examiner who examined the man, said in an autopsy report that the patient died of “post vaccination systemic inflammation response” which caused, among other problems, acute myocarditis, according to the CDC file.

The CDC worker who was assigned to look into the death wrote that it was “evident of a sudden death post second dose of Moderna vaccine.”

“One of the factor[s] to death [sic] is acute myocarditis. There are other findings related to VAE [vaccine adverse event] and non vaccine related. Thus, it can’t be distinguished that only vaccine may have caused the death,” the CDC employee wrote.

Dr. Mileusnic declined a request for comment through her employer, the Knox County Regional Forensic Center in Tennessee. The center said it would only provide an autopsy report if the decedent’s name and date of death were provided. The CDC file did not include names.

After another man, 24, died on Oct. 27, 2021, about two months after receiving a second Pfizer injection, his health care provider diagnosed him with myocarditis. An autopsy listed “complications of COVID-19 vaccine-related myocarditis” as the cause of death, according to the file.

A post-mortem test for COVID-19 returned negative, there were no viral organisms found in post-mortem testing of the heart, and there were no other signs of viruses causing the myocarditis, the notes show.

Another vaccine recipient, a 77-year-old man, was found dead at home on Nov. 14, 2021. The autopsy confirmed the man had pericarditis and listed the cause of death as “complications from the COV-19 booster,” according to the file.

The CDC worker who looked at that case said it met the CDC’s definition of pericarditis based on the autopsy and death certificate but noted there were comorbidities such as coronary artery disease that were listed as contributing to the death. The patient also received shots against influenza and shingles about two months before death, so “it is difficult to say that COV-19 vaccine alone caused pericarditis,” the worker wrote.

A voicemail left for the man’s doctor was not returned.

Among other deaths in the CDC file are:

A male, whose age was redacted, suffered sudden cardiac death in April 2021 following a Johnson & Johnson vaccination. He was diagnosed with myocarditis, which was confirmed by the medical examiner. A CDC worker stated that the case did not technically meet the agency’s case definition, but they would “consider probable subclinical myocarditis, given the histopathological findings.”

A 21-year-old woman who died in 2021 after seizures and cardiac arrhythmias following Pfizer vaccination was found on autopsy to have lymphocytic myocarditis. The CDC listed her case as confirmed myocarditis with no evidence of viral causes.

A 45-year-old man was found dead in his bed in 2021 after Moderna vaccination but testing for myocarditis and pericarditis was not performed.

A 55-year-old woman who was “found unresponsive in [a] field” in 2021 after Johnson & Johnson vaccination was confirmed on autopsy to have myocarditis and to have suffered a cardiac arrest. The death met the CDC’s case definition but concurrent upper respiratory infection “makes viral myocarditis a potential alternative cause,” a CDC worker stated. The medical examiner declined to comment.

Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson did not return requests for comment.

Lot numbers for the vaccines injected into people who died were among the information in the file redacted by the CDC. Some vaccine lots have caused significantly more problems than others, according to CDC data obtained by the nonprofit Informed Consent Action Network.

Deaths in other countries from vaccine-induced myocarditis have been reported in journals, including deaths among young people. More deaths from vaccines in cases that didn’t include myocarditis have been confirmed by international authorities. Death certificates obtained by The Epoch Times from several U.S. states have also listed the COVID-19 vaccines as causing or contributing to dozens of deaths.


The file and a tranche of emails also obtained by The Epoch Times shows the agency started intervening shortly after the vaccines were introduced in post-vaccination cases that led to death and sometimes overruled the certifier.

Take the case of a 23-year-old man who left home on April 13, 2021, to go for a jog and was found dead on the side of the road. His death occurred four days after receiving Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

An autopsy found myocarditis and the case met the CDC’s case definition for myocarditis. But the CDC’s Infectious Diseases Pathology Branch (IDPB) then weighed in. “Per IDPB evaluation, not myocarditis,” the notes for the case say.

The evaluation is one of the documents the CDC has refused to disclose. It also refused to answer questions about the man’s death or other specific cases, referring vaguely to privacy.

Dr. Bostom, after reviewing the notes on the case, said it was a “clear-cut” example of vaccine-caused myocarditis.

The CDC doesn’t conduct autopsies itself but gathers the files as part of the investigation. Autopsies aren’t perfect but are considered the gold standard in figuring out the cause of death, Dr. Bostom said.

“It’s about the strongest evidence we can get,” he said.

Two of the cases in the file were reported by Dr. James Gill, the chief medical examiner of Connecticut, and several other doctors in a February 2022 peer-reviewed paper. The doctors revealed findings of atypical myocarditis in two teenagers after Pfizer vaccination, describing it as a “post-vaccine reaction” that might have developed due to “an excessive inflammatory response.”

CDC officials issued a public response saying IDPB’s evaluation of the cases pointed to non-vaccine causes: a parvovirus in one case, and sepsis from a bacterial infection in the other.

“These omissions could lead incorrectly to the assumption that COVID-19 vaccines were directly responsible for the deaths of these 2 patients. We believe that providing these important pathologic findings will allow readers a fuller perspective of the causes of death in these cases,” the CDC said at the time.

Dr. Christopher Paddock, one of the officials, said in an email obtained by The Epoch Times that the CDC response detailed “the work we did to identify the actual cause of death in this young man.”

In a blunt reply, the doctors said the CDC “overstepped its role” with the response and explained why the CDC’s claims didn’t hold up. The parvovirus, they said, wouldn’t cause the type of heart injury seen in the boy who died. The presence of bacteria is “not the cause of death but a consequence of death,” they said.

The certificate for the boy who died in Connecticut mentioned vaccination, Dr. Gill has told The Epoch Times. The autopsy report of the other boy notes he died of “myocarditis of uncertain etiology.”

Another death of a minor was examined by CDC workers after being reported to VAERS. A 7-year-old in Washington state died on Feb. 26, 2022, about two weeks after receiving a Pfizer shot. The medical examiner identified myocarditis as a cause of death, but, “per IDPB, infectious causes [were] identified,” according to the file.

“CDC followed-up to assist in [the] investigation of the case. From the investigation, the cause of the myocarditis could not be clearly determined,” a spokesperson for Public Health – Seattle & King County told The Epoch Times via email.

Other emails obtained by The Epoch Times show that in addition to Washington state officials, authorities in multiple states asked the CDC to test tissue samples from people who died after vaccination. They also reveal that the CDC knew of several additional post-vaccination deaths in which myocarditis was found on autopsy—and at least some other possible causes were ruled out—before issuing its 2023 statement on zero deaths.

Details From Emails

A man on active duty in the Army, for example, “collapsed after a short run” and was unable to be resuscitated, Dr. John Su, the lead official for vaccine safety for the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine task force, wrote on March 30, 2022. “On autopsy, the pathologist observed evidence of myocarditis.”

Testing for COVID-19 came back negative, and “toxicology and other analyses were unremarkable,” according to the email, although there were indications that an “anatomic variant in the vasculature of the heart” could have caused the sudden cardiac arrest.

The CDC around the same time received a request to analyze tissue from a 42-year-old New Hampshire resident who died in early 2022 after a Pfizer vaccine dose. The autopsy found “extensive acute and subacute myocarditis,” Dr. Jennie Duval, the chief medical examiner at the New Hampshire Department of Justice, told the CDC. Postmortem testing for COVID-19 returned negative.

A spokesperson for the department told The Epoch Times in an email that its Office of the Chief Medical Examiner “will not release cause and manner of death or any other information because autopsy reports, investigative reports and supporting documentation are confidential medical records.”

The CDC also in 2022 received autopsy reports for George Watts Jr., a 24-year-old from New York state who collapsed at home after receiving a Pfizer vaccine, died from “COVID-19 vaccine-related myocarditis,” and tested negative for COVID-19; and Joseph Keating, a 26-year-old man from South Dakota who, per an autopsy and death certificate, died from vaccine-induced myocarditis.

It’s not clear why the CDC doesn’t count the death certificates or autopsies as evidence that vaccines contributed to or caused the deaths.

The CDC’s position is not surprising since it was among agencies that “were the leaders of the disinformation campaign to convince the American public, including George Watts, Jr., that experimental vaccines were safe and effective even before they were licensed,” Ray Flores, an attorney representing the Watts family in a lawsuit filed against the government, told The Epoch Times via email.

“Now everyone knows they’ve unequivocally been shown to kill,” he said.

A CDC official said in one missive in early 2022 that the CDC’s IDPB had recently become “heavily involved in coordination, consultation, and laboratory evaluation of autopsy tissues from deaths occurring after COVID-19 vaccination, including cases of suspected myocarditis.”

The effort involved closely coordinating with the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office, state health officials, and CDC officials working on policy and communications, she said.

“When requested, CDC can provide consultation for analysis of tissue specimens,” a CDC spokeswoman told The Epoch Times.

The CDC’s 2023 statement of zero deaths being linked to the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines was attributed to the Immunization Safety Office.

The office was headed at the time by Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, who offered false information about COVID-19 vaccine safety during the pandemic. The CDC also hid the finding of hundreds of safety signals for the shots, including sudden death and tinnitus, and published a paper this month that was falsely promoted as debunking an association between sudden death and the mRNA vaccines.

More than 676 million doses of the vaccines have been administered to date, the CDC noted. While the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been pulled from the market, the agency maintains that shots from Pfizer, Moderna, and Novavax are “safe and effective.”

“The authorized and approved COVID-19 vaccines are being administered under the most comprehensive and intensive vaccine safety monitoring effort in U.S. history,” the CDC spokeswoman told The Epoch Times.

The spokesperson said the agency “has not detected any unusual or unexpected patterns for deaths following COVID-19 vaccination that have not already been thoroughly described and made public in the published biomedical literature or public presentations.”




Tuesday, April 30, 2024

AstraZeneca admits to rare, deadly side effect of Covid jab as lawsuits mount

I had two shots of AstraZeneca and didn't even get a sore arm out of it -- nothing. So your mileage may vary

AstraZeneca has admitted that its Covid-19 vaccine could cause a rare but deadly blood-clotting condition, potentially exposing the UK pharmaceutical giant to lawsuits brought by loved ones of those injured or killed as a result of the jab, according to court documents.

Lawyers representing “dozens” of class-action claimants say some of their clients’ cases could be worth as much as $38 million, calling the Cambridge-headquartered pharma firm’s vaccine was “defective,” according to the Daily Mail.

Recent research from RMIT University and Monash University found Australia’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign likely prevented the death of 17,760 people aged over 50 in New South Wales between August 2021 and July 2022.

The AstraZeneca inoculation, which was also administered in Australia, has proven to be effective in combating Covid-19 with some estimates suggested it saved as many as six million lives worldwide. But it has also produced rare side effects in some people, reports the New York Post.

AstraZeneca, which is contesting the claims, acknowledged in a February legal document that its vaccine can “in very rare cases,” cause a condition called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS.

TTS can cause patients to suffer from blood clots as well as a low blood platelet count, which in some cases have seriously harmed or even killed recipients of the company’s vaccine.

The potential complication was listed as a possible side effect from the time of the vaccine’s release, but AstraZeneca’s acknowledgment in February marks the first time the pharmaceutical titan has admitted it in court, according to the UK newspaper The Telegraph.

So far, 51 cases have been filed in London’s High Court, estimated to be worth around $190 million (GBP100 million) total, the outlet writes.

Due to a bargain AstraZeneca struck with the UK government at the height of the pandemic to indemnify the drugmaker against potential lawsuits, taxpayers will be on the hook for any payouts resulting from the claims.

One of the claimants who filed suit is Jamie Scott, an IT engineer and father of two left with a permanent brain injury resulting from a blood clot after he received the vaccine in April 2021.

His wife, Kate, told The Telegraph she’s hopeful the company’s admission will accelerate the outcome of their case.

“We need an apology, fair compensation for our family and other families who have been affected. We have the truth on our side, and we are not going to give up.”

In a statement, AstraZeneca expressed sympathy for anyone who was allegedly harmed by the vaccine, but defended it as a net positive and pointed out that complications are exceedingly rare.

“Patient safety is our highest priority, and regulatory authorities have clear and stringent standards to ensure the safe use of all medicines, including vaccines,” the statement reads in part.

“From the body of evidence in clinical trials and real-world data, the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine has continuously been shown to have an acceptable safety profile and regulators around the world consistently state that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks of extremely rare potential side effects.”

The AstraZeneca Covid vaccine was first approved for emergency use in December, 2020.

Of the 50 million doses administered in the UK during the crisis, 81 people have died from blood clots potentially linked to the jab, according to health data compiled by UK pharmaceutical watchdog the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

The odds of a recipient developing TTS as a result of the vaccine is calculated as somewhere in the range of 1 in 50,000.

In Australia, the government said the rate of TTS linked to the jab was around two people per 100,000 vaccinated.

In all, the AstraZeneca vaccine is credited with saving as many as six million lives globally during the pandemic, according to the University of Oxford, which partnered with the company in developing the jab.


Small Chinese sample suggests link between Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine and Kidney-Related Disease

A team of nephrologists and associated physician-scientists from Zhengzhou University in Zhengzhou, a city with over 10 million people in Northern China extracted the gene expression data of Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs) from 15 controls (day 0 post the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 COVID-19 mRNA vaccine) and 29 vaccinated samples (day 1–10 post second dose also of the same BNT162b2 COVID-19 mRNA vaccine) (GSE201535) from what is known as the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) dataset and normalization of the counts by log(x + 1) using Sangerbox.

Meanwhile, the gene expression data of glomeruli from 21 controls (living donors) and 27 IgAN were collected (GSE104948). Also in this study, focusing on the keyword “COVID-19 vaccine” was used to search the GeneCards database to screen the associated genes supporting this investigation into cases of glomerulonephritis, a kidney condition reported after the mass-scale use of COVID-19 countermeasures with IgA nephropathy (IgAN) emerging as particularly prominent.

The recent study results were published in Karger Kidney and Blood Pressure Research, and the study was conducted with the help of Henan Provincial People’s Hospital.

What is IgAN and glomerulonephritis?

Glomerulonephritis is a group of kidney diseases that cause inflammation of the glomeruli, the tiny filters inside the kidneys that remove waste and extra fluids from the blood, this condition can come on quickly or slowly, and mild cases often don’t cause any noticeable symptoms.

IgAN or IgA nephropathy is considered a rare kidney disease occurring when the body’s immune system generates antibodies in the kidneys, leading to inflammation and kidney damage. The inflammation makes it harder for the kidneys to filter waste and fluid from the blood. IgAN is also known as Berger disease.

Background to this study

The Chinese researchers point to “accumulating evidence” disclosing the risk of IgA nephropathy (IgAN) presenting shortly after the second dose of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. But not surprisingly, the undying mechanism remains unclear. Thus, the investigation here better understands potential molecular mechanisms.

The team downloaded both gene expression datasets of COVID-19 mRNA vaccination (GSE201535) and IgAN (GSE104948). Weighted Gene Co-Expression Network Analysis (WGCNA) in a bid to identify co-expression modules related to the second dose of COVID-19 mRNA vaccination and IgAN. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were screened, and a transcription factor (TF)-miRNA regulatory network and protein-drug interaction were constructed for the shared genes.

What did they find?

The use of WBCNA led to the identification of one module linked to the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine, with four modules linked to IgAN. Further analysis employing gene ontology (GO) uncovered “enrichment of cell cycle-related processes for the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine hub genes and immune effector processes for the IgAN hub genes.”

With 74 DEGs identified in relation to the second Pfizer dose, plus 574 DEGs for IgAN, “Intersection analysis with COVID-19 vaccine-related genes led to the identification of two shared genes, TOP2A and CEP55. The TF-miRNA network analysis showed that hsa-miR-144 and ATF1 might regulate the shared hub genes.”


The team shares in this paper a “common pathogenesis of COVID-19 mRNA vaccination and IgAN. The identified pivotal genes may offer new directions for further mechanistic studies of IgAN secondary to COVID-19 mRNA vaccination.”




Monday, April 29, 2024

Mainstream Starts to Cover: NBC Affiliate Covers COVID-19 Vaccine Injured, Cautiously

Mainstream media has started to cover the topic of COVID-19 vaccine injury. Most recently, KARE 11 in Minneapolis thanks to Craig Norkus, a 22-year photojournalist at the media who became ill after receiving the COVID-19 jab in November 2022.

While the NBC affiliate for the Twin Cities area first acknowledges that the overall general safety of the COVID-19 vaccines has been established, this doesn’t necessarily mean that a “small group of Minnesotans claiming vaccine injury” aren’t hurting, in some cases, severely due to rare but real COVID-19 vaccine injuries.

Another TrialSite subscriber and vaccine-injured person sent the story to TrialSite, noting the NBC affiliate loaded the content with lots of accompanying vaccine-friendly information but points out that the local media finally covered the topic of COVID-19 vaccine injury.

Pointing out that recent studies evidence an overall safety profile, some questions remain unanswered. To date, KARE 11 states that no study has been able to prove that mRNA vaccines can induce neurological problems, the reality is that numerous such problems can and do ensue after vaccination.

Patient advocacy group React19, a TrialSite partner, established the Scientific Publications Directory for example. In this repository set up via a collaborative effort with TrialSite’s support, React19 now maintains 3,580 peer-reviewed studies (mostly case series) tracking various adverse event incidents post-COVID-19 vaccination.

How many of the studies involve neurological conditions? 656 studies cover some form of neurological condition associated with COVID-19 vaccination. This does not mean that each one of these studies prove that the vaccine caused the condition.

In fact, most of the studies in the online directory are case series, meaning a type of medical research design that involves the detailed examination of a small group of individuals (or just one patient) who share common characteristics or experiences. In a case series, researchers typically report on the clinical features, treatment, and outcomes of a series of patients with similar conditions or who underwent similar interventions. However, unlike a randomized controlled trial, these investigations are not designed to establish causation.

Unfortunately, the NBC affiliate doesn’t cite the React19 database, although they should. The media does refer to the recent study tracked by TrialSite involving the recent study from the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine finding that only one adverse event with a proven link to the Pfizer and Moderna shots-- myocarditis—inflammation of the heart. The experts in the study determined the two mRNA vaccines do not cause Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome, Bell’s palsy, thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) or heart attack. Researchers determined there's not enough evidence to accept or deny a link to any other neurological issues studied. Although, it’s clear from the React19 publication directory that incidence of GBS for example as well as Bell’s palsy are associated with these vaccines.

According to Norkus, who was a key force in getting this coverage of the COVID-19 vaccine injured after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, “I felt like I was dying,” said Norkus. “I was lost, looking for answers, and no one had any.”

The injury presented just two days following a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The photojournalist started suffering head and body aches, severe exhaustion, and confusion, along with cool and hot tingling in his fingers and legs.

As reported by Chris Hrapsky blood tests revealed his immune system was under attack, but five separate specialty doctors could not explain the source of his symptoms.

Yet by April last year, an osteopathic doctor diagnosed Norkus with immunosuppression and small fiber neuropathy. And Norkus’ physician now believes that Norkus’ conditions were triggered by the vaccine.

While the local media claims no study can prove an mRNA connection to Bell’s palsy, the React19 online database includes 45 peer-reviewed studies involving COVID-19 vaccination and Bell’s palsy. See the link.

TrialSite’s Brandon Bushong recently interviewed vaccine injury activist Wayne Rohde, author of “The Vaccine Court 2.0 Revised: The Dark Truth of America’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program” who elaborates on all the ways bias impacts the system, to the detriment of those injured and in urgent need of care.


COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Linked to Cutaneous [skin] Adverse Events—Most Non-Significant, However, Severe in Rare Cases

Dermatologist from the Department of Dermatology, Kagoshima City Hospital and University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences Kagoshima, Japan investigate cutaneous adverse events (AEs) manifesting after COVID-19 vaccination.

Frequently described, the investigators led by Atsunori Baba M.D., and colleagues report the need for a larger case series and literature review and hence this specific study. Calling out for the urgent need for an extensive investigation of new cases and previous reports to better capture the unfolding evidence concerning post-COVID-19 immunization cutaneous AEs, the team sought to analyze patients with cutaneous AEs after COVID-19 vaccination in their specific hospital located in deep southern Japan on Kyushu island.

The team of physicians also reviewed studies of cutaneous AEs. Analyzing post-COVID-19 vaccination cutaneous AEs in the Kagoshima City Hospital department, the Japanese Registry, and previous literature, the investigators also enrolled 30 patients with cutaneous post-vaccination AEs in the department over 2 years (April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2023). Confirming cases registered in the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare COVID-19 vaccine side effect reporting system (February 17, 2021–March 12, 2023), the study team reports 587 retrieved records, plus 93 articles were included for data extraction.

Dr. Atsunori Baba and colleagues report on the identification of a total of 28 non-injection-site cutaneous AEs and two injection-site AEs. Six (20.0%) patients developed new-onset erythematous eruptions, and five (16.7%) patients developed urticaria. Pruritic eruption, eczema, shingles, and sweating symptoms have also been reported.

Published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Dermatology, Atsunori Baba and colleagues point out that in previous studies on non-injection-site cutaneous AEs, individuals who received the BNT162b2 vaccine were older than those who received mRNA-1273 (P < 0.01).

Cutaneous AEs were mostly nonsignificant and self-limiting reactions; but the study authors report on rare, severe, or life-threatening AEs also linked to COVID-19 vaccination.

The findings lead the authors of this study to conclude that “Physicians should be aware of the various possible cutaneous AEs associated with the COVID-19 vaccination.”


Western Vaccines Outperform the Chinese with Significant More Protection Against Breakthrough Infection

A team of pharmacy researchers from University of Cyberjava in Persiaran Bestari, Selangor Malaysia and Serdang Hospital conducted a retrospective cohort study at a multispecialty tertiary hospital in Selangor, including 200 fully adult vaccinated patients, with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, admitted from September 2021 to February 2022.

Participants were selected by simple random sampling. Infection severity was categorized as CAT 2–3 (mild–moderate) and 4–5 (severe–critical). Vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine known as BNT162b2, the Malaysian team sought to learn more about mRNA vaccine performance. What were the clinical outcomes (time to breakthrough infection, intensive care unit [ICU] admission, and in-hospital mortality) of hospitalized patients with SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infection concerning the Pfizer-BioNTech jab?

With results published in Heliyon, the authors report:
“The time to breakthrough infection was significantly longer for BNT162B2 recipients (128.47 ± 46.21 days) compared to CoronaVac (94.09 ± 48.71 days; P = 0.001) and ChAdOx1-S recipients (90.80 ± 37.59 days; P = 0.019).”

Also, the authors reported no associations involving SARS-CoV-2-related ICU admission, mortality, and the vaccines.

Based on a statistical multivariable analysis, the study’s authors point to the following as significant predictors of severity:

Vaccine type
Variant of concern

Evidencing superior performance for the Western COVID-19 vaccines, “BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1-S recipients had significantly (81% and 74%, respectively) lower odds of CAT 4–5 infection compared to CoronaVac recipients.” The latter was developed in China.

Interestingly, from an ethnicity perspective, Indian patients faced a (83%) lower chance of CAT 4–5 infection compared to Malay patients.

For breakthrough infections, the Delta surge was more dangerous than Omicron. Patients with breakthrough infections during the latter period had a significantly (58%) lower risk of CAT 4–5 compared to those in the former (Delta). The CAT 4–5 risk was significantly (nearly threefold) higher in hypertensive patients.




Sunday, April 28, 2024

Long COVID Condition Resolves Over Time, Study Suggests

Research led by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney has found that the immune abnormalities in most people with mild or moderate long COVID had largely resolved two years after infection.

In a cohort of patients suffering from long COVID, biomarkers present in patients eight months after contraction largely resolved by 24 months, suggesting that long COVID can settle over time.

Biomarkers are biological molecules that can indicate diseases or health conditions, the U.S. National Cancer Institute states. Long COVID clinical symptoms are consistent with biomarkers exhibiting a sustained inflammatory response.

Details of the Study

The study participants included people who had contracted COVID-19 in Australia’s first wave and a corresponding control group. The study considered the health information systematically reported by patients and detailed blood tests.

The exact scale of immunological improvement is difficult to quantify because immune function significantly varies from person to person. However, after 24 months there were no observable differences between the study’s control and long COVID group.

Chansavath Phetsouphanh, co-author of the paper and senior lecturer at UNSW’s Kirby Institute, said in a news release that significant improvements have been found.

“Almost one and a half years later, we are pleased to see that among this same group, significant improvements were found in blood markers,” he said. Blood markers are an easily accessible, cost-effective, and accurate biomarker.

“For the majority of samples we analysed in the laboratory, the biomarkers previously indicating abnormal immune function have resolved,” Mr. Phetsouphanh said.

This trend was also observable in the self-reported data with 62 percent of participants indicating improvements in health-related quality of life.

Study Limitations

The study is one of a small number that measures clinical data, self-reported health information, and intense blood sampling of the same group over an extensive period.
Professor Anthony Kelleher, director of the Kirby Institute, said that immunology is a complex science.

While the finding was encouraging, he noted it involved just one cohort that experienced an early strain of COVID-19 and whose initial COVID-19 infection was generally considered mild or moderate.

Prof. Kelleher said they cannot say for certain that outcomes in the unvaccinated clinical cohort will be true for vaccinated people. He also said that it’s uncertain whether those infected with a different strain of COVID-19 will experience the same outcomes.

“What we do know is that for most people with long COVID, both their symptoms and their biomarkers improve significantly over time, and this is a cause for optimism,” he said.

“Importantly, we will continue to undertake research to understand more about why some people don’t improve, and what can be done for those people.”

Ongoing Impact on their Life Quality

“While this is very encouraging and a reason for optimism, there are still around one third of patients who identify some ongoing impact on their quality of life,” said Professor Gail Matthews, head of infectious diseases at St Vincent’s Hospital.

Prof. Matthews said some patients may have a range of underlying causes for their long COVID symptoms.

She added that not all of these causes are driven by immunological abnormalities and that some are likely to persist even when the immunological environment has largely returned to normal.


Can nasal Neosporin prevent COVID-19?

Four years ago, when COVID-19 first began to spread globally, it didn't just damage our physical health, but also the health of our information ecosystem. Ever since, the internet has been rife with health misinformation on ways to treat or protect oneself against the coronavirus.

First, internet healers falsely suggested that gargling salt water and vinegar could prevent a coronavirus infection. Then, despite multiple studies debunking the effectiveness of ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug used in horses (and less commonly in humans), Joe Rogan fans continued to cling onto it as a potential treatment.

Health misinformation is a symptom of a lack of certainty. When there is no guaranteed preventative measure or treatment, people are bound to find solutions on their own. Thanks to cognitive biases like confirmation bias, they might even appear to work. But what if a way to reduce exposure to COVID-19, and treat it, was hiding in our medicine cabinets all along — and it wasn’t pseudoscience?

A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that neomycin, an ingredient in the first aid ointment Neosporin, may prevent or treat a range of respiratory viral infections such as COVID-19 and influenza when applied to the nose.

In the study, researchers found that mice who had neomycin in their nostrils exhibited strong antiviral activity against both SARS-CoV- 2 and a highly virulent strain of influenza A virus. It also mitigated contact transmission of SARS-CoV- 2 between hamsters.

“We decided to see if neomycin applied into the nose can protect animals from infection with COVID as well as the flu,” Dr. Akiko Iwasaki, the lead author of the study and a professor of immunobiology at the Yale University School of Medicine, told Salon in a phone interview. “And what we found is that treatment with neomycin significantly prevented infection and also reduced disease burden in animals.”

Iwasaki described the work as “encouraging” because it shows that neomycin can trigger an antiviral response in animals by creating a localized immune response. “That’s resulting in this protection that we see,” Iwasaki said.

The results are encouraging for mice and hamsters. But what about humans? The researchers proceeded to recruit healthy volunteers and asked them to apply Neosporin with a cotton swab to their nose, twice a day. The placebo for some was vaseline. The researchers measured their antiviral response and found similar results.

“When we compared the gene expression in the nose, Neosporin stimulated genes whereas those people who had Vaseline did not,” Iwasaki said. “So this suggests that we might be able to use Neosporin or neomycin in humans to induce this antiviral state that we also saw in animals.”

Does that mean we should all be applying Neosporin to our noses in high-risk situations? Not exactly, but it probably wouldn’t hurt either — as long as someone isn’t allergic to the cream, which is a combination of the antibiotics bacitracin, neomycin and polymyxin B. Notably, details around the dosage remain unclear.

“We know from the dose response that we did in animals that we probably need to give humans more Neosporin, or neomycin,” she said. “Because Neosporin has very little neomycin compared to what we were able to achieve in the animal model.”

Iwasaki added they know that Neosporin can produce a similar effect in humans as it did in animals, but whether or not it can reduce transmission has yet to be determined.

“For that, we need different kinds of study and a much larger study to determine that,” she said.

Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center and infectious disease doctor who wasn’t involved in the study, told Salon via email that the research could have broader implications that extend beyond COVID-19.

“This could be a potential broad spectrum antiviral treatment and prophylaxis,”Adalja said. “The molecules in the topical antibiotic cream induce certain antiviral compounds to be made by cells where the ointment has been applied; these antiviral compounds produce non-specific immunity that impacts various viruses.”

Iwasaki cautioned against the idea that people swabbing their noses with Neosporin will be a cure-all in the future. Instead, she said she sees this as another possible layer of protection.

“We know how important it is to layer protection against infections,” Iwasaki said. “Vaccines and masks and other measures are very important, but this type of strategy where we can trigger the host to produce antiviral factors may be another layer that we can add on to the existing ones.”

The more layers a person has, Iwasaki said, the less likely a person is to get infected.

“And that's really important for preventing diseases like long COVID,” Iwasaki said, referring to a condition in which COVID symptoms last for months or even years. “So I think it's definitely worth kind of moving forward with an approach like this.”

An approach that was right under our noses all this time.


Supreme Court Win for Police Constable Who Refused the COVID-19 Jab

A senior constable in Victoria who faced charges for not taking the COVID-19 vaccine has won his battle in a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court. This decision could set a precedent for others impacted by vaccine mandates in the state and around Australia.

The case centered on whether the requirement to provide evidence of vaccination status necessitated receiving a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Constable Simon Peter Shearer had been charged with a breach of discipline for failing to comply with the COVID-19 vaccination requirements outlined in the Victoria Police Manual.

The officer’s decision not to receive any dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Aug. 16, 2022, led to an internal disciplinary inquiry initiated by the Victorian Police chief commissioner.

However, Victorian Supreme Court Justice Michael McDonald concluded this charge was unjust and should be quashed.
“The plaintiff’s failure to receive a dose of COVID-19 vaccine by 16 August 2022 did not constitute a breach of the Victorian Police Manual,” Judge McDonald said.

“Consequently, the DIO [disciplinary inquiry officer] did not have power to reprimand the plaintiff for a breach of discipline.”

In addition, the judge said the plaintiff was denied procedural fairness for two reasons.

“First, the charge did not provide adequate notice of the case the plaintiff was required to meet,” Judge McDonald found.

“Second, the DIO failed to disclose to the plaintiff issues critical to his decision to find the charge proven.”

Constable Shearer, who had been working in the legal services department of Victoria Police as a lawyer since 2013, had a medical exemption for vaccine requirements due to Graves’ disease, an autoimmune condition impacting the thyroid.

According to court documents, this exemption expired in 2021.

Further, the constable went on long service leave from December 2021 to July 2022. In July 2022, Victoria’s chief police commissioner issued a new policy manual on vaccine requirements.

The constable argued that he was not required to provide his vaccination status to the police or be vaccinated to perform his duties in order to return to work.

However, on September 21, 2022, he was charged with a breach of discipline for failing to comply with the vaccine requirements of the Victorian Police Manual.

The judge has now nullified the charge, and both parties will have the opportunity to make submissions on costs.

“My provisional view is that the defendant should pay plaintiff’s costs on a standard basis, to be taxed in default of agreement,” the judge stated.

Case ‘Reaffirms Our Faith in the Justice System’: Lawyer

Principal lawyer Irene Chrisopoulidis described the result as a significant win for the plaintiff and the individuals and families affected by such policies. She said many of these individuals were unfairly and unjustly treated during one of the most challenging times in our history.

“The lives of these employees and their families, impacted by such organisational policies and decisions, resulted in lifelong effects,” Ms. Chrisopoulidis added in a LinkedIn post.
“This case not only reaffirms our faith in the justice system, it reflects the courageous and tenacious character it takes to stand up for your rights in pursuing justice. It has been our honour to represent the Plaintiff in this matter.”