Antivaccine nonsense Bad science Medicine

Bell’s palsy, syncope, and death: The impending antivax tsunami of fake COVID-19 vaccine “adverse reactions”

Reports of Bell’s palsy and syncopy after vaccination with RNA-based COVID-19 vaccines remind us how antivaxxers will weaponize anything bad happening after vaccination. Sadly, I predict an impending tsunami of confusing correlation with causation.

[Orac note: Orac has (mostly) decided to take this week off, having finally learned that taking a week off every now and then is good for me and for the blog, particularly when there’s so much harmful pseudoscience about the pandemic being spread. So if this post about Bell’s palsy and other COVID-19 “adverse reactions” looks familiar, you’ll know why—but also know that I did revise the post a bit. It’s still timely, though, and I might even start the new year off with a post tomorrow. If I don’t, fear not, I’ll be back on Monday and try to get back to full speed as rapidly as possible.]

With emergency use approvals (EUAs) having been granted by the FDA to two mRNA vaccines against COVID-19, one manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech and the other developed by Moderna, with more likely to follow in the coming months, we are on the cusp of what is likely to be the largest mass vaccination program in history. It’s a program that is likely to take many months to achieve even in wealthy “First World” countries, given the logistics of manufacturing, distributing, and administering vaccines, one of which requires an ultracold storage temperature. As vaccines roll out, first to tens of thousands and then to tens of millions, it is inevitable that there will be adverse reactions attributed to them. The question will then become: Did the vaccine cause the adverse reaction? You can bet that the antivaccine movement and the COVID-19 cranks will blame every adverse health event after administration of any of the COVID-19 vaccines that are just starting to find their way into the arms of frontline healthcare workers and the most vulnerable, and I’m worried that we in the science-based medicine community might not be sufficiently prepared for the tsunami of bad epidemiology that is to come.

What led me to think about this was this story:

A volunteer who signed up for Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine trial was struck by lightning 28 days after receiving the injection. That 72 year-old volunteer, whose name and gender have been withheld, met with the freak accident after getting an actual shot of Moderna’s vaccine, rather than the placedo [sic], during the second phase of the vaccine’s trials. The bizarre incident was revealed in the US Food and Drug Administration’s written media briefing into the safety of Moderna’s new vaccine. Doctors diagnosed the lightning strike victim with arrhythmia – an irregular heart beat – believed to have been caused by the strike. No further updates have been provided on the volunteer’s condition. The incident comprised one of three Serious Adverse Effects (SAEs) suffered by study participants who received the real vaccine – with all of those health scares deemed unrelated to the shot itself.

This led to a sarcastic comment that I couldn’t resist Tweeting:

Others couldn’t resist, either:

You get the idea.

Obviously, it’s utterly ridiculous to conclude that a vaccine can somehow make its recipient more likely to be the victim of a lighting strike or, to put it in simpler terms, that a vaccine will attract lightning. There’s no plausible scientific mechanism for a vaccine (or even an implanted microchip, if there were one in COVID-19 vaccines) to accomplish this. That’s why I and my fellow advocates of science-based medicine made jokes about it. It’s also why I chose to use this particular example to illustrate that most adverse events (AEs) in large clinical trials of vaccines involving tens of thousands of people are more likely to be coincidence than due to the vaccine. Other examples include people getting hit by cars, which happens in large clinical trials, events that are included in the AEs listed. The key problem in such clinical trials is to differentiate AEs that are likely to be due to the vaccine versus AEs that are not. Of course, antivaxxers either don’t understand this key distinction or willfully ignore it in the service of spreading disinformation, but I can see these sorts of stories doing harm in persuading people to accept COVID-19 vaccines.

What I’m going to do in this post is to look at a couple of AEs being attributed to COVID-19 vaccines and, hopefully, by discussing them, help you understand how to look at them. You know the press will hype them. You know antivaxxers will go wild over them. What I’m hoping to achieve in this post is to provide some of the tools for you to critically examine these claims. I’ll look at two claims and then circle back to review them in the context of determining causality. One occurred during the clinical trials, and one occurred after vaccination after the EUA.

Tiffany Dover and the case of vasovagal syncope

Tiffany Dover is a nurse who was caught on video fainting after having received the COVID-19 vaccine, leading to stories like this, from the ever-sensationalistic New York Post:

This is the scary a moment a nurse who had just received the coronavirus vaccine at a Tennessee hospital told reporters she was feeling dizzy and then fainted. Nurse manager Tiffany Dover received the Pfizer-BioNTech jab at CHI Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga on Thursday and was giving a press briefing when she began to trail off, according to WTVC-9. “All of my staff, you know, we are excited to get the vaccine. We are in the COVID unit, so therefore, you know, my team will be getting first chances to get the vaccine,” Dover said. “And I know that it’s really … Sorry, I’m feeling really dizzy,” she continued. One of the doctors behind her caught her as she passed out about 17 minutes after receiving the shot. “It just hit me all of a sudden, I could feel it coming on. I felt a little disoriented, but I feel fine now, and the pain in my arm is gone,” Dover said after recovering. Doctors said the episode was not related to the ingredients in the vaccine.

And here’s the video:

That story ran on Friday. By Saturday, antivaxxers were claiming that Tiffany Dover was in bad shape (or even dead) and that CHI Memorial Hospital and the CDC were covering it up:


And, in case you’re wondering:

So what happened? Anyone in primary care, emergency medicine, or involved in any activity in medicine in which patient blood draws, injections, or vaccinations are involved knows that this was almost certainly nothing more than vasovagal syncope, a very common reaction to needlesticks. This phenomenon is not rare. It’s actually far from rare, so much so that the CDC has a webpage that discusses fainting after vaccination, which usually occurs within 15 minutes and can sometimes even happen before vaccination in response to just the sight of the needle. It’s the reason why people receiving vaccinations are usually observed for 15-30 minutes afterward. As the CDC notes:

Fainting can be triggered by many types of medical procedures. In fact, CDC has received reports of people fainting after nearly all vaccines. Fainting after getting a vaccine is most commonly reported after three vaccines given to adolescents: HPV, MCV4, and Tdap. Because the ingredients of these three vaccines are different, yet fainting is seen with all of them, scientists think that fainting is due to the vaccination process and not to the vaccines themselves. However, there is not yet a definite answer about whether an ingredient of the vaccines is responsible for the fainting or if adolescents are simply more likely than children or adults to experience fainting.

The CDC also has studied the issue before, for example, in this study undertaken because of reports of vasovagal syncope after vaccination with HPV vaccines, in which CDC investigators examined reports from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The CDC found:

A total of 463 reports of postvaccination syncope during January 1, 2005–July 31, 2007 (Figure), were identified among persons aged >5 years, compared with 203 reports during 2002–2004. The rate of reports for postvaccination syncope among persons aged >5 years were as follows: 0.30 reports per million doses distributed in 2002, 0.35 per million doses distributed in 2003, 0.28 per million doses distributed in 2004, 0.31 per million doses distributed in 2005, and 0.54 per million doses distributed in 2006. Compared with reports received during 2002–2004, those received during 2005–2007 were more likely to involve females (61.1% versus 77.5%) or persons aged 11–18 years (47.3% versus 62.0%) (Table). In 292 (63.1%) of the 463 reports during 2005–2007, syncope was associated with at least one of the following recently approved and recommended adolescent vaccines: MCV4, Tdap, and HPV. Thirty-three (7.1%) of the 463 postvaccination syncope reports during 2005–2007 were coded as serious (Table); the percentage was not substantially different from the corresponding 20 (9.9%) serious reports during the earlier comparison period. After clinical review, seven of the reports coded as serious were excluded because they were either not compatible with the diagnosis of syncope (n = 4) or did not meet the criteria of seriousness (n = 3); 26 reports of serious adverse events were analyzed further. The 26 patients ranged in age from 11 to 84 years (median: 18 years), and 20 (76.9%) were female. Similar to the findings for syncope reports overall, females aged 11–18 years accounted for the largest number of serious syncope reports (n = 11 [42.3%]). Among the 23 patients for whom times of vaccination and syncope onset were indicated, 12 (52.2%) occurred within 5 minutes of vaccination, and 16 (69.6%) occurred within 15 minutes. Ten of the 26 serious reports indicated that secondary injuries occurred after syncope, including head injuries (n = 9) after syncope-related falls and a motor-vehicle incident (n = 1) because the patient lost consciousness while driving. Seven (70.0%) of the 10 secondary injuries occurred within 15 minutes of vaccination.

Meanwhile, it turns out that the video was deceptively edited, leaving out how rapidly Dover recovered and how she explained right after recovering:

After getting the shot, Dover began to feel lightheaded and then passed out, which was shown in the news clip. Shortly afterward, she explained to the TV reporter, “I have a history of having an overactive vagal response and, so, with that, if I have pain from anything — hang nail or I stub my toe — I can just pass out.” Dover reported that she was “feeling fine” after her fainting episode. “The pain in my arm is very minimal, actually, but it doesn’t take much,” she said, estimating that she has fainted “six times in the last six weeks.” The hospital issued a statement the following day quoting Dr. Jesse Tucker saying, “The fainting episode is not an adverse reaction to the vaccine, but related to her medical condition.” An “overactive vagal response” basically means that nerves controlling heartbeat and blood pressure send the wrong signal — slowing the heart while expanding blood vessels — and blood pools in the legs, so the brain doesn’t get enough oxygen. This response is often triggered by pain and causes a person to faint. It’s “quite common,” according to a description from Cedars-Sinai, which explained that the condition “most often affects children and young adults, but it can happen at any age.”

Pediatrician Dr. Vincent Iannelli has discussed the issue of fainting after vaccination in depth. He points out that the most common reports are of teens receiving adolescent vaccines, especially girls receiving Gardasil, but that the “CDC has received reports of people fainting after nearly all vaccine..” What amazes me, in fact, is that, a few days after mass vaccination of healthcare workers and nursing home residents and workers, we haven’t seen a whole lot of reports of syncope after COVID-19 vaccination and a lot of examples of healthcare workers being caught on camera fainting.

Pointing to a common phenomenon that generally doesn’t have anything to do with specific vaccines but the needle and the pain, and using it to demonize vaccines, is an old antivaccine trope. It became a particularly common and favorite technique after Gardasil was approved and so many adolescents started getting vaccinated, as syncope after vaccination appears to be more common in that age group by claiming that HPV vaccines cause postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). Dr. Iannelli has also discussed POTS, quoting the CDC regarding whether HPV vaccination can cause POTS:

POTS is a condition that causes lightheadedness or fainting and a rapid increase in heartbeat upon standing. The cause is unknown, but doctors think POTS may be associated with a number of risk factors and syndromes, including: a recent viral illness, physical deconditioning, chronic fatigue syndrome and nervous system problems.

After citing a number of studies that fail to find evidence of correlation between vaccination and POTS, Dr. Iannelli further notes that the reason there appears to be a correlation between POTS and HPV vaccination that does not indicate causation is probably this:

But why has the focus been on the HPV vaccines? It is an easy association to notice, after all POTS begins to occur right around when the HPV vaccines are given (teen years) and the HPV vaccines are given in many different countries. Most other vaccines that we give to teens in the United States, including Tdap and the meningococcal vaccines, aren’t as widely used in other countries. But remember, POTS isn’t a new diagnosis. That anti-vaccine groups are latching onto it to scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids is.

Again, I’m actually pleasantly surprised that there’s only been one high profile example of fainting after COVID-19 vaccination a few days into the vaccine rollout, but I expect to see a lot more of this as the vaccines find their way to more and more people. I also expect to see antivaxxers attempt to link the COVID-19 vaccine to POTS, the way they have with HPV vaccines.

But what about a less obvious example? I started with a ridiculously obvious example of confusing correlation of an AE after COVID-19 vaccination with causation, moved to a more plausible example, and now I’m going to discuss a still more plausible example that might be related to COVID-19 vaccination but, far more likely, is not.

Bell’s palsy and COVID-19 vaccination

Also last week were reports that there was an increased incidence of Bell’s palsy observed in the clinical trials used to gain the EUAs for the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. Before I delve into these observations, let’s review what Bell’s palsy is. Bell’s palsy, also known as idiopathic facial paralysis is a type of facial paralysis in which the facial nerve on one side ceases to work correctly, resulting in muscle weakness or paralysis on that side of the face. It’s actually a surprisingly common condition, almost always self-limited, and resolves within a few weeks – but it can be, as you might imagine, quite striking and disturbing. Often, the symptoms of Bell’s palsy arise one or two weeks after an infection, such as a cold, ear infection, or eye infection. Symptoms usually appear fairly abruptly and are characterized by a droopy appearance to one side of the face, as you might see after a stroke. Rarely, Bell’s palsy can affect both sides of the face.

Bell's palsy
Bell’s palsy.

Other symptoms can include:

  • drooling
  • difficulty eating and drinking
  • an inability to make facial expressions, such as smiling or frowning
  • facial weakness
  • muscle twitches in the face
  • dry eye and mouth
  • headache
  • sensitivity to sound
  • irritation of the eye on the involved side

Even though Bell’s palsy is usually self-limited, it is important to distinguish it from other conditions that can cause unilateral facial paralysis, such as a stroke or brain tumor. In any event, the root cause is inflammation and/or compression of the seventh cranial nerve (facial nerve). The exact cause is not known, but in general it’s believed that it’s probably triggered by a viral infection. Some infections that have been associated with Bell’s palsy include:

  • herpes simplex, which causes cold sores and genital herpes
  • sarcoidosis, which causes organ inflammation
  • herpes zoster virus, which causes chickenpox and shingles
  • Epstein-Barr virus, which causes mononucleosis
  • Lyme disease

Other risk factors for the condition include pregnancy, diabetes, family history, and lung infections. The treatment is expectant, waiting for the symptoms to resolve, but certain medications can help, including corticosteroids to decrease the inflammation, antiviral medications or antibiotics (if it’s thought that an infection caused the palsy), pain medications, and eye drops to keep the eye on the affected side from drying out because the eyelid can’t be closed all the way. Most affected individuals (75%) will recover within three to six months without treatment.

So now let’s get to the reports:

A 54-page staff report released Tuesday said there were four reported cases of Bell’s palsy among Moderna’s more than 30,000 clinical trial participants. Three of the participants who got Bell’s palsy also received the vaccine instead of a placebo shot. Pfizer’s trial similarly had four reported cases of Bell’s palsy out of some 43,000 participants. All four Bell’s palsy cases in Pfizer’s trial got the vaccine and not the placebo.


Two of the cases of Bell’s palsy among Moderna’s vaccine group have since “resolved” while one was still ongoing at the time of the report, the FDA staff said. The vaccinated participants experienced the paralysis between 22 days and 32 days following inoculation, they said.

Wow! This sounds scary, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s not. How can I say that? Easy. All I have to do is to compare what is observed in the clinical trial with the background incidence of Bell’s palsy in the general population:

In the general population, having nothing to do with Covid-19 nor the Covid-19 vaccine, approximately 40,000 individuals develop Bell’s palsy annually in the United States, or approximately 1 in 10,000. In both groups of vaccine trial participants, the rate (1 in 10,000) was commensurate with the incidence of sudden facial paralysis in the general population.

It should also be noted that the claim that vaccines can cause Bell’s palsy is not new. A couple of years ago, über-quack Dr. Joe Mercola was peddling the myth that vaccines cause Bell’s palsy by citing a study that examined VAERS reports. Dr. Iannelli noted that none of the cases were verified to determine if the Bell’s palsy was real or actually caused by a vaccine. (That is, of course, a general problem with VAERS.) He also noted that there haven’t been any studies that find a convincing link between vaccination and Bell’s palsy other than an inactivated intranasal influenza vaccine that was only used in Switzerland during the 2000-01 flu season, was associated with an increased risk of Bell’s palsy. Other than that, though, there isn’t much of anything.

It’s very, very important when evaluating AEs after vaccination to be aware of the background rate of that particular condition in the general population not receiving the vaccine. In this case, the number of cases observed in the groups receiving the vaccine is actually lower than what we would expect to observe in the general population. What’s actually weird is how few cases were observed in the groups not receiving the vaccine. This indicates that this observed correlation is likely not causative. Obviously, patients need to be followed longer, to see if the incidence over a whole year ends up being worrisome, but at this point it appears unlikely that either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines cause Bell’s palsy, at least based on the current clinical trials.

This is why the FDA has stated:

Our working hypothesis is this just was an imbalance in background rates like we’ve seen in other trials, but we’ll make sure that we’re going to actually query for that just to bring that question to close

That’s another important point. This observed correlation is not being swept under the rug, contrary to what antivaxxers claim. It’s not being denied. The FDA plans on monitoring the clinical trial recipients for Bell’s palsy and the people receiving the vaccine since the EUA. If there is a real correlation that might indicate causation, it will be found. To that I’d also add that, even if there is a real correlation, a one in ten thousand chance of what is almost always a self-limited condition is a small risk to take for protection against COVID-19, particularly among those who are more susceptible to severe diseases, such as the elderly and those with chronic health conditions.

Vaccines and autism

Let me bring home my message by briefly revisiting the most famous “AE” of all that is attributed to vaccines, autism. As regular readers know, there are many robust, well-designed studies involving a hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of children all over the world carried out using different methodologies that have utterly failed to find even a whiff of a hint of a signal indicating an association between vaccination and autism risk. None of this has ever stopped antivaxxers from invoking the ever-present anecdotes of parents who say their children showed the first signs of autism after vaccination. This is not good evidence. As has been pointed out to antivaxers many times over the years, a number of vaccines are administered during age range when autism symptoms first manifest themselves; so, given the millions of children vaccinated every year, by random chance alone a number of children will manifest their first symptoms of autism in fairly close temporal proximity to vaccination. There’s a lovely graphic over at The Logic of Science that shows a back-of-the-envelope calculation of how many children we would expect to exhibit symptoms of autism after vaccination by random chance alone, noting:

Vaccines, Bell's palsy, autism
Like what is almost certainly the case with Bell’s palsy, vaccines do not cause autism.

Also noted:

Additionally, we would actually expect the odds of a parent noticing the symptoms of autism to skyrocket shortly after a vaccine is administered. Many parents are very concerned about a vaccine harming their child, and, as a result, they will tend to watch their children very closely after vaccinating them (even if they don’t consciously realize that they are doing so). Thus, they are far more likely to notice an early sign of autism that they might have missed if they hadn’t been watching their children so closely. To give an analogy, after people buy a new car, they often start seeing that model and paint job everywhere, but that model isn’t actually any more abundant than it was before, it’s just that their brains notice it because they are thinking about it (consciously or subconsciously). Even so, you are far more likely to notice an early sign of autism if you are worried about it. So in actuality, my numbers are likely underestimates rather than overestimates.

Indeed. There is a lot of confirmation bias in these anecdotes as well, in which parents remember information that supports their current belief that vaccines caused their child’s autism and forget disconfirming information, particularly subtler symptoms that they might have noticed (or missed) before vaccination that are apparent on videos taken of the child before vaccination. This is human nature. We all do it unconsciously; the only difference between skeptics and everyone else is that we try to compensate for it. Truth be told, we don’t always succeed, because it takes effort to be aware when we’re falling prey to this particular human cognitive issue. That’s why the correct question is not whether there is an association between vaccination and autism, but rather whether there is an association between vaccination and autism that is greater than could be explained by random chance alone. The question has been studied time and time again and shows that there isn’t.

Still, human beings are pattern-seeking animals. This pattern-seeking behavior is not well-suited to a task like evaluating drug safety. Many of us will conclude, after taking a drug or receiving a vaccine, that anything bad that happens soon afterward was likely caused by the drug or the vaccine, even when it is far more likely that it was random chance (i.e., coincidence), and nothing more. Such is the case with vaccines and autism. The ages during which children receive a lot of vaccines just happens to correspond to the ages where parents most frequently first start noticing the signs of autism spectrum disorders. In the case of the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines, this pattern-seeking behavior will lead many people, particularly those predisposed to believe that COVID-19 is no big deal or that vaccines are harmful and ineffective, to blame all manner of AEs that occur after vaccination on the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s true that some of those AEs might actually have been caused by the vaccine, but most of them will not have been. It will take careful study to figure out which AE falls into which category.

In the meantime, whenever you see breathless media reports of some horrific AE after COVID-19 vaccination or antivaxxers blaming the COVID-19 vaccine for this or that health problem, remember all these considerations and remain calm. Most of these AEs will not pan out as having been caused by the vaccine, but, frustratingly, it will likely require time for the FDA and public health authorities to work out which one is which.

My experience with side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine

Those who follow me on Twitter might be aware that I was fortunate enough to get my first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine a week before Christmas. It went just fine, but I won’t lie. In my case, the vaccine did cause some side effects, although none of them were unexpected or dangerous. First, the vaccine made my shoulder more sore than most (but not all) vaccines I’ve had in the past. The only ones that were as bad were flu vaccines a couple of years in the past and the second dose of the Shingrix vaccine. Second, I experienced a fair amount of muscle aches on Saturday, but timely slugs of ibuprofen provided great relief. Finally, on Saturday afternoon and Sunday, I felt tired and a bit lethargic. Immediately after my stationary bike ride Saturday afternoon, I went upstairs to take a shower and afterward found myself horizontal on my bed. No, I didn’t pass out. I just felt tired and thought I’d lay down for a few minutes. That few minutes turned into a three and a half hour unplanned nap. I also had trouble sleeping Saturday night. By Sunday afternoon, however, I felt fine. Unfortunately, what this meant was that I didn’t accomplish nearly as much work over that weekend as I had planned to do.

COVID reactions
Anyone remember antivaxxer Ginger Taylor? She’s still just as antivax as ever, and surprise! She’s also a COVID crank now!

Which brings me to what antivaxxers are doing now:

Yes, I suppose that by antivax standards, I had such a reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine. Similarly, since right now it’s mainly healthcare workers who are being vaccinated, a reaction that prevents them from working could be as mild as a fever. Since the pandemic began, healthcare facilities have been screening visitors and workers for symptoms and do temperature checks. If workers have a fever, they are not allowed to work. Basically, antivaxxers are portraying reactions like mine (and milder) as some sort of horrible “vaccine injury” when in fact they are common reactions after effective vaccines.

Finally, I relate this experience not to frighten anyone out of getting the vaccine but to agree with those reminding people that vaccines, given that their purpose is to result in an immune response, can have effects like this. That is why some healthcare systems have staggered their COVID-19 vaccinations, so that there aren’t too many workers who can’t come to work the next day or two after vaccination. I’ve also heard from colleagues who had similar reactions, which are not really much different or more severe than many vaccines, but I’ve also hear from colleagues who’ve had little or no reaction. Personally, I view my reaction as evidence that the vaccine is working, and it’s good that I plan to have my second dose on a Friday too.

The point is that there will be all sorts of scary stories about COVID-19 vaccines in the coming weeks and months, and a lot of people will have reactions similar to mine. Again, most symptoms other than the sort that I experienced will turn out not to be due to the vaccine. I also have another prediction. There will be people who get COVID-19 right after having the vaccine, and antivaxxers will claim that the vaccine caused it, just as they sometimes claim that the flu vaccine causes the flu. There will also be people who happen to die within a month of getting the vaccine, particularly when the vaccine rolls out to elderly general population, due to the simple law of large numbers and the fact that on any given month far more elderly people die than young people. Look for antivaxxers to spin these coincidences as “definite proof” that the COVID-19 vaccine kills, just the way they’ve done for vaccines and sudden infant death syndrome (which is not caused by vaccines) and for the HPV vaccine and deaths of teenaged girls.

The bottom line is that the benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 far outweigh the very small risk, particularly in a pandemic. Don’t let antivaxxers and COVID-19 cranks frighten you to believe otherwise. And remember, mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines will most definitely not permanently alter your DNA.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

148 replies on “Bell’s palsy, syncope, and death: The impending antivax tsunami of fake COVID-19 vaccine “adverse reactions””

Well, I’m one of those people who go vaso vagal and I thought I was over it but, while in crazy school, I was in particular pain during a routine blood draw. I looked and the stupid rookie had tried to put the needle in sideways. I noped out and ended up with the orange juice and crackers, wheeled out in a chair.

The media has not helped here — what have they found? 7 adverse reactions?? I never thought I would say this, but I want the fucking jab and It probably won’t be available here for years. This hype is making people nervous and these perceived ‘reactions’ will get amplified.

The immediate problem with Orac’s view point is that he is minimalizing adverse reactions to a shot, whereas the people who did not agree with the media campaign regarding COVID-19 might have also been accused of minimizing the risks of Corona.

It doesn’t really matter the scale on which these adverse reactions happen for either.

The preservation of nature is found very acceptable to most people, so why are humans who are against vaccines held in such contempt since the body is a repository or natural ecology.

Of course these people are going to be closely examining every effect caused by these vaccines. It will take many years to know them all, if that is even possible since so much gets covered up. Like other vaccines, adverse reactions will not be widely reported. For example, certain cancers contain cell lines from viruses that were in the monkeys used for a certain vaccine years ago.

Anyway, my basic point is that if it is wrong for anti-vaxxers to scrutinize every adverse reaction to a vaccine, it is also wrong for anyone to scrutinize every adverse reaction to a viral infection like COVID-19. Since scrutinizing adverse reactions to COVID-19 is what started all of this, how can anyone blame anti-vaxxers for scrutinizing vaccine reactions? That’s the pot calling the kettle black.

“Of course these people are going to be closely examining every effect caused by these vaccines.”

I hope those same people are going to be closely examining every effect caused by these vaccine preventable diseases. For a start, count the bodies.

When Concorde was doing its trials they flew over S Wales going supersonic at high altitude. The resulting boom led to lots of complaints of cracked ceilings, most of which were put down to people hearing the boom and then looking for and finding cracks that they had been living with but not noticed before.

I think that’s the same trick Chemtrailers use when they post signs on corner telephone poles stating “What are they spraying on you?” with big arrows on each side of the sentence pointing up (and a web site you can go to on the next line). We rarely look up in the sky but more often than not if you live where commercial jets fly over, you will see contrails–but only if you look up.

I had never thought of that. I grew up in the country under a major air route. Seeing contrails was an everyday event but since living in cities, I have probably never noticed one.

Oh, I get them from both ORD and MDW, but I spend a fair amount of time just sitting in parks vaping, having the occasional Dogfish Head SeaQuench, and generally trying to stay calm. Talking to the occasional random person is usually a bonus — most of the characters are benign.

And….last night anti-science pseudo-journalist Jennifer Margulis tweeted a screenshot of someone saying they saw someone else praying for their 94 y/o MIL who had a reaction to a COVID vaccine and needed to go to the hospital. Per Margulis “she died”, with no further clarification. So of course it’s being taken as PROOFZ of how evil the COVID vaccines are. Mind you these scumbag, death-worshipping anti-vaxxers (at this point it’s a war against them for saving lives from COVID-19) won’t believe anything from the pro-vax side (peer-reviewed, well-documented, sound science, etc) but any post from them is true as true can be. Bastards.

So how awful was my COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine? I had fever to a max of 100.4 for about 24 hours. I was achy for 36. Sore arm for 48. Very similar to what I get to most flu shots. Much better than how I felt when I had COVID-19 and was hospitalized. But I’m sure AVers will say I’m a shill for BigPharma (mind you I’ve taken all of about $10 a year in free lunches from vaccine reps for the last few years, so wow, that’s some big $$$$ there (s/o)).

I am impressed with the CDC’s V-Safe phone app that I signed up for right after getting the vaccine. Daily it sends you a text msg link where you check in with all the symptom you’ve have for the last 24 hours as well as rating their severity. I don’t know how many days out it will follow me for, but it only takes a few minutes and hopefully helps them track adverse events even better than past methods. To everyone reading this, when (not if, unless you have a valid medical reason) you receive your COVID vaccine, sign up for this app.

I am impressed with the CDC’s V-Safe phone app that I signed up for right after getting the vaccine.

Mind you, an early PowerPoint slide with V-safe data is what’s feeding Gerg’s “3% maiming” nonsense.

Given that you had COVID-19 your first dose of vaccine would be, to some uncertain extent, a booster, so you probably were experiencing what most people will with their second dose of vaccine – your immune system responding with enthusiasm but little regard for your comfort.

I wondered about that, Doug. Guidance was to still get the vaccine but to wait until acute symptoms were resolved. Will have to see what happens with #2 dose. Given that the phase 3 trials did not include people who’d already had COVID-19, it’s useful information to track, though, I will have to look back at the V-Safe app to see if they actually asked if I’d already had COVID-19 (this “brain fog” issue is a pain along with the fact that I still can’t really exert myself w/o profound SOB).

“…if you take 10 million people and just wave your hand back and forth over their upper arms, in the next two months you would expect to see about 4,000 heart attacks. About 4,000 strokes. Over 9,000 new diagnoses of cancer. And about 14,000 of that ten million will die, out of usual all-causes mortality. No one would notice. That’s how many people die and get sick anyway.

But if you took those ten million people and gave them a new vaccine instead, there’s a real danger that those heart attacks, cancer diagnoses, and deaths will be attributed to the vaccine.” from
This is where the mass media’s appetite for dramatic headlines will not be helpful. One can hope they will exercise some restraint but I’m not holding my breath.

“The pain in my arm is very minimal, actually, but it doesn’t take much,” she said, estimating that she has fainted “six times in the last six weeks.”

Sheesh, and I thought I had it bad — orthostatic, micturation, running late for a flight, etc. (still nursing some ribs from the most recent) — but I can usually get my tokhes on the ground voluntarily rather than by gravity.

I throw up instead. Happened at a few blood tests (not nice), and even once I hit my elbow on a wardrobe (even less nice). Funny enough, it never happened after a vaccine.

It’s been over 100 years since the Spanish Flu (that’s probably a racist term to some).

‘A number of what were considered frivolous gatherings like circuses, local fairs, that kind of thing — many of them were banned during the first and second waves of the pandemic,’ Naomi Rogers, PhD, professor of the history of medicine at Yale University,

Here’s a short list of what was then modern medical advice. In 1918

Wear a mask
Wash your hand
Bathe frequently
Keep warm
Get an Abundance of Fresh air
Gargle frequently
Avoid crowds
Avoid persons who sneeze or cough

they even invented a kissing screen

“1920, a man in Madrid was arrested for kissing his wife in the street.”

So 100 years of medical progress, trillions and trillions of dollars on research in the medical field and we are still given the same advice that the doctors gave out 100 years ago.

or we could just do what most moms taught us to do, wash your hands, put the lid down on the toilet, go outside and play, cover your mouth when you cough, use a kleenex, if your sick you stay home from school and no you can’t go to that concert and quit playing “smacky mouth” with the girl next door, and that advice was free and didn’t require a slick multi-million dollar media campaign.

It’s been over 100 years since the Spanish Flu (that’s probably a racist term to some).

Well, it should be called the Kansas Flu, but whatever. One might hope you know why the name is what it is.

Yep it’s because the spanish didn’t have as good pr department back then, and unlike now, google/facebook weren’t afraid of losing market shares in China,Wuhan, etc. But you got to admit that “Wuhan flu” is a lot catchier sounding name than “Covid -19 flu virus” and of course you can’t call it “Corona flu”. “Corona” the beer has a very big marketing department.

the irony was even too big for real clear politics to avoid!

See the pigs, didn’t have any pr department so we got the “swine flu”.

The people of Hong Kong didn’t care if you called their flu, “Hong Kong flu” they were too busy trying to find a space bigger then a 10X10 room to live in.

Some of the people of Asia were still trying to survive Mao and the “great leap forward” so they were just worried about staying alive to care that you called their virus “Asian flu”.

The Ruskies were to busy fighting each other in 1918 to care what you called the “Russian typhus epidemic”.

And those Canadians were to busy playing hockey to care if you called their epidemic the “Montreal epidemic”.

But you got to admit that “Wuhan flu” is a lot catchier sounding name than “Covid -19 flu virus”

No, I don’t. Mind your place.

@ scott allen

“Yessss massa, I be a good colored boy, amma be gonna to to maa place.”

O tlo emisa neng ho itshwara jwalo ka sethoto?

@ Scott
Yep it’s because the spanish didn’t have as good pr department back then, and unlike now, google/facebook weren’t afraid of losing market shares in China,Wuhan, etc.

Wow. hat is the best summary of an of an historical event since since Washington Irving described how Columbus proved the world was round.

O tlo emisa neng ho itshwara jwalo ka sethoto?

Back when I was a boy — and I don’t remember whether this was before or after my discovery of fiction such as Alas, Babylon and The Man Who Folded Himself — the public library had an excellent supply of the proper, old Teach Yourself series. One, with a bit of high-school Latin, still allows me to muddle through Russian, and the whole lot might have prepared me for Thurneysen.

But I never made it very far with Teach Yourself Swahili.

@ Narad

It’s Sesotho. The language I never managed to really learn as a kid, though it was taught to me in school. The best school I ever went to. In the most magnificent country I’ve ever lived in.

I’m not a leftie nor have affinities with either racist or antiracist ideologies, whom I tend to find bonkers; but when faced with the white/black nonsense we’ve been living through in recent years and faced with bigoted comments like scott allen’s comment, I feel myself more and more turning into a white sotho nationalist. A minority, for sure…

Lesotho fatshe la bo-ntata rona, hara mafatshe ohle le letle ke lona, ke moo re hlahileng, ke moo re holileng, rea le rata.

I stand by these words extracted from the national anthem… A country well worth the visit. The most awesome highlands on Earth. And the nicest people I’ve ever met. (Not exactly the most “civilized”, but that’s a trifle).

“It’s been over 100 years since the Spanish Flu (that’s probably a racist term to some).”
“Well, it should be called the Kansas Flu, but whatever. One might hope you know why the name is what it is.”
I recently heard Kenneth C. Davis, author of “More Deadly Than War: The Hidden History of the Spanish Flu and the First World War”, on Brian Lehrer. He explained that the the 1918 flu was first noted at Fort Riley in Kansas, but there was no CDC or other body to monitor epidemics in the US, keeping under the not-yet-invented radar. It quickly spread to Britain and France, probably courtesy of the US Army. All three were under strict wartime censorship and the press couldn’t report on something so demoralizing and likely to aid the enemy. Neutral Spain didn’t have censorship, so press coverage around the world could report in great and lurid detail what was going on there, therefore it was the Spanish flu.
Incidentally, bad as Covid 19 is here, the worst month of the flu epidemic in the US averaged over six thousand deaths a day, a level we thankfully have not (yet) reached.

It’s Sesotho

So I learned before commenting. I should have checked how distant Swahili is on the tree of Bantu languages, I suppose.

I haven’t been able to find a link for it, but I seem to recall it was approximately the WW I period when the U.S. Army discovered that not crowding soldiers too closely together in barracks reduced the spread of disease. The current standard of 72 sq ft per soldier is not that different from the 6 ft recommended for social distancing.

The statistical variation in virus particles with droplets of different sizes probably varies for different viruses, i.e. measles vs. influenza.

But the physics of how far expelled water droplets travel in the atmosphere and float around before settling to the surface or evaporating away haven’t changed that much in the last 100 years.

“and float around before settling to the surface or evaporating away haven’t changed that much in the last 100 years.”

Yes they have, because of central heating drying the air out.


— breaks the virus

— inhibits shrinking evaporation before they fall upon the floor

— makes your immune system in nose-holes work better anyways

WTF MarkN?? I posted that elsewhere. Does thy nymn “Dvorak” mean anything to you?? WTF?

This random eco of yours really creeps me out so I… took no action at all.

You forgot

Distance from those you don’t live with
Get tested if exposed via close contact, or iff symptomatic
Get the vaccine

You forgot

Distance from those you don’t live with
Get tested if exposed via close contact, or iff symptomatic
Get the vaccine

….As you forgot that these 3 things are recommended in 2020 that weren’t recommended in 1918 (social distancing based on droplet studies) or we didn’t have in 1918 (pcr testing, a vaccine to the cause of the pandemic).

Most cases of Covid are from family members, I would guess at this point some family members wish they could social distance from family members.

our department of health claims 68% of covid is transmitted by family. CDC claimed in May 45%.

And yes they didn’t have a way to ID Spanish flu in 1918. But a test to determine if you have it, has some limitations as you could have contracted it, just before your test and the test results are negative and you continue to spread the virus because you tested negative or you caught it 3 days before your test and it took 2 days to get your positive results back.

So our big advancement from science, is advice to stay away from sick people. My point was how little we have advanced in 100 years in prevention.

We were kind a hoping for Dr. McCoy (Star Trek) with hi tech stuff, what we have is sage advice from “Doc Adams” (Gunsmoke).

@Scott Allen Eradication of the virus would be prevention. This is possible only when virus does not have an animal reservoir, sadly.

Ah, spotts and his inability to credit sources.

‘A number of what were considered frivolous gatherings like circuses, local fairs, that kind of thing — many of them were banned during the first and second waves of the pandemic,’ Naomi Rogers, PhD, professor of the history of medicine at Yale University,

Daily Fail

Here’s a short list of what was then modern medical advice.

One of any number of these, with spotts’s custom topiary.

“1920, a man in Madrid was arrested for kissing his wife in the street.”

Same Daily Fail.

So 100 years of medical progress, trillions and trillions of dollars on research in the medical field and we are still given the same advice that the doctors gave out 100 years ago.

Yes, gargling, “kissing screens,” and keeping the pores open. And a vaccine.


blockquote>One of any number of these

That has these implicit social distancing measures: Avoid crowds. You can get the influenza only by being near some one who is infected and in the other direction, Do not go near other people if you have a cold or fever–you may expose them to the influenza and death.

My only quibble with it is the last dot point in the list.

Sorry Nonards, the daily mails verison was “printed” after this blog post and and her twitter post (he post was on Aug 8th, the Daily Mail story was from 24th of September). The items I quoted were from the responses to her tweet. So once again your research is flawed, It’s probably why you don’t appear in gooogliey scholar or academia.

If you go to her twitter page the responses are filled with humor and sarcasim about our virtually non progress in the prevention viruses. As I posted earlier we are still have the same advice of good old “Doc Adams” and not Doctor McCoy.

Spotts, your ability to read for content is abysmal.

So once again your research is flawed, It’s probably why you don’t appear in gooogliey scholar or academia.

On the other hand, your fantasy life is as amusing as ever. Am I still French?

Lots of injuries and deaths from Covid-19 vaccines will not come to light for weeks, months or even years.

Take this disturbing case from the VAERS files, where a young woman who received Gardasil fell down a well and drowned, a month and a half after getting the vaccine.*

Was it “vasovagal syncope”, POTS, or just a generalized reaction to vaccine Toxins? We’ll never know, but clearly the news media covered up this Gardasil death.

Chris Hickie: “But I’m sure AVers will say I’m a shill for BigPharma (mind you I’ve taken all of about $10 a year in free lunches from vaccine reps for the last few years, so wow, that’s some big $$$$ there (s/o)).”

a-HA! We knew it all along. I’ve never accepted any freebie from a vaccine rep. Though once I scored a sub sandwich and a couple of chocolate chip cookies by sitting through a presentation from a company selling a semi-automated Pap test screening system (I made up for it by asking them especially uncomfortable questions).

*note which organization features the report on its website.
**Lassie would have rescued her, but was laid up by a reaction to a Bordetella shot.

There were several deaths stories of nurses. I saw at least four. So far, all unfounded, and they’re still hounding Ms. Dover’s family.

There was also this thing by someone claiming to be a nurse who got the vaccine in Tennessee, but there’s no such nurse in Tennessee.
Sarah has done an excellent write up on the matter

As you point out, there will be many.

But, of course, they have no interest in actual deaths of nurses who contracted COVID in the course of caring for patients.

One thing that really annoys me is that anti-vaxxers behave like Bell’s Palsy is a permanent, incapacitating condition. As Orac pointed out and as I know from personal experience, it’s not. I did plenty of things that week and a half; the only activity I had to stop entirely was swimming.

And here’s a thought: Maybe the reason that there had to be so much advertising is that people of 2020 are so much dumber and more emotionally numb than the people of 1919-1920 were. People in 1919 and the 1920s had family and friends they cared about. People of today also have family and friends, but they don’t care about them at all.

Mind you, an early PowerPoint slide with V-safe data is what’s feeding Gerg’s “3% maiming” nonsense.

Are you calling for me, Narad? Isn’t it funny how predictable we’ve become to one another. Anyway, I’ve been reflecting further on the ‘maiming’, and can’t say that I am surprised to read last night of a certain development in UK pertaining to their vaccination effort. I anticipated it in a post I made on the ‘Infertility’ topic.

No wonder the talk now is delaying the second dose and just giving everyone the first dose. Perhaps the hope is to not raise further alarm bells and that the limited protection from one dose will get everyone into the summer months where things will likely improve.

Anyway Guys, when do you predict Dr Fauci and the US will also make this Great Pivot? After all, Astra vaccine is so much easier to store for the world, and it will end up getting more shots into arms; yeah — that’s it!

Somewhat related, I will make this uncomfortable confession: Yes, I am an antivaxxer, but secretly I was curious about the innovativeness of mRNA vaccination. I am now left wondering where precisely things went off the rail. Is it that the Covid posed too steep a challenge where it likely would’ve handled other viruses , or was it that the technology was inherently doomed? Again — Dangerous One, Aarno, F68, Squirrel, Athaic, Narad, Orac — Anyone?!

“I am now left wondering where precisely things went off the rail.”

I’m going to go with the Trump administration’s insistence that distribution is left to the individual states {unless otherwise it happens to serve him and his}. He’s such a fuckup that he may even be right — but it is haphazard and many states are more stupid than many others. To watch this nepotising Nero continue to fuck up is just an expected given. Afterall, he’s got his election and his twitter future to machinate about.

“or was it that the technology was inherently doomed?”

What?? You mean because Orac took a nap? This ‘technology’ looks to be a triumphant success and should be able to do much, much more.


This ‘technology’ looks to be a triumphant success and should be able to do much, much more.

Yeah — you drug dealers continue to baffle me. Maybe if the extraordinary effort and urgency of Operation Warpspeed was devoted to applying mRNA technology to finding a cure for cancer — or cancers!– we would have cure by now. Maybe Biotech and Dr Sahin would have their Nobel by now. Don’t know if I am evening joking about this.

Seriously — wouldn’t that technology be better put to use in helping sick cancer patients in their prime years?! Also, isn’t that technology proving more promising in cancer research?! As it stands, mRNA and Covid vaccination is shaping up to be a complete and utter dud, and a potential backlash may even setback cancer research. Yeah — often you guys just lack sense!

1) Cancer is not one disease, but thousands.
2) Hepatitis B causes liver cancer and the hp viruses cause many different cancers. By preventing them, vaccines reduce cancers.
You really are ignorant.

In both cases, however, the antiviral effects waned after less than a year, suggesting that improvements are needed to provide more robust and long-lasting immunity.

Thanks for the article, Narad.; was an interesting read. So, mRNA vaccination technology is more promising in the cancer field than viral field because there is the issue of waning immunity when dealing with viruses?

“You really are ignorant.”

You are giving greg too much credit. The reasonable conclusion from reading his crap is that he is mostly ignorant and willfully dishonest when it meets his needs.

I’ll keep that in mind. The state tax lien is mostly screwed, anyway. It’s not as though those downstate f*cks have ever done anything for me after lo, these many decades.

Did you actually read the article Greg? They’ve opted to vaccinate more people ONCE and delay the second jab WHILE vaccinating these extra people. Now, whether this is a good idea depends on the relative effectiveness of the first vs second dose. An effective first dose covering more people may be of more utility than fewer people, fully covered. Especially since we already know that we don’t have enough people to carry out rapid vaccination schedules. Meaning that they can’t vaccinate more people while sticking to the original, double dose, schedule. If they were worried about adverse events then vaccinating fewer people, fully, would have less impact than many people partially.

Since this is obvious, even to people of average intelligence and no medical training, you must either be stupid or deliberately obtuse. With your habitual smugness, it’s hard to tell which.

Now, whether this is a good idea depends on the relative effectiveness of the first vs second dose

And, coming from the horse’s mouth, Pfizer is agreeing it’s not a good idea because there is no scientific data that protection will last 28 days after the first shot. So, according to them, we will not likely be dealing with a scenario of spreading around protection by vaccinating more people, but a scenario where just about no one has attained any degree of high protection. Again, where is the sense in a nation vaccinating over 600k of it’s citizens only to potentially see it all come of naught?! Sorry — I sticking with the belief the gain is skipping the harm of the second dose.

So purchasing, distributing and using any of those vaccines wouldn’t be a “pivot” at all.

Thanks Squirrel, something to reflect upon. I also heard that Dr Fauci said the US won’t delay the second dose as the UK did. Interesting! I am now anticipating Pfizer to announce some ‘serious’ supply hiccups. Such a classic Western gun-slingers standoff!

Somewhat related, I was reflecting on Moderna’s Stage 1 trial where over 80% of the subjects had adverse reactions, and I believe over 15% were moderate or severe reactions. I am thinking for a rollout, that would translate to the vaccine putting 1 in 10 in hospital and possible killing 1 in an 100. ‘Coincidentally’, hospitalizations and deaths are exploding in the UK and Isreal, countries that are leading the vaccination push. Squirrel, do you think we will see similar ‘coincidences’ in the US if they try to catch up?

Also somewhat related, why hasn’t more V-safe data been released to show just how ‘safe’ Covid vaccination has been so far?

That list seems to be a bit slender.

As for Gerg,

Also somewhat related, why hasn’t more V-safe data been released to show just how ‘safe’ Covid vaccination has been so far?

This is so rock-stupid as to defy belief. There hasn’t been a “data release” yet, dumbass. An ACIP PowerPoint slide from a presentation about anaphylaxis following mRNA vaccination with ≤5 days’ information in it doesn’t count.

Orac discusses odds and confirmation bias above
Kids receive many vaccines around the time that more obvious symptoms of autism often occur ( e.g. lack of speech and social interaction)- perhaps at age 12-18 months however carefully trained observers frequently are able to discern more subtle symptoms much earlier: Sally Ozonoff’s research has addressed this issue, showing that very early signs can be apparent at 6 months. In fact, parents of an autistic girl, the Cedillos,.used early videos of her to illustrate how she was “normal” before the vaccines but expert observers saw the aforementioned early signs in those very videos.**
In fact, some parents insist that there were no “problems” prior to the vaccines ( see Katie Wright, Kim Rossi et al) and decry studies that look into these subtle signs ( like direction of gaze, reaction to speech etc) as a
“waste of money” insisting that their children were “fine” or even advanced compared with others of the same age. Yet SB studies don’t uncover strong reversals like those reported by parents: if this were happening as frequently as described it would show up in research..

Memory is famously unreliable and the fallibility of eyewitness report has been studied extensively***, People often mis-remember in the direction of their beliefs. Perhaps for some people, having a “vaccine damaged” child is easier to accept emotionally than having one born with ASD because they can then attribute the negative outcome to outside forces ( even malevolence) rather than internal causes- like genes- which might identify a person within a subgroup that is viewed as ” inferior” in some way.

** in addition, EEGs or MRIs can show brain differences even before 6 months- ( EEGs could be used as an early and inexpensive screening tool for kids at rick because of sibling’s condition) . Other genetic data and physiognomic studies suggest the same.
*** some of us were subjects

The probability of anti-vaxxers flocking to the site of vaccine related articles, pro or con, is far above the background rate of flocking to non-vaccine articles. This is strong evidence that flocking anti-vaxxers are an AE of vaccine related articles, and possibly the vaccines as well.

Yeah, I’ve had enough of those flocking anti-vaxxers. I wish they would all flock off.

Bell’s palsy is more than a ho-hum temporary inconvenience.

As I can attest from experience many years ago, it’s uncomfortable, unpleasant and somewhat scary. I self-diagnosed but went to the ER for followup – they did a head CT as part of a CYA evaluation and prescribed probably useless steroid and antiviral therapy. I wore an eyepatch for something like a week to prevent ocular drying on the affected side of my face. It took something like 6-8 weeks to mostly resolve; I have residual very mild facial muscle weakness on that side (estimating recovery of about 85-90% of muscle strength, so the residua is not noticeable unless you’re looking very closely for it). A small minority of people never recover significant muscle strength on the affected side. It’s estimated that up to 7-15% of patients may have a recurrence(s).

So while there’s no known connection to vaccination (a prior herpesvirus infection may be implicated in some), it’s not a condition to minimize either.

I had never realized it was Bell’s Palsy. T had thought that Chretien said he did not know the cause.

It did help in the election and I am not even a Liberal.

Hi Dr. Bacon – Happy New Year! Sorry to hear about your Bell’s Palsy experience. My aunt suffered for several months. She had to work with the public, so it impacted her big time. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

Have you heard Iggy’s new song?

Good day and good health to you.

Dangerous Bacon: “prescribed probably useless steroid and antiviral therapy”

Actually steroids are of proven value in treating Bell’s Palsy. They don’t have an immediate benefit on the palsy, and they don’t speed recovery, but they do lessen the risk of long-term abnormal re-innervation, which leads to synkinesis (“crocodile tears” – tearing when the patient means to smile, or eyelid twitching while moving the mouth). Many people find synkinesis to be very disturbing, adversely affecting social interactions.

On the other hand, antiviral therapy, while carrying fewer risks than steroids, is of controversial value.

Here is a large clinical trial:

Here is the treatment guideline, along with a summary of evidence, from the Academy of Neurology:

I got my first Moderna dose Tuesday. I have a sore arm with a small bump and about 1″ diameter red spot where I got the shot. Feels like I got a vaccine (go figure!). Not as sore as a flu shot usually makes me. Almost completely better today.

Dangerous Bacon: I didn’t mean to come off as glib. I found it scary and uncomfortable too and I do have a few lingering effects, though honestly, I was lucky. But I find all the ‘ermagod gonna die’ fearmongering from anti-vaxxers to be irritating, so I thought I’d jump in before they did. Honestly, I feel like antivaxxers freak out at the sound of a sniffle. How do they even function if they ever get colds?

“There are angry ladies all over Yankee Candle’s site reporting that none of the candles they just got had any smell at all,”

Called my friend to wish him happy birthday; crowd noises..

— Where are you? That sounds like a crowd.

— Pool hall. Everybody is shouting over everybody else because of the loud jukebox.

— Umm…

COPD, stents, he’ll be fine. Happy new year, people.

But Mr. Trump’s unwillingness to put aside his political self-centeredness as Americans died by the thousands each day or to embrace the steps necessary to deal with the crisis remain confounding even to some administration officials. “Making masks a culture war issue was the dumbest thing imaginable,” one former senior adviser said.

Got the Pfizer vaccine Dec 18th. Slight pain that night if i rolled onto that arm. Nothing else. Being me I now worry that I haven’t had a good response.

Oh and my 2nd appointment has been cancelled here in the UK. Is that happening also in the US?

It was being considered in Ontario here. Ret. General Hillier suggested that getting one dose into as many people as possible should be considered but it seems like there is no support for this from the Public Health folks.
There isn’t evidence that the Pfizer or Moderna shots are effective without the booster but absence of evidence etc as they say. It would be an experimental approach taken on the fly and a lot of folks would be (and are) unhappy about that.
Now the AZ one seems to have some evidence of improved effectiveness if the second dose is pushed out a few more weeks so maybe this makes sense.
Just don’t get the three candidates confused! What is the chance that would happen?

Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brasil, is warning that Covid-19 vaccines may turn you into a crocodile but don’t worry it’s a very rare reaction.

Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brasil, is warning that Covid-19 vaccines may turn you into a crocodile….

Or a bearded lady. More noteworthy perhaps is that failure to vaccinate can be published with fines.

“can be published with fines”

Yea, bribes down there can make DMCA-like legislation go away.

But I’m sure he meant* this:

Krokodil can be made at home from drugs containing codeine or other opioids mixed with things like paint thinner, petrol, the red tips from matches, and hydrochloric acid.The mixture is heated in a process often called “homebake”.
The name Krokodil is thought to come from a step in the cooking process where codeine turns into a chemical called a-Chlorocodide, and also because it often causes ulcers and scaly skin that look like crocodile skin where it has been injected.

*source: wasn’t there and don’t speak or read the language but it makes sense that turning into a viable reptile would be taken, even by the favelas, as just silly.

I don’t want the vaccine to change me into a crocodile. Can’t they come up with one that would change me instead into a 12-foot tall shape-shifting lizard so I can rule the world?

We got Pfizer here…everyone had a sore arm/shoulder for a day or two and that’s it. I think you’re good.

I got the Moderna vaccine on Dec 22nd.

Sore arm for about a day. A bit of a back ache and fatigue later that day. 2 hour nap.

Right as rain ever since.

No need to worry about Covid-19 vaccine reactions. It looks like Paul Thomas, despite his medical license suspension continues to sell Dr. Paul Approved Nutraceuticals, including Immunity Orange at only $49.99 a bottle.

“Patented formulation with exclusive attributes not found in other curcumin.*
Neutralize the proteins responsible for inappropriate inflammatory response.*
Faster results with BOTH proteins are neutralized.*”

Not entirely sure what that means, but it should cover any inappropriate immune responses due to the vaccines.

*Thomas is channeling his inner Jay Gordon on Facebook, doing the no-one-knows-your-health-better-than-you routine.

Somewhere buried in comments is one by Scott stating how most hew cases are from whole families contracting it. It needs addressing ( though not because of what Scott said about it).

While increased spread in households is occurring, it’s one of the many ways minimizers seek to discount the awfulness of SARS-CoV-2. Again note that Scott does not minimize in his post, but I’ve seen it increasingly on social media where the poster basically implies that family cases don’t matter as much or it’s those folks’ fault for having a pesky family at home. This minimizing is bothersome for 2 reasons.

First, the virus had to get into the household, so at least one family member had to bring it home from “the outside”, and if one person can bring it in (maybe they weren’t masking/washing hands/distancing) then others in the household can also bring it right back to “the outside” to spead it to others. Basically, too many people either don’t care or have no clue that they have giant bubbles of close exposure contacts right now because they’ve become so apathetic about this pandemic.

Second, I know lots of households where parents are older and/or older relatives are living at home or come by that household a lot to help out/seek the grandkids. That puts these higher risk groups (by age) at increased risk once coronavirus gets into the household, which means family spread is not some benign, ignorable part of coronavirus spread. People are dying who contract COVID-19 by household contacts…sadly now an increasing number of very sad stories of Thanksgiving travel to be with family bringing to to all gathered with hospitalizations and deaths.

Somewhere buried in comments is one by Scott stating how most hew cases are from whole families contracting it.


Chris I posted this back in May of 2020.

When I posted this in July 2020, I was mocked and ridiculed by poster on the site.

I posted these in August.

When I posted this in mid November 2020, I got 20 (yes 20) post replying that I was everything from “victim blaming” to “anti family” one person even suggested I should be “burned”

It is one of the main reason why Covid is on the rise in California.They have a Hispanic population that live in close knit family groups, with 2-3 generations living in cramp housing (all sharing 1 bathroom, and their knowledge of our plumbing system new to them, so they put their used toilet paper in a waste can by the stool), many do not speak english (so don’t understand the PSA about Covid). They are afraid to seek immediate medical attention for their symptoms so they wait until their conditions worsen until they are at a critical stage and require ICU. If you are not willing to just look at the fact and what the contact tracing and all the mountains of data are telling you and If you ignore the science …….. well, and I quote.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
– Sun Tzu

Guess who is last in line to get the vaccine, the poor and the people of color.

To Nonards

I know your not French, you haven’t surrendered yet.
As far as your post that I am a racist, that is amusing, calling a man (ok that is sexist) of color racist, when, according to F98.6 he was raised as a white man in an apartheid country and benefited from his white privilege and you made no comment on his racist past.

The virus is so prevalent now that I agree there should be no ‘stay inside’ orders. People should be able to be out and about, go to the beach; just not attending a pray’n’spray or going in 3×3 into Dollar General or the beer store for a lazy afternoon of loitering shopping around.

Nice new latino girl at the beer store today had her “mask” on. Very friendly, very chatty, started raspy-coughing up a storm into her hand. “these allergies,” she says. “my throat is so sore and scratchy.” proceeds to handle wine bottle with aforementioned hand

Allergies. In January. It’s been in the ‘teens for various days here already. Must be ragweed. I’m going to start having to wear the geeky safety goggles.

@ scott allen

“I know your not French, you haven’t surrendered yet.
As far as your post that I am a racist, that is amusing, calling a man (ok that is sexist) of color racist, when, according to F98.6 he was raised as a white man in an apartheid country and benefited from his white privilege and you made no comment on his racist past.”

Dumbass. I was raised as non-south-african white in a country that was run by black people, in a black monarchy that was the spearhead of the fight against apartheid. There was no apartheid there (how could there even be??). And even then, I guess you have no clue what apartheid really is or was. Fuck me sideways with your white privilege. You have no clue what you’re talking about: some coloured people from the cape region are even nostalgic of apartheid for weird and semi-twisted reasons you’ll likely never grasp.

But I’ll choose my buddies with whom I played soccer at school anytime over you.

Hail Moshoeshoe!

@ Narad

I’m really annoyed by ignoramus like this twat.

My grandmother was Puerto Rican , my roommate is Jamaican and her ancestors were slaves (probably owned/traded by our future Vice President).

I was called a racist by the whiter then the white snow of the Alps, Nonard.

Now you want to virtual signal how “open minded” and “enlighten” you are because you were a minority in a black school and how offended you are, really???? and of course you were always judged on the content of your character not on the color of your skin, by a monarchy, who was able to govern thanks to the apartheid government (military) of South Africa. Get over yourself cupcake.

We are not sure who to give the Rachael Dolezal first place trophy to and who to award the second place Liz Warren trophy, you or Nonards.

and on a side note, you claimed that you had too much work to do to respond to me. what happen, did the lock downs put you out of a job?

@ Tim

Dunno about ice. But democracy is civilisation. It’s a bit of a shocker from a swiss perspective, but I guess it’s just that: perspective… Gee! I really do miss that country!… (N.B.: There was a real issue on mohair, with a guy named Guohui Shi that kind of screwed the market… which explains the brawl…).

@ scott allen

Make me cry!

Call out my filthy-rich-swiss-hedgie privilege if you care. But do not give me lessons about racism, blacks, white, slave or what-you-know just because you wish to score a point that you do not deserve.

If you want to lecture me on the politics of Lesotho, go on… you seems to have to do some catching up to do. Get over your scorn and pride.

“my roommate is Jamaican”

Is that the aforementioned protectionist nazi??

Just trying to fullfill Godwin’s Law since 230 is destined to go down in your wet dreams. Brown nazis. Who whould’ve thunk it?

Stop, Scott. Could you please stop?? I feel it. I can feel it. Stop, Scott… daisy a bicicle built for two… she’s brown Scott… she’s brow…n snot. sh

jk, open all airlocks, purge atmosphere

I was called a racist by the whiter then the white snow of the Alps, Nonard.

I’m kind of olive-toned, actually, but if you think this is “calling you racist,” you’re even dumber (or more desperate) than I thought.

my roommate is Jamaican and her ancestors were slaves (probably owned/traded by our future Vice President)


@ Narad

“I was called a racist by the whiter then the white snow of the Alps, Nonard.”

Though I’m not the full-blown aryan phenotype, I believe I could endorse the “whiter than the white snow of the Alps” qualification.

scott Allen may just as well call me The Edelweiß.

(BTW, I just love these swiss keyboards, with the ß so handy for a french keyboard).

It is one of the main reason why Covid is on the rise in California.

You have a problem here, champ.

As for your wholly gratuitous assertion that Mexicans are too f*cking lacking in the basic cognitive skills to determine where this explicable and increasingly outdated practice is not, y’know, au courant is riotously funny coming from someone pretending to be asshurt over (not being) called a racist.

Oh, and you might not want to be (1) throwing stones or (2) visiting Morocco, Snowflake.

and on a side note, you claimed that you had too much work to do to respond to me. what happen, did the lock downs put you out of a job?

This sparkling entry has but two minor flaws: It’s not just unclear for whom it’s intended, but is also self-contradictory. Maybe spotts can patch that up before catching some more tasty waves.

“Well, the ICU capacity in southern California is back down to zero.”
that was from your post on the 27 of December.
You cited a website that last updated its material on the 29th December.
Try a new update from.

California has the highest new case rate in the US at 15%, with some of the nations strictest lock downsand in further news, in king county another state with strict lock downs

“I haven’t checked in with JP in a coon’s age.”

That was the thread of the 21 of December.

but I am racist…… yea.

So now the effect/affect of covid lock down are hitting poor white folks.

“Mexicans are too f*cking lacking in the basic cognitive skills to determine where this explicable and increasingly outdated practice is.” your basic lack of knowledge of the simple thing called plumbing in Mexico is on display in your post. But then your knowledge is limited to the 5 star hotels/resorts you have been to is probably the reason.
As for the post about too much work, I can assure Nonards that was not intended to target you, you would have to actually work to have, too much work. and I have rays to catch no waves today.

@ scott allen

“But then your knowledge is limited to the 5 star hotels/resorts you have been to is probably the reason.”

Go buy an AK-47 and find a marxist guerrilla to join to play Che Guevara. But, puh-lease, stop make my eyes bleed out of hilarity when I read you.

Go on. Make a difference. You can even get a kick out of it.


I believe that wearing the edelweiss was the mark of a true Aryan/Nazi solider during world war II.

You gotta love that babe, she has more Nards then Nonards.

@ scott allen

“I believe that wearing the edelweiss was the mark of a true Aryan/Nazi solider during world war II.”

So? whatever… Should the Jains starve themselves to death because they’ve been fondling the swastika for ages?

“You gotta love that babe, she has more Nards then Nonards.”

The edelweiss? Don’t care much about it, honestly. When it come to alpine herbs, I’m much keener on the chartreuse.

Stop screwing with your own mind trying to see nazism everywhere. It will do you no good and will only make you look stupid. And, moreover, it won’t solve anything… You’re only engaging in mental onanism.

Also… you’re a bit confused: the edelweiss is swiss, Hitler (or Schicklgruber for the pedantic fringe of french antifas I met…) was austrian, and Beethoven was not viennese… Pick Lake Constance to get a reference point and mental anchor for your history and geography.

I know your not French, you haven’t surrendered yet.

Aaah, that brought me down memory lane.
I may have mentioned it already, I had a great-uncle who worked in a railway station during WW2. When later asked what he was doing, he simply answered “I keep making sure some doors were unlocked”.
Real heroes are humble.

My grandad was POW in Germany. Was press-ganged into forced labor, of course. Managed to get himself enrolled as a carpenter. That was better than getting in the German steel factories. in those places, where POWs were concerned, Nazis weren’t much worried about respecting OHSA regulations. And when sabotage was suspected, they weren’t picky either about sorting the guilty and the innocent. Kill them all and start with a fresh batch of prisoners.

My grandma, in the meantime, was making deliveries in Lyon and environs. Moving a luggage full of food between black market dealers and customers. Including the occasional resistance drop point. A bit like the guy in the movie Transporter. Except without a car. And without guns (1). And the pay wasn’t much, either.
At some point, she had to go “on vacation” in the countryside. Klaus Barbie’s goons may have been sniffing too close.
She witnessed a few “rafles” in Lyon. Decades later, there were streets and places in Lyon she would still never go to.

(1) welcome speech for a new resistant enlistee: “Here, take this hammer. Now, go use it to fetch the weapon of a Nazi.” (2)
(2) Many thanks to the British and allies and their airdrops of radios, weapons and ammo. Although having general de Gaulle making a pest of himself in London helped.

Finally, even with the Covid, today we got it easy.

@ scott allen

“I know your not French, you haven’t surrendered yet.”

I just do not understand why non-French keep bashing French people in this specific way. I mean, leave the job to professionals of scorn, sarcasm, and bad faith. Leave the job to the French, in other words… You’re obviously not up to the task. Let me show you how French-bashing is supposed to be done The Right Way: ™

At this point, I think the best spotts can hope for is being locked into a Starwood “W” with nothing but Jess Franco and plenty of face towels to pass the time. I’m certainly not going to start warming up the Service Center for this toddler.

@ F68.10

I just do not understand why non-French keep bashing French people in this specific way.

Cheap way to play chicken. It’s not like an individual French is going to travel across the Atlantic and show at their doorstep to smash their teeth.
It’s the behavior of a bully.
Easiest to dismiss people as cowards than considering they may have a point.

It’s a common trope/cliché in literature. The macho/bloodthirsty warrior party wants to rush in, the only sane man is pointing out it looks like a trap so maybe it’s not the best idea, and gets dismissed as a coward. He is usually vindicated.
Irak turned out to be WMD-less, and a hot mess. But what do I know?

Weirdly, this meme was started by some Canadian guy, from Toronto, creating a web page appearing first in the answers following queries about French war victories.
I was in North America at that time, and some colleagues repeated this meme to my face. That was unpleasant. F*** them.

That’s not different than using a pejorative nickname to Chinese or Arabs or Africans or Mexicans, or calling them all thieves, backstabbers or lazy.

@ Athaic

“That’s not different than using a pejorative nickname to Chinese or Arabs or Africans or Mexicans, or calling them all thieves, backstabbers or lazy.”

Essentially true, specifically the way scott allen twisted the game. However, watching out for these pejorative nicknames shouldn’t come at the cost of being non-judgmental to the point of leniency. Here’s an example. We shouldn’t confuse tolerance with undue appeasement of minorities. That issue is vivid in France.

These are supposed to be serious conversations. Not shouting matches.

your knowledge is limited to the 5 star hotels/resorts you have been to is probably the reason

Again, rich fantasy life.* You live in Hawaii, spotts, one of the most expensive locales going, Nazi roommates notwithstanding. Have you been to Mexico? California, to visit the 10′ × 10′ “cramp housing” holding 2–3 family generations? Followed them around to document their toileting habits as servants so baffled by the plumbing of their employers that psychological paralysis sets in and prevents them from realizing that they are due withholding of income tax, Social Security, and Medicare taxes and the benefits or avoidance of penalties that result therefrom?

No, I didn’t think so, jizzrag.

As for the work that I needed to — and am continuing to do — it is, in the vernacular, called trying to settle my late father’s estate, fckwit. You might be expected to have a glimmer of a fcking clue about this if only you didn’t consider Orac’s place to be your personal shitter and all-purpose grievance hole.

*Full disclosure: I did once spend two nights in the Alvear Palace, but it was a matter of pitching woo. Great bathrooms, with free-standing ashtrays next to the sequestered toilets. And the Cubs games were actually on TV. Protip: If one wishes to travel in first class to EZE on frequent flier miles, transit through DFW — it’s a two-class flight, so an upgrade to business puts you in the front, where the galley is open all night and entitled assholes actually clip their toenails in plain sight.

He wrote: “If Pence is arrested, Pompeo will save the election. Pence will be in jail awaiting trial for treason. He will face execution by firing squad. He is a coward and will sing like a bird and confess ALL.”

Release the… Crackers?

{Na, he is a highly respected lawyer; Limbaugh told me so. He wouldn’t say such stuff unless he was in the know — he’s being fed* something from on high; There is no way he is a Dem plant to make Q-BASE look silly. You’ll see.}

*still, he should probably have his water tested just in case

Gohmert then seemed to encourage violence as a means to this end. “But bottom line is, the court is saying, ‘We’re not going to touch this. You have no remedy’—basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you gotta go the streets and be as violent as Antifa and BLM.”

Oooohhh (as in expressing alarm and surprize /s), I’d get the popcorn save that the thick husks makes me gag {sweet corn, field corn, silage corn, then, last and definately least, popcorn; “every kernel pops” == “unedibly shitty”}.

you gotta go the streets and be as violent as Antifa and BLM.

So, Gohmert is gonna prance in his birthday suit in front of the cops?

Oof. My aphantasia comes to the rescue but the metadata is now embedded all the same.

Oh Tim, would that this were as funny now, with insurrectionists taking over the Congress, as it was 4 days ago.

I am so over all of this; pandemic, administration, all of it.

A girl was shot in the neck in the Statuary. She ded. It’s unclear from the stream whether this was cops or compatriats that had the butter fingers.

I’ve been having aneurisms for months over certain outlets {looking at you EIB} frothing up these re-trumplican ‘tards. This was inevitable; Going into the parking lot to get my fix this afternoon, Todd Herman (a Rush Limbaugh stand in) announced that there were ‘rumors’ of protesters storming Capitol Hill. He then went on to chastise BLM/Antifa and say it was ‘probably’ them because that just is not the thing ‘republicans’ do.

I get home and am watching the event in concert with him spouting out of an old Freeplay ‘clockwork’ windup radio I recently dug out. I’m watching this, and these people, and these skinheads, and these white nationalists, aryan nation what-the-fuck-could-be-hiding-in-that-beard fucknuckles and Todd proclaims “all the black faces, all the latinos,…, this is the face of americans.” I saw not one.

But, hey; most are in their cars and can’t see the blatant lying for themselves.. They only have the ‘trusted’ narrative from a 30 year ‘reputable’ source.

I’m over it to. One fucking tweet and all those tribal fucks would be wearing 28-ply burlap on their faces. Too late now as twitter canned his ass a bit ago.

Of course, it should be pointed out that Louie Gohmert (The rumor is that the family’s original name before Ellis Island was “Gomer”) has been described by Charles Johnson of as the dumbest man in Congress and I have not seen anyone bother to contradict him.

$17.76 for 2021 #BeTheKraken

Mission: find REAL people doing REAL work in defense of America and show them support and defend them and help them succeed in this new and dangerous world. Do things that are: Specific, Concrete and Visible. There are people out there doing good work, FreeRepublic is one of the greats. NewsMax and OAN, ProjectVeritas, Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, a church near me that held Christmas Eve service in defiance of the Governor School Teacher turned moronic dictator.

/s (I think) it is hard to tell with that crowd.

The audio of Trump with the Georgia secretary of state. Wow. It’s like telling the Nixon tapes to “hold my beer.” — Dan Rather

I was (not) shocked to learn that this shakedown was yesterday (jan 2). So this is his state of mind. I’m hyper anxious; person, pardon, man, camera, push button.

He’s a Florida resident now, can’t somebody Baker Act this malignant mutha fukka?

In the Netherlands 97% of the specialists for internal diseases, are willing to take the vaccine.
So who do you trust on vaccines? These people or some nurses, who don’t want to take the vaccine?
I know who I would trust, and it is not some ignorant nurse.

Something else that I was reflecting on, and I am hoping RI patrons here would assist: Both Moderna and Pfizer are moving to un-blind the subjects in their trials. Could these moves amount to being the essential stamp of mRNA vaccination failure, in that all that will ever be attained for it is EUA?

Among those claiming that Bell’s palsy is a vaccine reaction is the Organic Consumers Association, which frequently takes time out from denouncing the Evil GMOs to rail against vaccines.

Bell’s palsy is small potatoes, given that the OCA earlier warned us that Covid-19 vaccination was designed to further transhumanism.

In related news…

Fear mongering about the vaccine proceeds to greet the new year..

–San Diego Union-Tribune medical workers refuse the new vaccine ( on the 31st) with discussion
— Sharyl Attkisson ( at her eponymous website) catalogues VAERS reports from health care workers .. mostly the expected ones. I’ll add.
— Drs Bhadelia and Patel ( MSNBC today) report that younger, female health care workers are refusing the vaccine because of fears about fertility, pregnancy etc.

So, the anti-vax/ natural health campaign to scare people away from being vaccinated seems to be working well.
I can recall efforts by nurses against vaccination with the H1N1 vaccine

Bell’s Palsy can apparently be a complication (or even a presenting symptom) of COVID19. Lima et al, J Neurovirol. 2020 v26(6):941-944

@ David writes “Bell’s Palsy can apparently be a complication (or even a presenting symptom) of COVID 19.” So…looks like the vaccination can be a trigger for Bell’s Palsy? Yikes.

Apparently, even in LA, where almost everyoneis infected with the Covids (according to MSM), many healthscare workers would rather risk getting the infection than taking the vaccine. Hmm?

Perhaps they Can’t Truss It?

Good day.

Well my appointment for a Pfizer shot is tomorrow. I’m anticipating a possibly sore arm and back at work on Wednesday.


The misbehaving physicians post (latest) doesn’t seem to be updating?? For instance, on the home page I can see 14 comments and that the last one was Chris. But clicking through shows a stale page with 13. It has been like this for me, at least, for hours.

Testing… this post is delivering stale pages to me though the other one is fixed… could be on my end but it’s three different browsers on two devices.

[…] Three weeks ago, I wrote about how the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines under the FDA’s emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna RNA-based vaccines would very likely result in a tsunami of confusion of correlation with causation to blame the vaccines on all manner of seeming “adverse events,” whether the adverse events were caused by the vaccine or not. I used the specific examples of syncope and Bell’s palsy, the former of which is a common reaction to needlesticks of many kinds (including all vaccinations) and the latter of which was almost certainly not related to vaccination against COVID-19, also explaining how the law of large numbers will mean that there will certainly be a lot of health issues manifesting themselves sometime soon after vaccination just by coincidence alone, up to and including death. (The same principle applies to claims that vaccines cause autism.) Elsewhere, I predicted: […]

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