Homen de Gouveia/ Lusa

New study shows teens seven times more likely to develop myocarditis after second dose of Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19

An investigation in Hong Kong, the results of which were published last Friday, shows the risk of myocarditis in teens increases markedly with the second dose of Pfizer vaccine in comparison with the first. 

Faced with these preliminary results, China altered its vaccination policy for teens some months ago; other countries, including Norway, UK, Taiwan and Hong Kong have followed. In Portugal however, there has been no such change – and it’s almost impossible to discover how many adolescents have received two-shots of the Pfizer vaccine, let alone how many cases of myocarditis have since been flagged.

This is one of the latest ‘warnings’ from independent online PáginaUm (UM) – a media website registered with the national press regulator. 

As UM explains at the beginning of its article, “the vaccination technical commission against Covid-19 and the general directorate of health have decided in favour of giving two doses of vaccines to adolescents”.

Indeed, both decided in favour of giving two doses of vaccines to children as young as five, in spite of repeated entreaties from pediatricians and other medical specialists that these are completely unnecessary at best, and potentially harmful at worst (click here).

UM’s focus on the non-sequiturs of this ‘public health crisis’ (currently overshadowed by the Russian threat to world peace) has been relentless.

Its latest warning follows publication of a research letter published in what it calls “the prestigious Jama Pediatrics magazine of the American Medical Association” (a monthly peer-reviewed publication).

This research (click here) revealed that after the administration of the second dose of Pfizer vaccine to teens in Hong Kong, an incidence of 39 cases of myocarditis per 100,000 inhabitants was observed. Put another way, for every 2,563 teens vaccinated with two doses, one developed that serious infection of the heart”.

This differs from a “very much lower incidence” (around five cases per 100,000 vaccinated) in situations where teens were only offered one dose of vaccine.

UM confirms that which has already been flagged: teenage boys (and young men) are statistically likely to develop myocarditis post-vaccination for Covid-19 than teenage girls (young women).

The cohort study carried out in Hong Kong analysed data between March 10 and October 18 last year. “But the preliminary results will have shown the clear and elevated risk of myocarditis which is why Chinese authorities decided, on September 15, that they should not be administering second doses” to adolescents, says UM.

And this is where UM really balks: “One recalls that in Portugal, the Vaccination Technical Commission against Covid-19 (CTCV) recommended the universal vaccination of both adolescents and children. The controversial opinion on the vaccination of children submitted on request of the DGS was made public in December, due to political pressure, but the one referring to adolescents was never revealed, nor any other”.

“PáginaUm obtained an opinion from CADA, the commission for access to administrative documents, which considers the DGS should have made all CTVC documentation publicly available. But director of health Graça Freitas continues to refuse this legal and ethical obligation”.

Indeed, UM accuses Ms Freitas of “maintaining a posture of obscurantism”.

Last week, the paper tried to get comments from “all the political forces with seats in the future parliament… but none has yet shown any concern to answer”.

In fact, says UM, the DGS’ “secrecy has gone as far as not even disclosing the number of adolescents vaccinated between the ages of 12-17”, nor does it indicate whether it will be recommending booster doses later this year.

Infarmed, too, has apparently refused UM access to its Portal RAM “which identifies and quantifies the adverse effects in vaccines in each age group”.

In a letter to CADA (presumably called in by UM to help gain access), Infarmed president Rui dos Santos Ivo is understood to have defended the portal should be used exclusively for pharmacovigilance (by designated professionals) as otherwise there would be the risk of “non-specialists making their own analysis with elevated potential to create totally unnecessary and unfounded social alarm”.

At this point, UM points out that its director Pedro Almeida Vieira is a member of the Portuguese Association of Epidemiology.

To summarise, this new data coming out of Hong Kong shows, that “after all, the risks of myocarditis in adolescents after taking the vaccine against Covid-19 are very much higher than those pointed out by Pfizer and by initial studies that, for example, the CTVC used.

“Last December, CTVC members used unpublished and non-peer reviewed studies, also ignoring the recommendations of several pediatricians to move forwards vaccinating only at risk children and adolescents”.

Also last week came a study published in the journal Current Issues in Molecular Biology, where researchers, using liver cells in vitro, revealed that the Pfizer vaccine is “able to enter the human liver cell line” (click here).

Says UM, researchers now are trying to find out “whether there is a direct relationship between vaccination against Covid-19 and cases of autoimmune hepatitis”.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com