A leaked video recording reveals researchers in June shared data with the Israeli Ministry of Health showing serious and long-term side effects associated with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, but Israeli health officials told the public in an August report that serious side effects were “rare” and short-term.
Guest post By Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D.
However, the MOH did not disclose the researchers’ findings to the expert committee that met later that month to decide on recommending the vaccine for children under age 5, or with leaders of Israel’s COVID-19 vaccine booster program.
Additionally, the MOH on Aug. 2 issued a report — on adverse events following the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from Dec. 9, 2021, to May 31, 2022 — that contradicted the data presented during the early-June meeting.
“In fact, the report completely contradicts what was said in this discussion,” Retsef Levi, Ph.D., a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and member of the Israeli Public Emergency Council for the Covid19 Crisis, told GB News in an Aug. 21 interview.
Yaffa Shir-Raz, Ph.D., health communication and pharmaceutical companies public relations strategy researcher at Reichman University in Herzliya, Israel, translated the June meeting from Hebrew into English.
The English translation shows the research team warned MOH officials they should think carefully about how to present the researchers’ findings to the public because they posed a potential legal risk, as the findings contradicted MOH’s claims that serious side effects are rare and short-term.
Shir-Raz tweeted on Sept. 1 an excerpt from the recorded meeting in which the research team warned MOH seniors they would have to think of the legal ramifications of the team’s findings.
According to the video recording, the researchers informed MOH officials about the many reports of serious and long-term side effects of the Pfizer vaccine, including side effects Pfizer didn’t list on the patient information leaflet, such as digestive side effects — especially abdominal pain in children — and back pain.
Additionally, Levi told GB News:
“On the free text part of the form, where patients were allowed to report whatever they wanted to, they [the researchers] observed and got many, many reports of neurological side effects — some not currently listed by Pfizer as side effects of the vaccine.”
The researchers also noted many cases of what Levi called the “re-challenge phenomenon” — or the recurrence or worsening of a side effect following repeated doses of the vaccine — which the researchers said indicated there was most likely a causal link between the vaccine and many side effects.
“The research team repeatedly stressed during the discussion,” Shir-Raz said in her translation and summary in English, “that their findings indicate that — contrary to what we were told so far — in many cases, serious adverse events are long-term, that last weeks, months, a year, or even more, and in some cases — ongoing, so that the side effect still lasted when the study was over.”
The side effects included menstrual irregularities and various neurological side effects, muscle-skeletal injuries, GI problems and kidney and urinary system adverse events, Shir-Raz said.
According to Levi’s review of the meeting footage, the researchers expressed a sentiment of “concern” and felt their “conscience” bothered them by the reality of their findings.
The researchers told the MOH officials their findings contradicted the MOH’s prior messaging that the vaccine was safe and side effects were both rare and short-lasting.
In 50% of the reports in which a duration was specified by the individual, the researchers said, the duration was over six months, according to the video’s English subtitles.
Moreover, in 65% of the neurological cases that mentioned a duration, the individuals reported their symptoms were ongoing, Levi said.
“Now it turns out that the reality is not what the narrative was promoting,” Levi said. “The side effects are long-term and serious.”
The research team told the MOH officials:
“You have to think very very carefully about how you communicate this to the public because you may open yourself to legal lawsuits and liability issues because what you promoted is, in fact, not the reality in what we see in the reports.”
Despite the importance of this discussion, Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of public health services at MOH — and the person who signed the contract with Pfizer — was not present during the meeting. The researchers repeatedly asked MOH officials to make sure Dr. Alroy-Preis saw their findings
The MOH commissioned the Shamir Medical Center team of researchers with experience in pharmacovigilance to analyze the data from the adverse effects reporting system launched in Dec. 2021.
Although Israel began its COVID-19 vaccination campaign in 2020, it did not have an adverse effect reporting system until the end of 2021.
Steve Kirsch, executive director of the Vaccine Safety Research Foundation, commented on the news in a Sept. 2 Substack post, asking, “Why didn’t they release the original presentation made by the safety team?”
“There needs to be an investigation ASAP into what happened, but the head of the MoH, Nitzan Horowitz, isn’t calling for one,” he said.
“The precautionary principle of medicine now demands an immediate halt to the COVID vaccination program,” Kirsch said.
Kirsch also commented on the lack of media coverage of the Israeli researchers’ findings:
“Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, the Health Ministry’s head of public services and a top COVID adviser to the Israeli government, issued no public statement.
“Leaders of our ‘trusted institutions’ all over the world said absolutely nothing after the news broke on August 20, 2022.
“This suggests that there is widespread corruption in the medical community, government agencies, among public health officials, the mainstream media, and social media companies worldwide: they will not acknowledge any event that goes against the mainstream narrative.
“This is a level of corruption that is unprecedented. The atrocities here are clear-cut.
“Everyone should be speaking out and calling for a full investigation and fully evaluating the safety data collected by the Israel government.”
Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D., is a reporter and researcher for The Defender based in Fairfield, Iowa. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin (2021), and a master’s degree in communication and leadership from Gonzaga University (2015). Her scholarship has been published in Health Communication. She has taught at various academic institutions in the United States and is fluent in Spanish.
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