THE damp squib that was Covid-19 and the subsequent concern about ‘long Covid’ are in stark contrast to reality. The dire predictions of hospitals being packed (many were not), millions of dead in the UK alone (it never happened) and the fact that long Covid may not even exist (50 per cent of people reporting it have never even had Covid-19 and there is international disagreement about what even constitutes ‘long covid’) are also in stark contrast to the lack of concern about vaccine harms.
Even when vaccine harms are observed in abundance, they are downplayed and couched in reassuring terms with comments along the lines of ‘no medication is without its side effects’, ‘the numbers are very small’ and ‘the benefits outweigh the harms’. It must be borne in mind that the vaccine was sold to us as being safe (it clearly is not) and effective (which is a blatant misrepresentation of the data). With reference to Covid-19 vaccines the CDC said: ‘Serious safety problems are rare and long-term side effects unlikely.’ Moreover, given the very low risk of serious infection or death in the vast majority of people, a Covid-19 vaccine as a population health measure was probably completely unnecessary.
A recent Swedish study published in the BMJ exemplifies the downplaying of vaccine harms by claiming that, despite observing a 22-33 per cent increase in vaginal bleeding among postmenopausal women after a third dose of a Covid-19 vaccine compared with the unvaccinated group, this does not provide ‘any substantial support for a causal association between SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and healthcare contacts related to menstrual or bleeding disorders’.
That the risk of such bleeding was greater with three rather than one or two doses of the vaccine suggests a cumulative effect.
The study has already been referred to by Alex Berenson who highlighted the research finding that the increased bleeding lasted for three months following the third shot of the vaccine. Why are the results are being downplayed given the level of reports and the associated pain and discomfort from such bleeding. A further distressing point is that in a small percentage of cases disturbed menstrual bleeding can be indicative of gynaecological cancer.
The Swedish team also reported increased reports of menstrual disturbances in younger women, but this was less marked. Berenson however pointed to the Medical News in Brief section of JAMA which claimed erroneously that the Swedish researchers had ‘not found the jabs caused menstrual changes in women under 45’. Berenson makes an excellent point regarding the study, saying that ‘the study only captured bleeding episodes severe enough to lead to a new formal diagnosis from a doctor. Women with moderate bleeding would be likely to treat it themselves’.
This downplaying is not new. With regard to the link between Covid-19 vaccines and irregular or severe vaginal bleeding, the MHRA has continued with its complacency, not veering from such anodyne words as: ‘Evidence from the most recent review suggested a possible association between the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines and heavy menstrual bleeding. The events were mostly non-serious and were temporary in nature. The product information for the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines has been updated to add heavy menstrual bleeding as a possible side effect.’
So that’s OK then.
It’s just part and parcel of what to expect: ‘Whilst uncomfortable or distressing, period problems are extremely common and stressful life events can disrupt menstrual periods.’
So that’s OK too.
And, finally, from this outpost of the Ministry of Information, the following non sequitur: ‘Changes to the menstrual cycle have also been reported following infection with Covid-19 and in people affected by long-Covid.’
And . . ?
Considering the sample size of the Swedish data (2 946 448 Swedish women aged 12-74 years were included) and the twenty plus percent reporting this adverse reaction, against the only 182 suspected such reactions recorded between September 1, 2022 and February 22, 2023, by the MHRA’s Yellow Card system, this suggests a significant, if not massive, underreporting of post-Covid-19 vaccine disturbed menstruation and post-menopausal vaginal bleeding in the UK. The final words should go to the husband of a woman who has suffered such a Covid-19 vaccine side effect and who wrote to Alex Berenson: ‘My wife hasn’t fully recovered almost two years later. It has totally changed her monthly period. It lasts longer and the flow is much more intense.’
Try telling her this side-effect is ‘mostly non-serious’ and ‘temporary in nature’.