How Did the Israeli Ministry of Health Lie about And Manipulate Their Own Expert's Report on Adverse Events?
Let me count the ways...
I have been meaning to write about this since Neil Oliver of GB news covered it, and I have tweeted about it several times. But Yaffa Shir-Raz wrote a comprehensive article about it in English on her website, then Etana Hecht covered it in her excellent Substack post, so I figured it was well and covered, and I’m super busy working on something very important. But following a recent twitter thread by Yaffa and Steve Kirsch’s post about it, I was asked by someone to put the key pieces of information down ‘on paper’ as I understand them, so I did. Here they are:
Summary of key points
On August 2, the Israeli Ministry of Health (MOH) released a report on adverse events reported following COVID vaccinations from Dec. 9, 2021 - May 31, 2022 based on a new reporting system. The MOH tasked a team of medical researchers from Shamir Medical center with experience in pharmacovigilance to analyze the data from the system.
The Israeli MOH misrepresented the findings stating that no new adverse events were found, there was no new signal, and the events were not necessarily caused by the vaccine, even though the researchers themselves said the exact opposite.
The Israeli MOH artificially minimized the extent of reporting by comparing the number of reports submitted during that period to a much larger number of vaccine doses administered over a longer period of time and a much larger population than the one reporting.
The Israeli MOH sat on these results for nearly 2 months and did not disclose them to the expert committee that met in late June to decide on recommending the vaccine for children under 5.
The MOH tasked a team of medical researchers, headed by pediatric specialist Professor Mati Berkowitz, head of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology unit at Shamir Medical Center, to analyze the data from a new adverse event reporting system they instituted to coincide with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in children age 5-11. They presented their results to MOH officials in early June, the official report was released to the public on Aug. 2.
The official report states that the system was put into place (nearly a year after the start of the vaccine campaign) because the previous patient reporting system could not be validated and was not suitable for analysis. There was another system in place for doctors to report side effects, but the report said the new system was designed to discover side effects that were not reported to doctors. (Of course it does not mention the fact that most doctors would not submit reports if they felt the adverse event was unrelated to the vaccine and/or because they did not want to make waves; many doctors report having been actively discouraged from filing reports.)
In short, the MOH admitted for nearly a year Israel did not have a functioning adverse event reporting system akin to VAERS, despite having publicly claimed otherwise. (During the meeting, the woman in charge of the previous system says she has gotten thousands of reports and doesn’t know what to do with them.) Watch this short video for more clips demonstrating both of these points.
The Lies and Manipulations of the MOH
The official report claimed there were no new types of adverse events reported that had not been reported previously and no new signals. It said there were very small numbers of reports compared to the very large number of vaccine doses, and it also noted that the reports did not necessarily indicate causality.
However, a recorded zoom meeting where the researchers presented their results to senior people at the MOH was leaked, showing that the report hid important facts and manipulated the results. They also did not disclose the researchers’ results to the expert committee that decided on whether to recommend the COVID vaccine for 0.5-4 year olds.
In their presentation, the researchers made the following points:
1. Some of the side effects reported were of types that had not appeared in any previous reports from the MOH and were not to be found in the published literature on adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination (which now includes over 2,500 papers). Nor were they written on the package inserts of the vaccine. They suggested writing a paper about their findings. Here is a subtitled video with excerpts from the zoom meeting on this issue.
2. They said many of the adverse events (including neurological and menstrual) lasted for months or were still ongoing a year after vaccination, something that the MOH had not seen before and was also unknown to Pfizer (according to an earlier meeting Prof. Berkowitz had attended with Pfizer representatives, who said they did not know of long lasting side effects). Although the official report does include the data on long-lasting adverse events, the summary and conclusion claims there is nothing new in the findings, which is directly contradicted by the researchers in the video linked above.
3. The researchers said that some of the reports indicated that the reported adverse events went away and then reappeared after subsequent doses. They refer to this as "re-challenge" and note that according the Naranjo criteria for assessing adverse events, this means that the vaccines did cause at least the events where people reported the re-challenge effect. The official report does not mention any of this. It only states the reports are not necessarily related to the vaccine. Here is a clip of Dr. Berkowitz discussing this during the meeting, courtesy of courtesy of Yaffa Shir-Raz’s Real Time Magazine.
4. The researchers were very concerned about what they were seeing, and it weighed heavily on their consciences.
5. The researchers said they only got cooperation from one HMO to share the data it received from the new reporting system. (Israel's health system is divided into 5 different HMO-type organizations; each Israeli is required to sign up with one of the HMO's.) None of the other 4 HMO's shared their data, including Israel’s 2 largest ones, and the head of the research team said that they are keeping the data 'close to their chests,' mentioning Ran Balicer by name.
Dr. Berkowitz said the ministry needs to insist that they cooperate (after all, the ministry did hire him to do research on a system they initiated, so why wouldn’t they?). The only one that did share the data (Meuhedet) is very small, representing only about 15% of the Israeli population with a heavy religious population who have lower vaccination rates than the general population.
When the official report came out, it compared the number of reports to the total number of vaccines given out since the beginning of the vaccination campaign. It did not mention that the adverse event reports came only from this small HMO. Furthermore, only people receiving vaccination after Dec. 9, 2021 were likely to report to the system (though others could and did). But only about 10% of all vaccines given out in Israel were given out during the period of the study.
Finally, when they reported on the menstrual adverse events, they compared it to the number of vaccines given to both women and men. [Update Sept. 8 — the MOH made a change to the report last weekend updating the figures to exclude men.] All of these manipulations made the rate of reported events appear much smaller. And if all of this wasn’t enough, reports of events that resulted in or involved hospitalization were not part of the analyses, as those were dealt with by a different team.
The researchers can also be heard in the meeting asking to get a meeting or have the results conveyed to Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of public health services at the MOH.
And as if all this wasn’t damning enough, Dr. Berkowitz says, in reference to the long-lasting side effects, “Here we will need to think about this medico-legally. Why? Because, for not a few side effects, we said ‘OK, it exists and there’s a report, but please get vaccinated.’ So we need to think about how to write it and present it in the correct way, so they won’t come afterwards with lawsuits: ‘Wait a second, you said it would go away and it’s OK to get vaccinated, now look what happened to me.’”
(Update: Sept. 8: I learned last night that Dr. Berkowitz had himself apparently only seen the results of the study the previous day, as his research team had been working independently. So when he says this he is sort of thinking out loud. Another thing I learned is that the researchers had submitted an interim report in March and were surprised that the results had not been released to the public; instead the ministry ignored them. I don’t know if Dr. Berkowitz had seen that interim report or not, though one would assume he did.)
Not a single mainstream news outlet in Israel has picked up on this story, and the MOH has not made any statements. Only GB News and Yaffa Shir-Raz’s on-line Real Time Magazine have covered the story.
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