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Czech Study Challenges Vax Narratives in Both Directions

Czech Study Challenges Vax Narratives in Both Directions


In recent days, Brownstone Institute published an article about a new Czech study that sheds an uncomfortable light on the effectiveness of Covid mRNA vaccines. The study itself does not prove that the shots are ineffective, but it strongly suggests that claims of efficacy have been at least somewhat, if not wildly, overstated.

One of the authors of the Czech study, a mathematician and founding member of the Czech Association of Microbiologists, Immunologists and Statisticians (SMIS), Tomas Fürst, is a strong critic of how the Czech authorities handled data during the Covid-19 epidemic. SMIS has also repeatedly pointed out that the authorities have disregarded Evidence-Based Medicine and have been overly confident in pushing vaccination with experimental mRNA products.

In this interview, Fürst and I discuss his recent paper on the Healthy Vaccinee Effect (HVE) and its implications for interpreting data about the effectiveness of the Covid mRNA vaccines.

Q: Tomas, when and why did you and your colleagues start researching data from Czech health insurance companies?

Since the beginning of the epidemic, we have been asking the Institute of Health Information and Statistics (IHIS) to release meaningful datasets from which relevant information on the danger of the disease and the effectiveness and safety of measures, especially the vaccines, could be inferred.

Unfortunately, the IHIS has repeatedly provided incomplete, misleading, or retrospectively modified datasets. To add insult to injury, more complete sets were provided only to “friendly” research teams, who did not want to understand the data, but rather wanted to confirm the official narrative. IHIS required me to sign an “agreement” stating that if I wanted to publish any results derived from their data, I had to obtain their approval first. Of course, I refused to sign this, as it violates my academic freedom, and so I never received the requested data.

At some point in 2021, someone had the idea of asking the largest Czech health insurer – the General Health Insurance Company (VZP) – instead of the IHIS. Surprisingly, VZP provided data on the total number of deaths among its clients, broken down by their Covid vaccination status. We wrote an article about this fascinating dataset back in January 2022, titled The Elixir of Youth. The title reflected our amazement that people vaccinated against Covid seemed to be almost immortal – they were dying two to three times less often than the unvaccinated of comparable age. This was true regardless of the cause of death – the Covid vaccines seemed to prevent Covid deaths as well as deaths from non-Covid related causes.

This was our first encounter with the Healthy Vaccinee Effect (HVE), and it took us by surprise. I must admit that if I had more experience in epidemiology, it would have been clear to me that we had to watch out for this effect in observational data.

We found the data so fascinating that we really wanted more detailed sets. Thanks to the tireless work of Angelika Bazalova, a Czech investigative journalist, [read more about her here], we finally managed to get these detailed datasets, not from VZP, but from several other Czech health insurance companies. We were able to perform a complete analysis on these detailed data, correctly calculating the monthly all-cause mortality of the insured clients, broken down by their Covid vaccination status. We were even able to separate the freshly vaccinated clients from those vaccinated earlier.

The result clearly and comprehensively showed the substantial Healthy Vaccinee Effect. Even in the summer months of 2021, when there were almost no Covid-related deaths, the all-cause mortality of the vaccinated was many times lower than that of the unvaccinated. This was true in all age groups. The ratio of vaccinated to unvaccinated mortality did not change substantially with the subsequent wave of Covid-related deaths in the autumn of 2021, which casts a shadow of doubt on the official claims of vaccine effectiveness.

In addition, the data clearly showed that with the arrival of each new wave of vaccination, the group vaccinated with the previous dose split into those who were healthy and went on to get the next dose, and those who were not healthy and stayed with the previous dose. Thus, the mortality of people “long after the first dose” shot up exactly when the administration of the second dose began. For subsequent doses, the situation was similar.

Have other teams of journalists attempted to obtain the same data?

If you mean the media, unfortunately not. Angelika Bazalova was the only one who tirelessly worked to obtain the data. And when she got it, she contacted people who could analyze it. It is a shame that Angelika was the only one! Other journalists who hand out awards to each other for “data journalism” and “critical thinking” mostly repeated official propaganda and gaslighted anyone who challenged the official narrative.

Does the healthy vaccinee effect occur in other studies and articles?

That’s the point. This effect is found in all observational studies; that is, studies where we let people decide for themselves whether or not they want to be vaccinated and then we observe their health outcome. However, all the information that we have on the effectiveness of Covid vaccines since the start of the vaccination campaign has come from such studies. Randomized controlled trials – which do not suffer from HVE – were last conducted in 2020, when the Wuhan variant of the virus (against which the vaccines were developed) was still circulating and when almost nobody had post-infection immunity. So their findings don’t tell us much about the effectiveness of vaccines today.

I find it fascinating that we have inoculated billions of people on the planet with an experimental vaccine, and yet we know almost nothing about its effectiveness. It could be positive, null, or even negative. This is to say nothing of the other side of the risk-benefit equation – the adverse effects of these products. Here, too, the HVE comes into play, because when assessing the safety of vaccines, we have to take into account that the vaccinated are significantly healthier than the baseline, so a “normal” incidence of adverse events is already suspicious. And nobody takes this into account.

How did the Czech or foreign professional community react to your study?

The Czech expert public reacted in the standard way – with complete silence. Apart from a few gaslighting rants on the Facebook profiles of SMIS and Angelika Bazalová, I have not noticed a single reaction from anyone in the Czech Covid establishment. But we have gotten used to that: During the whole epidemic, we have never managed to engage anyone from the establishment in a discussion. We have invited them many times, both to our presentation in the Senate and the House of the Czech Parliament and to many other events. No one ever came. The mainstream media have not helped either. From the beginning of the epidemic, they have labeled us “disinformation spreaders” and have furiously attacked anyone who dares to quote us.

However, our article has received a response abroad that surprised me very much. Martin Neil, the founder of the British HART group, quoted it and commented on his Substack “Where are the numbers?” This is important for us because many foreign experts read this Substack, and the British HART group has been a great inspiration for SMIS. Subsequently, a positive commentary was published by Eyal Shahar, Professor Emeritus of Public Health at the University of Arizona, on the Daily Sceptic platform, which is read by millions of people around the world, and was then republished by Brownstone Institute, which is an honor for us. Several foreign scientists have contacted us with clarifying questions, and some interesting collaborations may come out of that.

Does the healthy vaccinee effect play a role in Steve Kirsch’s analysis of the New Zealand data?

Yes, and a very interesting one. If I understand Steve correctly, he plots the number of deaths versus the number of days elapsed since vaccination. And he shows that this graph has an upward trend for the first few weeks. He concludes that this is evidence of vaccination mortality. But in my opinion, this is just another manifestation of the HVE – the vaccinated cohort is healthier than the unvaccinated one, but this “advantage” diminishes over time, and the mortality of the vaccinated gradually returns to the baseline. This produces the upward trend that Steve sees in the data. So I’m not arguing that Covid vaccines do not cause deaths, but I think that it needs to be shown in a different way.

Overall, the HVE causes three illusions in observational data: (1) the illusion of vaccine efficacy that I described above, (2) the illusion of “vaccine waning efficacy” that is caused by HVE waning over time, and (3) the illusion of vaccine mortality that Steve Kirsch sees in the data. Interestingly, the first two illusions are loathed by vaccine proponents, and the third one irritates vaccine skeptics.

Do you plan any follow-up studies?

I hope that the publication of the current study will encourage other countries to finally release individual-level data. As far as I am aware, no country has done that so far, although the British ONS has been persistently and strongly asked for this very data by several Members of the Parliament. I am convinced that when this data emerges, it will confirm the massive presence of HVE in other countries, too.

We also announce that, after many years, we have finally obtained the individual-level data from IHIS, so we will be able to repeat this analysis on the entire Czech population. Already in the current paper, we have presented a mathematical model to better understand the HVE. We are currently preparing another paper where we will carefully explain how HVE causes the three optical illusions I mentioned above.

At the same time, we also address the other side of the risk-benefit analysis – the adverse events (AEs) associated with the Covid vaccines. Here, I hope that within weeks we will be able to present another peer-reviewed publication, in which we describe the amazing variability of the number of reported AEs among the vaccine batches. We have been working on this topic with another Czech investigative journalist, Petr Sourek.

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  • Cecilie Jilkova

    Cecílie Jílková is a Czech writer. After her first novel, Cesta na Drromm (2010), feuilletons for Lidové noviny, articles for the medical magazine Sanquis and scripts for the TV series Kriminálka Anděl, she has devoted the next ten years mainly to the topic of healthy eating and has published four books on the subject. She currently publishes on the platform Substack and her latest project is the TV V.O.X. series Digital (R)evolution. Cecílie lives in Prague.

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