I asked MHRA for some data about its follow-up of Covid vaccine adverse event ‘Yellow Card’ reports in September and October 2021. I picked that period because I knew it would be when MHRA would be seeing Yellow Card reports from Covid vaccination of younger age groups. It refused my FOI request saying it would take it too long.
However, it helpfully told me: “During the time period requested, the MHRA received over 22,000 suspected ADR reports directly to the Yellow Card scheme associated with COVID-19 vaccines. Of these reports, 118 included a fatal outcome and over 17,500 reports were considered serious by the reporter via our medical dictionary.”
Wait. How many? I’ve been sceptical all along about the benefits and risks of the Covid vaccines for many reasons but those numbers are off the scale. MHRA is saying that in that two-month period, a staggering one in 186 of Yellow Cards reported a death and 80% of them reported a serious adverse event. Wowza.
Aha, you say, but there was a huge number of vaccinations. Well, I’ve got bad news for you – there wasn’t a huge number in that two month period. Just 1.86 million, because the U.K. vaccination rate started to plateau around July 2021. So of those 1.86 million vaccinations:
- One in 15,762 (1.86m ÷ 118) resulted in a report of a death
- One in 106 (1.86m ÷ 17,500) resulted in a report of a serious adverse event
Aha, you say, a Yellow Card report doesn’t equal causation: MHRA investigates all fatal and serious Yellow Card reports and assesses the likelihood that the medicine caused the death or adverse event. Well, I’ve got more bad news for you – it doesn’t. Lots of evidence for that, but here are two nuggets:
- In reply to FOI 23/379 MHRA said that of 121 Yellow Cards for the Moderna vaccine with a fatal outcome, MHRA followed up 65 with healthcare professionals, of which 42 went unanswered. Hardly ‘all’ and hardly thorough.
- In reply to FOI 23/400 it said that it does not hold records about the number of causation assessments it has made or what the assessments were, nor does it even have a process for assessment of causation. Not very convincing, is it?
It seems to me that MHRA is asleep at the wheel. I wonder if the Covid Inquiry will properly examine MHRA’s performance against its statutory obligation to keep us safe. Shame on it if it doesn’t.
Until Nick retired a few years ago, he was a Senior Civil Servant in the Ministry of Defence responsible for the safety and effectiveness of ammunition used by the Armed Forces. He is co-author of the Perseus Group report on U.K. medicines regulator the MHRA.