Dialogue w Dr. Pedro Gabriel: COVID Vaccines & Heart Problems

Dialogue w Dr. Pedro Gabriel: COVID Vaccines & Heart Problems December 8, 2022

Dr. Pedro Gabriel is a Portugese oncologist, a Catholic apologist, and published writer of “Catholic novels with a Tolkienite flavor.” He’s a good friend of mine. We have different opinions about the COVID vaccines. Here is an amiable dialogue on that controversial topic, from my (public) Facebook page. I’m posting it here at Patheos, where there is (blessedly) no censorship, lest Big Brother FascistBook censor it. In the beginning portions, he was responding mostly to others. Then I joined in on the discussion. His words will be in blue.

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“VIDEO: 28-Year-Old Woman Suddenly Drops Dead While Working Out at Gym”
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[no particular cause for the heart attack, of course. It’s normal for 28 year-olds at a gym to collapse and die . . .]
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I just notice it a lot more these days.
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It is not worse though. There’s no epidemiological data supporting that assertion, except now people who think the vaccines are bad are taking more effort collecting the anecdotes.
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It is not unusual for young people to have sudden deaths while exerting themselves. This is usually due to undiagnosed heart malformations. These malformations are present at birth, but they are asymptomatic while the person is carrying out day to day activities. When the person exerts himself, though, the heart may fail and the person may experience a sudden heart attack with sudden death. Here’s an article about it from 2011.
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There is no epidemiological evidence showing that there’s an increase of sudden death now, and no “documentary” biased towards proving a predetermined point will change that. I’m a doctor, I’ve seen the corpses piling so much in the hospital during the pandemic, my hospital had to buy freezing boxes to store them. Nothing like that is happening since the vaccines were approved.
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So, if you want to say that there’s an increase in mortality due to vaccines—something I don’t perceive in my clinical practice—you will please show me peer reviewed epidemiological studies on that, not a “documentary,” nor social media groups. That’s not how science is made.
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If you can’t publish peer reviewed articles and then you move on to produce “documentaries” to the general population, what you’re telling me is that the evidence is weak, so you’re appealing directly at people who don’t know the process, but will believe you because all scientists who disagree are “indoctrinated” and all who agree are “censored”. Sorry, again, that’s not how science works. So please, present me epidemiological studies that say that people have been dying from heart conductions more since the Covid vaccines than before. Until then, you have no case.
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Science is not questioned for the sake of being questioned. Science is questioned by putting forth an alternative which has enough evidence to be more plausible than the current one. If you have that alternative, you subject it to the peer review process. Otherwise, flat earthers are “scientific” just because they “question”. No, science is not just “questioning”. There’s a method behind it. If you want to make science, you submit to the method. . . . thousands of peer reviewed journals to chose from, beholden to different bosses and publishers.
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I’ve seen corpses piling during the pandemic in my hospital, something I’ve not seen since vaccines were approved. I’ve asked you for peer reviewed epidemiological studies that show there’s an increase in heart conditions. This is something I would request from anyone making scientific claims.
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As a cancer doctor, I’ve used several mechanisms that allow for fast tracking of medicines that have proven clinical benefit, even if they are still considered “experimental”. It’s pretty standard process.
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Even the CDC admits that something is going on here. They don’t admit much, but this is not nothing:
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Summary
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In April 2021, increased cases of myocarditis and pericarditis were reported in the United States after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna). Data from multiple studies show a rare risk for myocarditis and/or pericarditis following receipt of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. These rare cases of myocarditis or pericarditis have occurred most frequently in adolescent and young adult males, ages 16 years and older, within 7 days after receiving the second dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna). There has not been a similar reporting pattern observed after receipt of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine (Johnson & Johnson).
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CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 6 months of age and older. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and CDC have determined that the benefits (such as prevention of COVID-19 cases and its severe outcomes) outweigh the risks of myocarditis and pericarditis after receipt of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.
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Yes, a rare risk. A rare risk is not epidemiologically significant. I remember when the AstraZeneca vaccine was temporarily withheld from Europe because of that risk. Independent boards noticed that the risk was not severe enough—as your own source shows—to stop recommending the vaccine, because not only was the risk not significant, it was also significantly less that the same cardiac risk caused by the Covid infection itself.
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Everything, be it vaccines and medicines, has side effects. What matters is whether those side effects are prevalent enough to change recommendations. Obviously, there’s no epidemiological studies that show an increase in risk of heart conditions enough to warrant changes in the recommendations.
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Stéphane Le Vu, Marion Bertrand, Marie-Joelle Jabagi, Jérémie Botton, Jérôme Drouin, Bérangère Baricault, Alain Weill, Rosemary Dray-Spira & Mahmoud Zureik
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Nature Communications volume 13, Article number: 3633 (2022)
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Xue Li, PhD1; Francisco Tsz Tsun Lai, PhD2; Gilbert T. Chua, MBBS3; et alMike Yat Wah Kwan, MSc4; Yu Lung Lau, MD3; Patrick Ip, MPH, MBBS3; Ian Chi Kei Wong, PhD2
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JAMA Pediatr. 2022;176(6):612-614. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.0101
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Cases of myocarditis following the second dose of messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine are accruing worldwide, especially in younger male adults and adolescents.1-4 In weighing the risk of myocarditis against the benefit of preventing severe COVID-19, Norway, the UK, and Taiwan have suspended the second dose of mRNA vaccine for adolescents. Similarly, adolescents (aged 12-17 years) in Hong Kong have been recommended to receive 1 dose of BNT162b2 instead of 2 doses 21 days apart since September 15, 2021 (Figure).
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Thank you for this. I’ll read your article attentively, though, for the purpose of this thread, I would preliminarily quote this from that article:
“Reassuringly, these cases of myocarditis and pericarditis, although requiring hospitalization, did not result in more severe outcomes than those unrelated to vaccination.” This would include the sudden death syndrome you mentioned.
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I’m not having trouble finding many peer-reviewed articles on the topic. Yes, they’re tentative and not making massive correlations, but that’s how such articles typically approach things (in a scientific manner), but again, this is not nothing. As a result of such growing data, one of the articles I cite noted: “Norway, the UK, and Taiwan have suspended the second dose of mRNA vaccine for adolescents.” Are you saying that those governments (the UK?!) are fanatics and conspiratorialists for having adopted such a policy, or is it based on real, scientifically established concerns?
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No, but we’re not talking about adolescents, as far as I know. We were talking about “sudden death syndrome” and “young adults”, namely athletes. The fact that national healthcare institutions can make these kind of nuanced recommendations shows that the “censorship” and conspiracy theory concerns are bogus. Official healthcare institutes are independent enough to understand that there are populational subgroups in which the benefits are outweighed by the risks, no matter how low those risks are.
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Also, if you allow me to be anecdotal for a bit, I know several patients of mine who have died of Covid (at least ten or more). But I have yet to have a patient of mine dying from cardiac problems for the vaccine. And, as far as I know, only one colleague of mine has reported one such case.
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Do you think Norway, the UK, and Taiwan have legitimate, science-based reasons for suspending a second dose of mRNA vaccine for adolescents?
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I believe that they would not have done so if there were no scientific reasons for doing so. Science, mind you, can only give you statistics and numbers. In the end, it depends on people to interpret those numbers, translating them into policies. But it’s pretty science-based to make a risk-benefit assessment saying: “the risk outweighs the benefit, even if the risk is very low”. That’s what happened with adolescents.
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But again, we’re talking about subgroups. Adolescents are one subgroup. Young adult athletes are another subgroup. There’s no epidemiological evidence that in that latter subgroup there’s enough risk to outweigh the benefits of the vaccine. Which is the same to saying that the epidemiological risk in the latter subgroup is not significant.
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Christopher L. F. Sun, Eli Jaffe & Retsef Levi
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Scientific Reports volume 12, Article number: 6978 (2022)
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Abstract
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Cardiovascular adverse conditions are caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections and reported as side-effects of the COVID-19 vaccines. Enriching current vaccine safety surveillance systems with additional data sources may improve the understanding of COVID-19 vaccine safety. Using a unique dataset from Israel National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) from 2019 to 2021, the study aims to evaluate the association between the volume of cardiac arrest and acute coronary syndrome EMS calls in the 16–39-year-old population with potential factors including COVID-19 infection and vaccination rates. An increase of over 25% was detected in both call types during January–May 2021, compared with the years 2019–2020. Using Negative Binomial regression models, the weekly emergency call counts were significantly associated with the rates of 1st and 2nd vaccine doses administered to this age group but were not with COVID-19 infection rates. While not establishing causal relationships, the findings raise concerns regarding vaccine-induced undetected severe cardiovascular side-effects and underscore the already established causal relationship between vaccines and myocarditis, a frequent cause of unexpected cardiac arrest in young individuals. Surveillance of potential vaccine side-effects and COVID-19 outcomes should incorporate EMS and other health data to identify public health trends (e.g., increased in EMS calls), and promptly investigate potential underlying causes.
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Introduction
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Cardiovascular adverse outcomes such as blood clotting (e.g., coronary artery thrombosis), acute coronary syndrome, cardiac arrest and myocarditis have been identified as consequences of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection1,2,3,4,5. Similarly, data from regulatory surveillance and self-reporting systems, including the Vaccine Adverse events Reporting System (VAERS) in the United States (US)6, the Yellow Card System in the United Kingdom7 and the EudraVigilance system in Europe8, associate similar cardiovascular side-effects9,10,11,12,13 with a number of COVID-19 vaccines currently in use.
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More recently, several studies established probable causal relationship between the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines of BNT162b2 and mRNA-127311,14,15,16 as well as adenovirus (ChAdOx1) vaccines17 with myocarditis, primarily in children, young and middle-age adults.
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The Lancet
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VOLUME 399, ISSUE 10342, P2168-2169, JUNE 11, 2022
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Published: June 11, 2022 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00842-X
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In April, 2021, international news media first reported rare cases of young men in Israel who had developed myocarditis shortly after vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2.1 Since then, many observational studies from Asia,2 Europe,3, 4, 5 the Middle East,6, 7 and North America8, 9 have found COVID-19 mRNA vaccination to be associated with a short-term increased risk of myocarditis. Furthermore, this association has been established using multiple types of analysis, including comparisons of observed-to-expected rates,6, 8, 9 case-control studies,2 self-controlled cases series,3, 4 and cohort studies.4, 5, 7
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In The Lancet, Hui-Lee Wong and colleagues10 robustly replicate the previous findings using large-scale US health plan claims data. Notably, the new study uses data from four health plan databases, covering more than 100 million individuals. Of these, 15 148 369 were aged 18–64 years and registered to have received a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine (53·1% male and 13·0% aged 18–25 years). Similar to previous studies, Wong and colleagues10 observed higher than expected rates of myocarditis (and pericarditis, a closely related clinical presentation), specifically in individuals younger than 35 years, with the highest risk among men aged 18–25 years after their second COVID-19 mRNA vaccine dose. The absolute risk of myocarditis or pericarditis, calculated as the incidence rate within 1–7 days of vaccination, for men aged 18–25 years after a second vaccination dose was 2·17 (95% CI 1·55–3·04) cases per 100 000 person-days for the Moderna vaccine, mRNA-1273, and 1·71 (1·31–2·23) cases per 100 000 person-days for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, BNT162b2. Furthermore, the study supports the previous finding that the association is principally short term. The data indicate that this adverse event primarily occurs within 1–7 days of vaccination, because a longer duration of follow-up attenuated the association. Although not significantly different, the study found a tendency towards a higher risk of myocarditis after vaccination with mRNA-1273 in a head-to-head comparison with BNT162b2 (with an adjusted incidence rate ratio of 1·43 [95% CI 0·88–2·34] among men aged 18–25 years). Similar findings of a more pronounced risk of myocarditis after mRNA-1273 in comparison with BNT162b2 have been observed in other large observational studies.3–5,9
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[12 other relevant articles cited by this one]
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Thank you. There’s finally a single peer review article that fulfills the criteria of a proper scientific discussion. As a scientist, though, I know that there are articles that prove X and not-X all around. For me to form an opinion, I’ll have to see if those findings are widely replicable, and in such a scale as making doctors take up that data and change their recommendations. I’ve not seen anything showing that is happening, though.
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My last comment has to do with your first article. The second article does not have a firm association between Covid vaccine and death, only myocarditis.
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Do you concede that there are scientists and doctors who do have legitimate, research-based opinions about statistically significant risks of some vaccines in certain sub-groups that differ from your own?

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I concede that those doctors may exist, I do not concede that those are usually the doctors claimed in these discussions. Those doctors are the ones who gather strong data and evidence and publish it through the proper channels, not the ones who bypass the system to create documentaries to say what itchy ears want to hear.
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Thank you. I’m not claiming they are claiming that death is a result. I’m just looking for any indication at all that the scientific community is looking into possible serious ill effects of vaccines. I have produced quite a bit already, that raise several legitimate concerns, and I’m not even trying that hard.
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The scientific community is looking into it, just like the scientific community looks into all kinds of things. We are not a monolith, and we are not censored. We are always discussing. I know, I’ve been there. Those who bypass the process of scientific discussion to appeal to the general population who doesn’t have scientific background are the ones in the wrong. My point is that the evidence for “young adults are dying of heart conditions at a higher rate due to Covid vaccination” is very weak at this moment. I don’t think that’s going to change, based on my experience of how science works, and based on my clinical experience. If I’m proven wrong, I’ll change my mind.
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What do you think about the article from The Lancet that I cited above?
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I’ll have to read it. But again, one single article isn’t enough to change recommendations. If this article is true, then other articles are bound to come along to replicate it. That’s how science works.
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Exactly. It cites many other articles. It stated:
many observational studies from Asia,2 Europe,3, 4, 5 the Middle East,6, 7 and North America8, 9 have found COVID-19 mRNA vaccination to be associated with a short-term increased risk of myocarditis. Furthermore, this association has been established using multiple types of analysis, including comparisons of observed-to-expected rates,6, 8, 9 case-control studies,2 self-controlled cases series,3, 4 and cohort studies.4, 5, 7

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Again, I’ve never argued against an increased risk of myocarditis or pericarditis, but of sudden death. Also, this risk of myocarditis and pericarditis has to be weighed against the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis from the Covid infection, which also exists, and which is prevented by the vaccine. That was the rationale behind the AstraZeneca vaccine having been reintroduced in Europe. Though there was an increased risk of myocarditis, such risk was lower than the infection.
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The Lancet article you posted is the only one that addressed that. I’m surprised that it says that there was no correlation between Covid infection and adverse cardiac events though. That’s not replicated in other articles I’ve seen.
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British Medical Journal
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Anders Husby, physician1 2, Jørgen Vinsløv Hansen, statistician2, Emil Fosbøl, consultant3, Emilia Myrup Thiesson, statistician2, Morten Madsen, statistician4, Reimar W Thomsen, associate professor4, Henrik T Sørensen, professor4, Morten Andersen, professor5, Jan Wohlfahrt, chief statistician2, Gunnar Gislason, professor6 7 8, Christian Torp-Pedersen, professor9 10 11, Lars Køber, professor3, Anders Hviid, professor2 5
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Design Population based cohort study.
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Setting: Denmark.
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Participants 4 931 775 individuals aged 12 years or older, followed from 1 October 2020 to 5 October 2021.
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Main outcome measures The primary outcome, myocarditis or myopericarditis, was defined as a combination of a hospital diagnosis of myocarditis or pericarditis, increased troponin levels, and a hospital stay lasting more than 24 hours. Follow-up time before vaccination was compared with follow-up time 0-28 days from the day of vaccination for both first and second doses, using Cox proportional hazards regression with age as an underlying timescale to estimate hazard ratios adjusted for sex, comorbidities, and other potential confounders.
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Results
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During follow-up, 269 participants developed myocarditis or myopericarditis, of whom 108 (40%) were 12-39 years old and 196 (73%) were male. Of 3 482 295 individuals vaccinated with BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech), 48 developed myocarditis or myopericarditis within 28 days from the vaccination date compared with unvaccinated individuals (adjusted hazard ratio 1.34 (95% confidence interval 0.90 to 2.00); absolute rate 1.4 per 100 000 vaccinated individuals within 28 days of vaccination (95% confidence interval 1.0 to 1.8)). Adjusted hazard ratios among female participants only and male participants only were 3.73 (1.82 to 7.65) and 0.82 (0.50 to 1.34), respectively, with corresponding absolute rates of 1.3 (0.8 to 1.9) and 1.5 (1.0 to 2.2) per 100 000 vaccinated individuals within 28 days of vaccination, respectively. The adjusted hazard ratio among 12-39 year olds was 1.48 (0.74 to 2.98) and the absolute rate was 1.6 (1.0 to 2.6) per 100 000 vaccinated individuals within 28 days of vaccination. Among 498 814 individuals vaccinated with mRNA-1273 (Moderna), 21 developed myocarditis or myopericarditis within 28 days from vaccination date (adjusted hazard ratio 3.92 (2.30 to 6.68); absolute rate 4.2 per 100 000 vaccinated individuals within 28 days of vaccination (2.6 to 6.4)). Adjusted hazard ratios among women only and men only were 6.33 (2.11 to 18.96) and 3.22 (1.75 to 5.93), respectively, with corresponding absolute rates of 2.0 (0.7 to 4.8 ) and 6.3 (3.6 to 10.2) per 100 000 vaccinated individuals within 28 days of vaccination, respectively. The adjusted hazard ratio among 12-39 year olds was 5.24 (2.47 to 11.12) and the absolute rate was 5.7 (3.3 to 9.3) per 100 000 vaccinated individuals within 28 days of vaccination.
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Conclusions
Vaccination with mRNA-1273 was associated with a significantly increased risk of myocarditis or myopericarditis in the Danish population, primarily driven by an increased risk among individuals aged 12-39 years, while BNT162b2 vaccination was only associated with a significantly increased risk among women. However, the absolute rate of myocarditis or myopericarditis after SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination was low, even in younger age groups. The benefits of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination should be taken into account when interpreting these findings. Larger multinational studies are needed to further investigate the risks of myocarditis or myopericarditis after vaccination within smaller subgroups.

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Yes, just by reading the part you copy pasted, it doesn’t change what I said in my previous comment. PS: after reading a bit more, the study didn’t show any mortality cases.
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And for the second time, I’m not claiming that it did claim mortality, or that any of these studies do. I am contending that a problem exists with these vaccines that is significantly troublesome enough to warrant rational doubt as to the desirability of suggested (or in many cases, mandated) multiple vaccinations for one and all.
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As a doctor, you’re not convinced. Other medical professionals and scientists disagree with you. Per scientific method, I am as justified in accepting their opinions, which hold that “more research is needed” — which led to corresponding policy decisions in governments like that of the UK — as I am to accept yours. You rightly demanded peer-reviewed journals, and I have produced several, of impeccable credentials.
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And it remains true that I as an individual have a right and the God-given freedom to determine to the best of my ability the risks involved in receiving any given vaccine and to determine whether it is advisable in my own case. I decided that I have no need for this vaccine, because I have a very strong immune system (that managed to eliminate Lyme Disease in the last year as well). Our entire family contracted COVID and we’re doing fine. The worst continuing symptom as a result — between all of us — is a degree of lack of smell and taste in my wife, and even that is slowly improving day-by-day. She just told me at a restaurant last night that she could taste her ham-and-cheese sandwich, whereas not long ago, she couldn’t. Praise God for our immune systems!
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Out of my wife and I, four children, and two daughters-in-law, no one was vaccinated, save for one daughter-in-law. She obtained COVID pretty badly, anyway, while her husband did not (the only one who didn’t get it in our family).
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If we look at our extended family on my wife’s side, the very worst case of COVID (hospitalization for several weeks with serious symptoms) was my wife’s sister: precisely the person in the family who is most “fanatical” about the vaccines. Why? I would say it may be because she is quite overweight.
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I think we can say by now that virtually “everyone” gets COVID, whether vaccinated or not.
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That said, I have never told anyone that they must not receive a vaccination. I have maintained all along that it has saved many lives, and should be taken by the elderly and those with serious medical conditions. I’m not a fanatic or conspiratorialist about this. I am a rational agent who studies issues and makes rational determinations, just as I do concerning anything else: including my field of apologetics. I’m writing about this today because I’m concerned that people receive accurate information as to the risks of any given medical treatment before they decide to receive it. That is reason; that is a scientific approach and a concern for the rights of individuals to have full information on medical treatments.
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My upcoming book employs scientific method in the service of the accuracy of the Bible. I deal with archaeology and many other sciences in the book.
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Photo credit: geralt (4-15-21) [Pixabay / Pixabay License]

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Summary: Great dialogue with Dr. Pedro Gabriel, a Portugese oncologist, about possible risks of increased heart ailments as a result of COVID vaccines (especially repeated doses).


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