Vax + Pregnancy Updates / Study Review
Another murky study on Covid vax + pregnancy caps two years of confusion.
Has the Covid vaccine doubled stillbirths in Singapore?
And if it has, should we be alarmed or relieved?
I’m not convinced of the answer to the first question. If stillbirths are increasing and live births decreasing nine months after widespread uptake of the Covid vaccines, as Berenson and others have suggested, my first question is why should an impact on fertility take so long to manifest? In other words, does this mean the shots were harmless if administered during pregnancy? That only the pre-injected are suffering harms? Or is this instead a signal of mild harms from the virus (i.e. a per-1,000 births increase of about 1.5 stillbirths from the 2022 Omicron waves).
More pertinent is the second question. “Doubling Singaporean stillbirths” is another way of saying that the most reckless biological experiment on the viability of humanity as a species conducted to date has barely rocked the boat. 60 extra stillbirths occurred after May, 2022 in Singapore. The other 20,000 to 30,000 births went fine. (Or maybe the harms are not reflected in such narrow statistics, and will manifest in the long-term health of the child.)
To be clear, this is not to discount that the Covid vaccine may be driving unprecedented rates of neonatal death. Only to point out that it may be doing so, without having caused anything beyond a statistically observable problem that doesn’t materially threaten humanity’s propagation any more than various ongoing social ills.
It seems there’s no point, at this point, either to crowing about marginal decreases in the rate of successful pregnancies as some affirmation of disaster, nor to pointing out the real disaster which was wantonly, idiotically invited “because emergency,” i.e. near-total annihilation of the species.
And yet on the latter count, I can’t help myself. First: Humans must surely be the most idiotic life-form in the entire universe; for what other life-form would somehow imagine that it requires medical rescue to achieve the work of reproduction? Second: Humans must surely die out any day now, given that our operating strategy is now to keep medically experimenting on ourselves blindly until we do break reproduction for good.
Meanwhile, it is two years into this failed attempt at self-genocide, and the harms remain as obscure as ever. Did the V-Safe study ever actually conclude, or simply get rolled into a glossy and impossible to audit CDC slide? I genuinely have no idea.
But ah, what about the “benefits”? Once again, obscurity.
A look at the recent Lancet study claiming to show vaccine efficacy in pregnancy serves to review why a lack of apparent “benefit” must be the case.
Villar, et al.:
Everything that is going to be wrong with the study before we even look at details:
Pregnancy is a risk window. Literally any “intervention” can appear to make pregnancy “less risky” simply by being applied mid-way through the window. If you resolve to give cupcakes to soldiers in the middle of a battle, your cupcake-receiving soldiers will survive more than the soldiers who started off at the beginning of the battle, because they have already lived to the point of your arriving to give them a cupcake. Sadly, this does not mean your cupcakes are protective, and you should not market them as such.
SARS-CoV-2 did not seem to cause a big disaster with human childbirth. Any observed association between infection and negative pregnancy outcomes is thus an apparent paradox (i.e., the emergence of a harmful thing did not cause more harm), and the solution to this paradox is simple: Pregnancy is already intrinsically a risk window, and infections of all types already supply part of that risk. The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 therefore did not materially change how risky it is to carry out pregnancy (nor to be alive as a child, young adult, middle-aged adult, or even elderly person; risk has always existed).
Therefore, it is intrinsically almost impossible that “protecting” against SARS-CoV-2 can make pregnancy less risky.
What does change the risk of pregnancy is demographics. Studies that attempt to compensate for this by observing multiple countries, like Villar, et al., if anything are going to make the signals more messy.
The sum status of all these intrinsic flaws is that researchers can craft any reality they want to. E.g., if you want to show how horrible it is to be unvaccinated and infected, why not lump Japan, the US, and Pakistan into one study? (Oh, how convenient, that is literally what Villar, et al. have done here.) And then you could just cherry-pick cases and controls and use injection and infection as proxies for other risk factors.
Pregnancy studies (similar to “Long Covid” studies) are thus fodder for medical propaganda; and there is nothing to stop authors from any corner of the world who want to audition for the role of a pharma shill from throwing their hat into this particular ring. The network of researchers in Villar, et al. are spearheaded by the University of Oxford NHS trust; another department in the University of Oxford designed one of the Covid vaccines.
Still, there are small virtues to the design:
(Otherwise I wouldn’t be reviewing it.)
First, Villar, et al. seek out and match two non-PCR/antigen positive pregnant women to observe for every PCR/antigen positive pregnant woman. They seem to have done a good job with matching; with the exception that rates of Covid-vaccination were lower in the infected (potentially reflecting the last vestiges of infection efficacy).
Second of the virtues, results are broken down by vaccine status; behind the potentially misleading headline rates, the reader is given access to some raw counts of events.
In all infections: Negative outcomes uncommon
While the headline rates appear to show substantial increases in risk from infection, a breakdown of raw counts shows that added outcomes are marginal:
Now, to be fair, any signal of harm from the virus will be diluted, not exaggerated, by some infections having occurred in the “non-diagnosed” controls (exactly as Villar, et al. acknowledge in the discussion). This could result in the control “baseline” itself being worsened by the virus, via non-diagnosed infections occurring during or before pregnancy.
Still, the apparent risk of infection is minimal from the perspective of an individual pregnancy. Unless an individual mother is planning on being pregnant fifty times, and getting infected with a novel coronavirus each one of those times, she is unlikely to experience any problems resulting in a recorded healthcare event.
Individual pregnant women targeted with the vaccine should thus understand that they are being mass-dosed to (potentially) save their healthcare providers a marginal increase in headache, rather than for their own or their child’s likely benefit.
But whether this potential headache-saving can actually be accomplished is itself dubious. “Protected” mothers, as stated above, can still just get infected with other stuff. Again, this accounts for the paradox that may appear (once Western countries have caught up with their statistics) in which this supposed Pandemic did not move overall rates of negative outcomes in pregnancy, regardless of observable (but fraught with confounding) associations between infection and outcomes. Comparing with flu pandemics, 1918 was accompanied with a clear spike in maternal mortality and stillbirths (~25% increased):
While, once again, the statistics are not yet up to date for most countries, it seems unlikely that 2020 will feature such a spike (in absolute counts) based on the paucity of anecdotes of tragedy.
On the other hand, Singapore’s 2022 spike in the stillbirth rate might in fact be from the virus, rather than the vaccine, for all we know. There was a lot more of the former in 2022.
Even so, it would reflect a smaller increase in deaths per-1,000 births: ~1.5 added deaths for Omicron, vs. ~20 for flu.
The murky vaxxed / unvaxxed picture
Again, Villar, et al. is notable for providing a lot of raw counts on this question. It nonetheless remains the case that observed protection (as reported in many headlines since the study’s publication) is spurious, as are any conclusions in the opposite direction. The mere act of being vaccinated may introduce illusory protection via survivorship bias (a la giving soldiers cupcakes); or add illusory risk due to higher case rates (due to lower natural immunity in the vaccinated during this study window). And that’s all before you factor in the demographic confounders which, in questions of pregnancy, can drive extreme differences in outcomes (e.g. three-times higher maternal mortality rates).
Notwithstanding these hazards, I have used the breakdown of events for unvaccinated women to hash the per-1,000 rates of outcomes for non-infected vaccinated women:
Because the comparison is only with the “Unvaccinated without a Covid-19 diagnosis,” the high rate of “MMMI” cannot simply be explained by catch-up infections with SARS-CoV-2 (regardless of whether some were non-diagnosed, as these wouldn’t likely be associated with a code for bacterial infection).
The picture, as stated, is murky. But if we speculate that Covid-vaccination drives 12 extra MMMI events in 1,000 uninfected women, then even if it could prevent 100% of the 61 extra events resulting per 1,000 infections, it would be a wash if 1 out of 5 women were infected during pregnancy. It would be a net negative if fewer were. The rates of infections needed to avoid a net negative only goes higher as “protection” drops below 100%; but 1 in 5 is already unrealistically high.
The point, obviously, is that no one can seriously claim to know that the injections confer a benefit rather than a harm. Experts and doctors can only lob assertions based on hubris, blind faith, and disdain for the natural biology that does all the real work in pregnancy.
To close, here are the raw numbers provided for outcomes for (pre-existing condition-excluding) unvaccinated, pre-perinatally vaccinated, and vaccinated during pregnancy:
The higher rates of ICU care and fetal distress may in fact affirm that the experimental vaccines effected some sort of miracle net positive (i.e., that there were enough infections and enough protection during infection that the vaccinated came out on top). However, this conclusion is obviously spurious given that no matching took place by vaccination status, and hidden confounders will almost certainly be extreme.At best it can be said, once again, that nothing is really clear about the subject, nor might it ever be.
If you derived value from this post, please drop a few coins in your fact-barista’s tip jar.
As suggested by “The vaccine ‘kills’ fetal blood stem cells study.”
Villar, J. et al. “Pregnancy outcomes and vaccine effectiveness during the period of omicron as the variant of concern, INTERCOVID-2022: a multinational, observational study.” Lancet. 2023 Feb 11;401(10375):447-457.
Note that this post published with a backwards interpretation of the rates, and speculated that the vaccinated were infected more due to lower natural immunity. The corrected version is more in accord with my previous observation that “catching-up” doesn’t seem to really get going until summer, 2022 (see “It Will Always Be Catch-Up Effect”).
pp. 274-276 Jordan, Edwin O. (1927.) “Epidemic Influenza: A Survey.” Archived online at https://quod.lib.umich.edu/f/flu/8580flu.0016.858
Despite not being matched / controlled by vaccine status (rather than by infection vs. not), the demographic qualities of both groups are provided. The difference that stands out is obesity; which does not seem to be one of the exclusion conditions in the other table:
If I can reword
"In other words, does this mean the shots were harmless if administered during pregnancy?" to ==>
"In other words, does this mean the shots caused the harm pre-pregnancy?"
tl;dr: there are 2 processes that occur before pregnancy that could answer in the positive:
1. fertilization, 2. implantation.
1. If it's sperm-caused fertility issues, this could be the case.
2. Is it possible - if we look at vaccine causing increased +/- prolonged bleeding, even re-started (ffs) for post-menopausal women - that pre-pregnancy changes in the uterine wall from vaccine lead to poor adhesion. But if the adhesion has already taken (vaccine during-pregnancy), the increase in hormones and general success of existing adhesion ameliorates the potentially deleterious effect of the jab once pregnancy has been established.
eg: "Preimplantation factor promotes first trimester trophoblast invasion "Preimplantation factor is a novel embryo-derived peptide that influences key processes in early pregnancy implantation, including immunity, adhesion, remodeling, and apoptosis."
If you get injected within a month +/- of this process of preimplantation and LNP are allowing all kinds of shenanigans to disrupt this process, which stops once implantation has occurred?
Just, spit ballin' here.
Great post as usual. I was watching this video the other day which gives quite a pessimistic outlook:
I suppose that clinicians obervations are based on smaller numbers with less certainty and local factors may come into play more, but on the other hand their experience and expertise may allow them to ask the right questions for a good 'bottom up' approach.
Seems that public health surveillance is relatively poor despite $$$$ western budgets, and datasets are prone to criteria changing halfway through. (It would be better to publish separate data sets with the new and old criteria applied to the entire series, if possible)