The COVID-19 vaccines have been in use among the public for over a year now, having first been approved and rolled out in December 2020 in the U.K. and Israel. The trials reported them to be safe, but the time period was short and the study population relatively small, and there are concerns that a trial run by the company trying to bring the vaccine to market may not always be run to the highest standards of honesty and transparency. Subsequent revelations about the trials have suggested some adverse events may have been overlooked or worse.
What do we know now about the safety of the vaccines?
First, let’s distinguish two types of vaccine injury, short term and longer term. Short term injuries occur within 28 days of receiving the vaccine. They are what are typically reported to adverse event reporting systems like VAERS and Yellow Card, and data from VAERS show reports of them cluster in the first few days after the jab (see below). We would expect any signals of them in mortality data to correlate with the vaccine rollout. Longer term injuries, on the other hand, we would not expect to have any correlation with vaccine rollout, meaning it may be harder to spot the signals or associate them with the vaccines.
Looking at short-term injuries first, up to March 18th 2022, 26,059 deaths have been reported to VAERS, including 11,943 Americans. As the graph below shows, this is vastly more than have been reported in previous years, which is due of course to the Covid vaccines. In 2021, 21,940 deaths were reported, compared to 605 in 2019, the next highest year, a more than 36-fold increase. Other adverse events show similar levels of increase on previous years. In the U.K., 2,061 deaths have been reported to the Yellow Card system since the start of the pandemic up to March 9th 2022.
Passive reporting systems like VAERS and Yellow Card are not designed to establish rates of adverse effects (though such comparisons can be informative if their limitations are understood). They are designed to pick up signals of potential adverse effects which can then be properly investigated. Unfortunately, this allows regulatory authorities to dismiss even large numbers of reports by investigating them and concluding there is no link. While high numbers of reports of adverse events were stacking up already in January 2021, it wasn’t until mid-March that the problem with blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine was acknowledged by regulatory authorities, and then only because it was brought to their attention by scientists in Norway and Denmark, not because the regulatory agencies in most countries were doing their jobs in monitoring safety. We shouldn’t assume that if there are strong signals then governments will necessarily pick up on them and follow them up.
Some of the adverse event reports will of course be incidental. A far larger number of adverse effects will go unreported. One analysis of early Covid reports to VAERS concluded that up to 86% of deaths to that point (almost all in the elderly and high risk as this was early in the rollout) were linked to the vaccines. A pre-Covid 2006 meta-study found that reporting systems of drug adverse events typically picked up about 5% to 20% of events, suggesting an under-reporting factor (URF) of between five and 20, i.e. the real number of adverse events is five to 20 times greater than the number reported. The MHRA has previously estimated that the Yellow Card reporting rate may be approximately 10% of actual figures, suggesting a URF of 10.
It might be thought that with the higher numbers of adverse events being reported with the Covid vaccines, and with the higher profile of vaccine safety systems in the pandemic, under-reporting rates would drop. However, that isn’t necessarily the case. The Israeli Government undertook what is, unfortunately, a very rare exercise in vaccine safety – a proactive survey where it asked a representative sample of 2,049 third dose recipients their experience of adverse events.
Dr. Josh Guetzkow, a senior lecturer at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, analysed and summarised the results:
- Two thirds of the respondents (66%) reported at least one side effect within three to four weeks after the jab (75% of women).
- Close to one third of respondents (29%) reported that they had “difficulty performing daily activities” due to the booster side effects (51% of women).
- One in three hundred respondents (0.3%) reported hospitalisation (not just medical care) as a result of the side-effects.
- Nearly 10% of women under the age of 54 reported disruptions to their menstrual cycle after the injection. Half of these women reported ongoing menstrual symptoms in a follow-up survey two to three months later.
- Around 5.5% of the respondents reported chest pain (7% of women), and 4.2% reported enlarged lymph nodes (6% of women).
- Close to 5% reported neurological problems (6.9% of women), including Bell’s palsy (facial paralysis; 0.5%), eye disorders (0.5%), memory issues (0.4%), hearing issues (0.4%), convulsions (0.2%) and loss of consciousness (0.2%).
- Around 4% reported allergic reactions (5.3% of women).
- About 25% of people with pre-existing auto-immune disorders, depression or anxiety reported a worsening of their symptoms following the injection.
- Around 5% to 10% of people with diabetes, hypertension, and lung and heart disease also reported a worsening of their condition.
Comparing these rates (which are shockingly high) with VAERS reports, Dr. Guetzkow estimated under-reporting factors for different events on VAERS (assuming that Israeli and American populations are broadly comparable). He found an under-reporting factor of about 120 for hospitalisations, 700 for convulsions or seizures, 3,000 for Bell’s palsy and 6,000 for enlarged lymph nodes – meaning the real number of these adverse effects is hundreds or even thousands of times higher than the reported figures. For obvious reasons, the survey didn’t include deaths, but it’s hard to see how deaths would be much less under-reported than these adverse events.
These values, while extremely high, are generally consistent with other data. The Pfizer booster trial found enlarged lymph nodes in 5% of recipients, compared to the survey’s 4.2%. The CDC V-Safe survey found that 0.9% of recipients of a Pfizer booster sought medical care, similar to the Israeli data. A whistleblower board member of a German insurance company revealed that his company’s data suggested around 4% of Germans had sought medical care following vaccination. A British survey found 20% of women reported menstrual changes after vaccination with AstraZeneca, compared to the survey’s 10% (with Pfizer).
This suggests that the number of deaths reported, like the number of injuries, is likely to be a fraction of the real number. Exactly what fraction is hard to say, but it’s difficult to see it being more than 10%, and possibly lower, meaning the real number of deaths may be ten times higher or more than the number reported.
This is not a small number (around 20,000 in the U.K. and 120,000 in America on current figures). So should we expect to see a clear signal for this in the overall mortality data, correlating with vaccine rollout? The difficulty with this is that overall mortality data are heavily confounded. For instance, Covid has been causing waves of elevated mortality, particularly in the winter, and these waves then lead to subsequent troughs of mortality displacement, owing to people who would have died in the following weeks dying early in the Covid wave. These patterns can conceal deaths associated with vaccination. In the U.K., the oldest and most frail received their first doses in December 2020 and January 2021, right in the middle of the Alpha wave. Non-Covid deaths were below average that winter, meaning Covid deaths were displacing deaths from other causes, in many cases as a secondary cause (‘with’ not ‘of’ Covid). How many vaccine-related deaths in the old and frail were recorded as Covid deaths? It’s worth bearing in mind that Norway stopped vaccinating the frail in January 2021 because its scientists noticed they were dying from vaccine adverse effects, but the U.K. gave no indication it would follow suit.
Following the winter, there was a period of low mortality due to mortality displacement, which can conceal a signal for vaccine-related deaths – plus vaccine deaths in the younger people then being vaccinated will not usually be in numbers that show up in overall mortality statistics, which are dominated by the old. Factors like these mean even a significant number of short-term vaccine injury deaths may not give a clear signal in excess mortality data. What can be said, however, is that the international excess mortality data in 2021 are certainly compatible with the levels of short-term vaccine injury that we are seeing reported. In addition, sometimes clearer signals do appear, as in Israel in spring 2021. An insurance company in Indiana, USA, also reported an alarmingly high number of deaths in working age people in 2021. In addition, among footballers and athletes, over 500 globally have so far been reported to have died following Covid vaccination (see below), mostly of heart attacks, apparently a considerable increase on previous years.
It is sometimes argued that any adverse effect of the vaccines will always (or almost always) be no worse than the symptoms and side-effects of having Covid. But this is a false binary, as vaccination does not prevent a person being infected, so the risks from vaccination are in addition to the risks from Covid. It is also not necessarily true. Scientists have noted that while the virus will usually remain confined largely to the respiratory tract, the vaccine, injected into muscle and moving from there into the blood, can cause spike proteins to be expressed throughout the body. Studies have shown that vaccine mRNA and spike protein persists in the body for months, whereas with infection the virus is cleared much more quickly and is not found so widely distributed. The vaccine mRNA and spike proteins, since they are not part of virus particles, behave differently, interacting and fusing with a wider variety of cells.
Of 15 autopsies conducted on vaccinated people, 14 showed “clear evidence of vaccine-induced autoimmune-like pathology in multiple organs”, with the heart and lungs affected in almost all cases. A study in mice found that the heart muscle absorbs the vaccine mRNA, causing it to produce spike protein, get attacked by the immune system and suffer inflammation and cell damage. Embalmers have reported strange clots in the vaccinated, while unusual large structures have been reported in the blood of the vaccinated.
The worry raised by these observations is not only that of short-term vaccine injury but also that the vaccines will, to quote Professor Sucharit Bhakdi, “give rise to lingering and slowly progressing inflammatory disease”. Supporting this, dose effects have been observed in some studies, suggesting problems may compound with additional doses.
In the second half of 2021, most of Western Europe and America saw a high number of non-Covid excess deaths (see below), due to a variety of causes, many cardiovascular, which remain unexplained. The pattern of deaths here mirrors that in the athletes in the graph above, rising from the summer into the autumn.
Why did this wave of non-Covid deaths only begin in the summer of 2021? Was it linked to second doses? Was it linked to the Delta wave with which it coincides (see graph above)? It appears to have ended with the Omicron wave, though recent excess deaths data may be confounded by the mildness of Omicron as a winter respiratory virus, as well as by mortality displacement. Did encountering the Delta Covid variant trigger further deterioration in the vaccinated, or was it unrelated to vaccines?
A further problem with the vaccines is that they cause temporary immune suppression in the days following the injection (an issue which Pfizer picked up in the trial, though didn’t reveal until recently), which can lead to increased risk of Covid infection particularly at times of high prevalence, adding fuel to an existing Covid wave and putting vaccinees at increased risk prior to any protection from the vaccines kicking in.
There’s a lot of smoke here rising from what appears to be a considerable amount of fire. While it’s not possible with the data publicly available to quantify precisely the number of people the vaccines are sending to an early grave, what data there are indicate the number is not small, and may be very large – in the tens of thousands in the U.K. Certainly more than enough to be ringing alarm bells that ought long ago to have triggered drug suspensions, urgent investigations, proper controlled studies and detailed reports. That very little of this appears to be happening – and that the authorities continue to repeat the mantra that the vaccines are safe as they roll them out to ever younger age groups – is disturbing, to say the least.