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Covid Update - Myocarditis, Birth Rates, Fertility, BA.5 and more
A snapshot of what's going on around the globe.
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What’s been going on around the world recently?
First the good news. According to Karl Lauterbach, the German Health Minister, Germany “got through the pandemic in a way that other countries didn’t manage to do”.
However, Mr Lauterbach’s good news was quickly tarred with controversy as he told nurses protesting against vaccine mandates that they had no right to be there. He went on to say that he was outraged that the protests were abusing those who worked through the pandemic. Furthermore, he said that he wanted to say very clearly that the work of the protesting nurses made no contribution to Germany’s success (even though the unvaccinated nurses worked through the pandemic until they were sacked).
Next, the media are ramping up the latest Omicron variant, BA.4/5, showing an increase in Covid hospitalisations around the Western world.
Apparently, in Israel, BA.5.1 is bypassing antibodies and partially evading T-cells, making it the most immune evasive variant to date. ICU admissions are very similar to 2020, before vaccines, treatments or natural immunity.
Another study in Nature has been published showing increased risks of myocarditis and pericarditis during the first week following vaccination and particularly after the second dose. Whilst this was most prevalent in 18-24 year olds, there was a substantial burden across other age groups and in both males and females.
Fig. 1: Association between myocarditis and exposure to mRNA vaccines within 7 days, according to sex and age group.
The graphs above are slightly misleading because they are in logarithmic scale, meaning adjusted odd-ratios over 10 only look like a small increase but actually can be almost 100.
Another sign of the last two years taking its toll. Sweden is being “ravaged” by a mysterious cough disease. Apparently this is a very painful cough that will not stop, keeping Sweden in suspense.
And finally for today, as others have reported, first quarter data on live births is massively down in many countries.
Germany: Live births 2016-2022 (Destatis/DataHero; PDF)
Covid vaccination and monthly live births in Switzerland (BFS/DataHero; PDF)
As Igor reported, the Taiwanese Department of Household Registrations recently released household registration statistics for May 2022. In the report it states that there had been a 23.24% decrease in babies born compared with the same month last year. There was also a 15.23% increase in deaths when compared with May last year.
Monthly birth rates follow rather predictable trends so these drops are very unusual. This chart shows how regular birth rates in Germany are, with the red line showing the expectation and the blue line the actual rate.
Germany: Monthly birth rate (2010-2022), expectation (red) and actual (blue) (Destatis/RealTom)
What happened? 2022 was meant to bring with it a baby boom. According to this article, the baby boom prediction was based on sales of pregnancy tests which was up 13% since 2020.
Could this have any link to a recent study showing that Pfizer’s mRNA vaccines impair semen concentration and total motile count. The study did not look at the effect of additional booster injections, so the situation could be even worse.
But correlation is not causation and Pfizer’s CEO says there isn’t any vaccine that anyone can feel safer given the extensive use.
Other causes could include any of the usual list, Covid, Lockdowns etc but now with the additional burden of financial worries. I’m sure the ‘cost of living’ crisis is not helping but this was not as apparent 9 months ago. Furthermore, with the recently released Pfizer documents showing high concentrations of lipid nanoparticles accumulating in the ovaries, the worrying birth data needs further investigating.
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