The fact that the US Center for Disease Control was compelled, last week, by a court, to release its own vaccine safety data should probably get more coverage than it will. For one thing, no matter what vaccine safety data shows, it should not be necessary to force Governments to release it. Keeping this stuff hidden serves nothing so much as it serves the narrative that Governments believe, on the vaccine, that they have something to hide.
Nevertheless, it has now been published – though not by the US Government itself. The data, instead, has been given to “ICAN” – the US nonprofit which successfully sued to obtain it. Nobody disputes that the data is a true record of what the US Government found, in its own vaccine safety monitoring scheme – it comprises 10 million people, all vaccinated, who self-reported their own health outcomes via an app. And the headline figure reported by ICAN perhaps indicates why the US Government was wary of the PR impact of releasing it:
ICAN crunched the numbers on its own and came up with some statistics that its lawyer says appear to be “alarming.”
According to ICAN, 7.7% of the v-safe users — 782,913 people — reported seeking medical attention via a telehealth appointment, urgent care clinic, emergency room intervention or hospitalization following a COVID-19 vaccine.
About 25% of v-safe users said they experienced symptoms that required them to miss school or work or prevented them from doing other normal activities, according to ICAN’s “dashboard” that summarizes the results.
Is this, then, the smoking gun? The hidden data which reveals a major scandal?
ICAN certainly – and in my view correctly – did something with the data that the US Government did not. That thing is that they tracked ailments reported by people for a full year after being vaccinated. The US Government, by contrast, wanted to track them only for one week, and report only incidents within one week, despite having the longer data available to it. That is clearly absurd: If there was a problem with vaccines, it might well not appear for much longer than that. It is fair to suspect that the US Government’s tracking process was almost designed to minimise adverse reports, and that the Government’s desire to keep the findings secret is concerning. If this makes you question the trustworthiness of Government on these issues, it’s hard to fault you.
At the same time, though, this data is also highly misleading in the other direction, to such an extent that I don’t think it’s remotely possible to draw any negative conclusions from what the data itself says. Let me explain:
First, and least importantly, the dataset contains all ailments in the vaccinated. There is no way to determine how many of those are linked to the vaccine. Someone who got vaccinated in March, and broke their leg in June, is included in these figures because they went to hospital. It’s “with Covid” versus “from covid” all over again, except with “vaccine” substituted for Covid.
But second, and more importantly, there is no control sample. All we can say about these figures is that 8% of ten million people needing hospitalisation within a year certainly seems high. But there is no sample to compare it to: Where are the ten million unvaccinated people, and how many of those needed hospitalisation in a year? If that figure is “1%”, then Heuston, we have a problem. But if it’s 7 or 8 or 9%, then really, there’s nothing to see here.
So which is it?
Well, I’ve looked. That’s the job of journalists – to investigate these things. And if you are worried about vaccine safety, then the news is reassuring. First, the number of people hospitalized in an average year for all causes is far higher than most people think, even in raw numbers. Here is the US data from 2016, reported by the Washington Post before the pandemic:
Across the country, hospital emergency rooms are seeing a record number of patients — 145.6 million a year, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data — gathered in 2016 and released this month — show that most people head to an ER because of an illness rather than an injury. Stomach or abdominal pain tops the list of reasons (affecting 12.5 million patients), followed by chest pain (7.6 million) and fever (5.5 million). Among injuries treated in ERs, the most common result from a fall (10.5 million) or a motor vehicle crash (3.7 million).
But wait. There’s more:
In 2019, a total of 7.3 percent of people in the U.S. were hospitalized at least once. Hospitalization rates for females have been higher than males for the past two decades. In 2019, almost eight percent of females were hospitalized, compared to only five percent of males. The average length of stay in a hospital is currently 6.2 days. However, this varies greatly by state. In Wyoming, for example, the average length of stay is 9.2 days, which is more than twice the average length of stay New York.
That data is from Statista, a generally trustworthy compiler of statistics. And again, it was published before the pandemic.
So, 7.3% in 2019, versus 7.7% in the vaccinated group of 10m people in the year after their vaccination.
Do we have a 0.4% increase due to the vaccine?
No. Because read the ICAN release above again:
7.7% of the v-safe users – 782,913 people – reported seeking medical attention via a telehealth appointment, urgent care clinic, emergency room intervention or hospitalization following a COVID-19 vaccine.
The ICAN 7.7% includes Telehealth, where people don’t go to hospital at all. In other words, they include more people than just those who go to hospital.
What’s more, there’s another wrinkle: The population of vaccinated people is, we know, considerably older than the population at large, especially in the USA. In an average year, 17% of over 65s in the USA will go to hospital, but fewer than 6% of 18-44 year olds. If you have a group – the vaccinated – older than the general population, you would actually expect to see higher hospitalisations for all causes. The difference here is just 0.4%, before you include those two factors.
So what, then, are we to conclude? If you want evidence that the vaccine is driving up hospitalizations, and making people sick, then it’s just not here.
At least, not in this data, which includes 10million vaccinated people and – this must be noted – was compiled and published in a way designed to maximize the number of potential vaccine injuries by a group that is openly vaccine-sceptical.
In recent weeks, this platform has received many emails from readers and concerned people to the effect that we are “shying away” from covering the alleged health impact of vaccines, and that we may be betraying our mission in not covering the alleged vaccine safety scandal that is now, apparently, just accepted fact for a portion of the population.
In response to that, as Editor, let me say this: Should evidence confirming your suspicions and beliefs emerge, we will cover it. As should every media outlet on the planet. But to date, the evidence of some kind of widespread safety issue just isn’t there. And it’s not, by the way, as if nobody is looking. The incentive to be the first person or group to find “the smoking gun”, as they say, is enormous. But when you look at data like this, well. There just isn’t anything abnormal there.
In fact, there is, at present, vastly more evidence that the vaccines are not causing any systemic health issue than there is to the contrary. Those are the facts. We can offer you no more than the facts.