Vaccine Safety Update

This is the seventh of the weekly round-ups of Covid vaccine safety reports and news compiled by a group of medical doctors who are monitoring developments but prefer to remain anonymous in the current climate (find the sixth one here). By no means is this part of an effort to generate alarm about the vaccines or dissuade anyone from getting inoculated. It should be read in conjunction with Lockdown Sceptics‘ other posts on vaccines, which include both encouraging and not so encouraging developments. At Lockdown Sceptics we report all the news about the vaccines whether positive or negative and give no one advice about whether they should or should not take them. Unlike with lockdowns, we are neither pro-vaccine nor anti-vaccine; we see our job as reporting the facts, not advocating for or against a particular policy. The vaccine technology is novel and the vaccines have not yet fully completed their trials, which is why they’re in use under temporary and not full market authorisation. This has been done on account of the emergency situation and the trial data was largely encouraging on both efficacy and safety. For a summary of that data, see this preamble to the Government’s page on the Yellow Card reporting system. (Dr Tess Lawrie recently wrote an open letter to Dr June Raine, head of the MHRA, arguing that: “The MHRA now has more than enough evidence on the Yellow Card system to declare the COVID-19 vaccines unsafe for use in humans”, a claim that has been “fact checked” here.) We publish information and opinion to inform public debate and help readers reach their own conclusions about what is best for them, based on the available data.

  • An article in the peer-reviewed journal Vaccines discusses the balance of benefits and risks of COVID-19 vaccines. Based on analysis of data from Israel and Europe, the study finds that for every three Covid deaths vaccines prevent they cause two deaths through adverse reactions, leading the authors to question the lack of clear benefit of the current vaccination policy. The journal has subsequently published an “expression of concern” about the paper to notify readers that it is reviewing the numerous complaints it has received about the article.
  • A preliminary review of VAERS reports (the U.S. equivalent of Yellow Card reports) has found that 86% of the first 250 deaths reviewed were correctly reported as involving an adverse reaction to the vaccine.
  • There have been reports of “breakthrough” infections among the fully vaccinated in a Cornwall care home, though all were reportedly asymptomatic. Massachusetts has reported 4,000 infections among the fully vaccinated, also said to be mainly asymptomatic or mild with a low viral load. Half of Israelis in the most recent outbreak are also reported to have been fully vaccinated.
  • Further reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome linked with the vaccines, particularly AstraZeneca, in India and the UK.
  • The American Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports has released a study that looks at “acute-onset central serous retinopathy after immunisation with COVID-19 mRNA vaccine”, finding that there may be a causal link in a 33 year-old male case study. 
  • Reuters reports on the recent decision of the FDA to add warnings of possible heart inflammation following vaccination with Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines and JAMA reports on 23 cases of heart inflammation among members of the U.S. military following vaccination with mRNA vaccines, which was “higher than expected among male military members after a second vaccine dose”.
  • The Mirror reports on a case of a 48 year-old male writer and filmmaker who died of blood clots associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, raising questions over access to the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme for the families of victims of vaccine injury who have died as a result of the vaccine.
  • Suspected adverse events in the U.K. as reported in the media: the latest victim is Lucy Taberer, a 47 year-old mum of three.

Summary of Adverse Events in the U.K.

According to an updated report published on June 24th (covering the period up to June 16th), the MHRA Yellow Card reporting system has recorded a total of 970,696 events, based on 285,219 reports. The total number of fatalities reported is 1,356.

  • Pfizer (16.8 million first doses, 10.9 million second doses) now has one Yellow Card in 375 doses, 2.8 adverse reactions per card. 
  • AstraZeneca (24.6 million first doses, 19.6 million second doses) has one Yellow Card in 196 doses, 3.6 adverse reactions per card.
  • Moderna (0.73 million first doses) has one Yellow Card in 140 doses, 2.8 adverse reactions per card. (It’s possible the continuing very high rate of Yellow Cards with Moderna is to do with skin reactions.)

Key events analysis:

  • Acute Cardiac Events = 10,779
  • Anaphylaxis = 1,173
  • Headaches = 96,899
  • Migraine = 9,047
  • Blindness = 292
  • Spontaneous Abortions and Still Birth = 215 + 12
  • Vomiting = 13,376
  • Facial Paralysis incl. Bell’s Palsy = 1,214
  • Face Swelling = 1,488
  • Disturbances in Consciousness = 13,128
  • Strokes and CNS haemorrhages = 2,083
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome = 345
  • Dizziness = 29,061
  • Tremor  = 10,303
  • Thrombosis & Embolism (All types) = 5,559
  • Pulmonary Embolism – 255 (Pfizer), 1,283 (AZ), 4 (Moderna), 6 (Unknown)
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis – 163 (Pfizer), 969 (AZ), 1 (Moderna), 7 (Unknown)
  • Seizures  = 2,295
  • Paralysis  = 842
  • Haemorrhage (All types) = 4,530
  • Vertigo/Tinnitis = 7,337
  • Reproductive/Breast = 12,170
Source: Pfizer; Moderna; AstraZeneca; Unspecified. “F” denotes fatal.
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