A 28-year-old physician who was part of the AstraZeneca Phase 3 clinical trial in Brazil died on the 15th of October 2020.Initial reports did not specify whether the participant received the COVID-19 vaccine or the placebo vaccine, however it was later reported that the participant received the placebo vaccine. The placebo vaccine being used in the clinical trial is an approved, on-the-market meningitis vaccine.
The victim was a physician working with COVID-19 patients at three hospitals, and allegedly died from complications arising from an infection with the SARS-Cov-2 virus. Questions are now being asked as to whether a physician was a suitable candidate for the vaccine trial given his exposure to patients with the virus, which would have put him at risk for a much higher viral load than usual.
According to The Vaccine Reaction, it is not known if “the participant had underlying health conditions that placed him at high risk for COVID-19 complications. There is also no information about the timeline between his potential exposure relative to receiving the meningitis “placebo” vaccine injection or between injection and death. No details are yet known about the cause of death, aside from the attribution to “complications of COVID-19” and it is not known whether he mounted any type of antibody or other immune system response to the coronavirus infection.”
The Vaccine Reaction stated that “there is little information about the type of meningococcal vaccine “placebo” the physician was given in the trial and a potential interaction between his apparent SARS-Cov-2 viral infection and the administration of a meningitis vaccine that could have caused a serious adverse response”.
Given that AstraZeneca is one of the leading candidates in the world for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, wouldn’t it seem critically important that we have the answers to these questions? In particular, will a potential COVID-19 vaccine interact with the many other vaccines that children and adults are required to take?
AstraZeneca’s Phase 3 clinical trial was suspended in September due to a severe adverse reaction in one of its participants. The participant developed transverse myelitis, which is inflammation of the spinal cord, and results in pain, muscle weakness, paralysis, sensory problems, and bowel and bladder dysfunction. Only one-third of people have a full or near-full recovery, with the seriously affected suffering permanent impairments that impact their ability to perform ordinary tasks of daily living. The trial continues to remain on hold in the US pending an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
It is important to note that the AstraZeneca AZD1222 vaccine uses a genetically engineered adenovirus that causes common cold symptoms in chimpanzees and contains the genetic material of the SARS-Cov-2 virus surface spike protein. “No adenovirus-based vaccine has been successfully developed for uses in humans, and questions have been raised about the approach.”
The tragic death of this 28-year-old physician raises serious concerns. Did the participant die after receiving the meningitis vaccine, a vaccine that is part of the National Immunisation Program Schedule in Australia and administered to children at 12 months of age? Aren’t we led to believe that this vaccine is safe and effective? If this vaccine can have such devastating consequences in a 28-year-old, what are the consequences in children with developing immune systems? Which raises another question, why is the trial using a meningitis vaccine in the placebo group rather than an inert saline solution? And why is the trial continuing in Brazil and the UK, whilst it is still on hold in the US?
The Morrison government has already stated that they plan to make the vaccine as “mandatory as possible” should a vaccine become available. AstraZeneca is developing a vaccine that has never been successfully trialled in humans, it is being rushed to market, and no long-term safety or efficacy studies have been completed. Would you feel safe taking this vaccine? Would you feel safe with your children taking this vaccine?
Where there is risk, there must be choice.