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An Inexplicable Inconsistency 

Pfizer & Moderna vs J&J 

Those of you will remember earlier this year, as the vaccines were reaching their peak profitability, sorry I mean popularity, the United States suspended the use of the Jannsen/J&J version due to 6 cases of blood clotting back in April. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommended this action, as Politico reported

All those affected were women between the ages of 18 and 48, and their symptoms developed 6-13 days after vaccination, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a joint statement. One person has died and another is hospitalized in critical condition, federal officials said.

While I applaud this action, when considered in the full context of the Adverse Events (AEs) following vaccination, as well as the definition of fully vaccinated per the CDC. Starting with the later, as the CDC’s website states, 

In general, people are considered fully vaccinated: 

2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or

2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

If you don’t meet these requirements, regardless of your age, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.

According to the CDC, those affected by the vaccine were actually unvaccinated since their symptoms developed less than 2 weeks after they received the vaccine. While this may seem to be a banal point, it is relevant, especially due to the fact that AEs to the vaccine cannot be reported to the CDC by doctors and nurses if you are unvaccinated by their definition. If the J&J incidents earlier this year are any indication, this could remove the vaccine manufacturers from receiving any bad press since the majority of AEs occurred in the first two weeks. 

While this certainly is a significant loophole, the greater question and concern is why did the FDA and CDC recommend the suspension of J&J rather than Pfizer/Moderna? The immediate question would be, what cause was there to suspend the mRNA vaccines?

The basis for the recommended suspension and investigation of the J&J vaccine essentially was a concern about the safety of the drug. This is not surprising given the expedited testing process that was used by all pharmaceutical manufacturers to get their products to market in the most expeditious manner possible. 

There were 6 AEs out of 6.8 million doses of the J&J that had been administered at the time the suspension was recommended. To make things simple, let’s assume that there was a 1 in a million chance of blood clotting from the vaccine, how does that compare to the AEs in Pfizer for example? 

According to Bloomberg, there have been 462 million doses of Pfizer administered to date in the United States. According to the rate used to raise the alarm of the federal government previously for there to be a concern, there would have to be at least 462 AEs reported. Luckily we can check this in the CDC’s database of adverse events. There are 315,416 entries for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine which accounts for 46.91% of all AEs, meanwhile, the total reactions to J&J, 60,545, account for only 8.99% of all AEs. 

While there are hundreds of different kinds of AEs reported for each manufacturer, some of the significant and recurring ones for Pfizer are cardiac arrest, 537 occurrences, 590 events of cardiac failure, and 1465 reports of myocarditis. 

Why would the FDA and CDC not request the suspension of these vaccines? Is it because of the billions of dollars being made by these companies? Is it because the former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb joined the board of Pfizer just 3 months before Covid was detected in China? 

Even Trevor Noah has pointed out that the people most vocally supporting the vaccines are those who stand to make hundreds of millions of dollars every month from it. Is the pandemic being kept alive by self-interest, greed, and crony capitalism? Maybe, but what we know for sure is that there has been unequal treatment by the FDA and CDC of vaccines standards for safety that has in turn endangered the general public. 

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