Yves here. As IM Doc indicates in passing in this post, he’s been keeping Lambert and me (and the other members of our Covid brain trust) updated on what he is seeing in the field, via the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and hearing from MDs at a major teaching hospital and in his network about the Covid vaccines. Recall that IM Doc was early to warn that vaccinations would soon hit a wall after those eager to take them had gotten their shots. He saw that in his area (which has a substantial wealthy/PMC population) before the J&J “pause”.
IM Doc has also been regularly describing his frustration and that of other physicians with the dearth of data and official advice. An example from a recent e-mail:
Is it not interesting that all of the press releases and information online and on TV continually refer to “a very rare condition”, “blood clots”, “blood disorder” in very nebulous terms. That could literally encompass hundreds of different diagnoses. As one of the other docs [on an internet conference] stated out loud:
There was a time when our federal medical folks would have this kind of situation and front and center would be an EXACT description of the problem and some kind of messaging to the physicians of America of what would we should be on the lookout for – and what we can do to treat…So far NOTHING about either issue – indicating they could not give 2 fucks about patients and physicians – this is now all about protecting Big Pharma and the money machine.
Indeed, this is most unusual, extraordinary as a matter of fact. Something has drastically changed in our federal agencies in just the past few years.
The last big issue involving the CDC was the vaping/lung damage issue and I was getting daily e-mails. I am definitely on their email list. I have not received a word about any of this – nor at this point do I really expect to. I have found nothing that is an exact clinical description of what is happening to these patients and what to expect. What I am able to glean from off-handed comments in a very few of the medical articles is that the use of any anti-coagulation agents especially heparin and lovenox, make things much worse. There is also apparently great concern about the newer agents like Eliquis and Xarelto. In other words, we have no treatment options. I am not exactly sure what we are supposed to do.
To say that I find it very concerning to not be informed of what exactly is going on is unprecedented and deeply concerning.
Now to IM Doc’s overview of the sorry state of vaccine deployment. This Administration is following the established Team Dem practice of treating every problem as if it can be solve with better PR. We are seeing that in a pandemic results in bad science, bad PR, and bad outcomes.
By IM Doc, a internal medicine doctor working in a rural hospital in the heartlands
I am the son of a public health officer. As a young child, I saw my father struggle through the swine flu of 1976 and the vaccine debacle that accompanied that era.
As I grew older, and especially once I entered medicine, he had several heart-to-heart talks with me about a career in medicine and by extension public health. I can summarize what he told me in two large thrusts.
1) Integrity, truth, and honesty is EVERYTHING in public health. Once squandered, it will never return.
2) Public health is 10% science and 90% psychology. Do not ever forget that. You will get nowhere by screaming SCIENCE SCIENCE SCIENCE and you will certainly get nowhere by flashing credentials. And you must have an acute awareness of panic, fear and anxiety. They change everything and your response must always take that into account.
I have done everything I can as an Internist and Primary Care Physician to conduct myself with honesty and integrity and to respect the emotions and thoughts of my patients and my community. To conduct myself any other way would be a fool’s errand.
So it came as no surprise to watch this Bill Maher segment on Friday night with my wife.
I take care of patients that are both blue and red in their politics. I have been hearing exactly the same mood and sentiment from all of them over the past 2-3 weeks. Mr. Maher has dissected perfectly where I think most people are in this country, that they are tired of being told half truths and noble lies.
This complete and total messaging disaster is the doing of our federal public health officials and our media. The narrative has completely fallen apart in almost every aspect of this pandemic and its management. The credibility deficit keeps getting worse by the week.
For whatever reason, we in medicine and public health have allowed a bunch of corrupt, lying, discredited charlatans to be our spokespeople – often employing the age-old tactics of SCIENCE, SCIENCE, SCIENCE or worse yet – BECAUSE I SAY SO – all the while flashing their fancy credentials while being questioned on TV by smiling sycophants who seem completely incapable of asking tough questions.
Mr. Maher’s commentary ended the week in which we saw one of the vaccines (Johnson & Johnson) being halted because of safety concerns. I was interested to see how public health leaders would respond. It was consistent with the poor baseline they’ve set.
Dr. Leana S. Wen, a physician so skilled in communication and leadership that she was fired within a year as CEO of Planned Parenthood, has been a mainstay of the official medical response. Her biggest misfire was about 2 weeks ago, when she suggested on CNN that citizens should have their freedoms removed in order to be convinced to take the vaccine.
What’s up doc ???
CRAZY vaccine analogy!
Watch CNN contributor Dr. Leana Wen warn Chris Cuomo about the CDC’s shrinking window of opportunity to make Covid jab policy the “ticket to pre-pandemic life” – before the “carrot” to get vaccinated disappears. pic.twitter.com/1aamIoYcHR
— ivan (@ivan8848) April 3, 2021
During that conversation (full segment here), she asserted that these vaccines were perfectly safe, which as we all know has been the party line from the beginning. Those remarks instantly torpedoed her credibility in the minds of many of my patients who with angry faces played this clip to me over and over that week.
So, imagine my surprise that she was chosen to write the soothing Washington Post op ed to calm the populace after the J&J debacle. You can tell by the title how deluded she is – “Why the J&J pause should bolster confidence in vaccines”. It only gets worse when you read the piece. You literally just cannot make this stuff up. I just want to scream to the newspaper – THIS IS NOT SHAMPOO YOU MORONS – THIS IS PEOPLE’S LIVES.
If anyone thinks people are going to be lining up to take the J&J vaccine at this point – they have rocks in their heads. And the damage from the J&J debacle is assuredly damaging confidence in the other vaccines as well – I have heard it all week.
And not to be shown up, there was Dr. Fauci making the Sunday rounds. Again, these people seem to have no clue about issues such as public confidence. And their current stands are burning their credibility to the ground even faster. He has spent much of the past two weeks messaging that even though people are fully vaccinated, they must continue right on with the stringent masking and social distancing as if nothing is changed. For those who have been paying close attention, that’s not a surprise, but to the public at large, it comes off as a 180 degree change from exhortation by officials and pundits that getting vaccinated was the ticket to the old normal.
Worse, to the average American’s mind, it is as if Dr. Fauci, et al actually do not believe the vaccines work. When I watched Tucker Carlson for the first time I’d ever seen him, last week, his questions were very similar to those I’ve heard in my office recently from patients all across the political spectrum.
And as if right on cue, the CEOs of both Moderna and Pfizer made statements this week that further vaccinations will be required. I am not certain that anyone on the anti-vaxxer side is making more effective arguments in people’s mind than all of these official medical people.
I hear it every day all day from my patients. We are already in a bad situation in this country with trust of our officials. And then the safety bomb went off this week.
I am going to share the story of a very grim task I have had to do this week. I have given pertinent details to Yves & Lambert, but to protect the complete confidentiality of the patient and her family, I will not be nearly as specific here.
I am going to talk about safety. From the inception of this vaccine strategy, we have been told these vaccines were as safe as the other vaccines we use all the time. We were also assured that because they were not yet approved, and under emergency use only, safety issues would be stringently followed. I want to share my experience and my patient’s experience with this safety net.
It is very important to start this discussion with a federal system known as VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System). I have used this system yearly in my career since its advent. It has been invaluable to follow complications with the usual vaccines given in a PCP office – most usually the flu shots. During flu shot season, I keep my eyes on it frequently to monitor any complications that may be arising in that year’s flu shot. In December, I had noted that there were a few dozen deaths noted on the VAERS around the 2020 flu shots – which was right in line with previous years. No practicing physicians take these numbers as 100% accurate, the system is flawed in multiple ways – but it is very helpful to follow overall stats/ratios and specific medical issues. We all know these are not totally investigated cases – but benchmarks to guide our practice around vaccines. In other words, it is now and always has been an invaluable resource.
In early January of this year, in my own patients, I began to notice in COVID vaccinated patients a small number who were having significant complications from various blood clotting issues. These were very strange things that do not happen in the normal practice of medicine. I emailed Yves and Lambert back then that I was becoming a bit concerned that this was happening.
As has been my usual practice when there is a problem like this, I began following the VAERS system very carefully. And to my great concern, I saw a very large number of cases of death and complications similar to what I was seeing. The ratio of complications was quite startling – 100-200 times or so more than the control group of 2020 flu vaccines. The VAERS system is currently reporting over 3000 deaths related to the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines. The numbers in the European registries are almost exactly in line with this as well. I would guess from a simple perusal that about half these reports – both death and morbidity – are directly related to blood clotting issues.
VAERS was never a system meant to be perfectly accurate – but having a 100-200X difference in mortality rates should be attention-getting to everyone in medicine. And yet instead of addressing this issue head-on, our medical leaders continued right on with the party line that EVERYTHING IS SAFE and GOING SWIMMINGLY – nothing to see here. There were days that I felt like I was living in The Twilight Zone.
Because the nation’s medical officials were not addressing the problems, others noticed the VAERS reporting failures and started to publicize them. Of course, within weeks, we had articles like this one in Vice showing up and completely mischaracterizing the entire VAERS system and process.
When you start your article by lionizing an individual who has happily and admittedly committed both a federal crime (by placing fake reports) and a nasty breach of medical ethics, you literally can only go down from there. And they do. Such is “journalism” in America today. I do not like to call people liars – but that article reports more misrepresentations than I have seen in this entire year of COVID reporting. And the writers revealed a complete misunderstanding of the entire system. Like so many other things in our world today, research is optional.
The VAERS system is very cumbersome to use – both reporting and data presentation. Every step of the way, you are reminded it is a federal crime to put false information. It is also clear as a clinician that there are false reports there but they are a very distinct microscopic minority. You can easily tell that most are submitted by fellow clinicians and it is very helpful to quantify issues in a general way and see if there are similar threads with your patients and the other reported ones.
Because of the novel nature of these vaccines, an app based system, VSAFE, was developed and widely implemented to report safety and side effect issues. Unfortunately, I cannot even express the number of times patients in my office demonstrated that the app does not work – all that happened was the spinning blue ball. In fact, when my own wife tried to report her side effects through the app, she gave up after 4-5 attempts. Never able to connect. The whole experience reminds one of the last time the Feds tried computer apps – the disastrous Obamacare sign up.
My grim job this week was to report a vaccine related death to the authorities. I have had to do this type of reporting on other occasions in my career, with other drugs, both approved and research trials, with both deaths and morbid complications. In every single instance in the past, without exception, I have been contacted within 1-2 hours by either the FDA or the CDC. They questioned me, discussed the particulars with me, and a collaboration was begun.
This death was much different.
A little about the patient situation. She had her vaccine about 8 AM on a weekday. It was the 2nd shot. Very soon thereafter, she felt electric shocks over her entire body. Later, she was having trouble speaking and could not stand up. She began having severe problems swallowing. I advised to go immediately to the ER. I will not go into details here but suffice it to say, she was having a profound neurologic problem. It was not a simple stroke nor was it a blood clotting issue. Because of the timing of symptom initiation, it was clear to me that the vaccine was likely involved. She was diagnosed with a condition that is very very unusual and is often associated with vaccine administration. She had 5 weeks of very severe pain and did not recover. She was eventually placed on hospice and passed away. Before she died, she told me to make sure that everyone knows that these vaccines are not as safe as advertised. Believe you me, her family is doing everything they can to make sure that this story is known all over the community. The patient herself was a very well-loved individual here – and this has been a blow to the entire area.
I am a licensed physician in a US state. I am board bertified in Internal Medicine. I made every effort to immediately report this death to the federal officials. I called the FDA and ended up in voicemail hell. I called the CDC and was literally hung up on twice. Again, please contrast that reception to what I describe above in previous “non-crisis” years.
After multiple attempts, I finally decided to report to VAERS. This was almost a week ago. To date, the VAERS has no record of my patient. All that I have received is an email to confirm my submission. No one from any agency has made any effort to contact me in any way. It was of little comfort to note in in the New York Times, that the physicians trying to report one of the sentinel J&J stroke cases got a similar “hang up in your face” response from the FDA/CDC.
I want to reiterate – a patient has died. A board-certified internist feels this is likely vaccine-related. And no one has made any effort to contact me. None. A complete departure from the past. And this is a stringent safety-reporting system?
What am I trying to say? The system is broken. Therefore, we have no idea what is the actual safety profile of these vaccines. The patients who have been affected know it. Word is getting out that there are problems. Social media is filled with all kinds of stories. And our federal officials keep right on with the same “All is well – everything is safe” mantra. We have media figures everywhere spouting out safety numbers that I can assure you are not accurate. All in an environment when they are trying to convince as many as possible to take this vaccine.
This is all so sad. The early efficacy numbers are looking good (we do not know how long that will last nor if they are effective against the variants). But because of the bumbling of the federal response, and now the safety concerns, large swathes are turning their backs. This environment is perfect for the creation of all kinds of conspiracy theories. And believe me, they are out there and multiplying every day. Things like this happen in the absence of trust and credibility. It is simple human nature. Just like my father said – public health is 90% psychology.
The primary care practitioners of this country and their patients are in a terrible situation. It did not have to be this way.
All of this is very disturbing, but I can’t help but discount due to presentation. It’s not the format you trust on the internet – an anonymous, unnamed individual writes of anecdote and presents primary data (100-200x deaths in VAERS) without excerpt or citation.
I hope there is some way to increase the trustworthiness of this reporting, if true it is critical information. But as is, not something I would share with anyone outside the NC community.
You are certainly entitled to be skeptical of this as long as you are equally skeptical of the pronouncements of Fauci et al. We all have to make judgments about what to believe and some of us have been suspicious from the beginning of self certain pronouncements about a new disease where so much is unknown.
Myself, I believe everything above. There have been people here who claim to be doctors who I believed to be spoofing. But there has always been quite a bit of Covid dissent on the web at large and much of it cannot be glibly dismissed–particularly when the vaccine boosters have a large financial stake and the skeptics seem to have no such conflict.
Why would Taunger need to be equally skeptical of Fauci? Fauci is known while this article is from an unknown, and a reader would have no idea of the writers politics and position etc.
The writer appears to have witnessed a lot in regards to the vaccinations, his wife, a patient dies and lots of other complications. I’m in Australia and our vaccination rate hasn’t got off to a great start, but so far 1.6m (pop 25m) and one death from the blood clotting issue (AstraZeneca). As far as I know the only reported complications have been tiredness, muscle soreness etc.
Because we sadly live in a time when public celebrity and credentials are no guarantee of credibility and so we must be skeptical of everything–bringing our own research and judgment into our belief.
And I believe the above in part because it’s in line with other things I have read. Fauci on the other hand has a history of assertions that he has had to retract (going back to AIDS). And as IMDoc has previously pointed out, politics have very much become part of our medicine with the pandemic used last year as a weapon in our presidential race. The media are largely to blame for this with their “any stick to beat a dog” approach to Trump. At this point I’d believe NC over the NYT and the site is vouching for IMDoc.
sounds credible, but my spidey sense is tingling.
at some point you’ve gotta put your name on it.
“Not that you lied, but that I no longer believe you, has shaken me.” FW Nietzsche
He has, with Lambert and me.
Our most important insiders on CDOs did not do that. Ditto private equity, see our early posts.
How dare you suggest he trash his career to satisfy you? With the press full of anonymous sources who don’t say enough for knowledgeable readers to assess what they are saying?
@Centraltex, I appreciate any skepticism people may apply to an anonymous report. However, as a healthcare professional, I go to great lengths to hide my true thoughts on many subjects. I would never publicly display counterarguments to many mainstream ideas, especially on the Internet. And when I do present counterarguments, they are in a private and carefully-screened situation where I feel safe to do so.
As I stated in the piece – it is very critical to remember that the purpose of the VAERS is not to be 100% accurate. It, however, can be used as an early warning sign that things are amiss. It has in the past been vital in previous vaccine issues – such as Gardasil and RSV.
There were basically 20 vaccine deaths for the influenza virus in the 2020 year. If you look back for the past dozen years or so – that is right in line – a few dozen reports each year. Other sources tell me that approximately 130,000,000 doses of influenza vaccine were given in the year 2020. This too is not accurate – but is basically in line with previous years – even a bit higher than usual – there was a huge push if you recall to vaccinate everyone with the flu shot – thinking it would be a co-morbidity with COVID.
So the flu shot ( a good control cohort for another respiratory virus vaccine ) had deaths of about 20 in a dosing cohort of 130,000,000 making that ratio – 1 death in 6.5 million vaccine doses.
It is difficult to know where to cut off the COVID vaccine – because it is an ongoing process – so as of today – the VAERS is up to date as of APRIL 2. As of that day – the best info I can find is that 179,000,000 doses of COVID vaccine had been given around that date. And as of that date in VAERS we have 2700 or so vaccine related death reports. That is 1 death in 66296 vaccine administrations.
The COVID ratio for reported deaths/vaccine administered to the 2020 flu shot season with reported deaths is right at 98.
That is a startling differential. It is certainly not 100% accurate – but it is a very severe variance from a normal well-known vaccine like the flu shot. As I have indicated in the piece – the system is way behind, who knows what all is being processed at this time.
The point of the VAERS system is not to be 100% accurate. It is to be an early warning system – and to guide clinicians with their own witnessed complications and side effects.
It should be obvious to all that we have a problem.
It is my contention – that if the powers that be would just be straight and level with the American people that yes there is a huge safety problem associated with this vaccine – and we are doing everything we can to help and get us through this – that they would be light years ahead of where they are now. But that is not what they are doing.
The point is – in times past – the media would be jumping all over this – it is a huge discrepancy. Instead, the media is taking every opportunity to bash the VAERS system. It is telling a concerning story that they cannot fit into the SAFE SAFE SAFE narrative – and instead of dealing with the problem, they are bashing what system we have left.
I am certain that a young reporter could make his/her life’s reputation with this story like Woodward & Bernstein – but they seem to be nowhere to be found.
So people like me have to report this confidentially. Sorry – I know it is not ideal. The owners of this blog know exactly who I am – and I have been straightforward with them from Day 1. I cannot at this time risk being identified – we live in a nasty cancel culture. Maybe one day I can let it all be known – but not today.
I find it so interesting – that people dismiss things from anonymous sources that do not fit into their narratives – but are willing to soak it all in with things like Russiagate.
We live in an amazing world.
I appreciate you breaking out the numbers and clarifying that the 100x number is in fact deaths, not just complications. Sobering material. It would be wonderful if our society could directly engage in the value of vaccination, if any, in light of these findings.
Thank you again for your response. I did not doubt your earnestness, but the weight to assign the statements was hard to discern without some additional context.
You make another point that is important.
The numbers above are just actual DEATHS.
The number of morbid complications when compared to the flu shot is equally overwhelming if not more so – now numbering into the tens of thousands. And no – we are not just talking about fever and chills.
Please go read through the case reports for yourselves.
I combed through VAERS last Friday and got similar flu vaccine vs. COVID vaccine complication totals. It’s good to see that someone else finds them troubling.
I’d posted, previously: we’d COVID, just over a year ago. Side-effects from the first Moderna shot were troubling, in that they’d emulated the inflammatory stages of the infection, only worse in intensity: LPR, diverticulosis, odd muscle cramps and joint issues, close to a week after inoculation. I’d been following the studies, especially here in NYC, where sero-prevalance is high; so based upon additional spike-protein, IgG immuno-survey, I’d decided to postpone my 2nd shot, while my partner’s had her’s (she’s getting dental work, PT and far more interaction with others, half our age). My concern was with the cursory nature of blood work, imaging & other diagnostics, as to what damage we’d experienced while our immune systems were hijacked? What’s most troubling, is just how speciously gullible and sneeringly delusional my affluent, well educated neighbors are to ignore astute, pertinent & prescient clinician’s tweets from Asia, Italy, Iran & HERE for over a year; only to lecture us with cherry-picked obfuscatory agitprop from Comcast, AT&T, Disney & Viacom?
Just wow. Thank you IM Doc. This is the straightest piece of info I’ve read. I was so cautious for a long time, I put off taking the jab as long as I could. When the J&J was available (but still not very accessible for some reason you had to drive all the way down to Provo for it) I took it. And that was almost simultaneously with the release of the blood clotting info. So then, Oh shit, what to do? I took an aspirin and drank more water than usual. What else? It has been so traumatizing I will hold a permanent grudge against pharma and the government at this point on. Before, I had a healthy skepticism. Now it’s a healthy hatred. Your description of the woman who had “electric shocks all over her body” after the jab really hit home with me because when I had my first round of intestinal Covid in the early Spring of 2020 that is exactly what I had for about 2 days and it convinced me it was indeed Covid as I had never had anything like it before. Nor had anyone described it. I described it as “sparks” for lack of a better word. So, sure I’d had Covid I was hesitant to take the vax even tho’ it was being shoved down my throat – so I got a serology antibody test first, thinking it would save me from a cytokine storm, and I showed no antibodies in my blood. I remain convinced I’ve got T and B cells in my gut if not “antibodies” – so anyway I took the J&J. The only bad side effect I got was a migraine headache (more like a very bad sinus headache) – and I was a little worried as I had not had one for 10 years. It lasted less than 24 hours and I was fine after that. And have been since. Still taking aspirin. The thing that has been so wrenching in all this is that I relied only on my own good instincts; I read as much as I could and then I made my own decisions. So far I’m a survivor. But our government is the casualty. Their duck and run just dug their grave, hopefully. When it comes to Pharma, we the people have no government.
I went thru much the same mental process you describe. In my case, although resistant to being jabbed at all, no way was I going to take mrna and figured J&J a more established technology. I’ve tested negative almost 20 times to visit mother in a care facility and with sensible precautions, felt my immune system was robust and if I were to get Covid at all it would be mild. Yet, I have an immune compromised family member to consider (even though Covid jabs don’t prevent transmission) along with constant threats of compulsory jab, I got J&J about a week before the blood clotting announcement and about that time developed tinnitus which i’ve never had before.
According to a medical data base in covid vax and tinnitus Google search, there are many reports of tinnitus developing within hours or days after mrna vaccine predominantly, and in those who have never had it previously.
So yes, I’m beyond furious as this condition may not resolve for pharma’s bloody 6 months of partial immunity and can imagine how those severally impacted by jab feel while the media drones on with the likes of Fauci and Wen “safe and effective” on vaccines tested with only approx 15K participants (per handout literature immediately prior to injection). The intense campaign of overpromising and minimizing serious inflammatory responses will backfire and further erode confidence in institutions.
IM Doc, I couldn’t make head or tail of the VAERS database so I appreciate your breaking out these numbers. Could the deaths be heavily skewed because the earliest people vaccinated were frail elderly in nursing homes, and older, sicker individuals in later tranches? Thanks for commenting.
That is a good thought; however, the controlled group of flu shots is heavily skewed to the same group – there may be some variance but not enough to account for the severe discrepancy.
“Public health is 10% science and 90% psychology.”
It’s true that VAERS is very cumbersome. A video at this website helps a person navigate it.
I will add another problem regarding the psychology of the confused public making sense of test results.
The local Ft. Collins CO public health agency has misinformed my niece that false positive Covid tests don’t happen. They hedged after I (a retired physician who has gone through the vaccination training in my state) sent her a NEJM article and CDC websites that describe how this happens, claiming he was symptomatic. The trouble is that he experienced severe symptoms that were lasting 6 days after his first Moderna vaccine. All of his symptoms–painful adenopathy, fatigue, aches, nausea, injection site pain (except for one episode of diarrhea and paresthesias/ tingling) were classic post-vaccine side effects. And these are symptoms listed at VAERS. He specifically didn’t have more concerning Covid symptoms: cough, fever, anosmia, shortness of breath.
The local agency insisted the rapid Covid test was a true positive–even when ~7 family members who had close contact with him on Easter Sunday tested negative (including his wife, who tested twice and their two kids). AND HE TESTED NEGATIVE A FEW DAYS LATER WITH A PCR TEST.
The local public health agency insisted the family had to continue their two week quarantine (with kids missing school and wife, an interior designer missing work). The PCR test was the false negative!
The CDC states one should report false positive Covid tests. That ain’t gonna happen for a lot of people who are Covid testing for the wrong reasons–including adverse reactions to vaccines. After all, we are depending more and more on rapid antigen testing, which is even more likely to be a false negative.
Lordie. There are numerous articles about false positives both with the PCR and the antigen tests. That was the reason I was nervous about having to take them before flying (yes for medical reasons, don’t bust my chops). PCR test very reliable ONLY with symptomatic patients.
I have verified that this doctor is a practicing MD. He has written previously for this site, notably a critique of the NEJM article on the Pfizer vaccine.
We had a follow on discussion that included comments from other experts:
He has also stated (as has one of the other medical experts we sometimes contact) that saying anything negative about the vaccines would likely lead to being fired. Outside of NYC, hardly any physicians that are actually doing medicine (as opposed to cosmetic treatments or “life extension”) are employed in large medical groups.
I have also heard accounts of complications first hand from two people who have taken the vaccine. Not readers in comments, but people I know personally. One they eventually abated, the second they haven’t yet.
Frankly I am offended that you would think we’d post something that was fabricated.
I think a large source of the conspiracy theories is as follows. We’ve seen in economic areas that powerful interests will screw things up deliberately and then hide behind the proverb ‘never assume malice where incompetence will do’ (corporate HR version: ‘assume good intent’), so why not medicine? The public has long since updated the proverb to ‘wilful incompetence is a sign of malice’ and the conspiracy theories arise naturally as attempts to explain the malice with insufficient information and perhaps an inflated sense of the establishment’s ability to set coherent goals for itself.
And once powerful interests have made this accomodation and gotten away with it, they no longer have any reason to think any differently between “shampoo” and “peoples lives”.
Corrupt and dishonest to the lethal core.
Also sitting on all the mass media levers. A difficult challenge.
Thanks for that IM Doc – I believe it’s not just a US problem as I get the strong impression that NICE in the UK, the WHO & EMA in Europe all aided by the MSM are acting in a similar fashion. The Pols all appear to have bet their houses on the vaccine with no plan B in case A fails. It is pretty obvious IMO that profit is the foremost consideration, while in Europe it is all further complicated by the politics, both the usual & the Geo version.
I think this is the key – the pols have gone all in on the vaccine as solving the problem, and the public health establishment has not been willing or able to stand up to it. That the early vaccines would have teething problems was entirely predictable, but the fear of being associated with anti-vaxxers has kept more cautious voices quiet.
We needed a steady, phased roll out with good communication and feedback and constant monitoring before going for full population coverage, but instead we got national races to be the first. The UK has gone all in on AstraZeneca, so I would question any data coming from there. And of course, most of the other vaccines have their ‘national’ champions too. So its become almost impossible to find genuinely trustworthy sources.
The article notes 100-200x rate of complications AND deaths in one sentence, and goes on to note 100-200x mortality rate. Seems like an important inconsistency.
It’s a good question and I’d add to this: was flu vaccine administration the same in 2020 as in other years? Was it less because people weren’t going out to the pharmacy to get the jab? Are those numbers available?
Maybe a better comparison is 2019.
If this story is true, and I do trust Yves and Lambert to vet the story, it’s sad and this is just a matter of clarification.
The Vaers system is found here https://wonder.cdc.gov/vaers.html
It is possible for you to do your own search if you so wish.
Deaths associated with any flu vaccine by year.
Deaths associated with any flu vaccine total in the system 598
That said when I looked at deaths related to covid vaccine I only got 2,149. Which is less than 3000.
I refrained given the post noted that even seasoned users have difficulty. I know we’ll enough that without experience my own research may lead to faulty conclusions.
Also, I feel pointing out such ambiguity in an NC post is a very reasonable comment, if only for the author’s benefit developing the narrative.
I agree. It is an important question, I’ve already come across instance of covid anti vaxxers deliberately misrepresenting data, once I went and checked the source.
I can’t get that “wonder” link to open (Firefox). I was able to access the VAERS database at medalerts.org/vaersdb/ but can’t tell how to navigate it.
Thank you NC and IMDoc for this important post. Anyone who’s been following the story here probably knows that the vaccine (I had two shots of Moderna without ill effects) is only temporary and that it may be possible to carry and spread the disease even after receiving the vaccine. The MSM and powers that be are doing us an incredible disservice by not making this clear.
Does anyone know if the much higher negative effects are because of the initial targeted demographic?
I don’t know what you are looking at. As of this morning, there are 3486 deaths from Dec 14 through April 9.
When I do a VAERS search, selecting Symptom as death, Vaccine Type Covid-19, placing no restrictions on doses/manufacturer/time etc. And Grouped by Symptoms, I get 2079 deaths as of 21st April.
I can go by only what limited stuff I’ve read, but given how minuscule are the flu numbers, I am not surprised the covid vaccine numbers are so much higher. The flu has been around for thousands of years, which is plenty of time to kill off those who react badly, and the flu vaccine for 80 years. Covid otoh is recent and the vaccines are new. This blog has reported that a problem with the virus (perhaps any but worse for new ones) is that one’s immune response can do more damage than the virus. Ergo, it is to expected that the immune response to any vaccine has a non-negligible probability of being over the top too. (That said, IM Doc’s concern about the lack of forthrightness of TPTB is the topic here, so whether this speculation I give is true or not is really beside the point.)
thanks. not fun to read, but thanks.
I have my shots. I am scheduled for a small procedure two hours from where I live. Despite having both shots now for 6 weeks, I have to go to their facility 3 days before the procedure to have a Covid test.
Sounds like nothing but a money grab to me, but I have to do it if I am to have the procedure.
Having the shot meant nothing to the medical community, it appears.
So, I am confused.
It’s hardly that “Having a shot meant nothing to the medical community.” It is very clear that people have some protection from new variants after being vaccinated, but this hardly means that those people are immune to those new variants, incapable of spreading them or of being hospitalized.
I now feel foolish for getting vaccinated.
After my first Pfizer dose I had a bad headache and bad fatigue. So different from everyone I know around me. My second dose I had no effects BUT some of the “electric shock” sensation you described in that poor woman. What did that mean? Some say no reaction to the second shot means I had COVID already, others say “Well, all our immune systems are different”. So in short NO ANSWER from any one in medicine why this happened to me. So where is the science I am supposed to trust? No long term studies and no studies with people who have already had COVID.
What this means is that in “war” like the “war on COVID” they are always happy to explain away collateral damage. Medicine in the US only cares about are the people in the middle of the bell curve. People like that woman are ignored because they are different, and Medicine cannot handle different.
No, you should have gotten vaccinated.
What is poor is that the authorities have insisted that experimental vaccines are as safe as conventional drugs and also not informing MDs as to developing issues so they can counsel patients. The worst is keeping them in the dark with respect to conventional medications backfiring in the event of clotting with J&J and perhaps others. It seems wildly implausible that they’d yank J&J with only 6 incidents out of 7 million shots. It suggests they’ve seen more incidents but aren’t mentioning them.
So they’ve at best told one noble lie, that the vaccines are totally safe, and compounded it with what looks like another, what sure logically seems like not coming clean about J&J and potentially others. VAERS shows a higher proportion of vascular issues with respect to Pfizer and Moderna, yet we are hearing only about J&J? Is that because heparin backfires with J&J but not the others? That might justify the difference in treatment, but the lack of transparency is deeply troubling.
How will we mopes with arms to jab ever know answers to any of the questions posed? What demand needs to be made of the PTB/bureaucracy to get answers?
Many, maybe most of these experimental vaccines target specific areas of the “spike protein” in the expectation that will keep the virus from entering human cells and replicating.
It’s becoming obvious that the processes that work in the virus’ accommodation to vaccine threats have resulted in changes to those areas that render the spine protein unreadable to the vaccinated immune system.
And my understanding is that vaccines, like antibiotics, inevitably result in “variants,” reconfigured virions, that escape the encoded response parts of the person’s immune system. What’s the grand strategy for dealing with this issue? Big Pharma of course will just push profit-making “boosters” or different vaccine “products,” and continue to obfuscate any negative effects, while riding the abusive recourse to “emergency use authorizations” to do an end-around of the precautionary principle. Which is a dead letter anyway in the entire US regulatory structure, and in a lot of the rest of the world, replaced by BS and “risk assessment” and “cost-benefit analysis.” To me there are tons of externalities being generated (like the corporate-immunity to legal liability that is under consideration), all turning into profit for the Few, confusion and fear, uncertainty and doubt for the rest of us.
Looks like all the motivations that drive the nominal “public health” apparatus are corrupted, and have wasted whatever reputation those institutions might have had.
One might hope that some whistleblowers from within the corporate monolith and the bureaucracies might generate and broadcast the scripts that got read out as the individuals who run and work in these places came up with the approach they are selling. What kind of people carry out the marketing of stuff like Vioxx and OxyContin, and the unintelligible and unconscionable noise that comes out of government and media mouths?
Maher and Carlson talk about the failings of the corporate-bureaucratic system as if this disease is a unitary viral threat, and brag that places that have “opened up” have shown that the viral threat is overblown, while rightly observing that the big public proponents of vaccination are definitely not “doing science” as much as doing Obama-level messaging. What’s clear to me from this thread is that “nobody knows,”
My wife and I have both gotten the two injections of the Moderna product. She has had some “mild” symptoms, though of course we live on tenterhooks, every twinge and sneeze a cause for concern. And what are we supposed to know, or believe, about anything related to this disease and the vaccination products that are being pushed on us in a miasma of mis- and DYS-information?
My god. What an article! Absolutely believable! What insanity. Same here in Germany and possibly worse as we have a history of authoritarianism. Thank you Doc and thank you Naked Capitalism.
It’s been a bit more than 7 weeks since I ha my first shot of ModeRna vaccine and I am still experiencing inflammation in both elbows ( and foot pain, both new) and increased sensitivity of my older injuries to my cervical spine and sciatic nerve.as well as fatigue.
It incapacitated me for two days after each shot and it’s still limiting my physical activity.My primary care physician retired at the end of February and communications are difficult with my new one, partly due to a voicemail system designed to keep you from ever speaking to a human.
I spent several frustrating hours trying to get through last week.
As IM Doc says, it’s broken.
VAERS has definitely changed for the worse, imo. Several years ago, I used the system to report anaphylaxis to the flu shot. I also reported to the pharmacy where I received the shot in case it was a bad batch of vaccine. In those days, it was easy to use my case number, or even not use the case number, to go into the system and see if there were any other reports of side effects from that particular batch of vaccine (there weren’t–it was strictly something in me that reacted badly to the shot).
I tried to use VAERS a couple of months ago only to find that all the case report numbers had been changed. I don’t know which computer wizard convinced HHS to change the system, but I will say that as a person with two graduate degrees, and reasonably computer savvy, I found it impossible, and unfriendly, to use.
My experience with VAERS is that they kept contacting me for the first year after the anaphylaxis report to see if I wanted to make a financial claim. Since Medicare picked up the ER bill in full, I didn’t need financial aid; however, their primary interest seemed to be financial rather than medical. I had to do my own research before taking my first Covid shot, as well as arranging for allergy tests prior to the shot, to make sure that the Polysorbate-80 (a component of the quadrivalent flu shot I took) was not an allergen that would prevent me from being vaccinated for Covid. At least the CDC has an easy-to-use listing of all vaccines and their ingredients, unlike the cumbersome VAERS.
Thanks very much for this post.
Two questions :
“..over 3000 deaths related to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.” I’m unclear what that means. Is related to the same as caused by?
Also, this article makes people like me who are on the fence about the whole vaccine issue question it even more yet I notice you say your wife got the vaccine. If it genuinely is not safe, why then would your own family member expose themselves to the risk? This is not meant in any way to be antagonistic. I’ve just noticed that a number of people who have been questioning the vaccines as well as their family members then go on to get vaccinated which I find confusing.
What I’d really like to know is – is a simple measure like using a mask and avoiding crowds as good as the vaccine to avoid getting COVID?
Well, I think the Chinese, the New Zealanders and the Australians would probably answer, Yes, using a mask and avoiding crowds is as good as getting vaccinated to avoid getting Covid. Their societies achieved getting rid of the contagion without vaccinating it out of existence. Why wouldn’t those associated with the pharmaceutical industry not promote the vaccines when they have so much to gain: the profits appear to be almost infinite.
When many of our institutions have become corrupted (banks and pharmaceuticals, for example) why would we think that the scientific community would be any better? What with our knowledge of the importance of upholding the ideology of Intellectual Property at all costs and the wealth to be gained via the Stock Market and vaccine sales for about 7 billion people, who could resist telling a lie here and there? We are almost inured to the truth now.
Thank you for your reply! It is really hard to evaluate risk and mitigation methods when it’s become almost taboo to question the vaccines as the only option. I’m not 100% against them and may get at least one dose but it also seems like risk is different for each individual and we don’t seem to be doing things that are just simple and common sense – like the masks and avoiding crowds and retrofitting buildings with windows that open at least when things can’t be moved outside.
An Australian here. Yeah nah, I doubt many Australians would tell you that masks and social distancing is a long term solution. The idea over here lead by the various states, not the feds, who had to be dragged kicking and screaming into lockdowns, border closures, masks, social distancing etc, was to keep the burden on the hospital system down until a vaccine came along.
The country will go broke if me have to repeated 2020 instead of a vaccine, but you never know, if what is written here about the vaccines is true, people will rethink things pretty quickly.
If I may, I think the main takeaway here is not that the vaccines are bad and no one should take them at all (though IM Doc can certainly correct me if I’m wrong), but that they have a risk profile all their own and the obfuscation of this fact, in the interest/at the behest of the pharmaceutical companies, or for whatever reason, is bad for a few salient reasons (in my own, potentially meagre understanding):
1. It weakens trust, which ought to be a sine qua non of public health
2. By downplaying, minimising, or obscuring the risks, or just pretending they don’t exist at all and you’re an anti-vax nut if you even entertain the possibility, it makes it difficult not just for patients, but apparently physicians, to adequately understand and assess the risks and make informed decisions about these vaccines, including on how to treat patients if serious adverse effects are experienced.
3. In a similar fashion, by presenting the vaccines as some kind of miracle cure that will see normalcy restored to the world in a matter of weeks/months, instead of adequately reckoning with the real-world shortcomings of these vaccines, it has the potential to undermine genuinely effective measures that reduce individual infection and communal transmission alike, such as masking, ventilation, etc., or lockdowns and border shutdowns for those jurisdictions that use those strategies. This could have serious long term consequences on a large scale.
You are correct in every way in my opinion.
I am not anti-vaccination –
However – I am very much attuned to people’s risk profiles. And we should be much more clear with people that this is not a “risk-free” endeavor.
Hmmm… Looking at both your numbers and the alternate set that Dagnarus dug up, it appears that taking COVID-19 vaccine is about 100X as risky as taking an influenza vaccine. This is not a trivial difference.
However, the disease itself has killed 100X more people than the vaccines have, so I’m probably still going to get my second shot. But boy, I really wish I understood better what the actual risks are, and what actions I might make to mitigate them. Two weeks of 81mg of aspirin per day after the shot to reduce clotting risk? Antihistamines to reduce the risk of immune system over-response? Alas, I’m not a doctor, and I’m reduced to minimally-educated guesses. And with our “leadership” actively discouraging people from even looking at such things…
But anyway, I thank you for the article. It was very eye-opening. And alas, COVID-19 isn’t the only place where we’ve been fed a load of crap, with things being obviously broken. I lack the expertise on medical stuff, but on energy policy, I can assure you that “screaming SCIENCE SCIENCE SCIENCE and flashing credentials” is working out similarly poorly. But that’s another thread for another day.
Thanks so very much for this information. A quick question…
It appears to me the worse ramification/problem from any of the 3 shots currently in use is blood clots potentially leading to a problematic outcome.
Knowing this, would it not be wise to do a short regime of Aspirin before and after getting the vaccinations to help mitigate potential clotting effects?
A slight tangent to this article. Vaers lists 2 children, aged 1-2 years as having died, associated with covid vaccination. Report 1074247-1 list a 2 year old who died after being vaccinated on 2021-02-25. To the best of my knowledge this is before pfizer/moderna started their trials for 6month to 2 year olds. Am I incorrect on that, or is this most likely a data entry error?
Details may be too vague to tell for sure in that case, but I see ~50 other reports of complications in 0-2 year olds. Some are breastfeeding infants reported as receiving “transmammary” vaccination; and some are obviously older than reported, judging from “symptom_text”. (For instance, see report #940015, regarding a 1.08-year-old med student.) Youngest vaccine recipient in VAERS that I’d be confident in is age 7 (#976811).
What Bill Mahr pointed out about weight and Covid has other implications.
He also pointed out the shaming of outdoor activities (which often involve people getting some sort of exercise for their bodies).
So we have people running around now with temporary vaccines that do not stop people from catching and spreading the virus, and it can still be spread asymptomatically.
And you have people emerging from quatantine into the hype about these vaccines and many people have gained weight these past months. Articles all over the place about weight gain during quarantine.
I’ve gained 30 pounds over 16 months.
My jaw hit the ground when I saw that.
I had gain much weight, and was at the 240lb+ point.
I went to the Gym daily, and it burnt off some fat. I go to about 220 lb.
When COVIC struck I took to mu (heavy, inexpensive) bike. Mostly 10 miles per day (I hour), sometimes 20 (2 hours).
I”m, now at about 208 lb (naked) My resting heart rate is below 5o/min. I take no prescribed medicines, and I’m 72.
I’m a bit gloomy because my Mother’s side of mu family have a history of Dementia, and I’m showing early symptoms.
I’m so sorry. It may make you feel better to get in touch with a support organization in your area. A lot can be done to help people with symptoms of dementia.
you may find this of interest re: dementia
Thank you very much for your thoughts, experiences and conclusions IM Doc. For what it is worth, we seem to be having the same sort of trouble with our media in Oz. If somebody dies due to a vaccine shot, it straight up starts by saying that they had a pre-existing condition as if that explained it all. In Links two days ago there was a story of a 48 year-old women in NSW who died after receiving her vaccination. But a news story I saw on the TV about that death said that it was not due to the vaccine and I am sure that nobody brought it. She had the Astrazeneca shot which has now been restricted for older people only here in Oz.
We know a couple in their 70s who had this vaccine and yes, the wife has a long list of medical problems but both feel like they have been hit by a truck and are receiving medication to help them through. But the doctor insisted that it could not be the vaccine causing it. At heart I feel that the problem is that we are told so many lies continuously about war, politics, the economy, finance, healthcare and everything else by the authorities all the time but that when the pandemic arrived, they decided to use the same methods in telling people about it as they have for everything else. And now the results are in and it is not looking good.
Thank You IMDoc, for this first hand report, which, I’m sure was difficult for you to compose and present in lieu of your constraints of Practice, and all comments you have lent here at NC.
Your Father sounds like an intuitive man with a hand on the pulse of Public Health for sure.
“Honesty is the best Policy” is what all the old kin told me, and what i told mine–the hardest and best way to keep the ‘clutter’ from tripping you up moving past and forward.
The more dire the circumstance, the more Honest the Evaluation demands.
Not knowing something is an Honest position, and most all of us accept that through empathy.
And that position can be built upon.
Unlike Trust, toppled with untruths or worse–half truths.
So sorry you have to sort through System Symptoms when you have more than enough Patient Presented Symptoms to sort through.
For those who have been paying close attention, that’s not a surprise, but to the public at large, it comes off as a 180 degree change from exhortation by officials and pundits that getting vaccinated was the ticket to the old normal.
and the anecdotal, visible results of this Public Whiplashing , to me out and about my town this weekend, , is sickening–no mask/half mask/no spaceing/big talking and certainly little thinking because, imo, their
skepticism and denial is supported by that which you have described.
I’m really quite shocked by this article, it falls for me into the category of ‘no matter how bad you think it is, its worse’. I did think that at the very least there was a reasonable functioning system of reporting possible ill effects of the vaccine, as with any vaccine nor new drug. The problem for the rest of the world is that the US is ahead of the game for the RNA vaccines, and so very dependent on it for accurate information.
I was told this week I’m at the very bottom of the priority list here, which means that I won’t get my shot(s) until June. I’ve been joking to friends that this gives me a nice large data base to make my decision on thanks to all the lab rats who’ve gone before. Now maybe I’m thinking that its not a particularly funny joke. I had gone from being skeptical about the RNA vaccines and hoping for the J&J or AstraZeneca, to hoping for a Pfizer shot as the data looked so good for it so far. Now I really don’t know what to think.
It should be emphasized of course that the strong balance of evidence is that everyone should get the vaccine – Covid is just too nasty a disease with too many potential long term risks. Personally, I won’t hesitate to take it when offered, but I am very glad I’ll have more time to make a final decision.
But the key message from this article is the system is horribly broken and the public health infrastructure in the US at least is long past being fit for purpose, and I don’t think its far behind in Europe. The quality of public communication in particular has been completely inept. The contempt for the intelligence of ordinary people is palpable.
If this keeps up, the PR flaks are gonna be workin’ overtime trying to figure out how to sell that third shot in 6 or 8 months to those who figure they dodged a bullet the first time and are not about to go back there again.
Job # 1 will undoubtedly be convincing fauci, wen and wolensky to make themselves scarce.
Someone I know was a healthcare worker who got his shot in February, so he’s going to need a variant booster by August, apparently? And then I guess he’s good for a year, assuming there’s no other variants.
What a boondoggle!!!
It complicates the decision making here in NZ. So long as we manage to keep covid at bay, of course.
The vaccine rollout is just starting here, but with the #’s IM Doc is discussing in our covid-free communities it is a serious question if *any* of the current vaccines are worth the risk (outside of high-risk jobs, like our border workers).
From an Emergency Use Authorization “explainer” published by the fda:
If the “infrastructure” that’s integral to making an unapproved, experimental vaccine a viable approach to the “pandemic” is not functioning, use of the vaccine should be stopped altogether. It is the responsibility of the entire medical community to make this demand on behalf of the american people.
At the very least, the medical community should demand that alternative therapies like Ivermectin be immediately “authorized” under the same philosophy and protections as the vaccines have been accorded.
Not that I think that any of that will happen under the tremendously “opportune” and profitable circumstances.
I agree. But I’ve gotten a lot of push-back from people when I make this point.
It’s terrifying to me how many people just don’t want to hear it. They’re willing to put their and even their children’s health and lives at risk in order to avoid looking at the evidence and facing the fact that we don’t have a viable vaccine for Covid at this juncture. I mean, what does this foretell?
The slide toward authoritarianism looks more and more inevitable every day. It’s shocking from my 60-year-old perspective.
Well, some of us are between a rock and a hard place. Me for instance. Nearing seventy six years old, COPD ( writing this from my first day of a planned three week stay back in pulmonary rehab – it’s not been a good year!). With all the reservations cited in this article and previous articles here at NC and other reasonably objective sources, I chose to take the Pfizer because my chances of surviving COVID are a lot, lot less than surviving the vaccine. Have taken the first dose, sore arm and mild headache and maybe little more tired than usual but I really couldn’t tell. Second dose scheduled for May 13.
As for my children, the oldest is a rabid anti-vaccer, so no convincing her. She’s in Chicago with my only grandchild, who I’ll probably never see again because I’m not flying there and the ways things are developing, my daughter and granddaughter will be denied access to Europe if not vaccinated. My two youngest, son and daughter, early, mid thirties, I initially tried to convince to take the vaccine but have stopped pushing. In fact I don’t even mention it anymore. My son ( who I am amazed hasn’t already gotten it) says he’s not afraid of it and doesn’t trust the vaccines, my youngest daughter is skeptical about the vaccines and is going to wait.
Not relevant but my son had to get out of Europe and back to The Land of the Free, so he’s now vacationing. California, Costa Rica, and then a visit to my daughter and granddaughter in Chicago. No confirmed return date but is waiting to see when they lift obligatory quarantine here in Norway for international passengers. The numbers are going down here again, so maybe not too long. End of May?
> we don’t have a viable vaccine for Covid at this juncture
IM Doc writes:
“Viable” is doing way too much work in your comment. For me, “The early efficacy numbers are looking good” is basically all we can expect. Because if it were no longer early, we would have better numbers.
You may personally choose to wait. But don’t, well, generalize from that because that’s not what IM Doc said. (To put this another way, your comment’s false generalization exemplifies what IM Doc is saying.)
My comment was not based solely on what IM Doc reports nor was it meant to summarize her/his point of view.
I have been doing very thorough ongoing research. That the early efficacy numbers are looking good actually tells us way too little. We don’t yet know how the vaccines will interact with the variants or how long protections will last and, importantly, the safety issues IM Doc raises are concerning in the extreme. Simply put, you are not qualified to judge my generalizations as false. There are many, many medical scientists and other professionals who voice these concerns and support them with scientific thinking. (See my links below.)
I understand that people are faced with potentially terrible choices and not enough information to make them. I also understand that some people have no choice, period. My sister is a school teacher and, despite the fact that she has an autoimmune disorder and her doctor’s advising her to wait until data on that specific set of disorders were available, her school district required her to get vaccinated or take early retirement.
I myself had Covid last December and have worrying neurological problems that my doc thinks are a result, so the danger of the virus is not lost on me.
I am neither a “it’s the flu” Covid denier nor an anti-vaxxer. However, many people are rushing under pressure to get vaccinated who have no clue about any of this and are so fear-addled that they don’t want to think for themselves.
This is a tragedy is my point.
> Simply put, you are not qualified to judge my generalizations as false.
Granting your premise, IM Doc is, and according to him, your central generalization which I call out, is, in fact false. Sorry, but I don’t make the rules.
Talking about WTC7’s collapse to a friend some years ago, her response was that she “didn’t want to know if 9/11 was an inside job because it was easier to live with that lie than be aware that our public officials could lie to that level and get away with it” (only slightly paraphrased).
I believe a lot of people fall into this trap for the same reasons re: COVID.
I’ve had quite a few people mention some form of “it’s ok I’m not wearing a mask because I’m fully vaccinated!” and “my friend called and we’re both fully vaccinated so we went to breakfast/lunch/dinner together”.
Considering the efficacy of the vaccines are around 70%, the brazenness of those who’ve been vaccinated and the hesitance of around half the population… I can only see the pandemic as getting worse thanks to the vaccines, not better :(
Well although we don’t know the transmission rate decrease for these vaccines, Let’s say its 70% so a residual one-sided risk of 30%. So the vaccine would reduce transmission in this situation by 1 – (0.3 * 0.3) or 91%. The residual risk of two convening would be only 9% or less than one in ten. Of course noone can tell us how much the vaccine reduces transmission. And from the continued goalpost moving of Fauci, Trudeau, et al., maybe it is not that high.
It’s really sad to see that there doesn’t seem to be any integrity in the system anymore. Authorities have gone drunk on their Covid-19 powers, the medical profession as well as science, have been subjugated to commercial interests, and the media is not doing their job at all, by publishing puff pieces.
Most of the optics have been bad, and on top of that, every form of communication that has been coming from the authorities, seems to have been based on thinking that the audience is being incredibly stupid. Why are the authorities so afraid of any kind of discussion about the vaccines, and Covid-19 in general? By this point, it’s hard not to get sucked into conspiracy theories.
Also, the collateral damage of this cannot be underestimated. Trust in authority, science and vaccines have been put on the line. It’s easy to lose trust, and it takes a lot to regain that trust.
I really appreciate the efforts of IM Doc, since there have been multiple examples, that people really get into trouble when they go against the system. Even the slightest critical remark can cost you your career nowadays.
Best of all? The collateral damage is on their own as the only guaranteed immunity bestowed by the vaccines is the liability shield.
There are European doctors and scientists forcefully challenging the official narrative on the vaccines. You can read their press release here:
The lead scientist did an interview with Journeyman.tv that can be seen here:
Thanks for these links.
The first eight minutes of the video with Sucharit Bhakdi are essential. The bottom line: the vaccine has already killed more healthy people under 60 in Germany than covid has.
When we got the Moderna shot at Walmart they handed out a information form from Moderna.
With 7 billion people on the planet the study group for the vaccine was 15,000 people, so said Moderna’s
own information form.
Darkness will be preferred to light, and death will be thought more profitable than life; no one will raise his eyes to heaven; the pious will be deemed insane, the impious wise; the madman will be thought a brave man, and the wicked will be esteemed as good. Hermes Trismegistus
I am tired, I am weary,
I could sleep for a thousand years
A thousand dreams that would awake me
Different colors made of tears
– Venus in Furs, Velvet Underground
I have had a serious encounter with Guillain Barré syndrome 15years ago.
Treated with immune globulin and 27 days of hospitalization. Induced by
an infection with another virus – Epstein Barr. So far as I know, the immune
situation no longer prevails but I am left with significant peripheral
“The electric shock sensation” has been a constant factor related to
my condition, as has extreme pain from time to time. More frequent over
the first few years, these “shocks” have diminished in number but
I still get them occasionally.
One of my mother’s teaching colleagues had the same syndrome after taking the Swine Flu shot during that 1976 pandemic. The suffering of her colleague made quite an impression on my mother. Let’s just say that, when it came to flu shots, she avoided them. Mom also insisted that she got the flu from one of them.
A family member got the chronic form of Guillain Barré (CIDP) from either the flu shot or MMR. Thankfully they were diagnosed quickly and the neuropathy is only slight. But yea… staying the hell away from the COVID jabs thanks to it (and the MANY stories of reoccurrence of CIDP thanks to COVID shots).
Mention of EBV infection reminded me of this.
Ack, link that “this” referred to did not post. Here it is.
EBV, human endogenous retroviruses, and superantigens.
The other element which sends my blood pressure up is the fact that no one, not the CDC,etc. makes any delineation for those who have recovered form COVID. In Connecticut, if my daughter (13) travels out of state, she much have a COVID test to return to school unless she has had both vaccinations. My daughter had COVID in January, but her own antibodies are pooh-poohed as non-effective in offering resistance. In what (family blog) – up world is our own immune system not considered an effective fighter against disease?
Won’t you think of the shareholders, shoeless?!
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. – Maya Angelou
IMDoc, just want to thank you again for the post.
My take is Pfizer, Moderna are one and done like the J&J. 80% effectiveness is adequate for anyone continuing to wear a mask and social distance. For all others it could likely result in sick in bed at home for a few days. My plan is to get a single shot of Pfizer or Moderna and wait closer to the fall and get a booster that hopefully covers variants. I think people may be surprised how much illness we’re yet to see. It won’t be body bags and ventilators but greater economic downside from many more workers home sick. 2020 affected mostly people off the working economy on fixed income. This time will be different with the potential for great economic dislocation. My bet is the variants will crush the office again late in the year into 2022.
Retired MD I’ll be 70 in November
That makes sense to me too. Why would you need a booster then a booster for the booster? Why not just the one then the booster in the Fall/Winter if necessary? 80% is better than most flu shots. I also don’t like that we have the vaccines but no other coherent steps to stop the virus from spreading therefore mutating. I still don’t see the government having a coherent big picture strategy.
It’s far from clear exactly how much mRNA vaccine a human can receive without significant side effects. Everyone should realize, save this Pandemic, mRNA vaccines would be years away from clinical use. 30,000 enrolled in Phase II and a truncated Phase III makes nothing certain about this technology when you’re talking about billions of doses.
There are coherent steps to stop the virus, masks and social distancing. Both more effective alone than the vaccine to stop spread. The problem is a perfect storm of many people infected with Trump’s incoherence.
Dear Gregory (and all of us), add to your correct steps, Ivermectin. Also, check out this site: https://covid19criticalcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/FLCCC-Alliance-I-MASKplus-Protocol-ENGLISH.pdf It is a very good prevention and treatment protocol contra Covid.
Pfizer and Moderna “require” two doses because that is what they tested last summer. Pfizer uses two 0.3 mL doses at 3 week spacing because that is what they chose for their Phase III trials. Moderna uses two 1.0 mL doses at 4 week spacing for the exact same reason. Not a lot of time to test a lot of variables (number of doses, size of doses, spacing between dosing). I think they both did a pretty good job getting something as effective as they did in the time they did, global effing pandemic and all.
that is completely accurate. The data we have is on a two dose regimen talk of one dose is speculative (doesnt mean it is not right only that we just dont know since the trials were not set up to test that.)
Long term safety is anyones guess as this is a new technology and we simply cant say for sure.
Short term safety : the signals are as IM doc indicates: reason for some close scrutiny.
Risk reward? If you lived in NZ you might have the choice of waiting. If in Michigan not so much. Depends on age and co morbidities as well But it should be personal preference. Far too much shaming going on. Far too much othering.
Thank you for the IM Doc post. I was a board certified internist who practiced in the Midwest for 35 years before retiring 22 years ago. A longer perspective than the present pandemic is necessary to understand what is and has happened in medicine and public health. My first semester in medical school the tuition was $500 which was the same as the last semester at my undergrad private liberal arts alma mater. The Midwestern state in which I grew up and had all my graduate and medical training had in the early 1960’s an understood policy that the state was responsible to provide a medical education for the medical care of its residents. That education was superb and highly individualized with several mentors and covered nine years. It served me well in Vietnam and then in private practice. Beginning roughly 25 years ago the Dean’s letter requesting donations noted that state funds provided less than 5% of the medical schools operating budget. And that hasn’t changed.
The states obligation had dropped out of sight and as it did tuition sky-rocketed. Then in the 1980’s states decided public health funding could decrease and it did at the state and national level which along with the financial crises of 2000 and 2008 ended up with fewer funds for public health. Then with the Trump administration the CDC was further marginalized, the FDA corrupted and science in general demeaned in government.
As the pandemic exploded here in the US the information we got from the President and Fox was idiotic and the info from CNN and MSNBC with dozens of epidemiologists, ER docs, pulmonologists who were not explaining to me why the protean aspects of Covid-19 were occurring particularly the clotting issue. Renal dialysis machines clotting off was particularly striking. By April 2000 I had not seen a pathology study of the lung or any other organ which in medicine has been the foundation of beginning to understand a new disease.
The idea of a “storm” inflammatory and clotting factors by its simplicity was too easy. The fact that the endothelium (the lining cells of all arteries, arterioles, capillaries, veins, the heart and lymphatics) might be involved seemed like a significant step forward. In the lung the alveolus (air sac) becomes partially fluid filled from the infection and its partner capillary necessary for oxygen exchange clots might well explain the precipitous fall in oxygen levels. I kept wondering where is the Dr. Don Seldin, the Dr. John Hickam, other Deans and heads of Dept of Medicine? These were the real critical thinkers in medicine and I didn’t hear such a voice.
It has become clear that the pandemic of early 2020 is not the pandemic of late 2020 and 2021. The moveable parts of the pandemic change and keep changing including infectivity, age distribution of the infected, hospitalizations and deaths, the attempt to develop a vaccine infrastructure on the run with its increasing evident defects as IM Doc points out.
My conclusions follow:
1. The loss of the sense of health as “the public good” for medical education and public health has corrupted health care and a significant cause of outrageous cost.
2. My hat if off to those medical personal on the front line in the doctors office, ER, ICU who have worked to the point of complete exhaustion mentally and physically
3. The loss of a sense of trust will be difficult to and may not change as IM Doc points out
4. The media has failed to educate the public by poor choice of interviewers and interviewees. A doctor held with the respect of a Dr. Don Seldin or Dr. John Hickam should be asking the tough and unfortunately many times unanswerable questions to those physicians best able to respond. Forget the happy talk that has been epidemic during the pandemic. Anything less than honesty is a problem.
5. Profiteering should be criminal whether with a vaccine, masks or other necessary equipment to deal with a public health emergency. Financial penalties and jail time required.
6. Covid-19 is teaching us much about the infection however this is just the beginning and there will be much yet to be learned. Save the happy talk for when hundreds and thousands are not dying of the infection each day. Remember: Nature bats last.
great post. I esp concur on how things have changed as a view from the trenches over the last 4 decades.
Dear RM MD, thank you for your post – spot on. I too have seen a dramatic change over the last 30 years as a public school educator, not an MD. Literacy rates for children (who hopefully become adults) has fallen like a rock in a pond. I feel it’s an orchestrated plan that has shown to be effective, for big pharma, high tech, politicians, military, Wall St. and about anyone who wants to maintain or achieve power over the general public. Many adults seem either too busy to do some research or too complacent and accept what’s fed them via TV, internet, smart devices, etc. The US population has lost the ability to critically think, debate, analyze and critique. We’ve been dumbed down, and it’s been planned.
Something that I haven’t seen mentioned is that AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson both make Viral Vector or Adenovirus class vaccines, and both seem to cause blood clots in unexplained instances. Moderna and Pfizer on the other hand make mRNA class vaccines that do not appear to have this problem. I hope this is being investigated.
I’m not sure about that pfizer and moderna blood clot information. It’s still a question.
Assuming the increased death rate is accurate, could it be the result of a prior (unknown) infection with covid, rather than the vaccine itself? I thought around 20% of people infected with covid had no or very limited symptoms, and even with few symptoms, people can still have abnormal lung, heart, clotting, etc. issues. Perhaps this is a reflection of the long term consequences of covid infection rather than vaccination?
Alternatively, if it is vaccine specific, could it be the result of antibody-dependent enhancement? I thought that was initially one of the concerns with the mRNA technology.
Regardless, it’s terrible that the recording system is so sloppy. You can’t make good decisions without good data. And even good data becomes useless if you can’t trust the people creating it.
This is a really interesting question; let me to some math on the fly. If COVID mortality were driving the uptick in VAERS mortality rate; approximately what must the “cryptic infection” rate be among vaccine recipients? If the rate is significantly different from the baseline infection rate, then it is not likely to be COVID mortality.
100,000,000 – 130,000,000 recipients of at least one vaccine on April 2 (https://usafacts.org/visualizations/covid-vaccine-tracker-states/); April 2 being the last update of VAERS
2700 vaccine-related death reports
Mortality rate: 2.1e-05 – 2.7e-05
Covid mortaity rate: About 1.8% (https://ourworldindata.org/mortality-risk-covid?country=~USA#the-case-fatality-rate)
So to explain *all* vaccination mortalities, approximately
(2.1e-05, 2.7e-05)/(1.8e-02) = 1.2e-3 – 1.5e-3
~ 0.12% of people vaccinated would need to have a cryptic infection of COVID-19.
The actual infection rate (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html) seems to be between 40,000 and 80,000 / day; of 320,000,000 gives 1.25e-4 – 2.5e-04; or 0.012%
AHA: However, the covid mortality rate could be substantially higher among vaccine recipients; which have skewed elderly or those with comorbidities. What happens when we bump the mortality rate to 10%:
(2.1e-05, 2.7e-05)/(1.0e-1) = 2.1e-4-2.7e-4
so the cryptic infection rate is about ballbark.
Final verdict: Could be Needs more detailed analysis.
Thank you for putting together the calculation! Your numbers are somewhat reassuring to me, as my family already had the first vaccine dose with the understanding that vaccine side effects were extremely rare. This article made me question that calculation.
interesting approach but it assumes that people getting the shot are just as likely to be having symptomatic covid as the general population. I dont buy that aysmptoatic elderly covid patients are likely to have mortality even roughly approaching 10%.but it could account for some deaths.
To be clear, my conclusion is precisely that a toy model cannot distinguish “all covid” from “not all covid”, and that a more detailed model is necessary.
I can say that the flu VAERs data is based on shot counts delivered to the entire population whereas so far these vaccines are just to those above 55 or so.
That would make flu look much less riskier (but not 100 x or anything close.)
Is there any chance an old-fashioned killed virus vaccine might become available? I still think it is very weird how two experimental approaches to vaccine development — mRNA or cold-virus carried DNA — can receive Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) but no old-fashioned killed virus vaccines can be found — even after a year. I think it is very strange how every low-cost, off-patent drug that might be effective is so readily dismissed. I am beginning to think the US Government and Big Pharma are colluding together to serve interests other than Public Welfare. It bothers me to even consider such thoughts.
Of course there is work on old fashioned vaccines. It is for instance taking place in a government laboratory in Canada. But they take longer and are more expensive to manufacture. Also they don´t have the inside track that Pfizer and Co have. Finally the problem with the mRNA stuff is their narrow focus. They just get the body to elicit antibody to a very narrow protein of the virus. Therefore the virus will over long overcome the antibodies thus elicited and the vaccines won´t work anymore. A traditional vaccine i.e. one that works with neutered virusses work much more broadly and will also be much more able to deal with the variants. Here an interview with a Canadian scientist working on such a vaccine: https://dryburgh.com/byram-bridle-coronavirus-vaccine-concerns/
I found a useful website that’s keeping track of many of the covid 19 vaccines, providing detailed information about the more common ones currently in use and those that are, (or were) still awaiting approval and authorization for use. Aside from that, globally there are over 300 covid 19 vaccines in various stages of development/clinical trials/etc. http://www.statnews.com is the site.
Sinovac is a killed virus vaccine, but its 50% efficacy will likely deter developing another one.
mRNA vaccines can be developed very quickly. That was why they were first out of the box.
Actually I fell for the widely reported 50%. That’s on mild cases. We have no efficacy data on that from Pfizer et. al. They only have stats on severe cases, hospitalizations, deaths.
Here is what we have on Sinovac on more of an apples to apples basis:
As Alfred noted, below, the Japanese firm KM Biologics started clinical trials of an inactivated pathogen vaccine last month:
Japanese firms launch domestic clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines
There are several other Japanese firms currently conducting trials of other technologies (e.g., mRNA, plasmid DNA).
I found this interesting, it’s from December 2020 https://www.msn.com/en-ae/news/other/killed-virus-against-covid-19-how-it-works/ar-BB16DYME
Much appreciate the input from IM Doc regarding his concerns with the vaccines. I’ve read several of his earlier comments on NC threads and been impressed by his awareness of neoliberalism (only profits are sacred) and how it impacts public health.
Great that Yves and Lambert have offered IM Doc a venue to speak out. If he tried to present his professional concerns in a video on YouTube, there’s an excellent chance they would suppress the video — unless he was a guest on an ‘official’ channel such as CNN. Of course, CNN would not want him on since he might ‘confuse’ the public.
The Big Tech oligarchs are censoring more and more independent voices, generally with vague or even incomprehensible justifications. Certain topics are taboo: election interference (unless you are accusing Russians, of course), vaccines, Hunter Biden’s laptop, Syrian gas attacks, the list gets ever longer.
Kim Iversen recently had her YouTube video discussing the J & J vaccine censored — and she was threatened for discussing the topic. Meaning she would be demonetized or even terminated by YouTube if she persisted in her nefarious activities of undermining official narratives.
Strangely, Graham Elwood was demonetized on YouTube for discussing the JFK assassination of all things — and YouTube helpfully informed him that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone. Apparently, even controversial history from 1963 — after all there have been hundreds of books and documentaries questioning the official ‘lone gunman’ theory — is now viewed as a threat to “community standards” at YouTube.
Back to vaccines: I have not had my Covid shots yet although I am hardly an anti-Vaxxer. Just waiting to see how many people have bad reactions or drop dead. I tell people that I am waiting for the Sputnik vaccine. Only half-joking as I would take that one first if given the option (‘not gonna happen’ as Nancy Pelosi might say). The Sputnik vaccine, based on Adenoviruses, seems better researched as a vaccine technique. (Not a real doctor here — I just play one on TV.)
Ultimately, I am so disgusted by the relentless McCarthyist propaganda against Russia that I would take the Sputnik vaccine just to troll the lunatics at MSNBC, the CIA and Versailles on the Potomac. My itty-bitty ‘resistance’.
Again, thanks for the discussion.
If the VAERS is broken as badly as it looks to be, if it’s difficult to report adverse effects, I wonder what data the pharmas will present to the FDA when they ask for official approval in a few years. Will it be overly favorable data based on corrupted data sets? (Data corrupted unintentionally by a bad or kludgy collection process that mismeasures results is still corrupted data.)
Thank you IM Doc – your posts are extremely informative – so I thank you. This vaccine rollout reminds me of a Dr. I had many years ago who told me to take an OTC medication (for acid reflux – which I didn’t have). I asked him why, and he said – just do what I say and don’t ask questions! I never went back to that Dr. obviously. Now, it’s just shut up and get your shots. The other thing that really bothers me is when the media (Fauci included) says that most vaccine hesitancy is from Republicans and evangelicals – WTF? People have reasonable concerns about the safety of these vaccines, including myself, and I’m not a member of those groups. Again, this is made to inject politics into the situation.
I wanted to get the J&J vaccine, but honestly, now I don’t know what to do. Another thing that bothers me is why can’t the CDC – or some health organization, emphasize Vitamin D as a critical component is keeping our immune system healthy and from getting a severe/fatal case of COVID?. This is another reason I’m suspicious.
You are right about the broken public health system – we really don’t have one. I guess I’ll wait a while longer and see what happens. We live in a broken country. based on nothing but lies.
I talked to my sister this weekend. She is working at a vaccine site in the PNW. She says the EMTs take a couple of people to the hospital ER every day that have had bad reactions to the vaccine. I don’t know how many people a day were there, or which vaccine was being used or how serious, just that it was a normal event.
I got my first shot in a grocery store pharma, and was told to walk around the store for 15 minutes before I left to make sure I was OK. I felt OK that day, but not so great for days after that.
Also from me many thanks to IM Doc, whose contributions I always read with interest.
Personally, I have had J&J 2 weeks ago and no more side effects than low grade fever on day 1 (same for hubby on day 2). This was a week before the news broke on J&J, so we are now 2 weeks in and hopefully safe.
I’m wondering what other adverse reactions or side effects are under reported, such as
I’m very grateful that you posted this article, just as I am for all the other posts that contain content from IM Doc. It’s such a relief to have access to information like this, even if the news isn’t always good. I am going to recommend a website where anyone who’s interested can read a commentary about the timeline of the clinical trials for the AstraZeneca vaccine that began in April of 2020. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are also spoken of, and there is mention of other vaccines that were in development at the time. Plenty of interesting, informative links as well. I may be sharing redundant or somewhat dated information, nevertheless I think it remains relevant; The site is http://www.hildabastian.net
Thank you to Lambert and Yves and most especially IM Doc.
I knew I was going to remain skeptical about most of the official data and stories, Although clearly not alone it it is nice to see informed and far more expert people acknowledging that the official version we are being presented is PR that doesn’t entirely add up.
In the past I would hope that integrity and sincere concern for the public good would eventually triumph over the good front, but unfortunately that age may have also passed.
Thank you IM Doc. Without exagerration, I am reminded of Ellsberg, Snowden, Manning. One of the great failures of the Internet has been to not give voice and platform to truth tellers. Hats off to you.
A doctor saved my bacon about ten years ago in a cardiac situation. He was certified but had a lot of alternative/contrarian beliefs enforced by his experience. My treatment was tailored to my situation and medical condition rather than the one-size-fits-all treatment that was standard.
I also worked in IT for Big Pharma back in the 1990s. Even then it was rotten, unethical. The company owner was a sociopath. Nobody cared. I couldn’t leave fast enough. At that time they were profiling Doctors and their personal information. This information was supplied to the highly paid Pharmaceutical Salespeople who would use such information to manipulate docs and influence their prescription habits. That is over thirty years ago; I can only imagine how corrupt it must be now.
I hope you will continue informing us, the truth seekers.
I am a nurse and was extremely upset that our only options were totally new biotech platforms that the industry was desperate to trial. I told my family that we should wait for the GSK vaccine that was using protein subunit technology, same as the good old Hep B series I have had. Then “delays” with GSK. I said wait for the Novavax, even though the damn company has never made a successful vaccine before, its protein subunit tech, its got to be safer. Well my son works in public health, he couldn’t wait. Then I gave in and got it and so did my daughter who is immunocompromised. And still no Novavax or any story of when it will go before the FDA. I am beginning to believe the traditional vaccine platforms are being intentionally blocked in favor of Pharma. I will not let my family get boosters with mRNA. And my research into the Ad-vector vaccines, and the neurologic complications in the trials, persuaded me that I would not go near them: https://cen.acs.org/pharmaceuticals/vaccines/Adenoviral-vectors-new-COVID-19/98/i19
Thank you, Elizabeth–I think. After reading the article, I’m beginning to feel like a GMO ear of corn for having been vaccinated.
Indeed, Why do we only have a Hobson’s choice now? You can have a new biotech platform mRNA vaccine (Pfizer) or you can have a new biotech platform mRNA vaccine (Moderna).
… or a new biotech platform Ad-vector vaccine. The Ad-vector vaccines numbered exactly one by 2020, and that was a rabies vaccine for dogs. The dogs have entered no deaths or adverse reactions in VAERS
Remember that movie, The Order, with Heath Ledger where he gets co-opted into becoming a “sin eater”?
There used to be these Feds I would come across in one of our Federal Agencies who I would call “risk eaters”. Most Fed employees are pretty good about identifying risk and taking responsibility for mitigating risk. But there’s a good number that have a different function: they’re there to promote. They’re assertive on promoting and passive on risk. So it’s not like they would even actively “accept” the risk, which is a legitimate option. Rather they make it disappear from the conversation. They “eat” the risk. Burp.
I’ll add another thing. When the EU was starting to come with data that there could be some rare problems with AZ vaccine, it was accused of blowing it up because of its AZ issues. So a real (if extremely rare, as acknowledged by the EMA) issue was confounded with a political one. As a result, the real issue was ignored by some, and overblown by others (cf Denmark withdrawing AZ entirely).