February 8th, 2021 3-5PM ET
Monday on The Robert Scott Bell Show:
Fact-check: No link between COVID-19 vaccines and those who die after receiving them When a Florida doctor died just weeks after receiving a coronavirus vaccine, his story whipped around the internet and spurred fears that the COVID-19 vaccine might have had something to do with his death. But scientists warn that these isolated cases, while tragic, do not mean the vaccines are to blame. “These vaccines have had incredible safety profiles in the trials and post-authorization. So far, there has been nothing to confirm these awful events,” said Dr. John Brownstein, an epidemiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and an ABC News contributor. In fact, an average of 8,000 people die each day in the United States. Some of them may have just received a coronavirus vaccine. “We have to be very careful about causality,” Brownstein said. “There are going to be spurious relationships, especially as the vaccine is targeting elderly or those with chronic conditions. Just because these events happen in proximity to the vaccine does not mean the vaccine caused these events.” “Nursing home centers and hospices are of particular concern, because they are homes to incredibly frail populations,” Brownstein pointed out, “and you have to look at the background rate of these events within those populations.”
Most Americans Say They’ll Continue Health Precautions After the COVID-19 Pandemic Many of us are waiting for the day when we no longer need to wear masks in public and can go to a concert or simply hug our loved ones. And as more people are vaccinated against COVID-19, there is growing optimism for a happier and healthier future. But experts warn that life will not return to normal like the flip of a switch, and expect many health precautions and restrictions implemented during the pandemic to stick around for the foreseeable future. A new national survey of more than 2,000 Americans by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center finds most are on board with continuing many of these pandemic precautions in the name of public health, even when the pandemic is over. A new national survey of more than 2,000 Americans by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center finds most plan to continue many of the pandemic precautions in the name of public health, even when the pandemic is over. As more people get vaccinated against COVID-19, there’s growing optimism for a happier and healthier future. But experts warn that life will not return to normal right away, and people should expect many health precautions and restrictions implemented during the pandemic to stick around for the foreseeable future.
501 Deaths + 10,748 Other Injuries Reported Following COVID Vaccine, Latest CDC Data Show As of Jan. 29, 501 deaths — a subset of 11,249 total adverse events — had been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) following COVID-19 vaccinations. The numbers reflect reports filed between Dec. 14, 2020, and Jan. 29, 2021. VAERS is the primary mechanism for reporting adverse vaccine reactions in the U.S. Reports submitted to VAERS require further investigation before confirmation can be made that an adverse event was linked to a vaccine. As of Jan. 29, about 35 million people in the U.S. had received one or both doses of a COVID vaccine. So far, only the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been granted Emergency Use Authorization in the U.S. by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). By the FDA’s own definition, the vaccines are still considered experimental until fully licensed. According to the latest data, 453 of the 501 reported deaths were in the U.S. Fifty-three percent of those who died were male, 43% were female, the remaining death reports did not include the gender of the deceased. The average age of those who died was 77, the youngest reported death was of a 23-year-old. The Pfizer vaccine was taken by 59% of those who died, while the Moderna vaccine was taken by 41%. The latest data also included 690 reports of anaphylactic reactions to either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Of those, the Pfizer vaccine accounted for 76% of the reactions, and the Moderna vaccine for 24%.
Cases of ‘COVID arm’ following vaccination being documented by dermatologists Cases of so-called “COVID arm” are seemingly on the rise, with some experiencing red, swollen skin days after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The American Academy of Dermatology Association has opened a registry for health care providers to report such reactions in their patients in an effort to better understand the “dermatologic manifestations” of the coronavirus vaccine, they said. Dr. Elizabeth Houshmand, a board-certified dermatologist in Texas, told local news station KXAS-TV that the swollen, red patches some may see on their arm days after receiving the vaccine indicate a “mounting immune response.” “It’s uncomfortable but I wouldn’t let it stop you from getting the vaccine,” she said. On its website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine include pain and swelling at the injection site. Some may also experience fever, chills, fatigue, or a headache. The CDC advises placing a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the injection site should one experience pain, also recommending to “use or exercise your arm” to reduce any discomfort.
Iowa Rolls Back Coronavirus Restrictions Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a new public health disaster proclamation Friday that will ease previous public health regulations geared to controlling the coronavirus. Starting Sunday, Iowa residents will no longer be required to wear masks. Reynolds’ previous order, which was put into place last November, required individuals to wear masks when indoors in a public space and within six feet of individuals who are not part of their household. Instead, her new proclamation “strongly encouraged” residents with medical conditions and those over the age of 65 to limit activities outside of their home. Those who are not at substantial risk should limit their interactions with those more susceptible to the virus, Friday’s proclamation said. Additionally, Iowans will no longer be held to 15 people for indoor gatherings, or 30 if outdoors. Reynolds strongly encouraged event organizers to take reasonable measures to protect the health of their guests as well as the public, the order said. The Iowa Department of Public Health reported three confirmed cases of the variant first discovered in the United Kingdom on Monday. The variant is believed to spread easier than the original strain of COVID-19. IDPH also encouraged residents to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Justices: California can’t enforce indoor church service ban The Supreme Court is telling California that it can’t bar indoor church services because of the coronavirus pandemic, but it can keep for now a ban on singing and chanting indoors. The high court issued orders late Friday in two cases where churches had sued over coronavirus-related restrictions in the state. The high court said that for now, California can’t ban indoor worship as it had in almost all of the state because virus cases are high. The justices said the state can cap indoor services at 25% of a building’s capacity. The justices also declined to stop California from enforcing a ban put in place last summer on indoor singing and chanting. California had put the restrictions in place because the virus is more easily transmitted indoors and singing releases tiny droplets that can carry the disease. The justices were acting on emergency requests to halt the restrictions from South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista and Pasadena-based Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry, which has more than 160 churches across the state. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that “federal courts owe significant deference to politically accountable officials” when it comes to public health restrictions, but he said deference “has its limits.” Roberts wrote that California’s determination “that the maximum number of adherents who can safely worship in the most cavernous cathedral is zero—appears to reflect not expertise or discretion, but instead insufficient appreciation or consideration of the interests at stake.”
San Francisco-based conspiracy theory doctor surrenders his license to state medical board A San Francisco doctor infamous for spreading misinformation linking COVID-19 to 5G communications networks can no longer practice medicine after surrendering his license to California’s medical board. Until last July, Thomas Cowan ran an alternative medicine practice that didn’t accept insurance, sold nutritional supplements and offered $375 consultations. Cowan has published several fringe medicine books — including one questioning whether viruses cause disease — that rank highly on searches for vaccine books on Amazon and bookseller Barnes and Noble. The medical board in 2017 had placed Cowan on a 5-year probation for prescribing unapproved medications to a breast cancer patient. As a condition of probation, he was required to surrender his license if he stopped practicing medicine. Cowan wrote on his website that he closed his practice June 30 and would “relinquish” his license with plans to reemerge as an “unlicensed health coach.” He would move to the East Coast to be near family and would continue to sell herbal supplements online, he added. He could not be reached for comment today. “I simply see too much to be willing to function as a physician in the medical system at this time,” Cowan wrote. “I will no longer be able to order tests, write prescriptions, make diagnoses or offer treatment plans…I am looking forward to a new way of interacting with my friends, previously known as patients.” Cowan surrendered his license on Dec. 7 according to medical board documents. The state agency, which regulates and disciplines California doctors, made the license surrender public on Thursday.
Illinois mom denied COVID-19 vaccine over breastfeeding concerns: ‘I was shocked’ An Illinois mother is feeling shocked and upset after she was denied a Moderna coronavirus vaccine by county health officials over concerns of lacking data for pregnant and breastfeeding women, according to a report. Kate Raess, a clinical therapist and mother of two, did her research and consulted her doctor before heading into her vaccination appointment with the Kane County Health Department, the Chicago Tribune reported. After Raess sat down in the chair, she was denied the vaccine. “I was so shocked,” Raess told the outlet. “To sit down in that metal chair and be told no, it’s like someone took a pin to a little kid’s balloon.” Susan Stack, a spokesperson for the Kane County Health Department, told Fox News there has since been a revision in the policy which now allows for vaccinations among pregnant and breastfeeding women. She declined to comment on the reported incident involving Raess. “Upon consultation with the Illinois Department of Public Health, and with the guidance of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists and Centers for Disease Control, which state that pregnant and lactating people may choose to receive COVID vaccines, KCHD is providing vaccines to pregnant and lactating women who choose to be vaccinated,” reads a statement provided to Fox News.
Covid-19 vaccines are likely safe during pregnancy. When will we know for sure? People who are pregnant should be able to decide if they want to get the coronavirus vaccine, US health agencies and medical organizations resoundingly agree. And in the first couple months of vaccine rollout, many pregnant health care workers have already chosen to do so. Israel also recently added higher-risk pregnant women to its vaccine priority list. But other countries, such as the UK, and the World Health Organization are saying most should wait. Why the disagreement? The clinical trials of the new Covid-19 vaccines explicitly excluded pregnant people, and we don’t yet have enough follow-up data from individuals who have opted to get the shots to say for sure they are safe during pregnancy. And so some governments and the WHO are being extra cautious about greenlighting the vaccine for all pregnant people. The US and many national medical groups — including the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine — say the vaccine should be offered to this group in large part because there’s strong evidence that pregnancy elevates the risk for severe Covid-19 and death. (Given this data, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine goes so far as to say the vaccine is “recommended” for those who are pregnant or considering pregnancy.)
Question of The Day!
My 2 children (age 4 & 6) are unvaccinated, my question is about chicken pox. Is it true that it may be dangerous for someone to get chicken pox as an adult as opposed to when they’re young? If so, in this era of masks and over sanitization, in what way can I expose my children so they can build up an immunity to the chicken pox? Are there homeopathic methods? And what about viral shedding from kids who have gotten the vaccine? Can chicken pox spread in this way? Our family Dr. assured me a number of years ago that he still sees many cases of chicken pox and my kiddos will get it eventually. I would love for my kids to get it over and done with while they are young.
What are your thoughts?
Hedy (pronounced Hey-D)