Norway: 248 deaths and nearly 52,000 reports of other Covid vaccine side-effects

From a population of just 5.3 million people, Norway has reported a total of 248 deaths as suspected side effects after a Covid vaccine, according to the latest Adverse Reaction Report from the Norwegian Medicines Agency, published on Thursday, 20th January.

The reported deaths are distributed as follows: 227 after the Pfizer vaccine, 15 after Moderna and six after the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The Norwegian Medicines Agency has also received 51,985 reports of suspected side effects. Of these, 26,413 messages have been processed. 4766 are classified as serious and 21,647 are classified as not serious. This means that 18 per cent of the messages that have been processed are classified as serious.

Dagbladet.no report (in Norwegian)

Norwegian Medicines Agency, Adverse Reaction Report (in Norwegian)

 

Around 4.3 million people have been fully vaccinated in Norway

 

Norway has recorded just 1,414 deaths from Covid-19 as of January 21st 2022:

Norway Covid deaths at OurworldinData.org

 

BMJ: We must have raw data for Covid-19 vaccines and treatments now

 

 

Photo by Sunguk Kim on Unsplash

Science Magazine: Covid vaccines may cause Long Covid–like symptoms

In November 2021, in the New England Journal of Medicine, William Murphy, an immunologist at the University of California, Davis proposed that an autoimmune mechanism triggered by the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein might explain both Long Covid symptoms and some rare vaccine side effects.

Evidence from animal studies supports the idea that antibodies targeting the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein might cause collateral damage, notes Harald Prüss, a neurologist at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the Charité University Hospital in Berlin. In 2020, while hunting for antibody therapies for COVID-19, he and his colleagues discovered that of 18 antibodies they identified with potent effects against SARS-CoV-2, four also targeted healthy tissues in mice—a sign they could trigger autoimmune problems.

Science Magazine article

New England Journal of Medicine article:A Possible Role for Anti-idiotype Antibodies in SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Vaccination

Harald Prüss: Do cross-reactive antibodies cause neuropathology in COVID-19?

 

 

 

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

CDC: Prior Covid-19 infection offered better protection than vaccination during Delta wave

CDC: “Before Delta became the predominant variant in June, case rates were higher among persons who survived a previous infection than persons who were vaccinated alone. By early October, persons who survived a previous infection had lower case rates than persons who were vaccinated alone.”

CDC website

 

Surviving a previous Covid infection provided better protection than vaccination against Covid-19 during the Delta wave, US federal health authorities said, citing research showing that both the shots and recovery from the virus provided significant defense.

Wall Street Journal report

 

Czech Republic abandons mandatory Covid vaccination

 

 

Image by Julián Amé from Pixabay

EMA: Transverse Myelitis listed as potential side effect of AstraZeneca and Janssen Covid vaccines

The Europe Medicines Agency has recommended adding a rare spinal inflammation called transverse myelitis as a side effect of AstraZeneca’s and Janssen’s (Johnson and Johnson) COVID-19 vaccines.

The committee, after reviewing data, concluded that a causal relationship between these two vaccines and transverse myelitis is at least a reasonable possibility.

Reuters report

Transverse myelitis is a rare neurological condition in which the spinal cord is inflamed. Transverse implies that the inflammation extends horizontally across the spinal cord. Partial transverse myelitis and partial myelitis are terms sometimes used to specify inflammation that only affects part of the width of the spinal cord.

Transverse myelitis is characterized by weakness and numbness of the limbs, deficits in sensation and motor skills, dysfunctional urethral and anal sphincter activities, and dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system that can lead to episodes of high blood pressure. Signs and symptoms vary according to the affected level of the spinal cord.

Wikipedia: Transverse Myelitis

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

EMA: Immune system could be overloaded by booster vaccinations

The European Medicines Agency warned this week that repeated booster shots are not a sustainable long-term plan. The EMA pointed out that getting a booster every four months could potentially result in diminishing someone’s immune response. “We should be careful in not overloading the immune system with repeated immunization,” a spokesman said.

 

At 22.40, Booster doses could overload the immune system…

Is some sanity finally breaking out at the top?

 

Is Sars-CoV-2 already targeting the vaccinated?

Will future variants of Sars-Cov-2 tailor themselves to target the vaccinated?  Given that up to 90% of the population of some countries are now fully vaccinated, the question should perhaps be: Why would Sars-CoV-2 NOT target the vaccinated? 

Selective pressure on the virus may mean an increasing drift towards variants that can overcome vaccines, as we are already seeing with Omicron.

There is some evidence in the scientific literature that the global vaccination campaign may have, through selective pressure, encouraged the virus to target the vaccinated.

  • In this Medrxiv preprint, “COVID-19 vaccines dampen genomic diversity of SARS-CoV-2: Unvaccinated patients exhibit more antigenic mutational variance”, the authors state that “This study presents the first known evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are fundamentally restricting the evolutionary and antigenic escape pathways accessible to SARS-CoV-2.”
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  • In this PLOS paper, the authors assert that there is a “risk of rapid evolutionary escape from biomedical interventions targeting evolution”, and “predicted resistance timelines are comparable to those of the decay kinetics of nAbs raised against vaccinal or natural antigens, raising a second potential mechanism for loss of immunity in the population.”
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  • In this Frontiersin.org paper, “Implication of SARS-CoV-2 Immune Escape Spike Variants on Secondary and Vaccine Breakthrough Infections”, the authors state: “The increasing degree of immunity in the human population is inevitably conferring a great deal of selective pressure on the virus that promotes the rise of antibody escape mutants. The emergence of immune escape mutants is perhaps most apparent in chronic COVID-19 patients as documented in multiple reports.”
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  • This UK government paper suggested ways in which Sars-CoV-2 may evolve in future: “Antigenic ‘shift’: Natural recombination events that insert a different spike gene sequence (or partial sequence) from human CoVs MERS-CoV… This would recombine into the ‘body’ of SARS-CoV-2 that is capable of high replication in human cells. The consequence could be a virus that causes disease at a level similar to COVID-19 when it first emerged but against which our current battery of spike glycoprotein-based vaccines would not work.
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  • In this Virolyvj paper, the authors say “we speculate that with continued circulation, vaccination and convalescent sera therapy, further positively selected for mutations in the NTD are likely to occur.”

 

Shown below, there certainly seems to be a bias towards infecting the vaccinated in the daily case figures from Denmark’s SSI. Double and triple vaccinated individuals were making up ~90% of all new daily cases recently.

Shown above, from the latest Danish report for vaccine breakthrough infections, it is clear that the vaccinated make up far more of new Covid cases than the unvaccinated.

Shown below, nearly 300,000 cases of Covid are vaccine breakthroughs for those with two doses, and nearly 35,000 cases are breakthrough cases for those with three doses.

 

Clearly, Sars-CoV-2 will become under ever greater selective pressure to infect the vaccinated as the pool of unvaccinated people decreases.  Deliberately targeting the vaccinated cohort may be the only possible way for the virus to survive in future.

Addendum:
You may not feel comfortable with the issues this post deals with, but if you haven’t considered the key question in this post – Could Sars-CoV-2 start targeting the vaccinated? –  then you simply haven’t been paying attention for the last two years.

Selective pressure forcing Sars-CoV-2 to target the vaccinated is not only a possibility, with the Omicron variant, it may have already started.

 

Denmark: ~90% of Omicron cases are double or triple vaccinated *17 UPDATES*

UK.GOV: vaccine booster doses wane after just 10 weeks

“The latest data suggests this extra protection starts to wane more rapidly, being about 15 to 25% lower from 10 weeks after the booster dose.”

Vaccine efficacy analysis continues to show lower effectiveness for symptomatic Omicron disease. There is evidence that protection against symptomatic disease wanes after the second dose of vaccine, and then improves after the booster. But the latest data suggests this extra protection starts to wane more rapidly, being about 15 to 25% lower from 10 weeks after the booster dose. There are insufficient severe cases of Omicron as yet to analyse vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation, but this is more likely to be sustained, particularly after a booster.

Source: UK.GOV – COVID-19 variants identified in the UK – 23rd December 2021

 

Vaccines: Pfizer CEO says fourth dose of vaccine may be needed sooner than expected

 

 

Image by mamit2504 from Pixabay

Israel: four potential Omicron cases flew in from Malawi, Jordan

The South African Omicron variant was first discovered in Israel late Thursday night, according to reports released Friday morning by the Health Ministry. It was first detected in an individual who returned to Israel from Malawi. Two other cases of returnees from abroad were also later identified as suspicious. 

In all three cases, the travellers were vaccinated. According to media reports, one traveller was inoculated with three doses of the Pfizer vaccine, one with two shots of AstraZeneca and the other with two shots of Johnson & Johnson.

Later, another individual who entered Israel from Jordan was also found suspicious of infection with the variant.

Jerusalem Post report

 

More…

Hundreds of passengers from South Africa were being held at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam on Friday after the Netherlands imposed new travel restrictions amid concerns over an aggressive mutation of the Covid-19 virus.

Two flights from South Africa, one from Cape Town and one from Johannesburg, landed Friday late morning local time at Schiphol, an airport spokesman said. The passengers had to remain on board the flight while a separate, secure location in the airport was being located and are waiting to be tested, he said.

 

Omicron variant: first European case of B.1.1.529 found in Belgium via Egypt and Turkey

Image by Tobias Rehbein from Pixabay

Preprint: vaccinated persons are no less infectious than unvaccinated persons

A total of 978 specimens were provided by 95 participants, of whom 78 were fully vaccinated and 17 were not fully vaccinated. No significant differences were detected in duration of RT-PCR positivity among fully vaccinated participants versus those not fully vaccinated, or in duration of culture positivity.

Among fully vaccinated participants, overall duration of culture positivity was shorter among Moderna vaccine recipients versus Pfizer or Janssen vaccine recipients.

As this field continues to develop, clinicians and public health practitioners should consider vaccinated persons who become infected with SARS-CoV-2 to be no less infectious than unvaccinated persons. These findings are critically important, especially in congregate settings where viral transmission can lead to large outbreaks.

Preprint: Transmission potential of vaccinated and unvaccinated persons infected with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant in a federal prison, July—August 2021

 

 

 

 

Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

Vaccinated are more likely to be infected with Covid-19

“We must recognise that unvaccinated people are unlikely to cause any more risk to others than the vaccinated, and perhaps less.”

In a recent hearing of the UK  Pandemic Response and Recovery All Party Parliamentary Group, several experts said they were highly sceptical of the value of vaccine passports.

 

Professor David Paton:

“There is no obvious sign from countries that have already implemented similar certification schemes that there are any benefits in terms of reducing infections. But we know there will be huge costs to the economy; nightclubs in Scotland have reported trade levels dropping by almost half since the introduction of their vaccine passport scheme while leaked documents show that the Government itself estimates the cost of implementing Plan B in England to be between £11 billion and £18 billion.

Covid passes are a heavy-handed and invasive approach to public health. They pose an unacceptable risk to rights and individual liberties and could jeopardise trust in public health measures at a critical time.”

 

Dr Roland Salmon said:

“From a public health standpoint, it makes little sense to impose any kind of vaccine certification scheme. If the vaccine is to protect others around you, then it needs to greatly reduce transmission. Studies from Public Health England and Imperial College only show reductions in household transmission of 30-50%; not enough and even then, probably temporary. Thus, a policy of targeting vaccination to those at highest risk, allowing broader post-infection immunity to develop in the wider community to prevent spread is likely to be a much more effective approach.”

 

Dr David Bell:

“It is unclear what vaccine passports will achieve in the U.K. We must recognise that unvaccinated people are unlikely to cause any more risk to others than the vaccinated, and perhaps less. We know that vaccinated people who become infected commonly have similar infectiousness as unvaccinated people, while Public Health England data indicates that vaccinated people over 30 years are now more likely to be infected than the unvaccinated. We also know that unvaccinated people will, in general, suffer more symptoms, so are more likely to abstain from community gatherings when infected, while infected vaccinated people continue to be active, potentially increasing risk to the vulnerable.”

 

UK: Fully vaccinated up to 29 times more likely to catch Covid

 

 

The real reason Britain rejected vaccine passports

Intravenous injection of mRNA Covid vaccine can induce acute myopericarditis in mice

This study provided in vivo evidence that inadvertent intravenous injection of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines may induce myopericarditis. Brief withdrawal of syringe plunger to exclude blood aspiration may be one possible way to reduce such risk.

Preprint: Intravenous Injection of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) mRNA Vaccine Can Induce Acute Myopericarditis in Mouse Model

 

See also: “The middle of the vastus lateralis is an appropriate site for intramuscular injections because of the low risk of vascular or nerve damage.”

Anatomically safe sites for intramuscular injections: a cross-sectional study on young adults and cadavers with a focus on the thigh

 

Denmark’s SSI recommends changes to syringe injection method for #coronavirus vaccines

 

 

 

USA: Nearly 7,000 vaccine breakthrough cases in Alaska in September 2021

Through the end of September 2021, a total of 13,265 vaccine breakthrough COVID-19 cases were documented among Alaska residents. An additional 2,906 cases occurred among Alaska residents who were partially vaccinated.

Breakthrough Cases:

 

Breakthrough Hospitalizations:

 

Vaccine breakthrough deaths:

Among cases with specimen collection dates during or prior to September 2021, 63 COVID-19 deaths were documented among fully vaccinated persons and 14 were documented among partially vaccinated persons. Among the 205 documented COVID-19 deaths with specimen collection dates during July–September 2021, 56 occurred in fully-vaccinated persons and 7 occurred in partially-vaccinated persons.

 

Alaska State Covid Update

 

 

 

 

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

USA: Covid blizzard in Minnesota – 72,628 vaccine breakthrough cases, 519 deaths

“We are in the middle of a COVID blizzard right now in Minnesota,” state infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann said. Minnesota has the nation’s highest rate of new coronavirus infections, but the “whole Midwest is lighting up,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. 

The state on Monday reported another 5,266 coronavirus infections and a 9.7% positivity rate of COVID-19 diagnostic testing that brings Minnesota close to its 10% high-risk threshold for widespread viral transmission for the first time since December.

Breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated Minnesotans remain a component of the latest wave, because early recipients last winter are encountering waning immunity and needing booster doses. The state on Monday reported another 7,784 breakthrough infections, the total now being 72,629. COVID-19 deaths in fully vaccinated Minnesotans increased to 519.

Startribune.com report

 

 

Historical Minnesota vaccine breakthrough data:

25th May 2021 – 2,550 cases, 239 hospitalizations, 26 deaths
10th August 2021 – 5,599 cases, 514 hospitalizations, 57 deaths
16th November 2021 – 72,628 cases, 3,177 hospitalizations, 519 deaths

 

 

USA: nearly 59,000 vaccine breakthrough cases, 468 deaths in Massachusetts

Nearly 59,000 fully vaccinated Massachusetts residents have now tested positive for COVID-19 and 468 of them have died.

In the last week, 4,608 new breakthrough cases have been reported. That’s up 44% from 3,192 the previous week and marks the second straight week of increased breakthrough cases.

NBCBoston.com report

 

 

 

 

Image by Walter Frehner from Pixabay