An update on covid vaccines, early treatment, virus origins, and more.
A) Covid vaccines
A.1) Vaccine effectiveness and safety
On the positive side, covid vaccines may already have saved tens or even hundreds of thousands of lives, by protecting high-risk groups during the spring wave in Europe, Latin America and Asia (for example, see the previously shown chart of hospitalizations per age group in Switzerland).
On the negative side, covid vaccines have been associated with thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of serious adverse events. Importantly, such serious vaccine adverse events may affect even young people at low risk of severe covid, thus questioning the risk – benefit ratio in these age groups. Most recently, the German vaccine commission advised against covid vaccination of children under 16, arguing that safety data provided by vaccine manufacturers was not sufficient.
The chart above, provided by the new OpenVAERS mortality dashboard, shows the dramatic increase in reported US post-vaccination deaths in 2021. On the one hand, not all of these deaths were caused by covid vaccines; but on the other hand, there is significant under-reporting and reporting backlog. Thus, the current US figure of about 5,200 deaths is likely an underestimate.
Doctors often aren’t allowed to talk about this topic. For instance, an Austrian emergency doctor who had to save two vaccinees simultaneously and exclaimed that doctors should “stop injecting this crap”, got reported and fired. A German state prosecutor denied autopsies of dead vaccinees, arguing that health authorities had already determined that covid vaccines “are safe”.
To study case reports of severe and fatal covid vaccine adverse events, see Covid Legal (USA), Covid Vaccine Injuries (18+), and The Defender. Moreover, little is still known about the long-term safety and effectiveness of the various types of covid vaccines. In the US, several doctors recently wrote a letter to the FDA asking it to postpone officially licensing any covid vaccines.
A.2) Increase in US all-cause mortality
In March and April 2021, SPR first highlighted an increase in Israeli post-vaccination all-cause mortality, asking if this increase might be due to vaccine-related cardiac and cardiovascular adverse events – a question that continues to remain unanswered, although Israeli authorities recently confirmed that mRNA vaccines may indeed cause heart muscle inflammation.
A similar development is now becoming apparent in some other countries, too. For instance, since about March/April, US all-cause mortality has again been increasing in all age groups below 75 years, despite a continuing decrease in covid deaths since January. The chart above shows the particularly troubling increase in age groups 0-24 and 25-44.
There are several possible explanations for this increase, including:
- an increase in covid infections and deaths in younger age groups, masked by a stronger decrease in older (protected) age groups (there was a secondary infection peak in mid-April);
- an increase in suicides, drug overdose deaths, or deaths due to postponed medical treatment (e.g. cancer treatment);
- or an increase in covid vaccine-related fatal adverse events, masked by strongly negative excess mortality in people over 75 due to the previous covid wave.
Again, US health authorities should urgently investigate and address this question.
A.3) Mass vaccinations should be done outdoors
Back in February 2021, SPR first noted that in several countries, mass vaccination campaigns appeared to drive covid infections, possibly due to indoor aerosol transmission at vaccination centers or higher risk exposure of partially vaccinated people.
Since then, numerous countries have experienced dramatic increases in covid infections and covid deaths in parallel to vaccination campaigns; this phenomenon even affected some of the legendary Asian “zero covid countries”, such as Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand.
Therefore, the SPR Collaboration recommends running mass vaccinations outdoors whenever possible (see this example in New York City), especially if vaccinations are performed during an ongoing coronavirus wave or during the respiratory virus season in general.
The chart above shows the remarkable example of the Fiji islands. A very similar development was previously observed in the Maldives and the Seychelles. Countries such as Australia and New Zealand should also be extra careful in how they organize their vaccination drive.
A.4) Vaccine passports
In recent weeks, several countries and states have halted their plans for ‘vaccine passports’:
- On June 1, Israel officially discontinued its ‘vaccine passport’ and testing scheme and fully opened all domestic facilities, although the technical infrastructure and legal basis for vaccine passports appear to remain in place for the time being.
- In the US, several states have already prohibited ‘vaccine passport’ schemes.
- In the UK, the government “scrapped” domestic ‘vaccine passport’ plans, perhaps in response to massive public protests, although private vaccination requirements appear to remain an option.
- In contrast, the EU continues with the implementation of its “green pass” system.
- In Switzerland, the people will vote on a “covid law” on June 13, which would form the legal basis for ‘vaccination passports’, contact tracing, and other emergency measures.
See also: The global ‘vaccine passport’ agenda
A.5) Natural immunity
A study recently published in Nature found that even after a mild covid infection, the body creates immunological memory cells that are able to quickly produce new antibodies in case of a subsequent re-infection and thus provide long-lasting immunity. The same memory cells appear to be produced after full vaccination. The potential impact of future Sars-CoV-2 variants, which might escape existing antibody classes (but not necessarily T-cells), remains unknown.
B) Early treatment: Targeting serotonin metabolism
Note: No medical advice. Patients are asked to consult a doctor.
In July 2020, the SPR Collaboration first published its covid early and prophylactic treatment protocol. In October 2020, ivermectin was added to the protocol based on promising results in several randomized trials and large observational studies.
Emerging evidence now indicates that severe pulmonary covid may in large part be driven by serotonin-induced pulmonary vasoconstriction, i.e. a narrowing and occlusion of the blood vessels in the lungs due to excess serotonin released by activated blood platelets.
This condition could be prevented or reversed by drugs targeting serotonin metabolism, such as fluvoxamine (a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor) and cyproheptadine (a direct serotonin receptor antagonist). Indeed, two preliminary US trials indicate that fluvoxamine may dramatically reduce covid-related hospitalizations and deaths to near-zero levels.
Therefore, fluvoxamine and cyproheptadine have been added to the covid early treatment protocol (fluvoxamine is used as early as possible, while cyproheptadine is used only if serious respiratory symptoms develop). In addition, sulodexide – a heparin-based drug used for anti-coagulation and to protect endothelial cells – which achieved a 40% reduction in hospitalizations in a Mexican randomized trial, has also been added to the protocol. To keep the protocol as simple and as effective as possible, HCQ and azithromycin, although still widely used, have now been removed.
If the serotonin hypothesis of severe pulmonary covid turns out to be correct, this would explain why the early use of ventilators – without resolving the actual underlying condition – was such a counterproductive approach, likely having cost thousands of lives, especially in places like NYC. Back in late March 2020, SPR first sounded the alarm over this issue. More generally, disregarding early treatment of high-risk patients may have been one of the gravest mistakes of the entire pandemic.
See also: On the treatment of covid-19 (updated)
C) Coronavirus origins
Newly released FOIA emails of US NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci confirm that key players, who publicly and emphatically ruled out a lab leak, knew from the beginning, in January 2020, that a lab-related scenario was in fact very plausible or even likely. For instance, professor Kristian G. Andersen wrote to Dr. Fauci that “some of the features (potentially) look engineered” and that they “find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory” (see screenshot below).
So far, the most important research on the origins of Sars-Cov-2 has been performed mainly by the DRASTIC research collaboration, whose members have already written several published research papers. In contrast, early unscientific and sensationalist claims of a “lab leak”, a “bioweapon” or “HIV inserts”, as well as politically motivated claims of an “unrestricted CCP bioweapon”, were rather unhelpful and helped discredit serious research into lab-related scenarios.
Similarly, recent claims that a WIV leak is the ‘only plausible scenario’, are also rather unhelpful. In reality, a lab leak, a deliberate release, or a natural zoonosis (a jump from an animal to a human), both inside or outside of China: all of these scenarios currently remain possible.
Addendum: There is a widespread misunderstanding that a “lab-related origin” means that the virus must be particularly deadly (which Sars-CoV-2 isn’t). But this is not the case: as previously shown, the two most recent, very mild pandemic influenza viruses – the 1977 “Russian flu” and the 2009 “swine flu” – both appear to have leaked from labs involved in vaccine research. In the case of the novel coronavirus, too, there are genetic indications that it may in fact be an attenuated (though highly infectious) SARS coronavirus that had been used in vaccine research.
D) Covid in India: A review
Was the second covid wave in India in April and May an unprecedented catastrophe or did nothing much happen there? While many media showed pictures of cremations on open-air funeral pyres – without telling people that this is a traditional ritual practice in India –, skeptics showed rather low official covid death figures – without telling people that these figures are strong underestimates.
The following chart shows estimated weekly total deaths in the Indian city of Chennai (the capital city of the state of Tamil Nadu, with a population of about 10 million). As one can see, there has been significant excess mortality since the summer of 2020, reaching up to 25% compared to strong seasonal flu and heat waves, and lasting for several months.
In the New Delhi metropolitan area (about 20 million people), deaths in April and May increased by about 250% from about 10,000 in 2020 to about 35,000 in 2021.
The covid infection fatality rate (IFR) in India ranges between 0.1% and 0.4%, which is comparable to, or somewhat lower than, the IFR in Western countries if nursing homes are excluded (50% of Western covid deaths). On the other hand, the largely ineffective Indian lockdowns in 2020 drove 100 million people into unemployment and 230 million people into poverty.
See also: Covid mortality: A global overview
E) Germany: How effective was the German lockdown?
Germany imposed one of the longest and harshest winter/spring lockdowns in the Western world. However, a recent analysis by researchers at the University of Munich found that the various steps and measures taken during the lockdown had no measurable impact on the infection reproduction number. Indeed, German covid mortality during the winter wave was comparable to Sweden.
Nevertheless, Germany has one of the lowest overall covid mortalities among major Western countries, primarily because it largely “missed” the first wave (similar to Eastern Europe) and managed to avoid an escalation during the second wave (unlike Eastern Europe).
Indeed, seroprevalence in Germany remained lower than in most Western countries (about 15% by March), and German nursing homes may also have been better protected than elsewhere.
If Germany had experienced the same covid mortality as the UK, Czechia or Hungary, it would have suffered an additional 100,000 to 200,000 covid deaths. Even so, German mortality in December 2020, without influenza, reached levels not seen since the 1969 Hong Kong flu.