Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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— William Wilberforce

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A New Openness to the Reality of Vaccine Injury?

A New Openness to the Reality of Vaccine Injury?

Normally, when you do a search on Google for “vaccine” of any variant of the word or phrase which includes the word, all you find is articles or websites that proclaim the wonders of vaccines—how these biologic drugs saved humanity from just about everything. You seldom find mention on Google of the downside of these drugs. In other words, the other side of the story.

Largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts by the U.S. government to influence search engine companies like Google and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter (now X), YouTube and others to eliminate any information critical of vaccines and their harmful or potentially harmful effects, the Internet has been scrubbed of the other side of the story about these drugs.

There was a time not too long ago, for example, that if you did a search on Google for “vaccine reactions,” you would find a link to the website of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) within the first two or three pages of the search. If you did a search for “the vaccine reaction,” you would be led to the website of The Vaccine Reaction on the first page of the search. No more. For all practical purposes, sites such as these do not come up on most Google searches related to vaccines or vaccination. They’ve been scrubbed.

So you can imagine my surprise when I found the article by Apoorva Mandavilli in The New York Times last month titled “Thousands Believe Covid Vaccines Harmed Them. Is Anyone Listening?” In many ways, it was a landmark piece because it raised a significant degree of awareness within the general public that there is indeed another side of the story about vaccines—in this case, the COVID shots. It was certainly a far cry from Mandavilli’s odd piece in the Times last October titled “Feeling Terrible After Your Covid Shot? Then It’s Probably Working.”1 2

New York Times Gives Voice to People Harmed by COVID Shots

While last month’s Times article can be described as a “softball” piece in the sense that it veered only ever so slightly from the “vaccines are safety and effective” mantra, it did attempt to show some empathy for the thousands of people who believe they were harmed by the COVID shots. Notice the words “thousands” and “believe,” which clearly seek to minimize the problem. The central point of the Times article is that people who have said they were harmed by the COVID shots feel “completely ignored and dismissed and gaslighted.”

The article quoted nurse practitioner Shaun Barcavage, 54, of New York City as saying, “I can’t get the government to help me. I am told I’m not real. I’m told I’m rare. I’m told I’m coincidence.” Barcavage said that ever since he received the first COVID shot, standing up caused his heart to race—a symptom suggesting postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, which is a neurological disorder associated with both COVID and COVID vaccination.1 3

Another person quoted in the Times article was neuroscientist Michelle Zimmerman, 37, who said that within minutes of getting Johnson & Johnson’s Ad26.COV2.S (also known as JNJ-78436735) COVID vaccine, she experienced pain racing up her left arm to her left ear and down her fingertips. A few days later, Zimmerman became extremely sensitive to light and had a hard time remembering simple facts. She was subsequently diagnosed with brain damage and was unable to work, drive or stand up for long periods.1 3

Following her COVID vaccination, physical therapist Renee France, 49, of Seattle said she developed Bell’s palsy (facial paralysis)—a known side effect of the COVID shots—and a dramatic rash across her face that turned out to be shingles. France said that doctors dismissed any connection of her symptoms with the COVID shots. “I thought for sure someone would reach out, but no one ever did,” she said.

The Times article provided other examples of people who have suffered post-COVID vaccination injuries, including vaccinologist Gregory Poland, MD, the editor-in-chief of the journal Vaccine who developed severe tinnitus (ringing in the ears) after he was vaccinated for COVID.1 3 4

“I feel bad for those people,” said former acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Janet Woodcock. “I believe their suffering should be acknowledged, that they have real problems, and they should be taken seriously.”1 3

Commiseration. Compassion. I guess that’s something. A start.

Perhaps more importantly, though, the Times article may have given permission to other major news outlets to begin to dig deeper into this problem of denial—denying the downside of the COVID shots and vaccines in general and treating victims of the harmful effects of these drugs as crazy people worthy of being treated as outcasts.

STAT: Reports of Vaccine Injury Should Not Be Dismissed

I was heartened again last week when I found an article in STAT titled “Empathy should guide responses to reported vaccine injuries.”5 In that article, vaccinologist Kizzmekia S. Corbett-Helaire of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recalled a woman who had approached her and asked what she doing to investigate vaccine injury. Corbett-Helaire responded that both the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are constantly monitoring people who have been vaccinated.

Then, however, it occurred to Corbett-Helaire…

Is that enough? Has my own science contributed to ignoring people who feel they have been harmed and not heard? In that moment, did I really hear this woman, who believed a COVID-19 vaccine had harmed her? There has been increased attention on people who report long-term negative effects of COVID-19 vaccines. They are not conspiracy theorists or vaccine skeptics.

For some of them, tinnitus—often reported as a ringing in the ears—is common. This feels like a perfect metaphor for me: Scientists ought to be better listeners, hearing people out, and taking seriously personal stories of potentially vaccine-related harm. People who speak out about how they feel after getting a vaccine should not be dismissed…5

Corbett-Helaire added:

For starters, they deserve empathy from their doctors and other health care providers, as well as from those who set and drive vaccine policy. Science owes them—and ultimately all of us—far more investment in research to validate or invalidate claims of vaccine-related harm. They must be fully investigated to prevent further vaccine-related injuries.

The COVID-19 vaccine is not the only shot for which injuries have been reported. Flu vaccines, which are updated every year, have also been linked to tinnitus and other vaccine side effects. But they generate only a small fraction of the controversy that COVID-19 vaccines did, and the rare injuries do not receive feature news coverage, though that doesn’t mean they are any less important for people who are experiencing them.

Vaccine injuries—long-term medical consequences from a shot—are real phenomena worthy of investigation. When someone somewhere feels harmed, it is the duty of scientists and health care providers to heed these people and listen. Scientists need to better understand what happened and why, so that the next iteration of a vaccine can be better. But scientists aren’t trained to appreciate anecdotes.5

This kind of writing reminds me of what psychiatrists and therapist like to refer to as a “breakthrough.” It’s like a patient who has long been suffering and confused and, after years of psychoanalysis and therapy, suddenly begins to see the light.

“For people reporting adverse effects from vaccines, scientists and others can do better at being compassionate, starting with: We hear you,” wrote Corbett-Helaire. “There may be no way today to prove cause and effect with your particular vaccine injury. But we fully appreciate and empathize with what you are going through and owe you and the rest of the public more information about the relationship between the vaccine and the injury you experienced.”

Again, there’s that commiseration, compassion. Maybe now, at least there might be a new openness to that. Better late than never.


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Click here to view References:
1 Mandavilli A. Thousands Believe Covid Vaccines Harmed Them. Is Anyone Listening? The New York Times May 4, 2024.
2 Mandavilli A. Feeling Terrible After Your Covid Shot? Then It’s Probably Working. The New York Times Oct. 7, 2023.
3 Daily Briefing. Thousands believe they suffered serious side effects from COVID-19 vaccines. Advisory Board May 6, 2024.
4 Cáceres M, Fisher BL. Vaccinologist Develops Tinnitus After COVID Shot, Calls for More Research. The Vaccine Reaction Apr. 3, 2022.
5 Corbett-Helaire KS. Empathy should guide responses to reported vaccine injuries. STAT June 11, 2024.

6 Responses

  1. Personally, I think there are many in the chain of command regarding certain medicinal preparations who are fully aware of the risks involved, but are sold on this notion of the “noble lie”. But there is a line. Whether the idea lying to the public for their own safety is valid or not, there has to be a point at which the lie is no longer for the good, but for the taking advantage. It seems to me we are well over that line, and so there are these little trickles. It is a fascinating study. Without proper regulation, industry will go as far as it possibly can. That is its nature after all. But it is our government, by permitting obscene levels of regulatory capture, that is failing to do its job.

    1. “failing to do its job”?

      The covid experience obviously demonstrates that ‘GOVERNMENT’s’ job is to exterminate us [and the same for ALL world governments with the possible exception of Sweden].

  2. I’m sorry to disagree with your opinion but unfortunately, I believe it is still “never”, at this point. The overwhelming loyalty of The New York Times and the rest of mainstream media are their “sponsors” and now, more than ever, that is not the public. We have seen that about these “trustable” sources when it comes to medical advice that might threaten their advertisers or war advice when it might threaten those who benefit from wars and that is never the public. This article sounds like a pathetic attempt at a “limited hangout” which appears to be an inroad leading to the truth but is actually a fake diversionary tactic.

  3. I agree Lady M, this is a smokescreen to avoid being labeled as a quisling. The media are still under orders and will not risk the ire of their economic masters.

  4. Everyone who received the Covid vaccine should have been provided with information about the VAERS website. The government didn’t want to know about Adverse Events, in my opinion, because they didn’t care. There was $$$ to be made! I encourage those who feel they were vaccine injured, regardless of when it occurred, to report it now. Forced vaccination for bird flu is right around the corner. Make some noise!!!

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