Pfizer Document Dump

Pavel Raskovalov, Staff Writer

On March 2022 Pfizer lost a legal battle, making them officially obligated to release all of their research on COVID-19 to the general public. This includes any and all documents that had to do with the development on the vaccine, any studies regarding its safety, as well as all of the statistics regarding its death/hospitalization rates. Med Page today claims that shortly after the ruling, “The FDA turned over thousands of documents related to its review of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine last week, marking the first of several releases mandated by a court in Texas earlier this year. The content of the documents ranges widely, with no real explanation of what the files entail.” So far, the documents are hundreds of pages of medical statistics, providing an in-depth glimpse into what the development of the COVID-19 vaccine looked like internally.

At first glance, the data is fairly positive. An official CDC released article states the following: “(It is important to note that in terms of the article, VE means “Vaccine Effectiveness,” ED means “Emergency Department,” and UC means “Urgent Care”) Among children aged 5–11 years, VE of 2 doses received 14–67 days earlier against COVID-19–associated ED and UC encounters was 46%. Among adolescents aged 12–15 and 16–17 years, VE of 2 doses 14–149 days earlier against COVID-19–associated ED and UC encounters was 83% and 76%, respectively; VE after receipt of a third dose ≥7 days earlier increased to 86%, significantly higher than the VE of 2 doses received ≥150 days earlier.” This segment explains the data of an experiment on the efficiency of the vaccine on children and adolescents, providing a generally positive outlook as in some cases the efficiency of the vaccine was approximately 90% 14-149 days after the dose in teens aged 12-17, showing it to be decently effective safeguard against COVID-19 in adolescents. It was less effective in children, though.  This information confirms the opinion of IHS freshman Miranda Franklin, who said that her opinions on the vaccine were “generally positive.” Another passage from the same study claims, “Among 1,699 eligible hospitalizations at 164 hospitals, 16.8%, 43.6%, and 39.6% were among children and adolescents aged 5–11, 12–15 and 16–17 years, respectively. Most hospitalizations of adolescents aged 12–15 years (613 [82.7%]) and 16–17 years (476 [70.7%]) occurred during Delta predominance, whereas two thirds of hospitalizations among children aged 5–11 years (190 [66.7%]) occurred during Omicron predominance.” According to this, COVID-19 variants are the things generally responsible for getting children sick, displaying the danger of the virus’ mutations. The older the children are, the higher chance they will be hospitalized due to the disease, as shown by the statistics. This in general works to support the previous statistics of the vaccine’s effectiveness, as it proves that there actually is a danger and need for a solution.

A medical journal called The Lancet posted another released document in their file storage, and it states, “During the study period, 298 792 852 doses of mRNA vaccines were administered in the USA. VAERS processed 340 522 reports: 313 499 (92·1%) were non-serious, 22 527 (6·6%) were serious (non-death), and 4496 (1·3%) were deaths.” Of the total number of vaccinations, the total deaths are surprisingly low. Further data explains how about 46% of the deaths that were autopsied were of heart conditions which may have been pre-existing, and the rest were from COVID-19 infection that happened even with the vaccine. IHS sophomore Kaleb Delgano says that he “ha[d] not heard of any deaths in the media,” making the fact that there were nearly five thousand of them so much more surprising. It is to be expected though, as with little proof that the reported deaths are even tied to the vaccine any report of them would have raised unnecessary public outcry over something that is relatively insignificant on the scale of COVID. IHS senior Vasiliy Kovalenko says that “I’m not surprised by the [statistics] as I’ve always thought that rushing out medicine is dangerous.” More proof would be required from further studies to link back any of the deaths directly to the vaccine, and any perceived danger from it is unconfirmed. The numbers can be reasonably compared to deaths by the smallpox vaccine, which according to Michael Lane, an MD in  jamajournal, amount to just: “68 deaths in the United States from complications of smallpox vaccination in the nine years 1959 to 1966, and 1968; 19 were associated with vaccinia necrosum, 36 were caused by postvaccinial encephalitis, 12 by eczema vaccinatum, and 1 by Stevens-Johnson syndrome.” These numbers can be interpreted in many ways, although it is important to take into account that the COVID-19 vaccine was used significantly more in a shorter time frame and was also rolled out much faster than the smallpox one. Because the studies are new and relatively unrefined, attributing all of the 4496 deaths, many of which were due to possible pre-existing conditions, to the vaccine is unfair.

Opinions aside, these statistics simply provide an in-depth look to let you choose whether you want to get vaccinated or not. IHS junior Lindsay Wax states that it’s good to give people the choice to take it. Though the deaths are concerning, the fact of the matter is that they are not nearly enough to take any rash action. Perhaps if the deaths were higher and there were more tie-backs specifically to the vaccine, some action would need to be taken. The only thing you can do is choose for yourself, and either take the risk, or not.