The vaccines promoted to protect against COVID-19 are described as safe. So why are there so many reports of adverse reactions? And just how much harm do these shots cause?
There is no easy metric to answer these questions, but there are a variety of sources to consider.
One source is the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). Since the 1980s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been using VAERS to monitor problems with all vaccines administered throughout the population.
But compared to past VAERS reports, the numbers for the COVID-19 shot are off the charts, totaling more adverse events than all other vaccines combined. Last month, VAERS reported a total of more than 1 million adverse events following COVID injections from Dec. 14, 2020, to Jan. 28, 2022. Over 183,000 serious injuries were reported, and among them over 24,000 deaths.
Some critics have suggested the numbers are inaccurate, a point a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) spokesperson alluded to in a comment to the The Epoch Times.
“Because these reports are required to be submitted regardless of the plausibility of the vaccine causing the event, not all of the reports involve an outcome caused by the vaccine,” said the spokesperson. Health care providers, vaccine manufacturers, and the general public can all submit reports to VAERS but do so under penalty of perjury.
Other researchers have suggested the numbers of adverse events are far higher than those reported. An often-cited 2009 Lazarus Report found that less than 1 percent of health care providers report vaccine adverse events.
Everyone agrees these numbers don’t tell the whole story. Beyond criticisms that VAERS is woefully underutilized, the reports that do make it to the database are limited as well.
According to the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) website, these reports “may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable.”
“In large part, reports to VAERS are voluntary, which means they are subject to biases. This creates specific limitations on how the data can be used scientifically. Data from VAERS reports should always be interpreted with these limitations in mind,” it states.
Despite these problems, VAERS is the primary government-funded system for reporting vaccine side effects in the United states. Other eyes are watching for adverse events, however. Numerous videos shared and often banned on social media illustrate the tics, seizures, and other debilitating effects that purportedly followed COVID-19 shots. Both the FDA and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are quietly studying reports of neurological issues linked to the vaccine. And hundreds of clinical studies also document the injuries and deaths correlated with these injections.
The understanding that these shots lead to unwanted side effects is nothing new. Both regulators and manufacturers of the COVID mRNA vaccines knew the treatment was linked to health issues. On March 1, the FDA released 10,000 pages of Pfizer clinical trial documents, which detail numerous cases of primary adverse events following COVID vaccines.
These documents show that nearly 1,300 different adverse reactions were linked to Pfizer’s COVID shot.
“The list includes acute kidney injury, acute flaccid myelitis, anti-sperm antibody positive, brain stem embolism, brain stem thrombosis, cardiac arrest, cardiac failure, cardiac ventricular thrombosis, cardiogenic shock, central nervous system vasculitis, death neonatal, deep vein thrombosis, encephalitis brain stem, encephalitis hemorrhagic, frontal lobe epilepsy, foaming at mouth, epileptic psychosis, facial paralysis, fetal distress syndrome, gastrointestinal amyloidosis, generalized tonic-clonic seizure, Hashimoto’s encephalopathy, hepatic vascular thrombosis, herpes zoster reactivation, immune-mediated hepatitis, interstitial lung disease, jugular vein embolism, juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, liver injury, low birth weight, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, myocarditis, neonatal seizure, pancreatitis, pneumonia, stillbirth, tachycardia, temporal lobe epilepsy, testicular autoimmunity, thrombotic cerebral infarction, Type 1 diabetes mellitus, venous thrombosis neonatal, and vertebral artery thrombosis among 1,246 other medical conditions following vaccination,” an appendix in one document states.
While doctors, nurses, and other experts have raised warnings about the possibility of side effects, people providing care have witnessed phenomena they have never seen before.
Dr. Sean McCaffrey is trained in acupuncture and chiropractic adjustment. Many of his patients have come to him because they believed they suffered reactions from the COVID shots. Some of the cases he has seen defy an explanation that doesn’t involve the vaccine.
“One family I see—a young lady, as well as her mother and father—all three developed massive side effects after inoculations, all within 24 hours. All neurologic. One got Bell’s palsy. Another had a numbing of the face and tongue. The other one developed a droopy eye, but it wasn’t a palsy. It ended up being more of a trigeminal neuralgia,” he said.
“To see a family like that was a big eye opener for me. I had a family that all reacted almost immediately and all in different ways. None of them had any of these problems ever before. And here they are, 24 hours later.
McCaffrey allows that there could be another explanation. He’s seen many patients come in after a COVID shot and knows that their own stress or fear around the injection could also play a role. But the case of this family was impossible for him to dismiss.
“Could they have all driven through a chemical cloud near a factory? It’s possible. Anything is possible,” he said. “But then you start looking at the probable. You did this therapy. It induced an immune response—and the body is kicking back at this thing pretty hard.
“Every one of the cases that’s come through my door, all of them reported within 24 to 72 hours after inoculation. Do you know it’s the vaccine? How could you? Unless you ran large clinical trials and studies and started looking for it. So you can never really see a direct cause/effect link? That’s what makes this tricky.”
It’s a problem that has arisen before. Over the decades, countless breakthrough medical treatments have arrived, and in many cases, it has taken decades for their adverse events to be found. In some cases, it takes over a century. Researchers have only recently found a link between pregnant women who take acetaminophen and later behavioral issues in their children.
Oftentimes, the research is limited or it can be difficult to connect a disease to any given cause. That becomes especially true when the cause of a disease affects multiple systems of the body, like smoking.
The diversity of disease makes it harder to diagnose a specific cause, said McCaffrey.
“We all know now that cigarettes lead to lung cancer,” he said, “but it’s also tied to heart disease, atherosclerosis, kidney issues, circulatory problems, and digestive issues. Before pinning down that cigarettes could cause all of this, it was really tricky for a lot of years.”
The COVID-19 vaccine is similarly pervasive, he said.
“You’re putting a foreign agent into the body to induce an immune response. So you have to ask, what is the foreign agent? People get hung up on the spike protein, but there is more there. There are preservatives and all kinds of other little things, and each person is unique,” he said.
“How your system responds is individual to you. Which is why you see so many unique side effects coming through this. But they all tend to clump back into similar patterns. They’ll clump into a circulatory issue that involves edema where the lymphatics get involved. Or you’ll see a neurological issue where you’re getting numbing, tingling, Bell’s palsy, and neuropathies where you can’t feel any longer.
“You’ll also see musculoskeletal things show up, where you can’t move your arm anymore, or all of a sudden you’re not walking. Or you can’t breathe, because the diaphragm is a muscle.
“You’ll see elimination issues. All of a sudden your bowels quit, or your kidneys aren’t releasing urine like they used to. You start to swell, and you notice other symptoms all of a sudden.”
But while the complexities of the vaccine are many, as they are with COVID-19 itself, the path to a stronger immune system and overall health is more direct. The same measures that can help you avoid a severe COVID-19 infection can also help you recover if you have had an adverse reaction to the vaccine.
McCaffery said these measures are captured in the timeless advise of a grandmother.
“Her advice correlates with four physical laws of the human body,” he said.
The Law of Nutrients
When it comes to nutrients, the advice is simple: balance.
“Make sure your diet is decent and clean—and you’re not loading the body up with a bunch of things that it has to try to get rid of. If you’re sitting there eating cupcakes and ho-hos all day long, odds are really good that it’s going to tax the body because that is not good fuel,” he said.
If you avoid processed foods and foods high in added sugars, you will bring your blood sugar under control, and that will eliminate the stress response these foods can trigger that taxes your entire body and leads to weight gain and problems with clearing toxins from the body.
Getting a balance of nutrients decreases your likelihood of having symptoms from a foreign invader or being unable to eliminate a toxin that manages to get into your body, McCaffery said.
“So like grandma always said, eat your fruits and vegetables. Don’t spoil your appetite with that cookie.”
The Law of Movement
Grandma’s second law is equally simple, McCaffery said: Move.
“Grandma said, ‘You can’t sit in the house all day. Get outside. Go play. Move the body.’”
Movement does several things, all of them essential. Your lymphatic system, for example, relies on movement to circulate lymph, a fluid that travels through your body clearing out toxins like cellular debris and bacteria. The lymphatic system is also key to your immune responses. Unlike your cardiovascular system, which has the heart to circulate its fluid, blood, the lymphatic system relies on muscle movements to generate flow.
And even though your cardiovascular system has the heart, it relies on movement to keep a healthy flow.
“Moving increases circulation, which means that things that get in you don’t have a chance to sit. They get pushed around through your filters. Blood moves through your kidneys every couple minutes,” he said.
“Get that lymphatic system pumping. Get the body moving. The more you move it, the stronger your body gets physically and the more resistant it gets against invaders of any kind: virus, bacteria, poisons, and toxins.”
The Law of Recuperation
Grandma’s next law is to rest.
“Grandma says, ‘It’s time to go to bed. You can’t stay up until two or three in the morning. You need your rest. You have to sleep.’”
Sleep plays several critical roles in the body, and lack of sleep triggers a chain reaction of responses that can grind your mind and body down.
“If you don’t rest the body, we know 100 percent of the time it spikes adrenal function, which spikes blood sugar, which spikes cortisol, which weakens immune function,” McCaffery said.
That means if your body catches a virus or other invader, it lacks the strength to repel it.
And just as our modern processed food industry (including junk food and restaurant food) breaks the law of nutrition and our sedentary lifestyle breaks the law of movement, our tendency to stay up late and our wake up and work patterns contradict the law of recuperation.
“In 1900, before the First World War, the average amount of sleep in the United States was nine hours a night. Today, the average is less than six. So we cut a third of our sleep time out,” he said.
“Sleep is the primary time when the brain does an auto-cleaning. It gets rid of toxins and debris. It does all the stuff it’s supposed to do when you’re not using it.
“If I take a third of my cleaning time away, how clean can my system get?”
Sleeping less leaves you tired, which means you are less likely to move, and mounting research finds we are more tempted to eat unhealthy high-sugar, high-fat foods that trigger a dopamine reaction when we haven’t slept enough.
About the only law we haven’t been breaking in a fundamental way is the fourth law, but in that case, we have pushed it to an extreme and created other problems.
The Law of Sanitation
Simply put, if you want to avoid many causes of disease, stay clean and keep your environment clean as well. But staying clean has another dimension as well.
“You’ve got to clean the body physically. Keep it clean. Not sterile, like hand sanitizer and all that stuff. We were never designed for that. We’re designed to wash it off with a little soap and water,” he said.
“Keep it clean, but not just the body. You also have to keep the mind clean.”
What happens in the mind has an immediate effect on the body. Researchers have now linked loneliness to increased mortality and anger to increased pain. And an overwhelming volume of research has detailed hundreds of ways the hormone shifts caused by fear and stress destroy the body even as they foster disease.
“You can’t be pumping fear, worry, anger, jealousy, and envy into your head every time you turn on the TV or pop the radio on, or open up a magazine article. It will poison you faster than you can shake a stick,” McCaffery said.
“If you can follow the four laws that your grandmother told you, the body will do really well. It gets healthy, strong, and resistant. If you choose to have your inoculation, a strong, healthy body that’s balanced will be less likely to have complications.”