June 10, 2021
Today, the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) met to discuss the current science and data on COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccines in pediatric populations. They discussed whether giving the shots Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) status for younger kids was justified, when they might be licensed, and what evidence of safety and effectiveness would be needed.
Past meetings regarding COVID-19 vaccines have included rapid silencing of critical questions, rushed presentations that left more questions than answers, and unaddressed conflicts of interest.
Today’s meeting was a circus. Mixed in the mess, however, were a few powerful remarks that showed common sense and critical thinking, and there was one public comment, from Peter Doshi, PhD, professor, and editor at the BMJ, that stood out. Watch the below 5 minute video.
To understand what went on in the full meeting, it’s helpful to read the running commentary of Dr. Meryl Nass which she shared on her blog as she watched the proceedings. The post is republished below. It is clear that the corporate-captured regulatory agencies are struggling to continue their game plan to roll out the shots to all age groups in the face of inconvenient facts and safety concerns, and that some professionals within the system who are earnestly trying to do the right thing by our nation’s children are now surely seeing the corruption around them.
Blogging the FDA Meeting on Pediatric Covid Vaccine Licensure/Authorization
by Meryl Nass, ND
1. Almost every member of the advisory committee earns money for their work on vaccines. However only one acknowledged a financial conflict of interest, which was minor. Most of the VRBPAC members at today’s meeting are not actually regular members of the VRBPAC committee. It looks as if the Covid vaccine meetings have been stacked with mostly yes-men and women.
2. Merck managed to insert an employee as a non-voting member today.
3. Stanley Perlman is a member today. He signed the Lancet March 7 letter that was intended to enforce the natural origin theory of Covid!
4. Eric Rubin, editor-in-chief of the NEJM, is a member today. He published a fabricated study by the Surgiphere group, the same group that published the fabricated Lancet study that said the chloroquine drugs kill. His journal has been very kind to Covid vaccines. And today he had the chutzpah to say that we don’t even know if the mRNA vaccines cause myocarditis.
5. CDC did its own unpublished study to try and jack up the risk for kids of hospitalization for Covid. They were caught by Dr. Meissner who points out that the current rate is 0.4/million, very low, and the risk of the vaccine needs to be lower than this. Later, Dr Meissner mentioned a 12 year old admitted to his hospital last weekend with myocarditis, 2 days after his second shot. When Meissner began to beg the others to pay attention to the risks, his mike was cut off.
6. CDC admits that the data are mixed regarding transmission and cases in kids. Having said that, they present their own (apparently skewed and definitely unpublished) data claiming that children get infected and transmit at the same rate as adults. They claim that 0-4 year old children have an over 85% rate of symptomatic illness, which is different than what everyone else has found.
7. Seroprevalence for Covid was said to be 27% in children, using antinucleocapsid antibodies (so vaccinees won’t test positive), higher than all older age groups. My question: CDC is presenting serology data but elsewhere claims it is unreliable at the individual level, whereas it can be used at the population level.
Why can CDC use these data to makes its points but I can’t use the same test to travel, cross a border, or attend an event?
8. Meissner pointed out that the numbers CDC is using re pediatric hospitalizations is from April and currently the number is only 1/4 as great.
9. Dr Stokely at CDC said there is no federal age of consent, and it is determined by the States. Yet currently municipalities are determining that 12 year olds can give consent in states that do not allow it–but of course this was omitted from her talk. Yet the only way that could happen is for CDC and FDA to give those cities (San Francisco, Seattle and Philadelphia for sure) a green light.
10. 39% of 16-17 year olds have received at least one dose of vaccine, per CDC.
11. Dr. Steve Anderson claimed there are “no safety signals” currently for the 16 prespecified adverse events, which include myocarditis and thrombosis. And he had a chart to demonstrate this. Duh? What about the fact we know risks are elevated for thrombosis and myocarditis? Well, they are going to study that in the future. Wouldn’t the absence of a safety signal that has been found in multiple countries to exist indicate your surveillance system is not working as it should?
12. Dr. Shimabukuro noted there are 789 VAERS reports of myopericarditis. 475 occured in teens and people in their 20s. Most occur after dose 2. Over 70% are in males. The median age after dose 2 is 24. There are about 8 times as many cases after dose 2 as after dose 1. I’d call that a pretty clear signal, Dr. Anderson. AND there has not even been time for a second dose in the vast majority of 12-15 year olds, for whom the vaccine was authorized less than 4 weeks ago.
13. What databases will be used to assess safety in those under 18? The first answer was just the VSD and BEST, per FDA, while last we heard BEST was still being tested and inoperational. Later, in response to a question from Chair Arnold Monto, Anderson said just VAERS and VSD would be used to assess safety in younger children. What happened to all those other databases CDC was going to use? Disappeared, eh?
Later, Dr. Kim asked if there were plans to “include millions of other safety surveillance opportunities?” Anderson dodged, saying that “there were other electronic health records systems… we already showed this to your committee…” and then concluded, “we can reshare that slide so you have it.”
Dr. Gans asked, “when we add in all the safety surveillance systems what % of kids will be accounted for?” Anderson was gobsmacked by this simple question whose answer he must know. Yet he very slowly answered, “I’ll ask my staff.”
Then Gans asked, “why not be proactive? All the autoimmune side effects are not on the solicited list of adverse events. Can we add them?” At this point Anderson started stuttering. He eventually said “we are considering doing something similar.” BTW, I have found the “we are considering” answer to be standard bureaucrateez when the real answer is “Hell no, do you want us to incriminate ourselves by showing there are more problems than we are willing to acknowledge?”
And then the expected happened: Monto tried to end the discussion. Shimabukuru tried to make it okay, jumping in to say he would be happy to work with his FDA colleagues on this. That gave Dr. Meissner the opportunity to ask him the rates of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia in young women, and myocarditis in kids. Then it was Shimabukuru’s turn to stutter. Finally he said it is too early to say. This appeared to be another example of not wanting to incriminate himself with a lie, while he doesn’t want to tell what he knows. The reason is that having this number would permit the committee to perform a risk-benefit comparison (Covid hospitalization rate vs vaccine myocarditis rate) which would probably sink both an EUA and licensure in children.
Meissner didn’t stop. “Shouldn’t this risk be included in the Informed Consent?” he asked. Shimabukuru said his slides had the info (but the info would not pass his lips). He then asserted that CDC is committed to transparency and transparency in communication. I think this meant, “Hell no, we are not adding this to any patient information sheet.”
14. The VSD database at this point only includes 121 adolescents who received a second dose. Guess that is the excuse why the myocarditis carnage couldn’t be identified by FDA and CDC before this meeting. Is that why the meeting was held now?
15. It was claimed “the data” only show 1/60,000 doses develops myocarditis. But the Israeli data in young men showed 1/6,000 doses, according to (I think) Dr. Meissner. Dr. Dror Mevorach, who did the study for Israel, says the rate of myocarditis in young men is 5-25 times the baseline rate.
16. Dr. Anderson or Dr. Shimabukuru said “at least 81% of myocarditis cases made a full recovery.” But they only have followup on less than half the cases. No one told us how many had died.
17. After presentations on the data requirements for an EUA and licensure in different age groups, which were set to rely on “immunobridging” even though the antibody test used apparently fails to provide a direct extrapolation to immunity, Monto declared, “We’re not going to have the time to answer everyone’s questions.”
18. Kurilla asked whether the vaccines, made from a strain collected 18 months ago that is no longer in circulation, is the right one given current variants. Monto cut that right off, saying “We’re not talking about variants, because it’s a global issue.” Which made no sense, but got the group away from any consideration of variants.
19. Dr. Nelson pointed out that since the trials were very small, would FDA be responding to small safety signals? By vaccine or by class? Doran Fink played it safe by providing a meaningless response, saying FDA would “follow the data.”
20. The meeting is nearly over, and not a single person has mentioned that the spike protein itself might have toxicity.
21. Nor has anyone pointed out that the animal studies (required before FDA gives permission for human studies) were not done. We do not know the pharmacokinetics in a human or animal body of the spike protein, the S1 protein, the mRNA, other proteins that may be produced, and the multiple components of the lipid nanoparticle. Pfizer injected 2 of the 4 lipids into rodents and called it good. Furthermore, I have seen no evidence regarding the duration during which the spike protein is produced, and what happens to cells that produce it. A study out of Harvard showed it can be produced for at least two weeks.
22. No one mentions what might be causing menstrual abnormalities. No one has discussed blood clots outside the very limited perspective of adult women age 30-50.
23. Amanda Cohn, MD from CDC is a member of VRBPAC. She was one of three CDC physicians who lied to Tom Massie regarding CDC’s recommendation to vaccinate people who have recovered from the disease. Another person who lied was deputy director Schuchat, who has since been fired by Director Walensky. Of course, Walensky has recently been lying about the number of teens hospitalized due to Covid. Hard to find an honest doc at CDC it seems.
24. Phyllis Arthur, from the industry association BIO, was given 10 minutes to provide the “industry perspective.” Why was she there? Why was Merck there? She made the disease in kids out to be pretty bad. She claimed kids were needed for herd immunity, which was disputed in the WaPO [Washington Post] and relies on the claim that children readily spread Covid, which is at least debatable. Finally, she wanted to know whether FDA would help industry market Covid vaccines to the world, or in her words, “assure global alignment for pediatric Covid vaccine programs.”
25. Peter Doshi provided a public comment which was, as usual, astute. I especially liked his reminder that a median 2 months of follow-up being used to issue an EUA was not likely to detect long-term adverse effects of vaccination. It took 9 months to identify narcolepsy as a side effect of Pandemrix vaccine, and 4 months for Israel to identify myocarditis as a side effect of the Pfizer vaccine. Finally, he pointed out that if FDA does not have a high bar for EUAs/licenses, the point of regulation is lost. [To hear/view Peter Doshi’s comment, go to the 4:08:38 mark in the video]
26. Several members asked about studies testing different doses, or a single shot in children, but not a single presenter from CDC or FDA would talk about lower doses. Very curious.
27. Gans asked, is anyone looking at risk factors for myocarditis (or other adverse events)? CDC’s Shimabukuru stuttered and blathered. FDA’s Anderson pointed out that he has not identified a signal yet. (In other words, how could he be expected to look into risk factors for side effects when his fabulous surveillance systems have not found any side effects yet!). Then he backed up just a bit, adding, “but your question is a valid one.” Yup, it may be valid, but the FDA isn’t going near it.
28. Dr. Offit pointed out that we vaccinate for polio, but we have not had a case of polio in the US since the 1970s, so why not keep vaccinating for Covid even after it’s gone? Offit is wrong about polio. We had vaccine-induced polio cases until 1999, when oral polio vaccines were taken off the market and replaced with safer, but less effective killed polio vaccines.
29. FDA’s Doran Fink pushed back against longer-term followup of trial subjects, and larger trials. Instead, he claimed, what we need is post-marketing surveillance.
30. The statistician Dodd, a new member, pointed out that it was meaningless to talk about how large the pediatric trials would be when you cannot make that calculation until you know what you are trying to look for. I imagine the docs who had been throwing out numbers felt sheepish, since she is of course correct. That ended discussion of trial size.
31. Things ended quickly after that, since FDA/Monto had determined the meeting would cease at 3:30. A few intelligent comments were made, ignored, then Peter Marks hopped on to emphasize how terrible the disease was in children. He lied about the death rate, choosing to use the invalid statistic (which even CDC disputes) of only a bit more than 1 million Covid cases in the 11-17 age range. However, serology suggests about 20% or more have been infected, or about 6 million. This enabled him to claim the death rate was very high in teenagers, which is simply not true.
32. Five months ago, at the December 10 meeting of the VRBPAC, we were given an estimate of total US Covid cases at the time, which was over 50 million. Or about 3 or 4 times the rate of positive tests and diagnoses then.
However, today there were no estimates given. The number of US Covid cases, according to today’s federally employed physicians, had dropped to around 33 million. I guess they think it is a better number to help push vaccinations, rather than admitting that perhaps 3 or 4 times that many are already immune.
Now, what was the purpose of today’s meeting? I suspect it was to get a few “experts” from outside the FDA on record as being in favor of quick licensure. Here is my prediction, for which I have no inside info: FDA will license the Covid vaccines for children and adults on the same day in early August, in order to cover everyone’s mandates for colleges and schools. Unless there is an uproar regarding side effects, the vaccines are likely to be placed on the childhood schedule, which is needed in order for the manufacturer to skirt liability for injuries once they are out of EUA status.
Today, a 3d member of FDA’s drug advisory committee quit. It turns out that every member of that committee had voted against approving a $50,000/year drug for Alzheimer’s, and then the FDA went ahead and licensed it anyway. Janet Woodcock has to go. FDA’s brazen disregard of the truth, the data and the science may soon have Americans asking why we spend $3.2 billion a year to fund it.