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Correcting this week’s misinformation: week of April 18, 2024

Does vaccine-induced myocarditis cause death?

The Claim:

In response to a new study suggesting that no deaths can be attributed to myocarditis caused by COVID mRNA vaccination, anti-vaccine media is actively criticizing the study’s methodologies and claiming other studies disprove it.

The Facts:

The study identified 1,292 deaths among people 16–30 years old between June 2021–December 2022 in Oregon and looked at vaccination rates and causes of death. The data did not show a link between vaccination and previously healthy young persons.

The tweet cites an article from the Epoch Times, a far-right media company rated “Unreliable, Problematic” and affiliated with the Falun Gong religious movement. The primary claim that this CDC study doesn’t “disprove a link between COVID-19 vaccines and sudden deaths among young people” is accurate since proving a negative is tricky.

In general, proving a negative (proving that the vaccine doesn’t cause cardiac deaths) is much more difficult and often impossible compared to proving a positive. Science usually tries to find out and show what exists or what effects happen instead of trying to prove that something doesn’t exist or happen. The authors of the study even explained that one of the limitations of their study included a small sample size, and for a very rare event, you’d need a very large sample size to discover it.

One of the things pointed out in the article in the Epoch Times was that a previous Korean study did show a link between vaccination and sudden death. What the data showed was that out of over 44.2 million individuals who had been vaccinated, they found eight (8) deaths under the age of 45 (.000018%) connected to sudden cardiac death as a result of vaccination-related myocarditis.

Is the childhood vaccine schedule safe?

The Claim:

cardiologist who made a name for himself for his COVID denialism is traversing into routine childhood vaccine opposition, claiming that the number of vaccines given to children causes neurodevelopmental differences, allergies, and asthma. He claims that a federal law passed in 1986 admits that vaccines are unavoidably harmful.

The Facts:

Overall, the vaccine schedule has expanded by 1-2 vaccines per decade since the 1980s. This slow, methodical, scientific advance of immunization recommendations stands in stark contrast to concerns that vaccines are constantly being capriciously added to the schedule.

Babies are subjected to more challenges to their immune system at birth than they will be in the entire immunization schedule. Keep in mind that the amount of any ingredient in vaccines is very small–smaller than what a child will encounter naturally through living and breathing and eating, and as this study of aluminum in vaccines shows, they do not accumulate in a child’s body to toxic levels.

Because millions and millions of children have followed the vaccine schedule, scientists have been able to conduct studies showing that the schedule is safe.

But are vaccines unavoidably harmful? In 2011, the Supreme Court decided a case called Bruesewitz v. Wyeth. This case started when the parents of a girl who was thought to have serious side effects from a vaccine sued the company that made the vaccine. Her parents believed that the vaccine was poorly designed, and that’s what caused her problems.

However, the Supreme Court agreed with the vaccine manufacturer. They said that the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act protects vaccine makers from being sued if a vaccine causes injuries or death as long as the side effects are unavoidable and the vaccine is made and labeled correctly. They explained that the law stops any lawsuits that claim a vaccine’s design is defective.

The court didn’t say that all vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe.” The ruling was just about whether the parents could sue under this specific law. The phrase “unavoidably unsafe” was mentioned in the court’s discussion, but it relates to the terms set by the law, not a general statement about vaccines.

Are we forcing an STD vaccine on newborns?

The Claim:

Joe Rogan and a comedian travel way outside their lane to ask why babies receive Hepatitis B vaccines at birth and why vaccines are forced on kids to enter school. I hope they read our newsletter because we have answers for them!

The Facts:

While Hepatitis B is sexually transmitted, it isn’t only sexually transmitted. Doctors started recommending the Hepatitis B vaccine at birth because a lot of babies were being born to moms with Hep B who didn’t realize they had it. Scientists think 30-40% of those with chronic infections catch it when they are born or in early childhood. And only about half of the women with Hep B were identified before they had their babies.

Still today, about 25,000 newborns a year are born to a mother with a Hep B infection. 90% of newborns who contract the disease become chronic carriers, which puts them at higher risk for cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Several reasons led to many children being born to mothers with hepatitis B who didn’t know they had it. Testing for hep B is more complicated than other kinds of tests. Thus, some mothers caught hep B after they got tested during prenatal care and before they gave birth. Tests can sometimes give false negatives. Other mistakes in testing include ordering the wrong tests, misreading the results, or miscommunicating the results.

In addition to the possibility of a missed Hepatitis B infection in the mother, the Hepatitis B virus can live on surfaces for up to 7 days, including in dried blood. It can also be transmitted through bites like those in daycare or playgroup settings. Because it can live a week on surfaces, needles or bandaids discarded in public places can also be sources of infection. It’s not a common method of transmission, but the risk is not zero either.

By contrast, the Hepatitis B vaccine is one of the safest, with the fewest possible side effects. The most likely side effects are just pain and soreness at the injection site, without any documented serious side effects.

If the hep B vaccine causes any serious side effects, they are extremely rare—so rare that we haven’t found any in several millions of doses. Because the vaccine is safe and there’s a risk of getting infected at birth or during infancy, we give this vaccine right at birth.

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