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Covid vaccines may have helped fuel rise in excess deaths

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German researchers have pointed out that the onset of excess mortality in early 2021 in the country coincided with the rollout of vaccines, which the team said “warranted further investigation”.

However, more recent data regarding side-effects has not been made available to the public, with countries keeping their own individual databases of harms, which rely on self-reporting by the public and doctors, the experts warned.

Delays to other treatments

Researchers said that it was “likely” that the impact of containment measures, restricted healthcare and socioeconomic upheaval during the pandemic had contributed to deaths, although accepted that was difficult to prove.

Gordon Wishart, chief medical officer at Check4Cancer, and visiting professor of cancer surgery at Anglia Ruskin University, warned repeatedly that delaying cancer diagnosis would lead to deaths.

“It was predicted early in the lockdown period that limited access to healthcare for non-Covid conditions would lead to delays in the diagnosis and treatment of time-critical conditions such as cancer, cardiac disease, diabetes and dementia and that this would lead to excess deaths from these conditions,” he said.

NHS England data shows that per 100,000 people the cancer incidence was 521 in the pre-lockdown year, then fell to 456 in 2020-2021, suggesting around 45,000 cancers were missed in the first pandemic year.

The incidence rate rose to 540 per 100,000 the following year suggesting many cancers were diagnosed late, when treatment would be less effective.

Speaking about the potential for vaccine harm, Mr Wishart added: “The authors are correct to point out that many vaccine-related serious adverse events may have been unreported, and point to the fact that the simultaneous onset of excess mortality and Covid vaccination in Germany is worthy of further investigation on its own.

“The paper provides more questions than answers but, it is hard to disagree with their conclusion that further analysis is required to understand the underlying causes of excess mortality to better prepare for the future management of pandemic crises”

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