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Open Letter: Reconsider Risk-Benefit Analysis in Vaccinating 5-11 years old Indiscriminately
To: Minister Ong Ye Kung and Minister Chan Chun Sing,
Cc: PM Lee Hsien Loong and the Singapore Parliament
The plaque outside Singapore’s Parliament House reads: “Singapore’s parliamentary system has undergone refinements.. Some of these initiatives include the Presidential Council for Minority Rights to prevent discriminatory legislation..”
In recent months, discriminatory legislation have become a focal point in our Republic. In the name of public health, the Minister of Health has pushed new laws restricting the freedoms and rights of unvaccinated Singaporeans. In the name of protecting them, the government of Singapore has justified laws so draconian that it would destroy their employment opportunities, livelihood and freedoms.
This power exercised by the government of Singapore is not checked. There is no recourse for ordinary citizens who are affected. Many appeals and letters written to Minister Ong and his select experts appear to have fallen on deaf ears. I am not aware of any dialogues Minister Ong had arranged with concerned citizens. Instead, he and his select experts became our arbiters of truth, masters of our health and freewill. Some concerned citizens felt threatened with jail terms and fines.
Today, in my letter, I wish to urge you Minister Ong, to not usurp the rights and freedoms of the unvaccinated people of Singapore, and those who are suspected to be vaccine injured. Come, let us reason together! Your justification for pushing VDS measures to such draconian levels is not based on scientific evidence.
But the main point of my letter is intended to be about children.
Statistical data clearly points to the fact that the narrative “vaccination helps children”, is built on thin ice.
I have done my part and documented stories of several suspected vaccine injured. They include several young persons in their 20s and two persons in their 30s. The stories of these suspected vaccine injured are consistent and the gaps of the Ministry of Health glaring: there are way too many abnormalities, way too little medical investigation. There’s way too little concern (in my opinion) on the part of the government to understand, counsel, and mitigate the angry feelings and thoughts of medical negligence these victims have. There seems zero consideration on the part of MOH to pause, rethink and relook at the data again in light of these gaps.
Suffering victims expect a Health Minister – and Prime Minister – to truly care and be vexed by their unexpected woes, thus, take up responsibility over their plight. Instead, they have felt dismissed, threatened, and discriminated out of society. To them, further divisive policies lead them to conclude that the government’s interest lie not in Singaporeans nor their elected duties to act on behalf of the people.
The collective concerns of the suspected vaccine injured are of public interest – they have not been sufficiently accounted for by the government.
These millennials I interviewed belong to an age group that would not have been threatened by Covid. Now, they have all lost their health and quality of life.
This same thing now looms over our children 5-11 years old.
Now I can understand the common accusations. I must be biased. Some will call me “anti-vaxxer”, conspiracy theorist. To this I reply: run through my public profile, blog and Facebook timeline. If you could find an argument on this issue that is not reasoned with objective rationale, you can point it out to me. I can stand corrected. But it is presumptuous to assume one knows better without examining my arguments.
Moreover, what I determine to present here are solely data from the government. These are statistical info direct from the MOH and HSA. I am deliberately using official data to prove my point, so there can be no dispute that my sources are unscientific or untrustworthy. Numbers do not lie. My two sources – one from HSA and one from MOH – will show that there is contrary evidence that benefits outweigh risks in vaccinating our young.
A. Studying the risk of Adverse Events (AEs) following vaccination (HSA data)
Vaccinating children is not a zero sum game where vaccines carry zero risks. The first document I would cite is HSA’s 6th safety update which provided data for suspected adverse events (AEs) up to 30 Sep 21.
HSA reported 12,589 suspected AEs (0.14%) following the mRNA vaccines. (For simplicity of argument I will not include analyses for the non-mRNA vaccines):
“A total of 9,209,201 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty and Moderna/Spikevaxm RNA vaccines have been administered, out of which 12,589 suspected AE reports (0.14% of administered doses) were received. Of these, 581 reports (0.006% of administered doses) were classified as serious AEs.” (Summary Pt 1; Pg 1)
Also, from the following chart HSA provided on these 12,589 suspected AEs, “injection site reactions” and “fever” – often taken to be the most typical side effects of vaccines – accounted for only a minority of 5.8% of reported AEs. The most commonly reported AE is “rash”; followed by “hives” and “angioedema (swelling of eyelids, face and lips)”. These 3 adverse effects accounted for 69.1% of AEs. Chest tightness and palpitations accounted for a significant 8.1% (about 1000 cases) of AEs.
HSA did not categorise chest tightness and palpitation under the “serious AE” category. It is my understanding though that individuals who had experienced these conditions do not consider them to be mild side effects.
In my interviews with a number of suspected vaccine injured, I understand that not all report their AEs to HSA. It is fair to assume a significant percentage of AEs will not get captured in HSA’s data. Let’s label this missing number, “M”.
HSA’s data also does not seem to include “death” as a suspected AE. This is HSA’s description of what a serious AE comprise:
“Serious AEs comprised 0.006% of doses administered. The most frequently reported serious AEs were anaphylaxis (77 reports) and other severe allergic reactions (52 reports). Other serious AEs include exacerbation of underlying asthma condition, breathing difficulty, fast heart rate, an increase or decrease in blood pressure, chest discomfort and pain, pericarditis or myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscles and the outer lining of the heart, respectively), syncope, limb numbness, weakness or pain, seizures (fits), nerve inflammation, muscle injury, joint pain, blood clots, low platelets, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), changes in vision, increase in liver enzymes, thyroid gland dysfunction, abnormal renal function, menstrual disorder, severe skin reactions and infections.” (Pt 11; Pg.5)
However, HSA’s counterparts in the US, UK and Europe have each reported at least thousands of deaths as AEs. While some of these deaths could be coincidences, I had argued that to completely disclaim every death on subjective basis would be another extreme. (http://vow.sg/is-it-possible-to-determine-if-vaccine-contributed-to-an-injury/; http://vow.sg/where-does-truth-lie/)
An Adverse Event report that fails to take into account deaths following vaccination is not just insincere. It is irresponsible and contributes to mislead public health policy, and such misinformation can end up harming thousands of Singaporeans.
Therefore, I will not dismiss, but factor in this unknown number of deaths triggered by or contributed by the Covid vaccine, as “D”. We must start tracking deaths.
To conclude, the risk of AEs for the general population is at 0.14%, but about “6%” of these AEs involved mild negligible symptoms of fever and reaction at injection site. However, “M” (missing AEs) and “D” (unrecorded deaths) have not been factored in. To better highlight key public health considerations, I would re-indicate the risk of AEs as 0.14*6%-M-D.
B. Studying the risk of Covid (MOH data)
The risks of Covid include death and “serious Covid” e.g. where oxygen or intensive care treatment is required. For this data, I took a sample of numbers from MOH, from the dates 14-Oct-21 to 10-Nov-21.
These dates I used for my sample are purely coincidental. They were the first set of data I saw when I begin to study these numbers more intently. This data is based on 80,512 infected Singaporeans and should be representative. I will support MOH to run through all 200k infected cases for even more accurate analysis.
i) MOH data on Serious Covid
Findings: For adults below 40 years old, serious Covid was rare. And for children below 20 years old, almost none needed oxygen or intensive care treatment.
ii) MOH data on fatality from Covid
The next chart (also from MOH) shows the infection and fatality numbers over these same dates. From this chart I calculated the fatality rate according to age groups.
Findings: Adults <40 are 1500 times (estimated) more resilient than elderlies >70!
The data reveals that the fatality rate of elderlies 70 years old and above (4.4%) is 7 times that of 60-69 years old (0.66%), which is 9 times that of 40-59 years old (0.076%); which is 25 times that of 20-39 years old (0.003%). From this percentages, adults below 40 years old are 1,500 times more resilient compared to elderlies 70 years old and above, where 4 out of 100 of them died from Covid.
Findings: Children are even more resilient than adults <40, regardless of vaccination status!
Children and teens are even more resilient against Covid compared to young adults below 40! There were zero deaths for age groups 12-19 years old and 0-11 years old. This resilience is true regardless of vaccination status. Our 0-11 years old children have yet to be vaccinated but Covid does not threaten them.
C. Comparing risk of AEs to risk of Covid across age groups
i) Elderlies > 70 years old
Elderlies >70 years old are at highest risk of Covid with a 4.4% fatality rate. Adults with comorbidities would also be in emergency of serious Covid. These numbers outweigh the risks of AEs, which on the surface sits at 0.14% – but it is important to re-evaluate using AE as 0.14*6%-M-D before we make this conclusion.
ii) Adults and children <40 years old
However, healthy adults <40 years old are not really threatened by serious Covid. Their fatality rate is at 0.003%. In fact, there are only two fatalities in this age group as of 10-Nov, where there have been about 200k infections – and both were noted by MOH to have “multiple underlying medical conditions”.
Therefore, if we know that children are even multiple times more resilient than young adults, it will be hard to justify an emergency among children. Instead, children 12-19 years old are reported by HSA to be ten times higher in risk of myocarditis (5.9 per 100,000 doses) following vaccination compared to adults above 30 years old (0.59 per 100,000 doses):
“HSA received 81 local reports of myocarditis and pericarditis following more than 8.9 million doses of mRNA vaccines administered in Singapore. The incidence rate per 100,000 doses are: 5.9 for those aged 12-19 years old, 1.8 for those aged 20-29years old, and 0.59 for those aged 30 years and above.. 47 cases which occurred in those below 30 years of age..” (Pt 17, Pg. 6)
Already, 47 individuals below the age of 30 had developed myocarditis / pericarditis following vaccination. HSA also reported 616 AEs among teens:
“Since the roll out of the vaccination programme in students aged 12 years and above on 3 June 2021, HSA has received 616 AE reports (0.1% of doses administered) associated with the use of Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty or Moderna/Spikevax vaccine in adolescents aged 12 to 18 years old.” (Pt 10, Pg.4)”
In summary, 1 out of 1000 teens (0.1%) reported an AE while 1 out of 17,000 teens (0.006%) developed myocarditis / pericarditis following vaccination. These are grave – and unnecessary – AE risks when in comparison, the risk of serious Covid in healthy teens is negligible.
1. Reconsider Risk-Benefit Analysis in Vaccinating 5-11 years old indiscriminately
I hereby appeal to Minister Ong to reconsider the risk-benefit analysis in vaccinating 5-11 years old indiscriminately. The current evidence does not justify vaccinating children in light of the real threat of AEs like myocarditis etc. Actual AE numbers could also be much higher and serious AEs like deaths could have been omitted, contributing to grave inaccuracies guiding our public health policies. There’s a clear lack of evidence of an emergency among children that vaccination-differentiated measures can be reasonably justified.
2. Re-evaluate vaccines MORE as a bi-annual lifelong drug than typical one-time childhood vaccine
The benefits of vaccines have also been overstated. They were touted to be at 95% efficacy and capable of ending the pandemic when they first rolled out. Now, we have realised these numbers were not absolute figures, and in reality, vaccines did not prevent infection. In fact, their efficacy drastically reduces such that boosters are required. Each booster carries risk of AE that gets multiplied with repeated jabs lifelong.
3. Be careful of overpromising on the benefits of vaccines against MIS-C
I also would wish to comment on the recent attention on multisystem inflammatory syndrome in Children (MIS-C). First, MIS-C is not serious Covid. It’s a rare condition that occurs 4-6 weeks following a COVID-19 infection. As it is a post-Covid condition, we should not assume vaccination will help children avoid MIS-C if they get Covid. Second, there is also literature on children developing MIS-C following vaccination. We should not oversell vaccines as the solution to MIS-C knowing vaccines do not prevent infection.
4. Avoid using Bad Math to represent vaccine benefits
Also, some have used MOH’s numbers to erroneously conclude that the unvaccinated are 11 times more vulnerable to serious Covid. This number is derived by comparing the percentages of serious Covid in vaccinated versus unvaccinated populations. However, both percentages are for now, more indicative of our quick rates of vaccination. E.g. if 1 out of 100 vaccinated is in ICU today – the percentage of vaccinated in ICU is 1%; but if we ramp up vaccination rates such that within a day 100,000 people are now vaccinated – that percentage instantly gets depressed to 0.001%. And the percentage of unvaccinated in ICU, being inversely proportional, will get inflated. Since “Rate of Covid Infection is less than Rate of Vaccination”, covid infection needs to “catch up” (especially with the 94% vaccinated group) until the proportion of “Covid-infected versus uninfected” in both populations equalises.
5. Segregation along vaccinated and unvaccinated is meaningless and will harm children’s mental health instead
I also appeal to Minister Chan to not implement meaningless discriminatory measures segregating vaccinated or unvaccinated students in any way. As explained, youths are resilient to serious Covid regardless of their vaccinated status. It’s great to practice prudence, but it’s harmful to be excessive with fear. As a counselor, I know that social segregation based on vaccination status will have repercussions on students’ mental health. We have not lost a single student to Covid but we have already seen suicides and mental health issues rose among the youths during the pandemic. Vaccination-differentiation measures against unvaccinated students will add to this harmful trend. Please do not continue this dreadful trend, and reverse these policies in Secondary Schools and Tertiary Institutions as well, to protect our children’s lives.
6. Stop VDS measures against all unvaccinated citizens
Lastly, I like to point out that the fatality rate of Covid on all citizens is at 0.004%. Healthy Singaporeans below 40 years old are more likely to be threatened by dengue than they are by Covid. VDS measures must be thought through again. Else, the Singaporean government would not escape accusations of power abuse or totaliarianism. Perhaps there might be a place to discuss VDS measures for the elderlies or for those with underlying medical conditions (regardless of vaccination status), but to usurp one’s freewill against their wish is still draconian. I had been a supporter of the Singaporean government all my life. It pains me to say all this. I wish this ends.
By Concerned citizen, counselor, Leo Hee Khian
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