By : Robyn Chuter
Last year, I reluctantly made a decision that I could never previously have envisaged: I withdrew my consent to be an organ donor. I had 'ticked the box' to donate my organs when I first obtained a driver's licence, and later became a registered organ donor. It struck me as a simple and obvious choice to make: my organs wouldn't be any good to me if I was dead, and my grieving family could take some comfort in knowing that they might keep at least one other person alive.
But in December 2021, the Queensland government decreed that anyone who wished to receive a kidney, lung or heart transplant must take at least two doses of an experimental COVID-19 injection. Knowing full well that organ transplant recipients had been excluded from the clinical trials of these completely novel products, I was so appalled by the imposition of medical apartheid on critically ill people that I immediately revoked my organ donor consent. I wasn't alone, as it turned out.
Media coverage of Queensland Health's decision was mixed. On 6 December 2021, the Murdoch-owned Brisbane Courier-Mail newspaper presented the plight of three people on the transplant waiting list, who were concerned about the health risks of the injections, in a sympathetic light:
"Dana Ward, 23, from the Gold Coast said she is at loggerheads with her Brisbane specialist over the vaccine decision. Ms Ward had a pancreas and kidney transplant in 2009 but her body has rejected the kidney and she is now on dialysis.
'I have been told that if I received a kidney and then got Covid it would be a waste of an organ. I even have a donor ready to go but it’s been made clear nothing will go ahead until I am fully vaccinated,' Ms Ward, who suffers from primary hyperoxaluria, said.
'Because of my ill health I have always been hyper careful of what I put in my body. I am definitely not anti-vax but am afraid of the Covid vaccine side effects. I am backed into a corner now and probably have to go ahead with the vaccine,' she said.
Helen Oberthur, 44, from Brisbane, has stage four kidney disease and has not had her Covid shots.
'I have had every other vaccine including the flu and it’s not been good. I have ended up so sick I had to get someone to look after my son. I am not good with vaccinations and feel like I am cornered. I think it is blatant discrimination to deny me a place on a waiting list because of this. I just found out about the new policy this week and feel overwhelmed by it all,' she said.
Tamara McCarthy said she was shocked when her son’s specialist told her last week that her 18 year old would have to get his Covid jabs to remain on the transplant list.
'He is very young and had all his vaccinations as a child but he is scared to have the jabs. He has read a lot about the risks of myocarditis. Dialysis is allowing him to still live his life as a young man but what if he has a bad reaction? Of course he wants a new kidney. He wants to live a long life but this decision has been devastating. He will have to take his chances with the vaccine,' the Ipswich mother said.
'Don’t doctors take an oath to treat people in all circumstances. He is not some raving anti-vaxxer, just a scared boy,' she said."
Transplant patients in a spin over demand they are double vaxxed
In contrast, fellow Murdoch outlet, news.com.au, gleefully reported on 8 December 2021 that "organ donors opposed to taking the Covid-19 vaccine kicked up a storm on Twitter, but it didn’t take long for the protest to fall flat" thanks to "pro-vax users, who began signing up as organ donors en masse."
In a truly vomit-worthy display of journalistic ethical bypass, the 500 word article devoted precisely one sentence to "the ethical issue of denying unvaccinated patients lifesaving surgery", and one to the concerns of the patients on the transplant waiting list whom the Courier-Mail had interviewed. Despite the Courier-Mail article citing three patient names, along with photographs of two of them, the news.com.au piece falsely described them as "anonymous" - a tactic transparently intended to undermine their credibility. And rather than relaying the specific and eminently reasonable concerns that these individuals had shared, the news.com.au article cited just one sentence from the article, dismissively bracketed in scare quotes:
"According to the Courier Mail, a number of anonymous unvaccinated patients say they have not got the Covid-19 jab 'as they fear they will be hit with side effects that will make them even more ill as they endure dialysis and other harsh treatments'."
#NotAnOrganDonorAnymore hashtag sparks surge in new organ donors after Queensland Health announcement
Instead, news.com.au's anonymous reporter/s devoted more than half of zey/zem's article space to screen grabs of the Twitter stoush between "pro-vaxer" and "anti-vaxer" potential organ donors. Will someone please nominate this fine piece of journalism for a Walkley?
As the Epoch Times reported on 23 November 2022,
"A year on, unvaccinated patients will still be unable to access transplant surgeries for kidneys, lungs, or hearts in the state of Queensland."
Organ Transplants Still Denied to Unvaccinated Patients in Queensland, Australia
In each of these articles, a Queensland Health spokesperson was quoted as claiming that the ban on unjabbed transplant recipients was for the "safety and wellbeing" of patients. Transplant patients must take powerful immunosuppressive drugs which put them at higher risk of infection, and their immune response to vaccines - including COVID-19 injections - is known to be "weaker than that of the general public" and to be more likely to decline rapidly and steeply. Therefore, argues the spokesperson, "it’s incredibly important for the person to be vaccinated prior to transplant."
Get the appThe merit of this argument rests, of course, on the efficacy of COVID-19 injections in preventing infection and serious illness from SARS-CoV-2. If the injections don't stop infection, don't keep infected people out of hospital and don't stop them from dying, then there's absolutely no justification for forcing gravely ill people to get them, in order to receive a life-saving transplant.
Queensland Health is astonishingly non-transparent with its data, providing no information on the injection status of patients hospitalised, in an intensive care unit (ICU), or dying of/with COVID-19.
Neighbouring New South Wales, a state in which "over 95 per cent of people aged 16 and over... have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, while more than 70 per cent of people eligible for their third dose have received it" is more forthcoming, providing data on the numbers of people hospitalised, in an ICU, and dying of/with COVID-19, by injection status.
In the latest NSW Respiratory Surveillance Report, for the week ending 26 November 2022, we are told that "people who are not vaccinated remain more likely to suffer severe COVID-19". Yet the data presented suggest the opposite conclusion:
"Note that some people with COVID-19 who are admitted to hospital or ICU are admitted for conditions unrelated to their COVID-19 infection, and these admissions will not be prevented by vaccination."
NSW Respiratory Surveillance Report - week ending 26 November 2022
But even after making allowance for this, the NSW data are hardly a ringing endorsement for the efficacy of the experimental shots, either for the general public or for seriously ill people on an organ transplant waiting list. If they don't keep those who need them the most out of hospital, and nobody else really needs them anyway because they're not at risk of getting anything worse than a nasty flu-like illness, then what's the point of coercing anyone to get them?
However, there's even more bad news for people who are waiting for organ transplants. Once they have received their life-saving donor organ, they will be pressured to comply with the injection schedule endorsed by the Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ):
"TSANZ recommends that all transplant patients > 18 years of age be advised to undergo a primary course of 3 COVID vaccinations with a booster 4 months after the third vaccination, as per ATAGI and the NZ Ministry of Health."
Updated TSANZ COVID-19 Vaccination recommendations for Transplant Recipients
Not only will this intensive schedule put their weakened bodies at higher risk of the whole disastrous catalogue of adverse effects of the experimental injections, but there is growing evidence that the injections may trigger their immune systems to reject the transplanted organ.
In April 2022, doctors from Montefiore Hospital in New York published the first case series of COVID-19 injection-induced rejection in lung transplant recipients. Three female patients aged 50-70, between six months and two years post-transplant, and with no previous rejection episodes, suffered antibody mediated rejection of their transplanted lungs.
"Two were hospitalized with hypoxic respiratory failure within 2 weeks of their 2nd vaccine dose. The 3rd was seen at clinic for milder similar symptoms, later progressing and requiring supplemental oxygen (O2) and hospitalization... Two recovered their lung function and are off supplemental O2, the 3rd did not and is re-listed for transplant."
COVID-19 Vaccine Triggered Rejection in Lung Transplant Recipients: A Case Series
Japanese researchers published a systematic review of case reports of acute corneal graft rejection after receiving a COVID-19 injection in August 2022. Corneal graft transplantation (keratoplasty) is the most frequently performed organ transplant procedure worldwide and, owing to the immune privileged status of the cornea, has a high success rate with no need for systemic immunosuppression under normal circumstances.
However, the Japanese team documented 23 acute corneal graft rejections in 21 patients after COVID-19 injection published between April and December 2021. The time interval between injection and rejection ranged from one day to six weeks, and the interval between corneal transplantation and rejection ranged from 14 days to 25 years.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of reports of solid organ rejection after either a COVID-19 injection or infection was published by a Saudi Arabian team, also in August 2022. They identified 56 solid organs rejected after a COVID-19 injection and 40 after SARS-CoV-2 infection, including all of the corneal graft rejections identified by the Japanese researchers but omitting the lung transplant rejections identified by the Montefiore team.
The median time to organ rejection after COVID-19 injection was 13.5 hours, while the median time from SARS-CoV-2 infection to organ rejection was 14 hours. This, along with the fact that most cases were successfully treated, prompted the Saudi authors to conclude that
"The reported evidence of solid organ rejections post-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination or COIVD-19 [sic] infection should not discourage vaccination against this worldwide pandemic. The number of reported cases is relatively small in relation to the hundreds of millions of vaccinations that have occurred, and the protective benefits offered by SARS-CoV-2 vaccination far outweigh the risks."
Solid Organ Rejection following SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination or COVID-19 Infection: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Yet, as I have already shown above (and as Philip Altman has amply documented in his impeccably referenced 107 page report, The Time of COVID), there are no protective benefits of COVID-19 injections. These novel, experimental products don't prevent infection, don't prevent transmission, don't keep people out of hospital, and don't stop them from dying.
They do expose people to a completely unacceptable risk of already-observed harms, including myocarditis, acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), cardiac arrest, circulatory collapse, severe hypertension, supraventricular and sinus tachycardia, heart palpitations, menstrual disorders, adverse pregnancy outcomes, shingles, tinnitus, Bell's palsy, blood clotting disorders and lymphoma. And of course, there is an unknown number of harms that will only emerge in months and years to come, as the full consequences of the deployment of novel technologies with no long-term safety data, onto billions of people - most of whom were at negligible risk of serious illness from SARS-CoV-2 infection - become evident.
On a final note, the truly ethical approach to protecting the health of gravely ill people while they wait for a suitable donor organ, and after they've received one, would be to prescribe a safe, effective and inexpensive prophylaxis regime comprising nutraceuticals, off-patent pharmaceuticals and lifestyle changes:
Random effects meta-analysis of prophylaxis studies (pooled effects). Treatments with ≤3 studies with distinct authors or with <50 control events are shown in grey. Pooled results across all outcomes are affected by the distribution of outcomes tested, please see detail pages for specific outcome analysis. Protocols typically combine multiple treatments which may be complementary and synergistic, and the SOC in studies often includes other treatments.
But that's just not going to happen, is it?
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