Discover more from Die Fackel 2.0
Covid in Norway--Vaxx Injuries Edition: Pandemrix (2009 swine flu) caused a fraction of AEs and was shut down: this time *is* different, ain't it?
AEs associated with the Covid-19 products cause many more AEs, severe AEs, and deaths, yet we continue to 'offer' them to the public: a history of (lack of) accountability and BS-peddling
Introductory background: As some of you may care to remember, in the second half of February 2022 I went through the Norwegian Medicines Agency’s (NMA) report on (suspected) adverse events (AE) associated with, or occurring at least in close temporal proximity to, the administration of the currently available Covid-19 injections. The length of the reports, of which the NMA publishes an update every two weeks (with the next one due on 17 March), is quite considerable, and the reason is, of course, that there’s not a product in history that has caused as many (suspected) AEs as the products by AstraZeneca, J&J, BioNTech/Pfizer, and Moderna.
You may find my take-down here:
Part 1, which includes comments on menstrual disturbances (which drastically increased after the mRNA injections)
Part 2 discusses also adverse evets among 0-11yo (who weren’t ‘eligible’ to get injected with these products in the first place)
And part 3, in which we looked at the variety of symptoms (presumably) associated with these biologicals, incl. in particular serious cardiac complications (pericarditis and myocarditis).
The current report of the NMA may be obtained here (as of 1 March 2022).
Today’s post, though, isn’t going to be a reprisal of the extensive accounting I did a month ago; I shall first briefly go through the main points of the current report, but I would like to do something else with this post: provide you with context.
Brief Recap of the Current AE Report
There is a summary page (p. 3, my emphasis), which seeks to explain (placate) those few members of the public who presumably read it that there are many reasons for the large number of AEs, including:
that a large share of the general population has received these products in a short period of time
that these products cause severe reactions in more people than we are used to from other vaccines, hence many experience common side effects
that it has become easy to report suspected AEs online (previously, healthcare workers had to file a paper form)
that clear information about AEs has increased awareness among both healthcare workers and the population, which results in a more attentive public and more reporting in general
that there is a duty on part of healthcare workers to report serious AEs after injection
Most common AEs are very much temporary and occur in the first 2-3 days, whereas serious AEs are hard to identify as they overlap with a number of widespread conditions.
Hypothesis: could it be, then, that these products make already prevalent conditions worse, thereby driving, at least in part, the overall increase in incidental Covid-associated hospitalisations since September/October of 2022? I mean, the most recently available update by the Norwegian Institute of Health (IPH) clearly shows a drastic increase in exactly these incidental Covid-associated admissions (Fig. 1, source here, p. 6; my take is here)
Be that as it may for now, the NMA now lists four ‘thematic websites on AEs’, which include inflammation of the heart—myocarditis and pericarditis, menstrual disturbances, coagulation of the blood (clotting), and AEs among the young. At least the Norwegians are moving ‘beyond’ the notion that there’s only heart inflammation to consider.
If you click on esp. the comparatively ‘new’ addition of AEs among the young, which gives a list breakdown of the AEs that are ‘more common among the young than the old’, which ‘can be expected 1-2 days after injection’:
Injection site pain (80%)
Muscle pain and chills (30%)
Joint pain (20%)
Fever and swelling at the injection site and in the arm (10%)
Nausea and diarrhea
Sidenote: let me share the following anecdotes with you—my kids both ‘tested’ positive for Sars-Cov-2 in late January 2022. Both are healthy and agile almost 5yo and 8yo girls who, truth be told, never caught as much as a cold during the past two years (let alone were sick).
Our elder daughter felt a little bit exhausted and slept badly (day 1, i.e., she came over to our bedroom), spent most of day 2 as a couch potato, dozing off every so often, but she kept eating a bit and drinking; she also only had slightly elevated body temperature. She was fine again on day 3, jumping up and down, eating normally, etc. Incidentally, she only ‘tested’ (slightly) positive on that third day, and her encounter with Covid-19 was that for the subsequent four days, she didn’t like the taste of chocolate.
Our younger daughter ‘tested’ (slightly) positive five days later, and her symptoms, such as there were, never exceeded anything remotely beyond the background (runny nose, little bit of a cough) of a kindergarten kid who rides the bike to kindergarten with me every workday and spends hours outside per day (irrespective of the weather) because Scandinavia. My wife reminded me lately that our daughter complained about a light headache on one of these ‘Corona Days’, but other than that, she never experienced any kind of inconveniences (if you’d discount the fact that because both my wife and I also ‘tested’ positive in-between and our younger daughter was forced to therefore spend two weeks in quarantine with all of us…)
So, why would I tell you these anecdotes? Easy—just look at that AE listing again, and I can tell you that, yes, Sars-Cov-2 did result in some issues, but truth be told, fortunately both our kids made it through this shitshow without much ado. And they now have natural immunity, however long it may last, and didn’t have to go through the above-stated laundry list of ‘common side-effects’ of injections for a disease that, admittedly, we would have had a really hard time telling apart from the ‘background noise’.
So, to wrap this first part up, here are tables 1 and 2 (p. 4), which show you the AE breakdown by sex and age cohorts; note, in particular, that there’s no widespread administration of these injections among Norwegian kids aged 0-11, and there’s (thankfully) no push to change this policy. While the overall risk for kids and teens from these products appears comparatively small, note that there’s certainly underreporting going on, hence you may take these numbers with a lot of salt.
A more detailed breakdown would be table 3 (p. 7), which, unfortunately, doesn’t provide the same breakdown along sex and age as before. If I could have but one wish, I’d go for—please, public health authorities, do this properly and provide the public with detailed data to make an informed decision.
Note the (disingenuous) commentary for table 3: one shouldn’t compare the data because they break down differently across AE categories, age, and (presumably) sex. As I said, I’d like to see these data, and while I’m certain the NMA and the IPH have these data, they are (so far) unwilling to share them…which begs the more-than-merely legitimate questions of why and what is in these data?
History—and Accountability Matter
Still, the main point I’d like to raise here is the following: are the above-related data on the AEs for the Covid-19 products unique? In other words: are there, perhaps, any precedents for the staggering numbers of AEs (suspectedly) associated with the administration of these products by AstraZeneca (halted in Norway in March 2021) and J&J (similarly no longer ‘offered’), as well as especially by BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna?
For context, we may turn to the series of tubes otherwise known as the internet. While doing some ‘research’ into the protagonists of Norway’s pandemic management, I noted the below bird dropping by one Preben Aavitsland. He currently serves as the Head of the IPH’s Division for Infection Control and Environmental Health—in other words: he’s Norway’s point-man in terms of pandemic management.
You may also recall Preben (since we’re both in Norway, I suppose it’s fine to use first names) also gained some more ‘fame’ by abusing his Twitter account and spreading what, in light of the time elapsed since, may only be characterised as misinformation, to say the least:
Caption reads: ‘That was the pandemic’, Preben declared proudly on 6 June 2021.
Look, we all make mistakes, and this isn’t about publicly heaping shame on Preben from the comfort of my (so far) anonymous substack. No worries, Oslo’s Aftenposten has done that (paywalled) ‘already’ in late January, so there’s no need for me to do that.
Instead, I would like to draw your attention to Preben’s background, which I shall do by way of linking to, partially summarising, and at time translating, from a profile done by Marianne Lyné Larvoll Melgård that appeared on 9 October 2009 in Fritanke.
Under the header ‘A Man of Faith’, we can learn that Preben comes originally from Kristiansand, a coastal town in Southern Norway. There, he went to high school, liked to play handball, and certainly wasn’t the top of his class. Brought up by apparently devout Lutherans, young Preben didn’t really enjoy this exposure to faith or, as he may have called it, superstition. This assertion is borne out by Preben founding a student association with the lofty name ‘Reason Triumphant’ (Fornuften Seire), quoting him as follows:
That caused quite a bit of an uproar, especially among the school principal and lots of media attention. The principal called me into his office and threatened me with expulsion. The janitor added he thought I was possessed by the devil. He-he. And the good Christians sent us piles of letters and books. Since the school’s pre-Christmas events took place in the church, we wanted to hold a different kind of celebration in the auditorium at the school. We were going to show ‘Life of Brian’ on video, and that was deemed excessive.
Preben still managed to graduate from high school, even though the screening of the movie had to take place off the school premises. His grades apparently improved over time, which allowed him to successfully enrol in medical school in Oslo. In the capital, he continued his anti-Christian efforts by spending most of his time off campus at the Hedningsamfunne (literally ‘Heathen’, or ‘Pagan’ Society) and the Sceptics movement (Skepsis). ‘Even today in his leadership capacity at the IPH’, Melgård writes, ‘with responsibility for infection control (read: swine flu these days [in 2009]), he has the time to practice scepticism.’
Melgård visited Preben in his ‘spacious and relatively tidy corner-office’ in autumn 2009.
Before we continue—a brief sidenote: anyone who knows anything about personal predilections of people in power understand the corner-office issue at-once. Those who suffer from a variety of pathological personality issues (mainly inferiority complexes, often coupled with the Peter Principle, I’d say) must have corner-offices because they have windows going in two directions. I don’t think this is a ‘male’ issue, but the parallels to middle-aged men who ‘need’ to show off their virility to others by, say, bungee jumping, getting a fancy motorcycle, and/or chasing much younger women are quite obvious. Back to Preben, though, for I don’t want to digress (too far).
So, Preben goes on to ‘splain to Ms. Melgård how respiratory illnesses (swine flu) work (my emphases):
I have drawn a little sketch for you, and you see that a first small wave may coincide with the beginning of the school year. The dotted line next to this point of departure shows a potential main wave as early as September and October, but I think it will not arrive in force until January. And then as many as 20-30% of the population will become infected, but very few will develop a serious illness. As we do not know who this will be, we have to work to prevent it.
Considering the risks of infection, Aavitsland adds that he personally does not live differently than before [the swine flu outbreak]. The most important thing is not to cough on others and stay at home if you are ill.
‘The [swine] flu is transmitted primarily via small [airborne] droplets, which you get when you are together and talking up to a meter away. Everything else is really marginal. Hand washing is good for many things, but we should not overdo that washing either.’
So, there you have it: ‘we’ knew all of this back in 2009, and in Preben’s case, it’s obvious that he personally knew that, too. Curiously, back then, Ms. Melgård also mentioned the following items:
While some hoard anti-bac [hand disinfectant] and school deviant fellow-bus riders, the majority of Norwegians at the time of writing take the idea of [the swine flu pandemic] with crushing calm. Some critics accuse the IPH of blowing out of proportion the threat and thereby creating unnecessary fear.
‘It is a good thing that people view our work critically, but some of their criticism is characterised by hindsight’, Aavitsland opines.
He is of the opinion that the media should bear a large part of that responsibility, after blowing up excerpts from the IPH’s reports.
Interesting, isn’t it? So many things we knew back in 2009, but we have apparently, and very successfully so, memory-holed all of them ever since. Wait, there is more (emphases mine):
There has also been massive criticism of the forthcoming vaccines, and this critique emanated from a number of corners and with a quite some variety. Aavitsland nods during the listing, and he has obviously answered similar questions countless times before.
‘We get the vaccine as soon as we can, and while we do not know when the [infection] waves will arrive, this is not something we can control. Keep in mind that the virus stays here for several years, and there will be more waves. So, it makes sense to get vaccinated, and we are not worried about serious adverse events. Of course, we follow the immunisation campaigns carried out in the UK and in Germany.’
‘We have heard a lot about people getting vaccinated to avoid being seriously ill, but the key element of solidarity in getting vaccinated—that is, the healthy must also get vaccinated for the sake of the weakest among us—has been notably absent from the public discussion about vaccines this time.’ [this paragraph has a bigger font size in the original, hence here, too]
‘This is an important point. The vaccine is administered primarily to protect those who are vaccinated, primarily children with asthma and diabetes, and to avoid serious adverse effects, and by vaccinating the many, there will be less disease in total in society. This is called herd immunity—because these effects also benefit those who have not been vaccinated as the potential of infection becomes increasingly limited. Some are provoked when we ask them to get vaccinated to help protect others, as they believe that they should not have to bear a burden on behalf of society. It’s sad to register.’
Telling, isn’t it? I personally find the candour refreshing after the past two years of BS (apologies to cows) spewed by governments, public health authorities, and legacy media. It is, however, quite troubling—to my mind at least—to read these comments on what is arguably the trial-run for the Sars-Cov-2 and Covid-19 frenzy that is affecting us all in the past couple of years.
At this point, just one more snippet from the interview, or portrait, before we move on as it, too, relates to the present:
Aavitsland is concerned with the challenges of these discussions, in particular as myths and vaccine hesitancy arise as soon as the disease in question is not perceived as threatening…the printer starts working and he returns with an…article entitled ‘Vaccination—The History of What Did Not Happen’ [it’s actually an editorial that appeared in the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Society 126, 19:2504 (2006), and you can find it here].
‘This is an editorial I wrote for the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Society where I am the one of the editors. It is difficult to maintain support for vaccination programs when the disease appears a distant memory. No child born in the 1980s has heard of measles or polio, and yet the authorities recommend that people get vaccinated. Rumours that the MMR vaccine leads to autism have been persistent, even after the allegations have been refuted. But when we are inflating a threat that no-one knows about for sure, and when people claim that vaccines are dangerous, this combination becomes problematic. How does one deal with an invisible disease and a cure [sic] that can have serious adverse effects?
When asked if he considers this a growing problem, Aavitsland answers in the affirmative.
‘It is probably easier to spread such myths today via the internet, plus there is a kind of anti-intellectualism out there. A distrust of the authorities, of academia, and of [expert] knowledge in general, really. There we can observe the emergence of alternative medicine, for example.’
That’s about the swine flu pandemic in that article, but I think we’ve seen and learned enough about what the IPH’s Head of the Division for Infection Control and Environmental Health said about these matters in 2009. I still find it quite curious that virtually all the issues that bedevil the debates of past two years are touched upon, especially in such a frank way.
Still, I think we’d better leave Preben for a moment and enquire about the swine flu vaccines that were offered in 2009, shall we?
Swine Flu in Norway 2009
This brief segment is based on three pieces that appeared on NRK, the Norwegian State broadcaster, which allow us to even better contextualise the above-related public health response to the WHO’s first pandemic.
In the first piece, entitled ‘The Damages of Pandemrix Were Catastrophic’, Line Hødnebø explains that a total of 548 Norwegians experiences ‘serious side effects of Pandemrix’, GlaxoSmithKline’s influenza vaccine that was used back in 2009.
Preben also appears in the piece, and he’s quoted as follows:
‘This is the most serious vaccine catastrophe in recent history.’
Ms. Hødnebø’s piece appeared on 21 January 2013, and in the four years of the swine flu pandemic there were 1,449 documented adverse reactions, of which 38% were deemed ‘serious’ by the Norwegian Medicines Authority. We also learn that (emphasis in the original)
2.2m Norwegians elected to get vaccinated in the flu season 2009/10, and while the disease was not as widespread as feared, many people suffered ailments and serious injuries from the vaccine.
Preben is further quoted as follows: ‘Narcolepsy after Pandemrix Was a Catastrophe.’
Instead of quoting more of the ‘prose’, let’s instead look at the facts:
2.2m doses administered resulted in 548 instances of serious AEs with a total of 3,247 individually diagnosed side effects. In other words, each of these injections caused approx. 6 side effects per affected person.
70% of these concerned neurological conditions, such as headache, loss of taste and smell, impaired movement (paresis), seizures, narcolepsy, (exacerbated) epilepsy, and Guillain Barré syndrome.
55%: concerned general disorders, incl. pain, fever, pain or swelling at the injection site, and difficulty walking.
30% experienced psychiatric disorders, by which is meant everything from restlessness and confusion to mental changes, sleep disorders, language difficulties, and depression.
29% experienced muscle and connective tissue disorders, and 28% experienced problems with the gastrointestinal system, incl. stomach and intestinal disorders, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain.
Some of the affected individuals received ‘millions in damages’, as reported a bit earlier still, again by NRK. In all, three children who suffered from narcolepsy were awarded large payments by the Norwegian Patient Damages system (NPE).
Why this particular sleep disorder, you might ask? Well, it effectively stopped the vaccination program in mid-2010, i.e., less than a year after the immunization program was rolled out.
As reported by NRK, ‘Narcolepsy stops vaccination’, and mind you that this stoppage occurred ‘after reports of at least 15 individuals who were vaccinated against swine flu’—in Finland (!). There were further 10 such reports from neighbouring Sweden, as well as an undisclosed number from Germany and the UK. ‘All these cases in Finland concerned children, and six [of these 15] were confirmed diagnostically’, the article highlights.
In Norway, the NMA halted the vaccination campaign on 24 August 2010, after one (!) Norwegian girl of 8 was diagnosed with narcolepsy. One of the Division Heads of the NMA, one Stainar Madsen is quoted as follows:
There is no confirmed association between narcolepsy and [the swine flu] vaccination, but we take this very seriously and follow developments closely.
Let that sink in for a moment: in August 2010, less than a year after the campaign began, there was one (!) Norwegian girl with narcolepsy (which, let’s not forget, was but one of the serious AEs associated with Pandemrix), there were 10 cases in Sweden, and 15 in Finland. Public health authorities reacted quickly and stopped the immunization campaign.
It took a few more years, but there followed admissions of association and guilt, as well as the awarding of damages.
To sum this up—there’s even a helpful summary on the IPH’s website (from 2017) with a number of linked studies and the like—public health authorities back in 2009 and thereafter were still working (quite) in the way there were supposed to work. From the IPH’s summary website:
We have investigated the association between vaccination with Pandemrix and narcolepsy among 1.6m children, teens, and young adults under 30 in Norway. There was a clear association between [the swine flu] influenza and narcolepsy.
Almost 700,000 individuals (c. 42%) of these age brackets were vaccinated, and some 60,000 (3.6%) were registered as affected by influenza during this pandemic…studies estimate that some 30% of the entire population was infected.
We also learn that the swine flu pandemic began in October 2009 and ended in 2012. There were a total of 72 patients (5-26yo) whose narcolepsy diagnosis was confirmed, and of these 56 individuals received the vaccine (Pandemrix) and 16 were unvaccinated. The average time between vaccination and the onset of narcolepsy symptoms was around eight months.
Here’s more from the corresponding author of the follow-up study, Lill Trogstad; the paper can be found here (below emphases are mine, the source is the above-linked IPH item):
The incidence was 1.4 per 100,000 individuals, and the association of vaccination and narcolepsy was strong. At the end of the follow-up study three years later, the risk of narcolepsy was five times higher among the vaccinated compared to the unvaccinated.
The data also show that children and young people were mainly vaccinated after the flu pandemic had reached its peak. This means that many who were vaccinated also had the flu.
The limited information about influenza disease contributes to great uncertainty in the calculations when we study such a rare disease as narcolepsy. However, there was a weak, statistically significant association between influenza and an increased risk of narcolepsy during the first six months after infection. It cannot be ruled out that influenza disease at the same time as vaccination may increase the risk of narcolepsy, but that is something which we cannot state conclusively from our data, Trogstad emphasised. The risk of narcolepsy after influenza has been little studied, but an increased incidence of narcolepsy after the flu pandemic was also seen in countries that did not vaccinate to the same extent, including in China and Denmark.
The Lessons of History
What are the implications of these considerations? Here, I’d point out the following brief points of interest:
Vaccination during an epidemic or pandemic phase of a respiratory illness is a bad idea, but this hasn’t kept public health authorities from doing so in 2009 or 2021.
The key players, above all Preben Aavitsland, is the same person who personally experienced the ‘catastrophe’ that was the mass vaccination campaign in 2009/10. He either drew very strange conclusions or elected to forget (ignore) many of the findings of the IPH, in particular the division he headed in 2009 and still heads today.
As regards the above-mentioned lessons of history, 2.2m doses of Pandemrix had been administered back in 2009/10, which resulted in 1,449 AE reports (of which 584 were serious).
How do the Covid-19 injections compare?
So, first of all, how many (first) doses were administered? As per table 3 (see above), there were 4,320,657 first doses of all four available, if partially discontinued products.
While the NMA doesn’t break down the AE data by doses, we’ll have to be creative for a moment. The relationship between first, second, and third injection is roughly 2 : 2 : 1, thus (at least) 2 out of 5 AEs registered with the NMA is assumed to have occurred in whatever kind of association with the first injection.
So, a total of 57,858 AE reports—of which 5,589 were classified as severe or serious—divided by five and multiplied by two would yield somewhere north of 23,143 AEs in general and 2,235 or so severe AEs. Note that both numbers are way, way higher than any of the numbers for the Pandemrix product (1,449 and 584), which was ‘a catastrophe’—and there were ‘only’ slightly less than twice the number of first-dose recipients of the Covid-19 products compared to Pandemrix.
Sidenote: I know that’s not actually what happened, but the data being as it is, but ‘even’ if you’d go back to, say, spring of last year before the impact of the second round of injections was as big as it appears to be.
That said, if you would look at the NMA report as of 18 May 2021 (here), you’d see 1,581,000 (first dose) plus 611,000 (second dose), for a combined total of 2,192,900 injections. This is close enough to the 2.2m Pandemrix injections (leaving aside the issue of a one-dose product like Pandemrix vs. a two-dose regimen). Here’s the key issue (tables 2 and 3, p. 4):
Compared with Pandemrix—which was ‘a catastrophe’ according to Mr. Aavitsland—roughly the same amount of injections with the Covid-19 products caused…
9,175 AE reports, or 633% of the 1,449 AEs associated with Pandemrix
8,060 light AE reports, or almost a magnitude more (932%) than the 865 light AEs associated with Pandemrix
950 severe AEs (excl. deaths), or 63% more than the number of AEs associated with Pandemrix
165 deaths (none that I learned about with Pandemrix), of which almost all were due to the BioNTech/Pfizer product that is ‘offered’ to children over 5 years and pregnant women
Three Questions to Mr. Aavitsland, the IPH, and the NMA
Is it too much to ask for an explanation as to why, back in 2009, you shut down the vaccination campaign with a product (Pandemrix) that had an much, much better safety profile than literally any of the Covid-19 products?
Is it just me or should the Covid-19 injection program be shut down in spring of 2021?
Would you, Mr. Aavitsland and the IPH, as well as the NMA care to explain why you didn’t act in 2021?
J’accuse, whatever you say.