TO MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS WE MUST BE INFORMED
The new mRNA vaccines have been described as ‘a way of tricking the immune system’ by delivering lipid nanoparticles, fatty molecular envelopes, as a mechanism to help strands of mRNA evade the body’s biological gatekeepers. Paula Cannon, an associate professor of microbiology at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine commented: “The immune system is incredibly complicated and it’s different from person to person… “There’s always a concern when you are trying to trick the immune system — which is what a vaccine does — that you could have unintended side effects,”
19-year-old Simone Scott received her second dose of the Moderna vaccine on May 1st. Within hours she became ill and was hospitalised, developing what her doctors believe was myocarditis, a rare inflammation of the heart muscle. Simone underwent a heart transplant one month later and died on May 11th.
Justin Harrington, a 21-year-old New Jersey student, suffered severe heart inflammation within 8 to 12 hours of receiving his second dose of Moderna’s COVID vaccine. Justin’s school required him to get the vaccine in order to attend classes in the fall. Justin’s father, Timothy Harrington, said his son felt different after the second shot. “Every time his heart beat it hurt and he felt pressure,.. “Then he developed heart pain down both arms.” Two days after Justin received the second shot, his father took him to the emergency room at Morristown Memorial Hospital because the symptoms had worsened. “The physicians weren’t connecting it to the vaccine until I informed the doctors my son just got the vaccine, and shared with them the information I had found on myocarditis,” Justin now has minor scarring on his heart and Harrington said even though his son has been released, he still has chest pain and his life is not the same. “He has to wear a heart monitor and take four different medications for six months…He has to sleep propped up, can’t exert himself so is unable to work.” Doctors hope they caught it early enough that there will be no other issues but this is uncertain.
- On June 2, the Israeli Health Minister said that a “probable” link had been found between Pfizer’s COVID vaccine and rare cases of heart inflammation in young men . Israeli health officials first flagged the issue in April, when they reported more than 60 cases, mostly in young men who had received their second dose of vaccine.
- Officials at the European Medicines Agency said on May 28, they had received 107 reports of myocarditis following the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Europe has lower rates of vaccination for young people.
- The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – a total of 475 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis were recorded in patients 30 and younger. CDC data showed 196 reports of myocarditis and pericarditis among 18 to 24-year-olds through May 31, compared with an expected rate of between 8 and 83 cases.
A search in the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) reveals 900 cases of pericarditis and myocarditis reported in the U.S. among all age groups following COVID vaccination, between Dec. 14, 2020 and June 4, 2021. An emergency meeting of its advisers has been called for June 18. Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office, confirmed there had been “a higher-than-expected number of cases” of heart inflammation among young people recently vaccinated with their second doses of the mRNA vaccine.
Cleveland Clinic found people previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 were less likely to be re-infected than fully vaccinated individuals who had never had the virus.Studies suggest that people who’ve already had the disease or were recently infected are more at risk of severe adverse reactions i.e. a potential risk of harm, if vaccinated at a vulnerable time. Since the vaccine is intended to trigger an immune response it is not unreasonable to assume that those who may already have natural immunity due to previous or current infection might be at increased risk when vaccinated, the body triggering an exaggerated immune response with damage to organs and tissues. This is the same reaction seen in increased rates of blood clots causing stroke and heart attack in a minority of those vaccinated.
According to researchers at the National Organization for Rare Disorders, myocarditis can result from infections but “more commonly the myocarditis is a result of the body’s immune reaction to the initial heart damage.” The link between myocarditis currently under investigation is as yet unproven, we must hope that the vaccine itself does not prove to be the agent initially responsible for attacking the heart muscle, initiating an exaggerated immune response which is difficult to control. The UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will be advising against pressing ahead with a vaccination campaign for teenagers.
Moderna denies any link between vaccine and heart inflammation. While acknowledging Covid risk factors, it is vital for each of us to remain alert to the conditions now being investigated as potentially vaccine linked.
Shooting the Messengers: First published 2021/2/23
Vaccines: More Haste – Less Speed: First Published 2021/01/10