Covid vaccines may have contributed to rise in excess deaths, researchers suggest

Scientists have suggested that Covid vaccines may have contributed to the rise in excess deaths seen across the Western world since the pandemic, including in Australia.

That claim has previously been rejected by the Australian government, including the Department of Health and Aged Care and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), as well as independent bodies such as the Actuaries Institute, who argue there is no “ no credible evidence” to support this claim. a link.

Dutch researchers analyzed all-cause excess mortality in 47 countries between 2020 and 2022, when just under 3.1 million total excess deaths were recorded, with the trend continuing “despite implementation of containment measures and Covid-19 vaccines”.

Write in the diary BMJ Public Health On Monday, the team from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam noted that the highest number of excess deaths, 1.26 million, was recorded in 2021 when both containment measures and vaccines were used to fight the virus, compared to 1, 03 million in 2020 before the vaccine rollout and 808,400 in 2022 when most lockdown measures were lifted but vaccination continued.

“This is an unprecedented situation and raises serious concerns,” they wrote.

“Throughout the pandemic, politicians and the media emphasized daily that every Covid-19 death mattered and that every life deserved protection through containment measures and Covid-19 vaccines. In the aftermath of the pandemic, the same moral should apply. Every death must be recognized and justified, regardless of its origin. Transparency towards potential lethal drivers is guaranteed.”

The authors noted that previous research “confirmed profound underreporting of adverse events, including deaths, after immunization” and that there was a lack of consensus in the medical community “regarding concerns that mRNA vaccines could cause more damage than initially expected.”

They referred to a secondary analysis of data from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine trials that had previously identified an increased risk of serious adverse events such as ischemic stroke, acute coronary syndrome and cerebral hemorrhage, which are all common clinical conditions.

“This commonality hinders clinical suspicion and consequently its detection as adverse vaccine reactions,” they said.

“Both medical professionals and citizens have reported serious injuries and deaths following vaccination in various official databases in the Western world, such as VAERS in the United States, EudraVigilance in the European Union, and the Yellow Card Scheme in the United Kingdom. A study comparing adverse event reports to VAERS and EudraVigilance following Covid-19 mRNA vaccines versus influenza vaccines observed a higher risk of serious adverse reactions for Covid-19 vaccines.”

These reactions included cardiovascular disease, clotting, hemorrhage, gastrointestinal events, and thrombosis.

“Numerous studies have reported that Covid-19 vaccination can induce myocarditis, pericarditis and autoimmune diseases,” they said.

“Post-mortem examinations have also attributed myocarditis, encephalitis, immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, intracranial hemorrhage and diffuse thrombosis to vaccinations against Covid-19. The Food and Drug Administration noted in July 2021 that the following potentially serious adverse events from the Pfizer vaccines deserve further monitoring and investigation: pulmonary embolism, acute myocardial infarction, immune thrombocytopenia, and disseminated intravascular coagulation.

The Dutch researchers argued that “the simultaneous occurrence of excess mortality and vaccination against Covid-19 in Germany provides a safety signal that warrants further investigation.”

“Despite these concerns, clinical trial data needed to further investigate these associations are not shared with the public,” they said. “Autopsies to confirm the actual causes of death are rarely performed.”

The resulting “absence of detailed data on causes of death” for some countries has made it difficult to determine “whether Covid-19 infection, indirect effects of containment measures, Covid-19 vaccines or other overlooked factors play a fundamental role ”.

“Cause-specific mortality data must therefore be made available to allow more detailed, direct and robust analyzes to determine the factors contributing to the cause,” they said.

“Post-mortem examinations must be facilitated to establish the exact reason for death. Government leaders and politicians must thoroughly investigate the underlying causes of persistent excess mortality and evaluate their policies regarding the health crisis.”

They also suggested that it was “likely” that containment measures such as lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, school and business closures, travel restrictions, curfews and quarantines had contributed to the rise in excess deaths, particularly through delayed medical treatments or discontinued, but admitted it was difficult to prove.

Gordon Wishart, medical director of Check4Cancer and visiting professor of surgical oncology at Anglia Ruskin University, told the British newspaper The telegraph he had repeatedly warned that delaying the diagnosis of cancer would lead to death.

“It was predicted at the start of the lockdown period that limited access to healthcare for non-Covid conditions would lead to delays in the diagnosis and treatment of time-critical conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and dementia and that this would lead to excess healthcare.” died from these conditions,” she said.

When asked about the potential harm of the vaccine suggested by the Dutch researchers, Professor Wishart said that the authors “are right to point out that many vaccine-related serious adverse events may not have been reported and highlight the fact that the simultaneous onset of excess of mortality and the anti-Covid vaccination in Germany itself deserves further investigation”.

“The paper provides more questions than answers, but it is difficult to disagree with their conclusion that further analysis is needed to understand the underlying causes of excess mortality and better prepare for future pandemic crisis management,” he said. stated.

The Australian Senate launched an inquiry into the excess mortality in March, following several attempts by United Australia Senator Ralph Babet to get the inquiry off the ground. The inquiry, which is due to submit its final report by August 31, has received detailed communications from the Australian government rejecting any link between vaccines and excess deaths.

“There is no credible evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines have contributed to excess deaths in Australia or overseas,” the Department of Health said in its submission.

“An independent analysis of Australian mortality data by the Actuaries Institute found that the timing and shape of excess mortality does not support a link to vaccination.”

He noted that a study published in The Lancet in November, commissioned by the department, “confirmed that vaccines protected against death from Covid-19 and found no evidence that vaccines contributed to increased all-cause mortality.”

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) “rigorously evaluates all vaccines for safety, quality and effectiveness before they are provided,” the submission adds.

“Rigorous scientific studies have shown that the protective benefits of vaccination, including vaccination against Covid-19, far outweigh the potential risks, including those of serious but very rare side effects,” he said.

“Vaccination remains the most effective way to reduce severe disease, hospital admissions and death from infection. He saved many lives in Australia and around the world.”

The ABS said in its statement that Covid-associated deaths were the main contributor to the excess mortality.

“ABS data recorded 16 deaths due to the Covid-19 vaccine in the pandemic period,” he said. “Almost 71 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered to date.”

The Actuaries Institute, which calculates excess mortality differently to the ABS, also concluded that the increase was driven by deaths “from and with Covid-19”.

“Available evidence does not support a significant contribution to excess mortality from adverse side effects of Covid-19 vaccines,” he said.

“In fact, the opposite is true: while any such death is regrettable, it seems clear that the small number of deaths triggered by Covid-19 vaccines is a small fraction of the number of Covid-19 deaths they have prevented.”

Coverse, a charity representing Australians harmed by vaccines, said in its statement that while it has “no statistical evidence that Covid-19 vaccines definitely contributed to excess mortality in 2021-2023, we have evidence of a widespread and significant downplaying of harm caused by vaccines, which has worrying implications for the current understanding of the factors driving excess mortality in Australia.”

“Unfortunately, vaccines are rarely studied for their ‘nonspecific effects’ (such as potentially causing) patients to become more susceptible to other diseases,” Coverse said.

“Our government agencies and officials maintain that current excess mortality statistics do not implicate Covid-19 vaccines as an identifiable factor, however no studies of such non-specific effects are underway. We imagine they simply don’t even want to consider these types of studies as their reputation is so tied to the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines in Australia.”

frank.chung@news.com.au

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