The great Covid vaccine debate

Here is the latest on the whole vaccine schemozzle [defn (yiddish) disorder resulting from a failure to behave predictably]. We ask is there ‘a black ops disinformation campaign‘ being conducted by Big Pharma during the covid pandemic?

Australian media finally acknowledges ‘possible link between vaccines and rare heart inflammation’

It has taken some time but the ABC is the first Australian media outlet to publish an article about Pfizer and Moderna vaccines’ role in heart inflammation. Till now we have heard mainly about concerns by experts regarding AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clotting. We don’t expect much from the rest of the Australian media but we do expect the public broadcaster not to sit on stories where public health is concerned. Are we in a war where information is to be withheld as was the case before and during the 2003 Iraq war? How strong is the federal government’s influence over the Australian press?

This is not an anti-vax message. People should be aware that the observed numbers of adverse reaction to vaccines are still very small and should not deter people from being vaccinated. The risk of people experiencing heart inflammation from the vaccine is still infinitesimal in comparison to what happens if you get Covid 19 infection.

In the study Myocarditis Following Immunization With mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines in Members of the US Military, the following findings were made:

In this case series, myocarditis occurred in previously healthy military patients with similar clinical presentations following receipt of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Further surveillance and evaluation of this adverse event following immunization is warranted. Potential for rare vaccine-related adverse events must be considered in the context of the well-established risk of morbidity, including cardiac injury, following COVID-19 infection.

jamacardiology_montgomery_2021_br_210004_1624549090.29671

Possible link between Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines and rare heart inflammation under investigation

Frozen vials of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are taken out to thaw.
COVID itself is more likely to cause the condition than the vaccine, experts say.(AP: Francisco Seco)

Rare cases of heart inflammation could be linked to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, according to new research, but medical experts say the risk of the conditions is still far lower than the risks of serious illness or death from contracting COVID-19.

Key points:

  • Heart inflammation can be caused by a range of viral infections, including COVID-19
  • The condition is rare and generally not life-threatening, experts say
  • Four cases of myocarditis have been reported to the TGA since the vaccine rollout began in Australia

Two new US studies published today looked at a combined 27 people who developed myocarditis — a rare inflammation of the heart muscle — within days of having the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. 

One study looked at four people who presented with the rare heart inflammation at a clinic in North Carolina, and the other looked at 23 people with the same condition in the US military. 

Twenty of these cases occurred after the second dose.

Most of the people with the rare side effect were young men aged in their 20s and 30s.

Karlheinz Peter, deputy director of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, said the conditions were relatively rare, and generally not life-threatening.

“These kind of side effects, when you look at the large numbers, are really minor,” Professor Peter said.

Causality not established, studies say

The two new studies, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Cardiology, do not suggest the vaccines actually cause heart inflammation.

One study said the findings “raised the possibility of an association between mRNA COVID-19 vaccination and acute myocarditis”.

The other study said “vigilance for rare adverse events, including myocarditis, after COVID-19 vaccination is warranted”.

Vaccine expert Kylie Quinn from RMIT said scientists were trying to understand the possible link between mRNA vaccines and heart inflammation.

“It’s important that we understand what might be triggering it so that we can tweak these vaccines, tailor these vaccines, to make sure that we avoid this particular side effect,” Dr Quinn said.

Vaccines stimulate our bodies to produce antigens to fight off disease.

Dr Quinn said it was not yet clear what prompted these cases of inflammation of the heart tissue.

“It could be just that these people unfortunately have a slightly higher inflammatory state, that they respond really strongly to the vaccine and that response gets a bit misdirected,” she said.

Another theory is that a component of the vaccine could be responsible.

“The lipid that’s in this vaccine might have similarities with lipids in other parts of our bodies and could cause an immune response,” she said.

There have been some reports linking the vaccines to pericarditis, a similar condition involving inflammation of the membrane around the heart.

A graphic of a healthy heart next to one with pericarditis, which is surrounded by a slightly red, inflamed sac-like membrane.
Pericarditis is inflammation of the thin membrane that surrounds the heart.(ABC News)

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found myocarditis and pericarditis in adolescents and young adults is likely linked to the mRNA vaccines, and the US Food and Drug Administration has added a warning about the condition to its fact sheets about the vaccines.

In Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) said it was “continuing to monitor this issue and is collaborating with international medicine regulators”.

Four cases of myocarditis and 15 cases of pericarditis have been reported to the TGA since the start of the vaccine rollout in Australia.

That’s after about 2 million doses of mRNA vaccines were administered in Australia.

Dr Quinn said younger people tend to have stronger immune systems than older people, so the immune response triggered by a vaccine could also be stronger.

“If they were triggered by just the general activation of our immune response, then perhaps since younger people have that higher ability to trigger a greater immune response, it could be just an unfortunate side effect of that,” she said.

Heart inflammation can be caused by a range of viral infections, including COVID-19 itself.

Professor Peter said the immune system was intended to attack viruses, but sometimes things went wrong and it struggled to distinguish between invaders and the body’s own cells.

“In this case, our immune system suddenly recognises the pericardial sac or the myocardial cells as foreign structures and then fights a kind of defence war against them,” he said.

“This causes the inflammation of this tissue.”

What is myocarditis?

Myocarditis occurs when the middle layer of the heart wall becomes inflamed.

The condition can weaken the heart, leading to an abnormal heartbeat and heart failure.

Symptoms of myocarditis include chest pain, abnormal heartbeat and shortness of breath.

A graphic showing a healthy heart next to one with myocarditis, which is illustrated with a red, inflamed muscle.
Myocarditis is a disease that causes inflammation of the heart muscle.(ABC News)

People with pericarditis experience swelling and irritation of the sac-like membrane around the heart, which can also be caused by a viral infection.

Common symptoms of this condition include sharp, stabbing chest pain that may travel to the left shoulder and neck.

Most cases are mild and usually improve on their own.

While this rare inflammation of the heart following vaccination was usually a temporary problem, Dr Quinn pointed out contracting COVID could lead to a range of long-term health issues, including myocarditis.

She also warned when it comes to heart inflammation, COVID vaccines were less risky than contracting the virus.

Here’s the latest on the spread of COVID-19 in Australia:

“Clinical myocarditis is clearly much more common after COVID-19 infection, than what we’re seeing after the second dose of the vaccine,” Dr Quinn said.

Studies showed the prevalence of cardiac injury may be as high as 60 per cent in patients who were seriously ill with COVID-19.

Professor Peter said the coronavirus could actually infect the heart and cause an inflammation and that was much more severe.

“There is no comparison: COVID is a deadly disease and myocarditis and pericarditis is not classified as a deadly disease,” he said.

By the Specialist Reporting Team’s Mary Lloyd and national medical reporter Sophie Scott

See https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-30/pfizer-covid-vaccine-links-to-heart-inflammation-information/100254282

Reference

Please keep comments brief (moderated for spam only)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.