In a live interview with PBS NewsHour, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky mistakenly said “people dying from this VACCINE” instead of “people dying from Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).”
The gaffe suggests that something is amiss, be it with the efficacy of the vaccine or the link between vaccinations and deaths.
During the live interview, host Judy Woodruff and Walensky were talking about new COVID-19 cases in the United States. Walensky’s alarming Freudian slip was caught on camera.
As Woodruff was closing the interview, she talked about how the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the country are still too high. She then asked Walensky when the number of COVID deaths “is going to be about what it is for the regular flu” or if the scenario is even possible given how the pandemic has devastated countries across the globe.
Walensky mentioned that the decline in case rates was encouraging, at the same time acknowledging that COVID-19 death rates are high. “We know that the people who are dying from this vacc-,” said Walensky before pausing to correct herself.
She continued to say that there’s a higher chance people will die from the coronavirus if they remain unvaccinated. Walensky added that people can stop infections by getting vaccinated, even if data suggests that the disease can still spread even among those who are inoculated.
Walensky added that the CDC is doing its best to provide information to convince people to get vaccinated because most COVID-19 deaths are “preventable deaths.”
To make matters worse, one of the children given the vaccine suffered adverse reaction following the vaccination.
The boy was cleared by a doctor, but will require monitoring to ensure no additional side effects persist.
The city released a statement acknowledging the shots were given in error:
“The City of Garland Health Department (GHD) is reporting that two children under the age of 12 were administered doses of the Pfizer vaccine in error this weekend. GHD officials are in communication with the parents of the children involved, who are monitoring the children for side effects. GHD also has reported the incident to state health officials and are further investigating the circumstances leading up to the error. The safety and privacy of our patients is always our top priority. Due to patient privacy, we cannot share additional information at this time.”
Meanwhile, the family wants to know how the error occurred and who’s responsible.
“We found out after the fact that the vials for the children’s vaccine should have been different, the needles should have been different…it should have been labeled specifically for kids so…where did that decision come from? Who was it that told them they could go ahead and offer it?” Gonzalez told the local media station, adding that he’s frustrated over the situation.
“We’re just on edge completely until we see this through.”
In an update Wednesday, CBS DFW reported that “The mother of the 7-year-old mistakenly given an adult COVID vaccine dose, says her son is doing ‘okay’ after getting the shot.”
SARS-CoV-2 vaccine protection and deaths among US veterans during 2021
We report SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness against infection (VE-I) and death (VE-D) by vaccine type (n = 780,225) in the Veterans Health Administration, covering 2.7% of the U.S. population. From February to October 2021, VE-I declined from 87.9% to 48.1%, and the decline was greatest for the Janssen vaccine resulting in a VE-I of 13.1%. Although breakthrough infection increased risk of death, vaccination remained protective against death in persons who became infected during the Delta surge. From July to October 2021, VE-D for age 65 years was 73.0% for Janssen, 81.5% for Moderna, and 84.3% for Pfizer-BioNTech; VE-D for age ≥65 years was 52.2% for Janssen, 75.5% for Moderna, and 70.1% for Pfizer-BioNTech. Findings support continued efforts to increase vaccination, booster campaigns, and multiple, additional layers of protection against infection.
As shown in Fig. 2, risk of infection accelerated in both unvaccinated and fully vaccinated Veterans beginning in July 2021 and through September 2021, consistent with the time dependence observed in the Cox proportional hazards models. This pattern was similar across age groups, and risk of infection was highest for unvaccinated Veterans. Veterans who were fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine had the lowest risk of infection, followed closely by those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, then those who received the Janssen vaccine.
Risk of death after SARS-CoV-2 infection was highest in unvaccinated Veterans regardless of age and comorbidity (Fig. 3). However, breakthrough infections were not benign, as shown by the higher risk of death in fully vaccinated Veterans who became infected compared to vaccinated Veterans who remained infection-free.
We observed similar results when examining the time period corresponding to the dominance of the Delta variant (fig. S1). Specifically, among those with a positive PCR test on or after July 1, 2021, vaccination was protective against death, although with some differences by age and vaccine type. For age <65 years, vaccine effectiveness against death (VE-D) was 81.7% (95% CI: 75.7% to 86.2%) for any vaccine; 73.0% (95% CI: 52.0% to 84.8%) for Janssen; 81.5% (95% CI: 70.7% to 88.4%) for Moderna; and 84.3% (95% CI: 76.3% to 89.7%) for Pfizer-BioNTech. For age ≥65 years, VE-D was 71.6% (95% CI: 68.6% to 74.2%) for any vaccine; 52.2% (95% CI: 37.2% to 63.6%) for Janssen; 75.5% (95% CI: 71.8% to 78.7%) for Moderna; and 70.1% (95% CI: 66.1% to 73.6%) for Pfizer-BioNTech.
Much has been made of the lack of hospital beds in North Texas during the recent COVID-19 surge. The dearth of pediatric ICU beds at local children’s hospitals made it on CNN, with Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins making dark predictions like, “Your child will wait for another child to die” before they receive care. Things have gotten so bleak that Jenkins has taken to tweeting out the number of available ICU beds in the region each day.
But the explosion of COVID-19 cases over the past six weeks still hasn’t reached the peak numbers North Texas saw in January. So why are we seeing dire headlines about the lack of beds when COVID-19 infections were statistically worse earlier this year?
Several factors beyond COVID-19 cases are contributing to the lack of bed space. One is the overall hospital census, which is greater than during the peak of COVID-19 this winter. Many were afraid to call 911 during the earlier waves, and heart attack victims, stroke victims, and other emergencies never made it to the hospital. Emergency service companies reported a 35 percent decrease in emergency calls and an increased number of dead arrivals at different stages during the pandemic. Patients are now more comfortable coming to the hospital, and, after months of delayed care, they are looking to catch up on missed appointments, procedures, and treatments. After the winter surge, hospitals have stayed full with non-COVID-19 patients.
Another issue is the staff shortage. A hospital may have available space, but if there isn’t staff to attend to those patients, a patient can’t occupy that bed. During the first waves of COVID-19, different regions of the country experienced surges at different times. That meant hospitals could bring in traveling caregivers to staff the beds. “There is no rescue cavalry, and it is so bad everywhere, that no one available to come to our aide,” says Dr. Mark Casanova, a palliative care physician with Baylor Scott & White and a member of the Texas Medical Association’s COVID-19 Task Force. (He was also the president of the Dallas County Medical Society in 2020 during the pandemic.)
Abstract The use of mRNA vaccines in pregnancy is now generally considered safe for protection against COVID-19 in countries such as New Zealand, USA, and Australia. However, the influential CDC sponsored article by Shimabukuro et al. (2021) used to support this idea, on closer inspection, provides little assurance, particularly for those exposed in early pregnancy. The study presents falsely reassuring statistics related to the risk of spontaneous abortion in early pregnancy, since the majority of women in the calculation were exposed to the mRNA product after the outcome period was defined (20 weeks’ gestation). In this article, we draw attention to these errors and recalculate the risk of this outcome based on the cohort that was exposed to the vaccine before 20 weeks’ gestation. Our re-analysis indicates a cumulative incidence of spontaneous abortion 7 to 8 times higher than the original authors’ results (p < 0.001) and the typical average for pregnancy loss during this time period. In light of these findings, key policy decisions have been made using unreliable and questionable data. We conclude that the claims made using these data on the safety of exposure of women in early pregnancy to mRNA-based vaccines to prevent COVID-19 are unwarranted and recommend that those policy decisions be revisited.