A further three football players collapsed during play this week, bringing new interest to the question of what might be the connection between this unusually high number of on-field medical emergencies and the Covid vaccines. Football pundit Trevor Sinclair got into hot water for raising the question on-air, while scientists argued that the disturbing trend is more likely to be a consequence of Covid itself than the vaccines.
Presumably something lies behind the recent rise, which according to some analysts has involved 21 sudden deaths (most heart-related) of FIFA players so far in 2021, compared to around 4.2 in an average year (with a standard deviation of 2.0). Assuming this isn’t a reporting phenomenon, this is an extraordinary spike and highly statistically significant.
The two major unusual factors this year are the presence of SARS-CoV-2 and the Covid vaccination programme. However, only two such deaths were reported in 2020, when Covid was also around, which would seem to lend weight to a vaccine explanation.
The vaccines are known to affect the heart and cardiovascular system in some cases, which is why blood clots and heart inflammation (e.g. myocarditis) are among the side-effects listed and why a number of countries have ceased using some of the vaccines in younger age groups. This means the idea that there could be a link between an unusual spate of heart-related emergencies and the vaccines shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand.
On the other hand, some studies have shown that the risk of developing myocarditis is substantially higher following SARS-CoV-2 infection than vaccination.
A number of scientists have pointed out that insofar as cardiovascular problems arise from the effect of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (and there seems to be some agreement that the spike protein is a large part of the causal story here) a bout of SARS-CoV-2 exposes the body to at least as much spike protein as a course of vaccination. Against that, those who suspect that the vaccines are playing a key role say that in fact most SARS-CoV-2 infections are not systemic but remain localised to the respiratory system, so have little impact on the cardiovascular system, whereas vaccination always allows the spike protein to have a systemic impact by gaining easy access to the bloodstream.
This matter would seem to merit much closer and more urgent attention than it appears to be receiving from regulators. It should be straightforward for those with access to the relevant data (most of which unfortunately is not publicly available) to analyse cardiovascular deaths according to vaccination status and prior infection status to see if there are patterns that may be a signal of concern.
An abstract appeared in the leading journal Circulation earlier this month which concluded: “The mRNA vaccines dramatically increase inflammation on the endothelium and T cell infiltration of cardiac muscle and may account for the observations of increased thrombosis, cardiomyopathy, and other vascular events following vaccination.” There was no study to accompany the abstract, however, and it has been heavily criticised by some specialists. Nonetheless, leading NHS Consultant Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra stuck his neck out this week on GB News to reveal that a cardiology researcher colleague found similar results, but was not prepared to publish for fear of the repercussions for his or her career: “They aren’t going to publish their findings, they are concerned about losing research money.”
What are the wider trends in deaths?
Since July, ONS data shows there have been 20,823 excess deaths in England and Wales, with 11,531 involving Covid, leaving 9,292 excess deaths from other causes (if we make the conservative assumption that all Covid deaths are excess deaths).
Analysis of cause of death data for England shows that between July 4th and November 5th 2021 there have been 3,095 excess deaths involving heart failure, of which 854 could be put down to COVID-19, leaving 2,241 from other causes; 4,460 excess deaths involving ischaemic heart diseases, of which 1,413 could be Covid, leaving 3,047 from other causes; 1,307 excess deaths involving cerebrovascular diseases, of which 489 could be Covid, leaving 818 from other causes; and 8,109 excess deaths involving ‘other circulatory diseases’, of which 3,357 could be Covid, leaving 4,752 from other causes. These categories can overlap – a death certificate can mention more than one of them – so the figures can’t simply be added to get a grand total, and the underlying cause could be recorded as something different. Nonetheless, we are talking about thousands of additional cardiovascular deaths since the summer.
Despite this, ONS data shows that deaths where the underlying cause was cardiovascular have been below average in this period. At the same time, deaths where Covid is recorded as the underlying cause account for only a fraction of cardiovascular deaths in the period. So what was the underlying cause of all these excess deaths involving cardiovascular conditions that weren’t Covid either? A query to the ONS came back suggesting that it was down to the significant excess in deaths where the underlying cause was recorded as “symptoms, signs and ill-defined conditions”. In other words, we don’t really know. So according to official data, there have been thousands of excess deaths involving cardiovascular conditions in the past four months, but the underlying cause of many of those deaths is unknown. This would seem to warrant further investigation, and since the vaccines may be implicated, without delay.