Government data shows that there have been thousands of side effects and hundreds of deaths in the UK following the widespread administration of Covid vaccines produced by Pfizer / BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca, but drug regulators do not raise any red flags.
Between December 9 2020 (when the first COVID vaccine was administered in the UK) and 14 February 2021, 402 deaths were reported to YellowCard, the UK government’s system for reporting side effects of defective or counterfeit medicines, vaccines, devices and products used to control coronavirus. YellowCard is monitored by the UK Medicines and Medicines Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which is the closest equivalent to the US VAERS – a US government-funded database that tracks side effects and deaths from vaccines.
So far, only Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines have been administered in the UK. The Pfizer vaccine has been administered since the second week of December 2020, and the one produced by Oxford-AstraZeneca, from the beginning of January. (The vaccine developed by ModeRNA is authorized in the UK for emergency use, but no vaccine dose has yet been purchased from this company).
As of February 14, 26,823 reports, 77,207 adverse reactions and 197 deaths had been reported after administration of 8.3 million doses of Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, as well as 31,427 reports, 114,625 adverse reactions and 205 deaths after administration of 6.9 million. of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doses.
The MHRA expressed no concern about the number of reports of side effects associated with the new products. The accumulation of hundreds of deaths did not cause any concern.
In January, the deaths of 23 institutionalized elderly people in Norway became international news and raised questions about the need and safety of injecting already very vulnerable people with an experimental vaccine. While it is true that thousands of frail seniors die each week anyway, the lack of evidence of an active attempt to find out what happens in specific cases is thought-provoking.
The MHRA’s response to the Norwegian report was that it did not raise specific concerns yet – a highly controversial statement.
A major difficulty is that the MHRA system fragments the data, so it is impossible to attribute these deaths to previous adverse effects, although most reports are said to include multiple reactions.
However, it is reasonable to assume that most of these reported deaths were preceded by a number of side effects – otherwise no one would have thought to submit a report. However, the format of the YellowCard system masks this information.
As with any passive reporting database, there is a paradox that no deaths associated with Covid vaccination are confirmed (a situation in which any doctor who has confirmed one would probably say goodbye to his or her career in UK). We also know that the damage associated with vaccines is generally much underreported.
But the very distinct characteristics of the side effects caused by the two products, filtered through the same system after 15 million vaccinations, would suggest that there are things to investigate and explain.