are covid boosters causing more severe adverse events than previous doses?
a look at historical VAERS data relative to vaccine dosing
one of the potential issues posited about covid vaccines, especially mRNA vaccines, is that repeated dosing might result in greater incidence of autoimmune issues and/or uncontrolled immune over-response and cascades. this can be very dangerous.
you have essentially trained your immune system to have strong reactions along a specific and narrow vector (proteins coded for by the vaccines) and if it reacts too strongly, it can do all manner of damage to you ranging from making you feel quite ill to damaging or killing heart or nerve tissue and because a booster is being applied to a better trained system, this effect might be magnified.
the booster studies lacked even the iffy rigor of the original trials and their safety data has been extremely limited to the extent that it was even gathered. this has struck many (including me) as a dangerous/reckless practice.
evidence has been somewhat scant, so my goal here is to look at the VAERS data and compare it to previous vaccine dosing.
this data (as i’ll lay out in caveats later) is far from ideal, but we do the best with what we have. so let’s look:
i started here with US vaccine dosing. as can be seen, there were two large waves of rapid uptake:
initial vaccination with 2 doses: jan through may of 2021
rapid booster uptake: late september 2021 to mid feb 2022
note that the scales are not the same and that the blue square is the booster surge in both graphs.
this gives as a couple of periods of interest to look at.
i then used the waybackmachine on the openVAERS tool toggled to “US only” to go back and grab monthly snapshots of overall report count, deaths, and hospitalizations. (to my knowledge this data is not available in a more structured format, though if someone has a good way to acquire such, please let me know. it would likely aid this analysis to become more granular.)
as this data is reported as a sum, i took each period and subtracted the period before to get a per period count.
as the periods into which this data is split are not standardized and as there were a couple of gaps in what i could acquire (notably jun-aug 2021) i then took those sums and divided them by the number of days in each period to get a per day occurrence rate that would be standardized and thus comparable.
i like to start looking at more raw data before layering in more math, other data, and therefore error bars. this gives us a sense of what the raw data is saying, even if it’s only whispering.
the green and blue squares are the same 2 surges as above. several things seem apparent:
the rate of adverse reporting is consistent between all three series (overall, death, hospitalization) and all follow very similar patterns
the rate of AE reporting has risen sharply over time, on the order of 10-20X and the rate of events in the second box exceeds the first by more that 10X
the rise in frequency was fairly linear and the data in the red circle is somewhat suspect as it’s a 126 day period vs 21-36 in all others (due to unavailable data)
counts dropped off in both cases as vaccination dropped off but remain FAR higher now than earlier. this is cause for some concern because vaccine dosing rates have dropped to very low levels relative to past.
from this chart, you’d expect AE’s to be lower than previous, but they are not.
but the linearity of the rise in the outcomes chart also gives pause and adds credence to the idea that it was a slow, steady rise in propensity to report outcomes to VAERS that is driving this.
but was it? perhaps adding another layer of analysis can shed some light.
let’s dig a bit deeper and calculate the per day VAERS events per million vaccinations per day so we no longer need to try to eyeball the actual per capita trends.
note that this resolves to VAERS outcomes per dose as the per day terms cancel one another. i will use that going forward, but it’s the same thing
also note that this absolute level is not meaningful to assess risk levels as VAERS reporting is extremely incomplete. it should, however, give us a sense of trends in a way that eyeballing cannot.
and what we see here is cause for serious concern.
once we adjust for dose count, the linearity of reporting for hospitalization and deaths from vaccination disappears. starting in the 35 day period ending 22 october 2021, they explode suddenly to the upside. this implies a start point somewhere in that 35 days. so, sometime likely in the second half of september 2021, the adverse events rate per day per million doses per day exploded.
both deaths and hospitalizations per dose rose by 4.1X vs the previous period.
then they kept rising, reaching 28X (hosp) and 26X (death) respectively.
they only began to attenuate again in the 28 days ending 15 april 2022.
i plotted this period in deaths and hospitalizations as a multiple of the period ending 17 sept 2021 to provide a visual sense of what this looked like. this data is no longer whispering. this is data screaming.
this timing is more than a little provocative.
the surge of boosters in the US began in September 2021.
this is precisely the same time the spike in deaths and hospitalizations per day per dose per day started.
so this is NOT an artifact of just dosing more, we’ve already controlled for that. the per dose incidence of death and hospitalization rose 4X immediately, seems to have plateaued for a minute, then found another step function spike in late january early feb and basically increased 5X from its already 5X elevated level.
that is actual exponential growth in propensity for severe bad outcomes per dose.
such a thing is extremely unusual to see and would appear to be of such magnitude as to make a simple rise in reporting rates appear highly unlikely, especially as the overall reports figure does not mirror this pattern, retains linearity, and shows no major moves during this spike in more severe outcomes.
this leads me to suspect we’re seeing a real clinical outcomes feature here around dramatically increased severe outcomes per dose and while we cannot definitively ascribe causality to correlation, one would seem remiss to ignore a correlation like this and well advised to take it extremely seriously given that we have both strong a priori reasons rooted in immunology and pharmacology to suspect such a linkage and such prevalent anecdotal evidence of people having bad reactions to boosters far in excess of anything i recall from the initial double dosing.
the fact that this is not front an center as an issue of utmost inquiry is proof positive of the incompetence or full fledged capture of our purported health and safety agencies.
relying upon a false set of safeguards is far worse than having none at all.
caveats: (and these are important)
obviously, this is not a controlled experiment and may be subject to numerous distortions, not least the severe underreporting of outcomes to VAERS (likely on the order of 10-50X) and the possibility that propensity to report to VAERS has changed over time either as more awareness of vaccines AE’s spread or as doctors faced greater pressure NOT to report such outcomes. how those two countervailing issues net out is anyone’s guess and i know of no way to reach any sort of definitive directional claim there (though am open to ideas if anyone has some clever thoughts)
there are also some features of these outcomes that i am not yet able to explain with a simple “boosters beget higher AE rates” hypothesis.
in particular, the lull after the strong initial rise in D and H per dose is somewhat puzzling, though the fact that it was a holiday period might have reduced reporting or capture ratios and so this could be an artifact of data collection, but this is pure speculation on my part.
the rapid resumption of rise in january is also a bit puzzling, though also possibly provocative as that was when omicron was taking off in the US. omicron is a highly vaccine advantaged variant that seems optimized to take advantage of vaccine driven antigenic fixation and in which the boosted are faring worst of all.
how that may interact with booster dosing is unclear, but it could be that boosting those who have had omi is more dangerous or that the well documented short term immune suppression caused by mRNA vaccines left people wide open to omi or other infections going around at the time and this wound up looking like and being recorded as a vaccine AE (which, in fairness, it is and ought to be).
addendum (post publication) another possibility just occurred to me: this second surge in severe outcomes might be associated with 4th doses (second booster). i have no data on prevalence or timing there, but if this is the cause, then we’d have real cause for alarm as it would imply that each incremental boost looks 5X worse than before. purely speculative, but perhaps fertile ground for inquiry.
precisely what happened here is far from conclusive, but it looks pretty conclusive to me that SOMETHING dramatic happened around boosters the resulted in a 27X rise in rates of death and hospitalization per administered dose over a VERY short period in conspicuous alignment with both boosters and omicron.
VAERS is supposed to function as a tripwire, a warning system. it’s the canary in the vaccine coal mine.
american public health officials appear to be literally treading on a carpet of dead songbirds so thick that feet have not touched floor in nearly two years.
and yet no one seems to care.
the intensity of the issue underwent exponential amplification on a per dose basis during boosters, and their response is “get a fourth shot” and rubber stamping through boosters for 5-11 despite appallingly negative risk/reward even using past risk rates, much less this potential 25X amplification.
and people are relying upon “official recommendations.”
and that is why the world is full of this:
public health is built on public trust, but who could possibly trust the people who have so repeatedly lied, gotten it wrong, and ignored safety signals magnitudes greater than those used to pull products off the market in the past or even now?
if covid vaccines were treated like baby formula, these would have been pulled in december 2020. if they were treated as any other vaccine in US history, they’d have been pulled by jaunary 2021.
but instead, what’s left of the FDA vaccine division (after both top people quit in disgust over handling of boosters) seems fixated on bigger hammer theory without remote regard to safety or the cost/benefit calculations that must underpin all sound medical decisions.
accountability has left the building so comprehensively that it was last seen sprinting past elvis and accelerating toward earth escape velocity.
the data exists to perform this analysis with far greater rigor, but it’s not being shared nor are those who have it in any way inclined to do the analysis themselves nor could we trust such any analysis if they did perform it.
the time for politics over sound scientific and pharmacological practice is long past. frankly, such a time should never have come in the first place.
these questions will just keep getting pointier until the public health agencies and regulators come clean.