Certain Scientists, Journals Pose ‘Potential Threats To Vaccine Confidence’: CDC


Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., on Aug. 25, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

Scientists and journals that conduct and publish certain research pose a problem for the federal government’s vaccination campaigns that should be addressed, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials wrote in newly reviewed emails.

Colin Bernatzky, a public health analyst with the CDC’s Immunization Services Division, in one of the missives flagged a paper from scientists in the United States and several other countries that analyzed the effects of repeated COVID-19 vaccination.

Vladimir Uversky, a molecular medicine expert in Florida, and his co-authors noted that experiments have found multiple doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines lead to higher levels of antibodies called IgG4, making the immune system more susceptible.

“COVID-19 epidemiological studies cited in our work plus the failure of HIV, Malaria, and Pertussis vaccines constitute irrefutable evidence demonstrating that an increase in IgG4 levels impairs immune responses,” Alberto Rubio Casillas, one of the co-authors, told The Epoch Times.

The paper was published following peer-review by Vaccines.

Mr. Bernatzky took issue with the paper and The Epoch Times’ coverage of it despite acknowledging he wasn’t sure about its veracity.

At the very least, it seems like there’s some editorial recklessness going on, especially since the net result is that this research is being viewed as legitimate and is circulating widely. (And if the research is in fact legitimate, it should be on CDC’s radar),” he wrote.

About a week later, on July 7, Mr. Bernatzky provided colleagues with more information on what he described as “potential threats to vaccine confidence posed by select scientific journals and publishers.”

The paper from Mr. Uversky and Mr. Casillas “has been accumulating a massive amount of attention,” Mr. Bernatzky said, with a high attention score that was “undoubtedly driven” mostly by The Epoch Times article.

Unfortunately, the Uversky paper is part of a wider pattern of academic journals conferring legitimacy to anti-vaccine claims through their willingness to publish low-quality work (e.g., reviews with lots of conjecture rather than original research) as well as their apparant reluctance to issue retractions or disclaimers when these issues are called to their attention,” he added.

The CDC official noted that the paper was cited by Massachusetts Institute of Technology research scientist Stephanie Seneff and her co-authors in response to criticism of a paper they wrote that outlined concerns with how the vaccines impact the immune system.

The author list of that paper “turns out to be … a squad of vaccine skeptics that includes Peter McCullough,” Mr. Bernatzky said, referring to a U.S.-based cardiologist that has expressed concerns about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines, “with a track record for promoting ideas about autism, vaccines, Roundup, etc.”

Mr. Bernatzky suggested the “systemic issues” with certain scientists and publishers should be addressed, describing the matter as “complicated.” He pointed out that a new paper by Dr. McCullough was published as a preprint by The Lancet but quickly removed, spurring criticism.

The email was circulated widely within the CDC, according to other missives obtained by The Epoch Times, with officials focusing on the paper by Mr. Uversky and Mr. Casillas and its conclusions.

“Apparently it’s gone viral,” Sarah Meyer, another CDC official, said while sharing the email with a colleague. She said she also sent the concerns to the CDC’s Coronavirus and Other Respiratory Viruses Division.

Karen Broder, the colleague, forwarded the email to Drs. Tom Shimabukuro and John Su, two top CDC vaccine safety officials.

None of the CDC officials, including Mr. Bernatzky, responded to inquiries. A CDC spokesman declined to comment.

Mr. Bernatzky has sociology degrees and has written that the “anti-vaccine movement is arguably one of the more concerning social movements to have surfaced during the first two decades of the current century.” He has also alleged that support for former President Donald Trump is linked to “hate material.”

The CDC regularly publishes and promotes papers that have not been peer-reviewed in its quasi-journal, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. In the full set of emails, which were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, officials on multiple occasions used those papers to craft guidance to the public on COVID-19 vaccine safety.

The journals Vaccines and Food and Chemical Toxicology, which the CDC singled out for criticism, did not return requests for comment.

Mr. Casillas, a doctor at Autlan Regional Hospital in Mexico, told The Epoch Times in an email that the CDC never contacted him and said the paper he helped put together “must be read and interpreted for what it is: a hypothesis.”

“In our work, we developed a series of hypotheses about the possible consequences of a high concentration of IgG4 antibodies induced by repeated mRNA vaccination. It is important that health experts and the general public understand that we never categorically stated that, for example, such antibodies induce cancer. If you read our work, you will notice that throughout the article we used words that denote the nature of a hypothesis,” he said.

Mr. Casillas said the CDC’s criticism was unwarranted.

“Each of our proposals is based on previous research. They must be evaluated experimentally to be confirmed or refuted. It is the only way science can advance to obtain safer vaccines. We are aware that we may be wrong, but we do not accept that our work is criticized based solely on opinions,” he wrote.

Ms. Seneff said that the paper from Mr. Casillas and his co-authors was “a very thorough review that reveals the complexity in the immune system’s reaction to antigenic exposures, and examines the potential adverse consequences of the experimentally observed high levels of IgG4 antibodies induced by repeated vaccination with the SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines.”

She said that her view on the research into the IgG4 antibodies is that the antibodies are not protective and block other, protective antibodies. She also sees the elevated levels of IgG4 antibodies as linked to serious problems, including severe autoimmune disease.

“This paper is seminal, and it is not surprising that it has gone viral, due to its deep analysis of the significance of elevated IgG4 following mRNA booster shots,” Ms. Seneff told The Epoch Times in an email. “I doubt that the mainstream position that these vaccines are safe and effective can survive much longer, even as they continue with aggressive efforts to retract the comprehensive review papers that reveal the true colors of these experimental therapies.”

Dr. McCullough told The Epoch Times via email that the CDC and other health agencies would be better served holding open meetings “instead of emailing gossip between each other.”

If they held the meetings, he said, officials “can hear directly from the nation’s experts who learned how to treat acute ambulatory COVID-19 and who are now handling the tsunami of patients with COVID-19 vaccine injuries, disabilities, and deaths.”


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