Sometimes I have an opportunity to respond to influential members of the medical profession. I do so in the hope that a dialogue can begin.
This morning I wrote to a leading medical professional often quoted in the newspapers as follows
Thank you very much for taking the time to reply to XXXX’s letter. I appreciate that you are busy and no doubt have many responsibilities. I note that you are not responding on behalf of the Ministry of Health, but I am also aware that your advice is occasionally sought and quoted by journalists. You raise a number of points and I want to take the time to outline concerns in a more formal way.
You are right there are concerns about data capture. We are both aware that accurate data capture is absolutely fundamental to the assessment of drug safety. You acknowledge that the CARM system has been largely a fail safe system to look for red flags rather than a comprehensive reporting process. No doubt that has been very adequate when the drugs and vaccines being used here have already gone through extensive and lengthy trials during which reporting is mandatory. Therefore, given the short trials for mRNA vaccines, the red flags already raised during the trials, and the subsequent inadequacies of the trials pointed out by the BMJ, the implementation of a more rigorous reporting system should have been implemented. Especially considering that here in NZ we have had up until recently a unique opportunity to monitor the effects of vaccination in isolation from the confounding data from Covid itself.
You say that we have a high rate of reporting in NZ. Medsafe itself estimates this to be of the order of 5% of events, too low to support a reasonable degree of statistical validity especially considering that the 5% is not a random sample. You contend mandatory reporting would still be incomplete and therefore should not be attempted, and you draw an analogy with the Australian system of mandatory voting in elections which results in some spoiled ballot papers. This is hardly comparable. I also note that the Ministry of Health did not institute a cautionary process of informing doctors of a need for accurate and complete reporting with a novel vaccine. Even a cursory survey of animal trials of mRNA vaccines would have reinforced the need for this.
I note that there is a NZ system of surveying some people by text up to 8 days after vaccination known as PVSC. I have reviewed the information on PVSC. I note that 38% of respondents reported at least one adverse effect. I find Medsafe’s reassurance as follows is misleading: “The profile of reported events to PVSC of the Pfizer (Comirnaty) COVID-19 vaccine is similar to that reported in clinical trials and from post-marketing surveillance overseas. Based on this data we have not identified any new safety concerns.” This is because short follow up like PVSC is normally only used subsequent to extensive and mandatory reporting during pre-marketing trials which has not taken place in this case. More importantly the rate of adverse effects is 30 times of that previously experienced with flu vaccines. It is hard to understand why this high rate did not and does not raise safety concerns.
We now move on to a consideration of deaths proximate to vaccination. You will be aware that there are around 150 deaths in the weeks after vaccination reported to CARM. You are probably also aware that a significantly larger number of deaths (more than twice as many confirmed and a great many more under investigation) have been reported to NZDSOS. It is concerning that Medsafe has not reached out to NZDSOS to reconcile the two sets of information. Anyone would say that a suitable response to a medical emergency is cooperation, not hostility and cancellation.
You rightly point out that an important element of evaluation is the comparison of frequency of adverse events with population norms. You appear to agree that the voluntary and therefore incomplete process of data collection and the small numbers involved here in NZ make our own efforts in this direction subject to error. I have no confidence in the Medsafe attempts to do this and even more concern because they present these incomplete figures on their website as ‘proof’ of vaccine safety.
You say you have confidence in overseas agencies to undertake this process accurately, I would be very happy to hear more about it. My investigations so far have not found anyone undertaking this with sufficient rigor and publishing their results.
Thankfully it has been admitted that there is a link between myopericarditis and Covid vaccination, although this did not receive any substantive publicity here in NZ until after the vaccination rollout was mostly complete in December. This delay was a disgrace. It denied informed consent to our young people. MoH’s insistence that the vaccine induced form of this illness is mild and short-lived without sufficient research adds insult to injury.
Are you aware of the very numerous reports on social media of GPs and EDs denying any need for investigation and failing to report conditions including persistent chest pain, breathing difficulties, and tachycardia, based on a tacit assumption that these are in fact due to vaccine anxiety? My own daughter-in-law was turned away from ED in this way. Are busy GPs and ED staff well informed of known risks? It appears not.
The continuing saturation government advertising advising safety and efficacy has also curated a reluctance to come forward with reports of vaccine injury and a reluctance on the part of the medical profession to acknowledge that a wider range of adverse effects might be in play. This extends to heart disease, strokes, and persistent debility such as chronic fatigue. In this and the allied fear-building contention that Covid is a very serious illness, we see that the government is using the well known propaganda methods of suggestibility. I live in the country, but I have found a range of sudden onset illnesses proximate to vaccination among my government-trusting neighbours and friends:
A teacher with persistent chest pain and shortness of breath who after an introductory safety lecture at his school had no idea there were any side effects at all. A lady with chronic fatigue who has had to stop work for three months. A neighbour with kidney disease immediately after vaccination. My best friend who died from rapid immune deficiency and carditis, two others of my age with sudden onset leukaemia (no previous history) both of whom have responded unexpectedly to chemotherapy. At no point with any of these people, I have subsequently learned, was there any suggestion from their medical professionals that these conditions might have anything to do with vaccination. These cases remain unreported to CARM. Conversely my lawyer in Whangarei has had 250 people enquire about support for their contention that they have been injured by vaccination.
In your conclusion you specifically point out the value of vaccination to protect against Omicron saying that “Further more as a front line health care professional I am extremely supportive of a vaccination programme that reduces the burden on our services, as it is clearly showing right now in the middle of an omicron surge, we still have much lower hospitalisation rates and death rates because of high vaccination rates. Something NZ can be proud about”. Yet the latest data does not support your contention. The cumulative data published by MoH might point in that direction, but if you translate that into current daily and weekly data, this is no longer the case for example:
For the Feb 25-27 period
Of all the vaccinated people in NZ:
- 1% tested covid positive
- 0.002% are in hospital and covid positive
Of all the unvaccinated people in NZ:
- 0.4% tested covid positive
- 0.001% are in hospital and covid positive
84.4% of covid positive cases are among the vaccinated. The Absolute Risk difference for hospitalisation between vaxxed and unvaxxed is 0%. This is consistent with published data from the Kaiser Permanente health care in California and the data from the UKHSA and Scotland Health.
The latest data from insurance companies in the USA and the EU points to large percentage increases in all cause mortality among the working population. There is also an increase in a very broad range of illnesses among US military personnel. This is currently the subject of academic debate and publishing. Looking at this the balance of evidence leads to a conclusion that these figures are a mixture of the effects of both Covid and vaccination. Some of these results may also be mediated by poor health among the general US population. It is a possible conclusion of this data that vaccination followed by Covid may pack a one two punch. This will need to be researched carefully when evaluating the long term effects of Covid and Covid vaccination. Up until now, polarisation of opinion has led to many such probable interpretations of data to be rejected without investigation.
Therefore I entirely agree with you that the evidence has to be investigated. Results will also have to be acknowledged and publicised. I am hoping at this point that rather than the continuous barrage of publicity urging boosters, there will be some honest public discussion and government reflection. As a high profile medical professional you could play a role in brokering this. I hope you have time to consider these issues and I look forward to a dialogue.
Guy Hatchard PhD
Guy Hatchard PhD was formerly a senior manager at Genetic ID a food testing and certification company (now known as FoodChain ID). Website: HatchardReport.com.