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Israel Health Ministry concealed, manipulated vaccine injury data, say leaked documents

'No one has been monitoring the side effects'

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January 09, 2023

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01:29 AM

Israel Health Ministry concealed, manipulated vaccine injury data, say leaked documents

Israel’s Health Ministry last year suppressed and manipulated vital vaccine injury data ahead of its decision to vaccinate 5–11-year-old children, according to a June 2022 letter released Sunday by risk communication researcher and University of Haifa and Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel teaching fellow Dr. Yaffa Shir-Raz

The letter, addressed to the Health Ministry by Shamir Hospital’s Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology Head Professor Mati Berkowitz, summarized a meeting that took place just days earlier between himself and senior Health Ministry officials. 

Prof. Berkowitz had been hired by the ministry to study adverse events from the COVID shots reported in the government’s newly functional system. The pediatric specialist hired a specialized team for the project, which began in January 2022. 

The team identified 22 categories of adverse events, including safety signals not listed by Pfizer such as neurological side effects, tinnitus and others. 

The researchers also found that there were many long-term adverse reactions; in 50% of the reports in which duration was mentioned at all, the side effect lasted longer than six months. 

Then there were several findings of rechallenges, which is when the side effect resolves itself but returns after another dose. Prof. Berkowitz told Health Ministry officials that a rechallenge makes the causality between the vaccine and the adverse event “definitive”. 

Prof. Berkowitz makes clear in his letter that he is plagued with concern about his findings. One of his concerns was the fact that 150 cases of emergency visits and/or hospitalizations following the COVID injections were not reported to the expert committee tasked with recommending the shots for children. In other words, the committee that met in late June and pushed for 5–11-year-old children to be injected with the Pfizer shots had not seen crucial data about vaccine injuries. 

“They now know about people — real people — who were seriously injured from the vaccine, and people who suffered rechallenges and they are not following them up, treating them or compensating them,” Dr. Shir-Raz told Frontline News. “We know that from this letter there are over 150 reports on hospitalizations in adults, but no one has analyzed those cases.” 

Another of Prof. Berkowitz’s concerns was that he hadn’t been paid. Despite having hired a dedicated unit for the research, the ministry neither signed a contract with him nor paid him for his work over the last six months. For that reason, Prof. Berkowitz concluded in bold lettering, he was pausing the project pending receipt of payment from the Health Ministry. 

“That means that since June actually — again, no one has been monitoring the side effects,” Dr. Shir-Raz added. “They might have the reports, but no one is analyzing them or doing anything with them, so they are, again, buried with the Ministry of Health.” 

A leaked Zoom recording of the June 5th meeting between the researchers and Health Ministry officials referenced in the letter revealed that some types of side effects reported to the ministry’s system did not find their way into the ministry’s public report or the published literature on the vaccine’s adverse events or the vaccine’s package insert. 

Furthermore, the researchers were given extremely limited data. The smallest of Israel’s five HMOs, Meuhedet, was the only one to provide Prof. Berkowitz’s team with data on adverse events. The other four refused. The Health Ministry compared those adverse events to all doses administered throughout the pandemic, even though only about 10% of all doses were administered during the period of the study. 

The ministry did not disclose in its report to the public that the adverse event reports came from only one HMO. 

Furthermore, the ministry compared adverse events affecting only women, like menstrual side effects, to the number of doses given to both women and men, further diluting the number of vaccine injuries. 

The Health Ministry’s report also omitted rechallenge data. 

These and other alarming data manipulations led Prof. Berkowitz to suggest that the ministry begin thinking about legal consequences. 

“Here we will need to think about this medico-legally,” Prof. Berkowitz told ministry officials. “Why? Because, for not a few side effects, we said ‘OK, it exists and there’s a report, but please get vaccinated [anyway].’ 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.’” 

The research team begged Health Ministry officials to publish the reports and share them with the Health Ministry's head of public health services Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, who brokered Israel's vaccine agreement with Pfizer, and Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash. 

The Health Ministry officials present at the meeting, including Epidemiology Division Director Dr. Emilia Anis, expressed their appreciation for Prof. Berkowitz’s work and appeared eager to relay the report’s findings to Dr. Alroy-Preis and Director-General Ash. 

But that appears to be the last time the Health Ministry engaged with Prof. Berkowitz or used his services. 

During a presentation of the Health Ministry’s Zoom meeting recording, MIT Operations Management Professor and Leaders for Global Operations Program Director Retsef Levi said he believes the Health Ministry officials did indeed pass on Prof. Berkowitz’s report to the ministry’s decision makers along with Prof. Berkowitz’s suggestions, but the data were inconvenient for the ministry. If the ministry were to take seriously the damning reports of vaccine-induced side effects, it could jeopardize its agreement with Pfizer.

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