The Minister of Health, Nísia Trindade, claims that all COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be both effective and safe, and that COVID-19 is a vaccine-preventable disease.
On October 31, Brazil’s Ministry of Health announced that as of next year COVID-19 vaccines will be included in the national vaccine schedule for young children. According to a press release from the Ministry, the vaccination of children aged 6 months to 5 years will be “prioritised” alongside “groups at high risk of developing severe forms of the disease,” including the elderly, immunocompromised, pregnant and postpartum women, people with permanent disabilities and indigenous people.
Three doses of the vaccine will be administered to millions of Brazilian babies, toddlers and young children, with an interval of 8 weeks between the 1st and 2nd dose, and one of 4 months between the 2nd and 3rd. There will be just options on offer. After scrapping its recommendations for viral vector vaccines (AstraZeneca and Janssen) in April, the Health Ministry currently approves (as far as I can tell) Pfizer-BioNtech’s Comirnaty and Comirnaty bivalent, Moderna’s Spikevax bivalent, and the Chinese-produced Coronavac.
“It is an important change, in line with the World Health Organization [WHO], in which the vaccine against COVID-19 now joins our National Immunisation Program,” said the Ministry’s Health and Environment Surveillance Secretary, Ethel Maciel. “The vaccine is now recommended in the children’s calendar. For all children… in Brazil, aged between 6 months and 5 years, the vaccine becomes mandatory in the vaccination calendar.”
In taking this measure, the government is not merely approving the use of COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as six months old (that was already done some time ago); it is, as Maciel says, effectively mandating it. And those at the sharpest end of the mandate will be the children of Brazil’s poorest families, since one of the main requirements for families to qualify for Brazil’s recently reintroduced “Bolsa Familia” welfare program is that all children must be up to date with all immunisations provided for in the National Immunisation Program of the Ministry of Health. That now includes the COVID-19 vaccine.
Brazil is already one of the most vaccinated countries in Latin America, with almost 90% of the population receiving at least one dose and 82%, two by January 2023. But relatively few young children are getting the jab. In August, a study showed that only 11% of children aged 6 months to 5 years had received at least two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Speaking to Merco Press, researcher Cristiano Boccolini lamented that only 3% of babies aged 6 months to 2 years had been treated with the drugs, layingthe blame on delays in vaccine purchases, “fake news” that children do not suffer severe consequences from contracting COVID-19, and widespread public fears about the vaccine’s lack of safety and effectiveness.
According to Brazil’s Minister of Health, Nísia Trindade, who seemingly inhabits an entirely different universe to the rest of us, all of the vaccines have proven to be not only safe but effective by Brazil’s health regulatory agency, Anvisa. Not only that, she says, but COVID-19 is a vaccine-preventable disease.
This is a staggering claim to make, particularly for a national health minister, at this stage in the pandemic. The vaccines have been in widespread use for almost three years now, with 70% of the world population receiving at least one dose, according to Our World in Data. Yet the virus continues to circulate, spread and evolve. Moreover, a number of recent high-quality studies, including one from the Cleveland clinic, suggest that repeated boosting with these vaccines leads to negative efficacy, meaning that the protection provided quickly wanes after a brief surge, leaving patients net more vulnerable to the virus.
This correlates with IM Doc’s meticulously and extensively maintained records of patient outcomes, which suggest that recent vaccination by the new vaccines is correlated with a new infection not long after. In recent correspondence with Yves, IM Doc said this outcome had “become so frequent that it is leading to outrage among patients who got a booster and then in fairly short order got Covid, and to patient rejection of advertising and MD pressure to get a Covid booster (although per below, the latter is waning).”
The problem is not just that the vaccines are not very effective at preventing transmission or infection; it is that they are not nearly as safe as they have been advertised. According to data featured in an open-access paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics (BMJ), titled “COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters for Young Adults: a Risk Benefit Assessment and Ethical Analysis of Mandate Policies at Universities,” for every 1,000,000 young adults (not children) receiving the third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA vaccine (BNT162B2), 32 hospitalizations will be prevented while 593.5 serious adverse events (SAE) will occur (1:18.5).
As regular NC contributor KLG noted in a recent post about the study, “32 out of 1,000,000 hospitalizations prevented is very low on the risk-benefit scale, while 593.5 SAEs per million could/should be considered significant, depending on the nature of the common SAEs associated with the booster.” SAEs, he wrote, are defined as “any of the following: death, life threatening at the time event, inpatient hospitalisation or prolongation of existing hospitalisation, persistent or significant disability or incapacity, congenital anomaly/birth defect or a medically important event, based on medical judgement.” The numbers are even worse for the Moderna booster.
The paper concluded that the vaccine mandates for university students should be repealed and that pathways to compensation for those injured by the vaccines should be provided. To date, most governments have been unwilling to provide compensation for the vaccine-injured while the vaccine manufacturers enjoy all but blanket immunity from liability.
In March, the German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach shocked the world by admitting that he had downplayed the risks of the Covid vaccines, which he had previously described as “without side effects”. He even coined a name for the vaccine injuries — post-vac syndrom — and set up a €100 million programme for research into long Covid and post-vaccination injuries, as well as support for the victims. Months later, however, he scaled back the programme to around €40 million as part of the German government’s latest austerity drive.
Pfizer’s Mainz-based partner, BioNtech, is facing a slew of lawsuits in its native Germany for suspected injuries and adverse events caused by its COVID-19 vaccine. The same goes for the British-Swedish pharma group AstraZeneca, which could face as many as 80 damages claims in the UK worth an estimated £80 million over a newly dubbed condition known as Vaccine-induced Immune Thrombocytopenia and Thrombosis (VITT).
This could be the tip of a very large, global iceberg. Together with plunging COVID-19 vaccine sales, the risk of rising litigation costs is probably one of the root causes of the crumbling share prices of Pfizer (-50% since 2021 peak), BioNtech (-75%) and Moderna (-87%). As previously mentioned, the vaccine manufacturers have almost total immunity from liability, but if the dam were to break, the fallout could be fatal for the companies, especially for BioNtech and Moderna whose entire business models are built around mRNA vaccines.
Back in Brazil, meanwhile, the Lula government’s decision to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for babies, toddlers and young children could provide a much-needed fillip to the company’s sales, especially if other national governments follow suit. For the moment, Brazil is going against the grain of public health policy. In many European countries, COVID vaccines are no longer recommended, let alone mandated, for young children, especially babies and toddlers. That includes the UK, one of the first countries to green light the COVID-19 “vaccine” for early teens despite broad opposition from the government’s own vaccine experts.
Even in the US, the COVID-19 vaccines may be offered and heavily marketed to babies and toddlers, but they are not mandated. For many parents and healthcare professionals, this is a line that must not be crossed. As in Germany and the UK, the threat of litigation against the vaccine manufacturers is rising. As Yves reported in June 2022, there is also a “growing revolt among medical practitioners against vaccinating toddlers for COVID.” In an email cited in that piece, IM Doc wrote:
I had a moment today where I realized that it may very well be the nursing and the pharmacy professions that begin the long slow pushback against the overprescription of Covid vaccines.
Two things in two different parts of the country happened.
Today in our county, which recall is over 80% vaccinated and hence has been very receptive of Covid vaccines for adults, I was called to an urgent meeting because it may be that hospital staff would need to be pulled to the Health Dept. Why? – Because the inoculation of the less than 5 is beginning – and all 3 of the Health Department nurses resigned in protest. They are simply not going to give these kids these inoculations. When a nurse on my staff was approached with filling in the deficit – her response (in my presence and that of the supervisor) – “Not only no – but FUCK no.”
It turns out the county Health Department found no nurses willing to do this. So our entire vaccine program for everyone not just kids was on hold.
After more panicked efforts, they found one nurse to give the shots. That nurse too refuses to give it to the babies. She will be there only to do the shots for 18 and up. She will not even give to teens. I am sure they will eventually find people to do it, but it is profoundly admirable of these nurses. I will be doing all I can to help them get other employment.
There may be a similar response in Brazil where fear about the vaccines’ lack of efficacy and safety is also widespread. Until now, just over 10% of children between six months and five years of age have been vaccinated. But the threat of losing welfare payments at a time of resurgent inflation could force many parents’ hands.