Is it Possible to Determine if Vaccine Contributed to An Injury
Have you read of the case of a man who died of a heart attack the day after he got his Covid-19 jab? In the report by Todayonline, the specific words spoken by MOH were: "Based on the assessment by an independent clinical panel, there is no indication that the death was due to Covid-19 vaccination..."
I find it puzzling that few noticed - and were bothered by - the jump in logic. 'No indication that death was due to Covid-19 vaccination' does not equate to 'the vaccination did not contribute to complicating a person's health; and triggering a medical condition that ultimately leads to death.' While I support MOH's conclusion that the primary cause of Mr Yak's death is acute myocardial infarction, my question is: why did they dismiss the possibility that the vaccine could have triggered that?
The hospital in question, NUH, made a similar statement. The article states: "The hospital emphasised again that an independent clinical panel had concluded that Yak Hock Hwa's death was unlikely to be related to the Covid-19 vaccination that he received." Again, the word here is "unlikely". Something that is "unlikely" does not preclude that it had not.
It will be an injustice to simply dismiss Mr Yak and his family's case with these uncertain statements.
The article also states that "the Yak family is hoping that the authorities can provide them with further explanations, or release the full report, on how they assessed the man's death to be unrelated to the Covid-19 vaccine that he received." I think the Yak family deserves a full disclosure and answer to the following questions: Has the independent clinical panel thoroughly examined how Mr Yak's body or immune system had been affected by the vaccination? What specifically triggered the acute myocardial infarction? Is it possible to prove beyond reasonable doubt that a vaccine had not contributed to an injury; if not, how can the clinical panel be so conclusive?
Now I am not a medical practitioner, so correct me if I am wrong. I have heard that should a man die of lung cancer after 5 decades of smoking, medical professionals would still be unable to conclude, "smoking had killed him." Instead, they could say, "smoking has been one of the risk factors, but it is really another thing to conclude what exactly caused the lung cancer." Therefore, I had wondered: "What do doctors have to observe to know (and determine) an injury or death is caused by a vaccine? We know that there are side effects following vaccination - what are the distinctions between these side effects and one that eventually progresses into a more serious injury? Are there clear markers doctors rely on, e.g. studying measurable content in our body, which they can examine to determine causation? Would it be 100% conclusive?
When I asked my doctor friends these questions, they agreed with my doubts. One of them said: "There is no test that can prove if the heart attack is caused by the vaccine." Another concurred: "Causation (by vaccine) is impossible to establish."
One of them also explained that doctors would only be able to link an adverse reaction to a vaccine if that particular adverse reaction had been observed at the clinical safety trials. This did not sound very reassuring to me knowing that the Covid-19 vaccine trials was rushed out and skipped some protocols. Nevertheless, that can be understood from the lens of a pandemic emergency. Governments had most difficult decisions to make and it was a valiant effort in partnership with pharmaceutical corporations to come out with a preemptive vaccine to deliver us from our fear of Covid-19. Our Singapore government has certainly done an amazing job managing this very challenging crisis.
Yet my appreciation remains independent from my concern. If governments and commoners alike are relying on nothing else but the vaccine manufacturers' data, we are really under the mercy of the pharmaceutical corporations' integrity. Pfizer's vaccine data is churned out by none other than Pfizer themselves. Moderna's by Moderna. Who knows if some compromise on the integrity of the data has taken place? Especially when the data is established by the very same people who will profit from a no-serious-adverse-reactions result. Such conflicts of interest is a potential - some say surety - for scandals, and history has certainly caught Pharmaceutical corporations with their pants down. This is why continued study of safe and effective alternative drugs e.g. hydroxychloroquine; ivermectin, as prophylaxis treatment will be worthwhile; but we certainly need to be wise to understand how conflict of interests could also lead to these otherwise effective drugs maligned in rather bizarre ways.
One of my doctor friends did put in a fair word for the independent clinical panel. Referring to Yak's case, he said, "[As] a private hire car driver who drives 12 hour shifts 4am to 4pm and is diabetic.. [t]hey are more prone to cardiovascular disease.." I do not disagree with my doctor friend's medical assessment. Mr Yak's heart attack could indeed have happened independently. I won't know for sure. I believe this is why the clinical panel made its call. However, there is that tinge of injustice a commoner like Mr Yak and his family will fail to get redress for. A life is a life. All lives should be precious. Mr Yak's sudden departure left many of his family members shocked and distraught. He left behind a 17 year old daughter. Singaporeans should process Mr Yak's life as an important one, like ours, or a Cabinet Minister's. We should process Mr Yak's daughter's lost as if it is our own lost.
After all, there were warnings about the new mRNA vaccines, like its bypassing of safety protocols e.g. animal clinical trials. While many experts have asserted that these vaccines are safe, I note openly here that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are still not "HSA-approved":
"There is no HSA-approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19"
(Source: https://www.hsa.gov.sg/therapeutic-products/register/special-access-routes/psar-emergency-therapeutic-product/emergency-tps-granted-psar-authorisation. Note: Some had argued that this is merely a matter of scheduling under the "interim authorisation" route, but the schedule is unconfirmed precisely because it awaits - and is a lack of - completed safety trials and data.)
With much unknowns surrounding the new vaccines, the independent clinical panel, NUH and MOH, have grave responsibility to leave no stone unturned in coming to their conclusion that the Pfizer shot had in no way at all, triggered Mr Yak's heart attack. The onus is on them to prove this beyond reasonable doubt, which if they could not, our government will have to own and make good their promise of a Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme payout. Not only to Mr Yak but to all sudden cases of vaccine injuries and deaths that cannot be explained. I note that VIFAP is precisely a "goodwill financial assistance" rather than compensation for vaccine injury. Maybe we can maintain the line that they are not injured by vaccine (since one cannot prove or disprove this) and grant them this goodwill.
Singaporeans have put our trust in our institutions to respond to the call of vaccination. Now, our institutions must not brush these incidents aside as 'coincidences'. Doing so will mark the beginning of a scary, new normal in Singapore - one that permits experts and elites to powerfully drive truths according to their convenience, without a people who will correspondingly expect them to be ethically responsible and accountable. If we cannot even allow loving critics to speak honestly, such as the 12 GPs who wrote an open letter - some actually called for their medical licenses to be revoked - then what are we really as a nation? Should we dispose everyone until we are left with an echo chamber?
Already, doctors are afraid of providing honest opinions for fear that SMC disciplinary proceedings would be launched against them, potentially ending their livelihood. If truthful exchanges by the informed cannot even take place in our public square, how can we truly expect there to be informed consent for the average person? Will this ultimately mar Singaporeans' trust in our institutions? Such is the test facing all of us. Yet I believe it could still be our greatest moment. For this, I write.
I shall end here. Below, I provide relevant scientific articles, peer-reviews and news that would actually support Mr Yak's case for a recourse. Many doctors dismiss that possibility because they preclude there to be no links between heart attacks and the Pfizer vaccine. The below articles suggest that it may not be such an impossibility. The Salk Institute article further explains why illnesses and injuries can happen. Dr Peter Doshi's peer review also shows that critical information are still hidden from Pfizer and Mordena's data, making it impossible for peer reviews of real data to take place.
1. Links between young adults and myocarditis found in US (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9608675/CDC-investigating-heart-problems-teenagers-young-adults-Moderna-Pfizer-vaccine.html)
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's vaccine safety group is investigating reports that a 'small number' of teens and young adults who have been vaccinated against coronavirus have experienced heart problems days after receiving their second jab.
The condition, known as myocarditis, results in an inflammation of the heart muscle which can occur following certain infections.
Very little detail was provided by the safety group which stated there were 'relatively few' cases which may even be completely unrelated to vaccination.
Nevertheless, several dozen cases in kids and young adults have been reported after taking their second dose of one of the mRNA vaccines, which are Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech."
2. Links between young adults and myocarditis found in Israel. Israel experts cautions possible effects could be seen in age group 12-15. (https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-said-probing-link-between-pfizer-shot-and-heart-problem-in-men-under-30/)
"Details from an unpublished Israeli Health Ministry report into the side effects of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine have raised concerns that there could be a link between the second shot and several dozen cases of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, particularly in men under 30.. out of more than 5 million people vaccinated in Israel, there were 62 recorded cases of myocarditis in the days after the shot.. Two of the patients, who were reportedly healthy until receiving the vaccination, including a 22-year-old woman and a 35-year-old man, died..
The report found that of those who received the second dose, 1-in-100,000 had possible side effects of myocarditis; however, this number rose to 1-in-20,000 among those aged 16-30. "
"We cannot yet tell if there are more cases than normal or if there are similar numbers annually and the proximity is just a coincidence. Efforts to collect more data are continuing," the report said.
At the moment we believe that the vaccination plan should proceed as normal for those over 16. However, it should be noted that there is a possibility that we will see the same results in vaccinations of those aged 12-15," it cautioned.
3. Barring official figures released by our government, the SG Suspected Vaccine Injuries Team, a ground-up initiative on Telegram, has gathered that amongst the 16 suspected deaths they have compiled, 10 of them were from heart attacks (as of 28-May-21). Their cases are all reported on their Telegram channel.
4. Peter Doshi, an associate editor for The BMJ (British Medical Journal) calls for examination of hidden data from Pfizer's and Moderna's publications. His peer-review is reason for caution in accepting Pfizer and Moderna's published data wholesale without questioning. (https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2021/01/04/peter-doshi-pfizer-and-modernas-95-effective-vaccines-we-need-more-details-and-the-raw-data/)
All attention has focused on the dramatic efficacy results: Pfizer reported 170 PCR confirmed covid-19 cases, split 8 to 162 between vaccine and placebo groups. But these numbers were dwarfed by a category of disease called "suspected covid-19"-those with symptomatic covid-19 that were not PCR confirmed. According to FDA's report on Pfizer's vaccine, there were "3410 total cases of suspected, but unconfirmed covid-19 in the overall study population, 1594 occurred in the vaccine group vs. 1816 in the placebo group.
With 20 times more suspected than confirmed cases, this category of disease cannot be ignored simply because there was no positive PCR test result.. but Pfizer's 92-page report didn't mention the 3410 "suspected covid-19" cases. Nor did its publication in the New England Journal of Medicine. Nor did any of the reports on Moderna's vaccine. The only source that appears to have reported it is FDA's review of Pfizer's vaccine.
The 371 individuals excluded from Pfizer vaccine efficacy analysis
Another reason we need more data is to analyse an unexplained detail found in a table of FDA's review of Pfizer's vaccine: 371 individuals excluded from the efficacy analysis for "important protocol deviations on or prior to 7 days after Dose 2." What is concerning is the imbalance between randomized groups in the number of these excluded individuals: 311 from the vaccine group vs 60 on placebo..
What were these protocol deviations in Pfizer's study, and why were there five times more participants excluded in the vaccine group? The FDA report doesn't say, and these exclusions are difficult to even spot in Pfizer's report and journal publication."
5. The Salk Institute is a scientific research institute located in California, focused both on discovery and mentoring future generations of researchers. They found that the "spike protein" can itself play a role in causing illness, even in the absence of a virus. This brings to question if the "spike protein" meant to be induced by mRNA vaccines could cause more serious illness or injuries.
"Scientists have known for a while that SARS-CoV-2's distinctive "spike" proteins help the virus infect its host by latching on to healthy cells. Now, a major new study shows that the virus spike proteins (which behave very differently than those safely encoded by vaccines) also play a key role in the disease itself.
"A lot of people think of it as a respiratory disease, but it's really a vascular disease," says Assistant Research Professor Uri Manor, who is co-senior author of the study. "That could explain why some people have strokes, and why some people have issues in other parts of the body. The commonality between them is that they all have vascular underpinnings."
..scientists studying other coronaviruses have long suspected that the spike protein contributed to damaging vascular endothelial cells, but this is the first time the process has been documented.
In the new study, the researchers created a "pseudovirus" that was surrounded by SARS-CoV-2 classic crown of spike proteins, but did not contain any actual virus. Exposure to this pseudovirus resulted in damage to the lungs and arteries of an animal model-proving that the spike protein alone was enough to cause disease. Tissue samples showed inflammation in endothelial cells lining the pulmonary artery walls."