We can no longer trust the Centers for Disease Control to weigh honestly the risks and benefits of Covid vaccines for young people.
That is the only possible interpretation of Wednesday’s CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting about the link between Covid shots and serious heart problems in teens and young adults.
At the meeting, CDC scientists presented horrendous data. It showed that even without accounting for underreporting, a second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines could increase the risk of problems up to 200-fold in young men.
But the scientists then went on to suggest the vaccines should still given – even to kids already suffering from heart problems.
The CDC’s focus yesterday was on two illnesses, myocarditis and pericarditis, forms of heart inflammation that can occasionally progress to heart failure and even death. The CDC and many reporters insist on calling the cases mild. In fact 95 percent of the 300+ post-vaccination cases the CDC has reviewed have led to hospitalization.
Keep in mind cases are continuing to come in, and the agency hasn’t reviewed all the cases it has already received. This issue is part of a bigger problem, which is that the volume of side effects reports that the CDC has received on the Covid vaccines has overwhelmed its monitoring system.
To give you a sense of the problem: In all of 2019, the CDC’s voluntary vaccine side effect reporting system received about 48,000 reports for ALL vaccines. So far in 2021 it has received at least seven times that many for Covid vaccines alone.
Also keep in mind that heart inflammation is only ONE potential problem the vaccines may cause. The CDC and journalists generally like to compare each individual vaccine side effect to ALL the risks of Covid, a slight-of-hand that has the effect of making the vaccines seem safer.
In fact, the CDC’s own data shows that for every 100,000 vaccines given to young people, more than 25,000 will have temporary side effects that prevent them from “normal activities,” 700 will require medical care and 200 will be hospitalized.
In contrast, the CDC estimates that only about 50 out of 100,000 adolescents have EVER been hospitalized for Covid-related illness.
Of course, not everyone has gotten Covid – the CDC estimates that about 1/3 of Americans have. (Most never had a positive test, and many never even knew.) Thus, if EVERYONE got Covid, it is reasonable to assume the 50 Covid hospitalizations out of 100,000 adolescents rate might be about three times as high – or 150 per 100,000.
But even the 150 per 100,000 rate is LOWER than the 200 per 100,000 rate of adolescents who are hospitalized in the first week after being vaccinated.
In other words, even if vaccinations stopped every case of Covid in 12-17 year olds forever, and even if they never had side effects after the first week, it is hard to see how the risk-benefit ratio supports vaccination.
That’s especially true for healthy teens. Most Covid hospitalizations occur in people with other illnesses, including diabetes or chronic lung conditions.
But in its presentation Wednesday, the CDC instead claimed that the rate of hospitalization in adolescents was roughly 400 out of 14,000 cases, or close to 2,900 per 100,000 – almost 20 times what its own data shows. (Estimating three deaths out of 14,000 adolescent cases is even less credible.)
And it did not look at the combined rate of all post-vaccine hospitalizations, only those related to myocarditis.
By offering numbers that its own data do not support, the CDC was able to claim, bizarrely, that Covid vaccinations have a “positive balance for all age and sex groups.” Then the agency’s scientists went even further, saying teens with previous cases of myocarditis or pericarditis could receive the vaccines.
This line of reasoning is so strange that I almost wonder whether a CDC scientist included it to raise alarm about the other recommendations.
Because otherwise, it – like most everything else the agency said yesterday – makes little sense.