Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
2-page COVID vaccine screening form is now 9 pages long – and was updated three times in May alone.
When the US began distributing COVID-19 vaccines in mid December of last year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a two-page pre-vaccination screening form for medical personnel who are administering these shots.
Page one consisted of five questions for the person receiving the vaccine (hereafter called the patient). Page two advised medical personnel how to proceed, depending on what answers the patient provided.
For example, if a patient answered yes to the question Are you feeling sick today? the CDC told medical personnel the shot should still be administered if the illness was mild (for example, someone taking antibiotics, suffering from “upper respiratory infections,” or experiencing diarrhea). Back then, patients were not asked if they were allergic to specific ingredients found in COVID-19 vaccines.
Not quite six months later, it’s worth noticing that this screening form has been revised nine times – and that it has grown from 2 pages long to 9 pages long. Here’s the timeline:
|version #1||16 Dec. 2020||2 pages|
|version #2||21 Dec. 2020||5 pages|
|version #3||5 Jan. 2021||6 pages|
|version #4||5 Mar. 2021||6 pages|
|version #5||15 Mar. 2021||6 pages|
|version #6||19 Apr. 2021||7 pages|
|version #7||25 Apr. 2021||6 pages|
|version #8||5 May 2021||7 pages|
|version #9||25 May 2021||9 pages|
|version #10||27 May 2021||9 pages|
Today, patients are required to answer yes/no to seven questions, and to check yes, if applicable, with respect to a further 11 questions. They’re now asked if they have a “weakened immune system,” if they take immunosuppressive drugs, if they have a history of blood clotting and low blood platelet counts, if they’ve received cosmetic dermal fillers, and if they’re allergic to polyehylene glycol or polysorbate.
Rather than familiarizing themselves with a single page of instructions, medical personnel are now expected to read seven full pages. This is onerous in itself, but has been complicated by the fact that the screener keeps changing.
It was updated twice in March, twice in April, and three times in May. Many – perhaps most – of the medical personnel giving these shots are therefore unlikely to be using the latest version.
This is what happens when a vaccine is tested for only a few months – rather than for years. We quickly encounter problems we didn’t anticipate.
But let us not be unfair. Over the past six months, this CDC document has been consistent about one thing. It has always talked about ‘pregnant people’ rather than pregnant women.
Version #1 of the screener advised medical personnel there was “no available data” concerning the safety of getting a COVID-19 vaccine while you’re pregnant, but said “studies and results are expected soon.” In other words, medical personnel were fully aware from the outset that every pregnant woman receiving these vaccines is a full-fledged guinea pig. As is her unborn child.
Version #10 now devotes four paragraphs to pregnancy and breastfeeding. Here’s a portion of one of those paragraphs:
Based on current knowledge, experts believe that COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to pose a risk to the pregnant person or fetus. …However the potential risks of COVID-19 vaccines for this population are unknown because the vaccines have not been studied in pregnant people. [bold added]
Experts believe. Bad outcomes are unlikely. But we don’t actually know. Why aren’t patients given this information directly? Why isn’t it included, in stark black and white, on the part of the document provided to people before they receive their shot?
In a world in which every candy bar must fully list its ingredients, why isn’t the CDC upfront about exactly what’s in these vaccines? This table appears on page 5 of the screener. But once again, it isn’t given to patients:
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