COVID-19 VACCINE opinion from one of our G.P's

Below is one of our GP's email on the Covid-19 virus and the vaccines. This feedback covers their professional opinion on the merits and concerns, negatives and positives, pros and cons, for vaccination.



Introduction.

Vaccine hesitant people are some of the most interested and widely read individuals when it comes to Covid vaccination. They have commonly looked at more online information than average and they include some health professionals, although very few doctors. Dismissing vaccine hesitant people with personal insult and rhetoric is to fail to respect and also fails to address what actually drives most hesitancy…. Information.


Vaccinating yourself for Covid is something of a betting decision. One weighs up the risks of Covid disease (in yourself and your community) against the risks of vaccinating. In my conclusion I will attempt a betting man’s risk assessment.


We are going to have a look at the following questions.

1. How well do the vaccines work?

2. What are the side effects that we do know about?

3. What are the possible long-term effects we don’t know about?

4. Could the mass vaccination around the world eventually lead to a catastrophe of late disease from the vaccine?

5. Has there been misinformation hiding the real rate of side effects?

6. Is it safe in breast feeding and pregnancy?

7. Can mRNA vaccines reverse transcribe to become part of your own DNA?

8. Is a vaccine passport another significant tool for government to control individuals?

9. Is the PCR test giving a large number of false positives?

10. Are we ignoring early treatment options that work for Covid which would be safer than vaccinating?

1. How well do the vaccines work?

First issue for all of us is to check the dates of any online videos you may have seen that tell you there is no evidence that the vaccines work.

These videos are commonly quite old and such claims were more reasonable 12 to 18 months ago but have been swamped with outcome data from around the world especially in the last 6 months. Remember the serious vaccine rollouts only commenced in December 2020 in the main study countries with good linked data (Israel, UK, Sweden, USA), so vaccine efficacy studies are only coming to good levels of data recently.

ATAGI is the Australian Technical advisory group on Immunisation and they have a serious team of experts who read and assess mountains of research and data. They are a medical body, not a political body. They provide advice to government about immunisation and approvals for vacccines. Importantly they give ratings to the quality of any research and make it freely available, particularly through their statements (with references) on various topics. These statements can be accessed at …. https://www.health.gov.au/committees-and-groups/australian-technical-advisory-group-on-immunisation-atagi

Let’s check some vaccine efficacy information:

Household transmission:

A very large UK study showed that vaccinated household contacts of an unvaccinated index case of Covid, were 40-50% less likely to get Covid. There were nearly 1 million household contacts in this study. The majority of vaccinated household contacts had still only had 1 shot. So the numbers would be likely even better once a second shot + 2 weeks has occurred.

The study is available online…. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2107717

Relative Risk Reduction:

A July 2021 article in the Lancet reports the following RRVs (relative risk reductions) for various vaccines:

Vaccine efficacy is generally reported as a relative risk reduction (RRR). It uses the relative risk (RR)—ie, the ratio of attack rates with and without a vaccine—which is expressed as 1–RR. Ranking by reported efficacy gives relative risk reductions of 95% for the Pfizer–BioNTech, 94% for the Moderna–NIH, 91% for the Gamaleya, 67% for the J&J, and 67% for the AstraZeneca–Oxford vaccines.

The article can be viewed….. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanmic/article/PIIS2666-5247(21)00069-0/fulltext

Real world follow-up data

Analysis with vaccination effects in the real world is ongoing and summarised in a recent MJA (Medical Journal of Australia ) review article. They state:

We can draw important conclusions from these non-randomised studies of vaccine effectiveness. Most importantly the currently available COVID-19 vaccines appear to be effective in preventing severe complications and deaths from COVID-19 in adults of all ages. Follow-up periods are short, and these reports do not provide information on rare but serious adverse events, such as cerebral venous thrombosis. The use of sophisticated trial emulation methods in the study from Israel replicated some key features of the pivotal randomized trial of the Pfizer vaccine, particularly by controlling for an early healthy cohort effect that probably confounded the incompletely adjusted endpoint analyses. This design should prove useful in enabling direct head-to-head comparisons of effectiveness and safety of vaccines, studies of the duration of clinical immunity, studies of the degree to which vaccines prevent transmission and their impacts on ‘long COVID’.

Full article available at… https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2021/effectiveness-covid-19-vaccines-findings-real-world-studies

If you are a numbers person the Oxford University based site at https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations will keep you going for a while. It aims to make the best data freely available globally.

Doubts about whether the vaccines work have become harder to sustain as we see the Delta strain causing hundreds of thousands of hospitalisations and thousands of deaths, in places like the UK and USA with high overall vaccination rates. Unvaccinated people account for the vast majority of the severe Covid outcomes despite being a smaller minority of the populations.

Covid is a serious disease, do not believe people who tell you it is just a cold with a lot of political hype. When I have been talking to front line doctors on the ground in Italy, UK and US as well as Australia, they are horrified that some people here imagine this disease is being blown out of proportion by government and media. We have been extremely fortunate in Australia not to experience the sheer magnitude of the medical horror in those places in 2020 and 2021. If you wind up on a ventilator in ICU, you may never be quite the same again, physically or mentally.

In the USA there have been 37.7 million infections to date and 628,000 deaths, out of a population of 337 million. So 1 in 10 roughly have caught it, and 1.66 % of cases died.

If this trajectory were reflected in our LGA (Coffs Harbour) with 73,000 people, we could expect 7,300 infections and 121 deaths. The severe cases that survive would be much higher.

2. What are the vaccine side-effects that we do know about?

All the Covid vaccines may give you a bit of a temperature, sore arm, headache, joint pains and feeling tired for a day or two. These are common and expected vaccination side effects.

Astra-Zeneca has a now well-known association with TTS (Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome). The risk of this is higher if you have had a heparin reaction in the past or if you have had cerebral venous sinus or splanchnic vein thrombosis in the past. It does not appear to be more frequent in those who have had a DVT, pulmonary embolus, stroke, heart attack or who have a family history of clotting. TTS is serious and life threatening. The risk is about 3 per 100,000 first doses in under 60s and about half that in over 60s. It occurs 4-42 days after the dose.

As of 5th August 2021, the TGA had identified 93 Australian cases of TTS (57 confirmed, 36 probable) from approximately 6.8 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses administered in Australia. There have been 7 deaths from TTS from AZ vaccination in Australia to date.

Other rare side effects include episcleritis, swollen glands under the arm (lasts up to 10 days), capillary leak syndrome, irregular menstrual bleeding, myocarditis and pericarditis (mostly younger men). These are rare and there have been no deaths from them.

Pfizer vaccination:

Routine side effects are similar to AZ vaccine.

Rare side effects: may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people: temporary one sided facial drooping, and allergic reactions such as hives or swelling of the face.

Frequency unknown (cannot be estimated from the available data but very rare): severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), inflammation of the heart (myocarditis or pericarditis), extensive swelling of the vaccinated limb, swelling of the face (swelling of the face may occur in patients who have had facial cosmetic injections).

3. What are the possible long-term effects of the vaccine that we don’t know about?

Short answer is no one knows for sure. 12 months ago the vaccines, especially the mRNA vaccines, were in phase 3 trial stage and being rolled out anyway. This means a lot of people had been given the vaccine but not much time had gone by to see if there are downstream effects years later.

Potentially this will be uncertain for another 5 to 10 years, however historically whenever late and lasting effects from vaccines have occurred, it has been evident within 2 months of vaccination.

Data to date has not identified any long-term issues from Covid vaccination and recently (August 2021) the FDA in USA has announced full vaccine status for the Pfizer vaccine …see https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-covid-19-vaccine

There is ongoing surveillance to expand knowledge of risks like myocarditis, pericarditis and pregnancy outcomes. This post marketing surveillance will go on for decades, but so far, no major issues of concern have been identified.

mRNA vaccines have been around for a decade or more and have some good technical reasons to think they are safe. For a brief introduction here is a short video …… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=the81FQoAUI&ab_channel=AsapSCIENCE

Dr Robert Malone is prominent on social media and has raised concerns that spike protein itself may be cytotoxic (kills cells) and opens the blood brain barrier in some studies in tissues and animal models. Studies have not shown this in humans but such studies would be technically difficult. He raises the question of whether it is truly safe to inject oneself with spike protein (or mRNA that makes spike protein). For longer videos from Dr Malone, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du2wm5nhTXY and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E2UkhCWosg&ab_channel=TrialSiteNews

Dr Malone is often put forward as the inventor of mRNA vaccines and says as much in his own bio. There has been criticism however…. https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/08/robert-malone-vaccine-inventor-vaccine-skeptic/619734/

ATAGI and FDA currently are stating there is no evidence that spike protein itself is the real issue, it is really the risk of the infecting virus that we need to be concerned about.

Dr Paul Offit is one of the world’s leading vaccine experts. He notes some long-term effects have occurred with the older measles vaccines, yellow fever vaccine and the earlier polio vaccines in the past but they have always been evident within 2 months of vaccination. He says this makes it unlikely there will be an unrecognised late effect now that we have 8 months of large-scale data.

4. Could the mass vaccination around the world eventually lead to a catastrophe of late disease from the vaccine?

Good question, answer is the same as question 3…. No one knows for sure but available evidence does not suggest any likely long-term consequences. This needs to weighed up against the long-term consequences of Covid infection which are substantial. Neither vaccinating or not vaccinating are risk free options.

5. Has there been misinformation hiding the real rate of side effects and the real death rate from Covid?

Is the government covering up information and magnifying the risks of Covid? Is the government hiding the true risks of vaccination? Most stories claiming this appear to be anecdotal… they tell the story of someone with a severe side effect of the vaccine and then make claims of a cover up.

Statistics in Europe and US and UK during the worst of the pandemic in the last 12 months have been patchy, and are likely missing many cases of death due to Covid due to sheer numbers and overwhelmed systems. In fact, the overseas statistics probably underestimate the severity and death rate from Covid. See this article for some detail…. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-23/coronavirus-australia-excess-deaths-data-analysis/12321162

However, Australia has had very near complete capture of all cases of Covid and has excellent statistics on Covid cases and death rates. As a vaccine provider I have to do training and sign undertakings to report all adverse effects of the vaccine. ATAGI has been rigorous in collecting and publishing this data.

Many of the claims of Covid disease exaggeration by pharmaceutical companies and governments are made on social media in the USA. The Australian situation is somewhat different with better data. These videos are mostly old now as it has become difficult to ignore the reality of severe Covid disease in our hospitals and communities.

6. Is vaccination safe in breastfeeding and pregnancy?

Probably yes. However, it may take some time to know for sure. Meantime it has become evident that Covid infection during early pregnancy is causing significant issues to unborn babies and an increased rate of pregnancy loss. Pregnant women are also at risk of more severe disease and have therefore become targets of vaccine program. Current advice is to vaccinate all pregnant and breast-feeding women with Pfizer if possible, AZ vaccine if not available. Real world data has not shown any adverse effects on the developing baby from the vaccination of pregnant women to date. For a considered discussion see…

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-shared-decision-making-guide-for-women-who-are-pregnant-breastfeeding-or-planning-pregnancy

7. Can mRNA vaccines reverse transcribe to become part of your own DNA?

Another issue that appears to come up is whether spike protein or spike protein RNA strands can be reverse engineered into one’s own nuclear DNA with Covid (and stay there for a long time). The brief answer is that this seems to be possible to some degree with infection with Covid virus, but not really possible with mRNA spike protein vaccines. Here is a study showing evidence of Covid RNA fragments (from Covid infection, not vaccination) being reverse transcribed into DNA in human cells….