I’ve Just Been Released From LinkedIn Jail…I'm Out On Parole

i’ve-just-been-released-from-linkedin-jail…i'm-out-on-parole

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Recently, LinkedIn suspended my account, a platform claiming to be “the world’s largest professional network on the internet.”  Over the years, I accrued thousands of “network connections,” and in the blink of an eye, it all disappeared.

I’m not the first, and I won’t be the last.  I join a long list of dissidents — professors with unimpeachable reputations, such as Harvard University‘s Martin Kulldorff and Flinders University’s Nikolai Petrovsky, who were abruptly cancelled after expressing their objections to covid-19 vaccine mandates.

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As many of you know, this heavy-handed approach is not unique to LinkedIn – YouTube, Twitter and Facebook are among the social media platforms censoring information purported to violate their “covid-19 professional community policies.”

LinkedIn gave me a warning. My first offence was posting an article titled “FDA authorised new mRNA formula for kids without a clinical trial.”

I interviewed eminent experts such as Tom Jefferson, epidemiologist at the University of Oxford, about the lack of regulatory oversight after Pfizer changed the formulation of its mRNA vaccine and rolled it out to millions of children without clinical trials.

LinkedIn notified me that the post had been blocked from public view. I had an opportunity to appeal the decision, and I did, but heard nothing in return. 

Two weeks later, I posted an article titled, “A 5th jab – implications for the immune system.”

I interviewed Cody Meissner, professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, who spoke candidly about his concerns over the potential adverse impacts on a person’s immune response after repeated covid-19 boosters.

LinkedIn explained that my articles violated their “Professional Community Policies.”  I asked for details on which specific claims were alleged to be “false” or “misleading” and any corresponding references.

They would not play ball. 

Instead, LinkedIn stated it “wouldn’t be able to interpret our User Agreement and professional community guidelines any further,” and pointed me to its website: 

“Do not share content that directly contradicts guidance from leading global health organizations and public health authorities; including false information about the safety or efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.”

The policy defies logic. 

Not only does it fail to define what it considers to be “false information,” the guidance from different “leading global health organisations and public health authorities” varies significantly. 

The US, for example, recommends boosters for everyone over the age of 12, whereas Denmark no longer recommends boosters for healthy people under 50.

Also, the decisions on who will be censored are inconsistent. For example, Thomas Wilckens, a medical doctor and entrepreneur, posted information that was ultimately removed from LinkedIn, but the same data posted by someone else, remained public.

I was interested to know how my articles came to the attention of LinkedIn censors. Did certain words in my article trigger an algorithm or did someone submit a vexatious complaint?  Again, LinkedIn refused to explain:

“We are not in a liberty to share the details about the reason that led to an account restriction or our internal findings.”

So, it’s a black box – no transparency, no insight into the fact-checking process and no procedural fairness.

In order to have my account reinstated, I had to agree to comply with the platform’s User Agreement and Professional Community Policies. I was also warned that any further violation would result in my permanent cancellation from the platform.

I superficially agreed to avoid further breaches, and in return, my account was reinstated.  I have just been released from LinkedIn jail and I am now on parole.

Over the last few days, many readers have asked for details on why I was suspended from the platform and how I managed to get reinstated – so here it is.

While I’m none the wiser about what specifically triggered the censorship, it has been an effective deterrent. I doubt that I will post covid-19 vaccine articles on the platform in the future.

Reposted from the Author’s Substack

A 5th Jab? Implications For The Immune System

a-5th-jab?-implications-for-the-immune-system

Following the recent authorisation of the new omicron boosters, the former US Surgeon General encouraged Americans to receive two to four mRNA jabs annually. 

Residents in northeast Australia have been told they might need a fifth dose by the end of the year.

In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that New South Wales’ top doctor said that people should expect to receive covid-19 booster shots “indefinitely.”

But could repeated boosters at close intervals be causing more harm than good?  I speak with experts concerned that policymakers are not following the science.

Europe Sounded the Alarm

Earlier this year, the European drug regulator sent a dire warning to the world.  The agency was concerned that repeated boosters every four months could weaken a person’s immune response to the coronavirus.Marco Cavaleri, the agency’s head of vaccines strategy, said that regular boosters might be “overloading people’s immune systems and leading to fatigue.” I spoke with Cody Meissner, an FDA advisory member, ahead of the agency’s April 6 meeting, during which experts were to discuss the evidence for a fourth dose.  He told me that he was not convinced by the data at the time. 

Prof Cody Meissner, FDA advisory member

“I personally don’t think that we have sufficient basis on which to recommend a fourth dose, and we don’t know what the harm will be,” said Meissner.

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“The reason we’re giving the vaccine is to keep people out of the intensive care unit and to keep people from dying, or even going into the hospital. So, before we vigorously endorse a fourth dose of this vaccine, I think we have to understand not only more about the immune response, but also about how much severe disease is occurring after three doses,” he added.

Meissner blamed socio-political interference for many of the questionable covid-19 strategies. “I think that the politicians and certain groups within society, such as the teacher’s union here in the United States, have driven a political agenda that is certainly not based on science. People like to say it’s based on science. It’s not. It’s based on emotion and generating great fear,” said Meissner.

Despite the concerns, most policymakers have forged ahead with recommending third, fourth and fifth doses for large swathes of the populations.

But over the past year, observational data have emerged from countries like the UK, Scotland and Australia showing that the most highly vaccinated people are acquiring the highest rates of covid-19 infections, suggesting that the vaccines have lost their effectiveness or something unexplained is happening.

Multiple jabs, multiple infections

Meissner hinted at a possible explanation for why someone’s immune response could be suppressed after multiple covid-19 shots. “It gets into this issue of ‘original antigenic sin’, which is still a theoretical issue, but may have some validity it seems to me,” said Meissner earlier this year.

Original antigenic sin – scientifically referred to as immune imprinting – is a phenomenon whereby prior exposure to one virus strain (e.g. wuhan stain) limits the development of immunity against new variants (omicron strain), because the immune system has been “imprinted” to favour the original strain.

This leaves the immune system trapped because the antibodies it prefers to produce against the original strain are ‘mismatched’ for the new strain. 

Meissner said, “To keep vaccinating with very similar [wuhan] antigens, may or may not be beneficial — or the benefit may not outweigh the harm. I think we need to look at that.”

Since then, the data suggesting that immune imprinting is occurring, has only strengthened says Nikolai Petrovsky, Professor at Flinders University and developer of a protein-based covid-19 vaccine called SpikoGen® in use in Iran.

Prof Nikolai Petrovsky, Flinders University

“I feel the evidence for immune imprinting is increasingly compelling. It’s a known phenomenon with flu where it was first described, and the data now suggests it’s happening with covid-19,” said Petrovsky.

“The omicron vaccines may struggle to switch the immune system of a heavily vaccinated person to making omicron-specific antibodies, as their immune system is so heavily biased toward the Wuhan spike protein in the original vaccines. In the end, this could be harder to achieve in a vaccinated person than someone who has not yet been exposed to any spike protein, for example, someone unvaccinated,” he added.

Petrovsky says not only do too many shots of the mRNA vaccines increase the risk of immune imprinting, but they also seem to be uniquely pushing the immune system into “tolerance” against the virus.

“Immune tolerance” occurs when the immune system becomes unresponsive to a particular antigen after repeated exposure. This is the principle for desensitising people to allergy, i.e. by repeatedly injecting them with small doses of the offending allergen over time.

Petrovsky points to a recent pre-print study out of Germany.  “People who’ve had three or more doses of mRNA showed a change in their antibodies to IgG4 which is typically an antibody associated with allergy desensitisation but not a normal antibody seen produced after infectious disease vaccines,” said Petrovsky.

Petrovsky said, “What this means, we simply don’t know as this has never been seen before.  That in itself is concerning as it indicates just how little we understand about what these new mRNA vaccines are doing and how they work. But to me, it raises a red flag that repeated doses of the mRNA vaccines might be driving immune tolerance against the virus. Maybe this could explain why the more doses of these vaccines, the less they seem to work, and more and more people are getting breakthrough infections?” Interestingly, the study did not find a similar shift in antibody patterns after AstraZeneca’s covid-19 vaccine.

Now, that the FDA has authorised the new bivalent boosters – which code for the original wuhan strain plus BA4/BA5 omicron lineages – without first requiring any human data to be collected, it has left many doubting that our public health authorities are even paying attention to the science.

Reposted from the author’s Substack

The Serious Adverse Events of mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine Trials

the-serious-adverse-events-of-mrna-covid-19-vaccine-trials

In December 2020, the US FDA authorised the Moderna and Pfizer mRNA covid-19 vaccines, claiming “the benefits outweighed the harms.”

Now, a group of international researchers has gone back to re-analyse the original trial data upon which that claim was made. 

A Valid Claim?

A pre-print study (not yet peer-reviewed by Fraiman and colleagues contradicts the FDA’s claim that the benefits outweigh the harms of the mRNA vaccines. In fact, the authors conclude that the vaccines are associated with an “increased risk of serious adverse events” that surpass the “risk reduction for covid-19 hospitalization” relative to the placebo group.

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The conclusion is provocative. While some have criticized the study for fuelling ‘anti-vax’ sentiment, many have welcomed the independent scrutiny of the trial data.

The researchers focused on analyzing serious adverse events – specifically, they narrowed it to serious adverse events of “special interest” which were derived from a predefined list by the Brighton Collaboration, an established framework for vaccine safety used for over two decades.

The advantage of this method is that it removes adverse events that are unlikely to be vaccine-related such as gunshot wounds and car accidents, thereby removing ‘noise’ from the analysis.

They also pooled the trial data for the two mRNA vaccines which increased the sample size and achieved higher confidence in the results (more precision). 

The upshot of the analysis was that mRNA vaccines were associated with an absolute risk increase of serious adverse events of 12.5 per 10,000 vaccinated people (95% CI 2.1 to 22.9) over placebo.

Put another way, 1 in 800 people experienced a serious adverse event following either one of the mRNA vaccines (95% CI: 437 to 4762).That is very high for a vaccine.

“No other vaccine on the market comes close,” says Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard (on leave) and former CDC vaccine safety committee member who was not involved in the study. 

Kulldorff says the closest any other vaccine on the US market comes to this is the MMRV vaccine which is no longer recommended for 1-yr-olds because they found the excess risk of febrile seizures was 1 in 2300 compared to separate MMR and Varicella vaccines (no excess risk in 5-yr olds).

The Fraiman study found that coagulation disorders and cardiovascular problems were driving most of the serious adverse event in the trials, which seems to corroborate reports in the pharmacovigilance databases.

Kulldorff says that while randomized trials offer high level evidence for a causal association between the vaccine and harms, we can acquire valuable information from pharmacovigilance data which are based on millions of vaccinations.

The superior databases for recording adverse events comes from the CDCs Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) and the FDA’s Biologics and Effectiveness Safety System (BEST). But there’s a problem – the agencies do not analyze the data and present them to the public.

“It’s a scandal” says Kulldorff. “In July 20221, the FDA came out with a  press release saying that it had found a signal with cardiovascular problems but there’s been no published follow up. A signal may be real or an artifact, but it’s the FDA and CDC’s obligation to be open and transparent with the public, showing that vaccines are safe when they are safe and to be honest when there are adverse reactions” he adds. 

Kulldorff says these agencies have been derelict in their duty and the result has been vaccine hesitancy.

“That’s why we do this vaccine safety work, to build trust for the vaccines – measles, polio, rotavirus vaccines, the list is long.”

The way that the FDA and CDC have fumbled with the covid-19 vaccine, I think has had extremely bad consequences on the trust in other vaccines as well as in public health generally,” says Kulldorff.

Do the harms outweigh the benefits?

Jay Bhattacharya, professor of Medicine at Stanford University says that determining whether the benefits outweigh the harms is not black and white. It depends on a person’s age since there’s a 1000-fold difference in the infection fatality rate between young and old.

Looking back at the pivotal mRNA trials, Bhattacharya says,

“There’s no firm age cut-off, but for an immune naïve patient facing the alpha or delta variant, I’d say the balance of risks and benefits favoured vaccinating everyone over 65 and not recommending it for most people below 30.”

Jay Bhattacharya

What about those aged between 30 and 65 years? 

Bhattacharya says,

“For the ages in between, it was a grey area where vaccination made sense for some and not others, depending on risk factors like diabetes and morbid obesity and, of course, prior infection. As a population wide recommendation for young people, I think it was a mistake.”

Jay Bhattacharya

Kulldorf agrees.

“The right thing to have done at the time was to authorise the vaccines for older people who are at higher risk of dying from covid-19, people in their 70s, 80s and 90s – not for younger people. But we still don’t know where the cut-off should have been.”

Martin Kulldorf

It’s one reason why Kulldorff has argued against mandating the vaccines. “If you don’t know the risks, you should let people make their own decision, give all the information you have and not force people to take it,” says Kulldorff.

“Also, the FDA should have demanded that the original trials be designed for important outcomes, like hospitalizations, and deaths, and they should have done the trial with older people because they were poorly represented in the original trials,” adds Kulldorff.

In 2020, only a small proportion of subjects in the original clinical trials had prior exposure to the virus, but today the situation has changed — a large proportion of people in the west have natural immunity.

“If people have been previously exposed to the virus and recovered, they have better immunity than the vaccine itself can provide, and I think now it’s going to be of limited use, population wise, compared to 2021,” says Bhattacharya.

Upon reflection

The Fraiman analysis has revealed that the FDA and the CDC underplayed the harms of the mRNA vaccines in Dec 2020. By authorising and recommending a population-wide vaccination campaign, authorities neglected to focus on protecting the elderly, and exposed many younger people to unnecessary harm. As the pandemic progresses, and new variants emerge, the benefits of the mRNA vaccines will continue to diminish, while the harms are likely to compound.

For more on making sense of COVID vaccines, please see our presentation below.

Republished from the Author’s Substack.