Covid-19: What explains the sudden deaths?
While there is no cause for panic, reports of otherwise healthy people suddenly collapsing and dying do need to be investigated to determine if there is any correlation with vaccines or something else
A spike in cases of sudden heart attacks, cardiac arrests and other cardiological complications among all age groups is being reported from across the country; even seemingly fit people are dying of cardiological health issues while walking on the street, on the dance floor and even while just sitting at a desk. Not surprisingly the hashtag #heartattack trended on Twitter earlier this month.
Some of the sudden and unfortunate deaths in previously healthy people, including teenagers, may be purely coincidental. But such incidents demand attention and a precautionary reflex, they demand that we err on the side of caution.
Recent estimates of the lethality of the Covid-19 virus, however, should be reassuring. A meta-analysis by investigators from Stanford University found that the lethality of Covid is 0.0003 per cent till the age of 19 years and around 0.03 per cent to 0.07 per cent up to the age of 69 years. Given such low fatalities from the infection, we can afford to pause vaccination and instead devote time and resources to conduct a thorough investigation.
According to a survey by LocalCircles, a social community platform, 51 per cent of the respondents said they knew one or more persons who have had heart attacks, strokes, sudden cancers, neurological disorders etc. in the recent past. Out of those who experienced such events, 62 per cent of the cases were found to have been double vaccinated, 11 per cent had received a single dose and 8 per cent were unvaccinated.
Science demands a detached view and scientists should not jump to conclusions. One of the requirements for this is discerning any unusual patterns at the population level. This does indicate some cause for concern. The increase in sudden deaths has been reported since early 2021; there was a six-fold increase in heart attacks reported from Mumbai. The pattern of excess deaths is not however restricted to India, but is global. Here we take a close look at two countries from where open data is available: England–Wales and Australia. deaths caused by Covid-19
The figure (see graphics) shows total number of deaths in England and Wales from all causes in the first 47 weeks (until end of November) of each of the years since 2015. We can see that the year 2020 saw an increase of about 13 per cent in overall mortality over the average of the previous five years. What is striking also is that even in 2022 there is significant excess mortality of about 8 per cent over the 2015-2019 average.
Since there has been concern about increased deaths among young people, let us next look at the same data in the 15–44 age group from England & Wales.
The figure shows total deaths in this age group in weeks 1-47 of each year since 2015. We see that in this age group, even the year 2020 which had peak Covid-19 deaths, does not have significant excess deaths. However, there has been a sharp increase in excess deaths in this age-group in 2021 as well as 2022.
The case of Australia is even more stark, as the country followed a zero-Covid policy for a long time, with strict lockdowns as well as coercion and mandates for Covid-19 vaccines. By the start of 2022, it had vaccinated the majority of its population and even booster doses were made available.
The baseline average deaths in the first eight months of the year is just 110,483 while the total deaths in the first eight months of 2022 has been 129,513. This represents a 17.2 per cent increase above baseline: even higher than the excess deaths caused by Covid-19 in 2020 in England & Wales.
Edward Dowd in his book, Cause Unknown–The Epidemic of Sudden Deaths in 2021 and 2022, reports 84 per cent rise in sudden deaths in the age group 25–44 years in USA coinciding with mass vaccine mandates which was corroborated by study of insurance claims.
There are two possible causes for the high excess mortality world-wide. First, these could be the prolonged effects of harsh lockdowns. After all, lockdowns have directly increased diabetes, obesity, starvation, poverty, joblessness, vitamin-D deficiency, propensity for cancer, etc. A second cause could be the excessive use of Covid-19 vaccines, even among the already Covid recovered, and even among the not-at-risk population, without adequate safety data.
By the time vaccines were developed, the virus had infected large numbers in densely populated countries of Asia and Africa. Being younger or leaner, many of them recovered and did not require vaccination because studies have shown that natural immunity acquired after exposure to the virus is 13 times more robust than immunity induced by vaccines.
We should grant policymakers the benefit of doubt—precautionary principle demands one should err on the side of safety. However, after more than a year into mass vaccination, we are still at a crossroads.
The way forward would be to halt mass vaccination in those who have recovered from natural infection and follow them forward to monitor any adverse events presently being attributed to long Covid.
The way forward is to halt mass vaccination among those who have recovered from natural infection and monitor them for any adverse events currently being attributed to ‘long Covid'
The second group in this study can be those who never had encountered the virus but have taken the vaccine. Both these groups need to be followed up to ascertain short-term as well as long-term effects and provide hard evidence of cause-effect relationship of either the vaccine or the natural infection. Anything short of this will mask the truth forever.
The time correlation of heart illnesses with the Covid-19 jab rollout is unmistakable in the worldwide data. While correlation does not mean causation, it certainly is a red flag which must be probed objectively.
Amitav Banerjee is an epidemiologist and Professor and Head of Community Medicine at DY Patil Medical College, Pune. He is author of the book, Covid-19 Pandemic–A Third Eye
Bhaskaran Raman is a Professor at IIT Bombay, and has recently authored the book “Math Murder in Media Manufactured Madness” on different aspects of Covid