Monday, April 15, 2024
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Long Covid report is short on sense


THE esteemed ‘medical information’ website Medscape has struck again in favour of the pro-Covid-19 vaccine movement. This time it is not in favour of the jabs’ purported effectiveness at preventing Covid, which is just as well as they patently do not, but in support of their effectiveness at preventing long Covid.

This is an interesting development. It possibly signals the end of the mainstream Covid narrative which is clearly running out of steam. All the dire predictions have long been disproved and the incepted measures, including the Covid-19 vaccines, have been shown to be either useless or deeply damaging.

With millions of doses of Covid-19 vaccines to use up and billions of dollars to be made by Big Pharma companies, there is every reason to keep the ‘vaccine narrative’ going: they don’t stop Covid but, somewhat illogically, they stop long Covid. And, of course, perish the thought (raised recently in these pages) that they may be partly responsible for causing long Covid.

The Medscape article titled ‘Long Covid and Vaccines: Separating Facts From Falsehoods’ does precisely the opposite of separating fact from falsehoods. It is presented over three webpages and contains a very unconvincing combination of facts and conjecture which, of course, conclude that Covid-19 vaccines are the bee’s knees when it comes to preventing long Covid.

I don’t dispute the outcomes of the single study that is presented or the review and two meta-analyses that are presented to support the narrative. However, if the evidence is so compelling and their interpretation is correct why does the author conclude: ‘Although the researchers didn’t compare the effects of having boosters to being fully vaccinated without them, experts have suggested that having a full round of recommended shots may offer the most protection’? Readers are then treated to the words of an expert who says: ‘My thoughts are that more shots are better . . .’ and another who says that the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines in preventing long Covid ‘stands to reason’, which seems to be a new development in scientific methods.

The article contains some speculation from researchers as to why the Covid-19 vaccines may protect against long Covid but it is clear that they have no idea. Again, the author resorts to anecdote, citing a doctor who said: ‘I have a number of patients in my clinic who were fine after their first bout of Covid but experienced debilitating long Covid symptoms after they developed Covid again.’ To which almost anyone could respond that they know hundreds of people who have had two Covid-19 vaccines and endless boosters and have still succumbed to Covid-19.

Allow me to speculate and offer an alternative explanation for the observation that Covid-19 vaccines appear to protect against long Covid. On the one hand, on the basis that the Covid vaccines are barely effective, as explained in the Lancet in July 2021, and that any effectiveness they ever had soon plummeted, as explained in the Lancet in October 2021, it is illogical that they prevent long Covid. On the other hand, the very existence of long Covid is doubtful and, if it does exist, likely to be widely exaggerated. As explained in these pages the symptoms may be confused in some women (in whom long Covid is more common) with the onset of menopause, and half of the people complaining of long Covid have never reported having Covid in the first place. All of this is compounded by the lack of a precise definition of long Covid which has symptoms so numerous and vague that almost everyone could claim to have it.

Given the above and the likelihood that a great deal of long Covid is undoubtedly in people’s minds, the likelihood that taking a vaccine, the effectiveness of which in preventing Covid seems largely to be in people’s minds, it is surely possible that the apparent protection offered by the Covid-19 vaccines against long Covid is also in people’s minds. A case par excellence of the placebo effect.

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Roger Watson
Roger Watson
Roger Watson is a Professor of Nursing.

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