Dr Gregory Michael dies after COVID-19 vaccine – what are the facts?

Dr. Gregory Michael

Dr. Gregory Michael, MD, a Miami, FL OB-GYN, died a little over two weeks after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.  Almost everything that happens after someone gets this new vaccine is under the microscope by just anyone that has an interest in vaccines. 

Of course, anti-vaxxers jumped on the bandwagon after reading that Dr. Gregory Michael’s wife stated that he died because of the vaccine. Similar to the story about Tiffany Dover, who fainted soon after being vaccinated because she had a fear of needles and, of course, did not die, the anti-vaccine forces are doing everything they can to discredit the vaccine.

Dr. Michael was one of our brave healthcare workers who delivered babies during a pandemic. He was pro-vaccine, and that’s why he received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Let’s take a close look at what happened to Dr. Michael. Is there a correlation to the COVID-19 vaccine? Did the vaccine cause his death? 

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Steven Brandenburg destroys COVID-19 vaccines because they change DNA

Steven Brandenburg

In between all of the bad news going on in the world, you may have missed the story of Steven Brandenburg, the anti-vaccine pharmacist who intentionally destroyed numerous vials of the Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, which had recently received an emergency use authorization from the US FDA.

At first, it was thought it was unintentional. When you are moving quickly to vaccinate healthcare workers and others against the deadly disease, maybe Steven Brandenburg, a licensed pharmacist, just got so busy that he left the vaccine on a table until it was too late. I have been involved with vaccines for a long time, and I cannot begin to count how many times people have spoiled vaccines because of forgetfulness, not understanding how it should be stored, or a plethora of other reasons.

Once it became clear what had happened, Brandenburg was fired by his employer, Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, Wisconsin, and eventually arrested for destroying over 500 doses in about 53 vials of the vaccine. Maybe one could be excused for accidentally spoiling 5 vials of the critical vaccine. But 53 vials is strong evidence of criminal intent (note, I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on the internet). 

Steven Brandenburg was charged with felony charges of reckless endangerment and property damage, though prosecutors said the charges could be dropped to a single misdemeanor if the vials, which have yet to be tested, are still usable. He is out of jail on a $10,000 bond.

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COVID-19 vaccines pipeline – potential next emergency use authorizations

COVID-19 vaccines pipeline

After the emergency use authorizations (EUA) were given for the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, what is next in the pipeline? There are three vaccines that could be reviewed by the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) during the next few weeks that would provide recommendations to the FDA (and other national drug regulatory bodies) for EUAs.

The three vaccines I’m going to discuss are ones that have a reasonable chance of getting approved for use in the USA or Europe. This excludes COVID-19 vaccines from Russia, China, and other countries that rarely, if ever, get FDA approval for vaccines (see Note 1).

So, let’s take a look at what are probably the next three COVID-19 vaccines in the pipeline.

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mRNA vaccine myths – anti-vax lies about COVID-19 vaccines (UPDATED)

mrna vaccine myths

This mRNA vaccine myths article will be updated frequently as new myths appear. To save you the time of reading the myths you already have, the table of contents will have NEW for new listings or REVISED if a myth debunking has been substantially updated. Please like, comment, and share this article, as I think it will be useful in debunking some of the nonsense that we’re seeing from anti-vaxxers. 

Also, please leave a comment if you come across mRNA vaccine myths that should be added here. And please, let’s not go down the rabbit hole of nanobots in this vaccine – there are no nanobots in this vaccine. Worry about Facebook on your iPhone if you think we’re being tracked.

Unless you have been hiding out in the secret cancer cure vault hidden in Greenland, you know that anti-vaxxers are pushing mRNA vaccine myths as the new vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna get closer and closer to launches in the USA and many other parts of the world.

These myths are more serious this time because we need to get herd immunity from vaccines (not from genocide). If we don’t vaccinate enough people, because too many people remain hesitant because of these mRNA vaccine myths, then we may be wearing masks for years.

I haven’t read all of the lies, tropes, and myths from the anti-vaccine crowd regarding various coronavirus vaccines, especially the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.

Right now, there are just a handful of these mRNA vaccine myths, but I plan to add to this article as new ones are uncovered. I’m going to do my best to cut off these lies as soon as I can.

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Unprotected sex and COVID-19 vaccine – another ridiculous anti-vax myth

Unprotected sex and COVID-19 vaccine

And here we go again, another COVID-19 vaccine myth – you shouldn’t have unprotected sex after vaccination. I once thought that the HPV vaccine was the most hated by anti-vaxxers, but I think the COVID-19 vaccines are moving to the top of the list.

Before I get into the details, let’s go for the spoiler alert – there are reasons to not have unprotected sex, but getting the COVID-19 vaccine is not one of them. 

Like all anti-vaccine myths, it results from scientific amateurism from people trying to use anything to end vaccinations and spread diseases. It’s so frustrating, but it deserves a debunking.

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Tiffany Dover – nurse harassed after fainting following COVID-19 vaccine

This article about the anti-vaxxer harassment of Tiffany Dover was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about the social and legal policies of vaccination. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease. She is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group on Ethics and Policy.

For several weeks, anti-vaccine activists from all around the world have targeted a nurse from Tennessee, Tiffany Dover, stalking and harassing her, her employer, and her family. This post describes the kind of behavior Tiffany Dover was subjected to, offers some steps people in that situation can take, and points to the features of social media that make this kind of targeted harassment possible.

Ms. Dover was not the only – or even the worst – case of this kind of sustained harassment in the past years. The worst is probably the extensive, ugly, horrible targeting of the families who lost children in the Sandy Hook shooting. 

This kind of behavior is highly problematic and needs a response.

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2020 top 10 articles – not all about vaccines and COVID-19

2020 top 10 list

It’s that time of the year, the top 10 articles of 2020 on the Skeptical Raptor website. As years go, 2020 is quite at the level of 1939, when WWII started that killed six million Jews and over 50 million other people, or 1347, the first year of the Black Death, which eventually killed up to 200 million people.

But in my lifetime, 2020 ranks at or near the top 10 of the “years that suck” list. 

Traditionally, I repost the top 10 list of articles that I have written over the past year, but 2020 is different. The news about COVID-19, vaccines, and quack treatments have required constant writing so, I never got to do the reposts. So, I’m just going to list the 2020’s top 10 list of articles.

Please take time to read some of them, repost them if they’re interesting, and comment. It helps this website grow and gets out facts about important science and medical issues that are the target of science deniers.

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COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy – safety and expert recommendations

COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy

One of the questions that keep entering the discourse on the COVID-19 vaccine is whether it should be given during pregnancy. There’s not a definitive answer, but there is some good advice based on evidence from leading infectious disease experts.

I’m not here to make a recommendation one way or another regarding whether the COVID-19 vaccine should be given during pregnancy. My job is to provide the evidence and the recommendations so that every woman can be armed with this when speaking to their healthcare provider.

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COVID-19 vaccine allergic reactions – a possible culprit hypothesized

COVID-19 vaccine allergic reactions

After the recent launch of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, some severe COVID-19 vaccine allergic reactions were observed in patients who received them. Allergic reactions are observed with all vaccines, with a rate of around 1 in 1 million. As of 19 December 2020, there have been six reported severe allergic reactions in 272,000 people who have received one of the vaccines.

In the Pfizer clinical trial data, the researchers observed that around 0.63% of the vaccinated group in phase II/III trials experienced a significant allergic reaction.

So does this mean that COVID-19 vaccine allergic reactions are a major concern about the safety of these vaccines? And do we know why we’re seeing them, even if very rarely? I think we can answer both questions in this article. Continue reading “COVID-19 vaccine allergic reactions – a possible culprit hypothesized”

COVID-19 vaccine EUA prevented by hydroxychloroquine – myth busted

COVID-19 vaccine eua

This article about how “cures” should prevent a COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorization (EUA) was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about the social and legal policies of vaccination. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease. She is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group on Ethics and Policy.

I have seen this myth around but haven’t had a chance to respond to it, so I will do it quickly here. No, there is no conspiracy to hide the benefits of things like hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and vitamin D, and no, if they were shown effective, it would not prevent a COVID-19 vaccine EUA.

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