After suffering life-changing and debilitating side effects they claim are from COVID-19 vaccines, 11 physicians are going public with their stories in hopes other doctors and the federal government start taking vaccine safety more seriously.
Attorney Aaron Siri of the law firm Siri Glimstad released the testimonies of the doctors, saying the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have turned a deaf ear to these and other stories arising from the mass vaccination of the United States population after the Wuhan coronavirus.
“These physicians and their patients all supported the Covid-19 vaccine. Almost all of them are fully vaccinated,” Siri wrote in a letter to the FDA, CDC and U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. “It is understandable that you would not want to admit that a product you have authorized, approved, and widely promoted caused harm, but we implore you to have the moral fortitude to rise above your personal interests.”
“These physicians stand to lose an incredible amount coming forward – their income, jobs, careers, privacy, etc.,” Siri wrote. “But they do so to put the interest of the public and of their patients ahead of their own. We ask you to do the same.”
In a Nov. 1 email reply to Siri, an FDA communications official suggested the doctors report their side effects to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), something they all had done. That drew a rebuke from Siri: “Your response continues to make clear you have no intention of taking their concerns seriously. They detail in their sworn declarations that they have submitted the serious injuries they and their patients have suffered to VAERS, but have received no adequate response.”
The VAERS database has logged over 800,000 reports for COVID-19 shots. Established in 1990, VAERS is a passive surveillance system that takes reports of injuries, side effects and deaths from doctors, health care facilities, vaccine manufacturers, state health officials, patients and the general public. Data in the system are not meant to prove cause and effect, but rather be a red flag for safety concerns that warrant more detailed study.
Doctors report their own injuries
A board-certified pediatrician from Pennsylvania reports suffering from a variety of neurological problems since taking two doses of the Moderna vaccine eight months ago. Symptoms include joint pain, fever, tachycardia, palpitations, paresthesias (tingling sensation), muscle fasciculation (twitching), fatigue and brain fog. A “strong believer in vaccines,” this doctor expressed frustration that the medical community is not taking vaccine deaths and injuries seriously.
“It is devastating to me, not only that this happened, but that the medical community as a whole is not willing to acknowledge that this is happening,” the doctor wrote. “I have been injured by the vaccine and I am honestly terrified of what will happen if we don’t look into this and continue to give booster shots to adults and doses to young children.”
A dermatologist in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas experienced tingling in her hands at the time of her second vaccine injection, a condition that has worsened, along with a feeling of “shaky muscles and weakness.” She developed small-fiber neuropathy and lost pin-prick and temperature sensation in her extremities. She went to three neurologists for help.
One doctor “had no treatment options to offer other than, ‘I suspect this will improve over time.’ It hasn’t. I have been struggling with fatigue, exercise and heat intolerance, burning sensation of bilateral upper and lower extremities, gastric paresis, constipation, irritability and weakness since this began,” the doctor wrote. “It is difficult to work with a marked decline in stamina.”
A Los Angeles pediatrician said she was forced to take a second vaccine in September or risk job loss. She was denied a medical exemption based on reactions to the first dose. After experiencing arm pain for five days, she reported numbness and tingling in her hands, and right shoulder pain that has lasted nine months since the first vaccine dose. This doctor reported treating four patients for vaccine injury, ages 13, 15, and 17. The 15-year-old began having auditory hallucinations within 48 hours of receiving the second Pfizer dose.
A 17-year-old patient reported chills, fatigue and enlarged lymph nodes that lasted for weeks; along with diarrhea that persisted for four months. A 13-year-old reported lower extremity pain and fatigue a week after his first dose that has continued for four months. A 15-year-old girl has endured four months of tinnitus in the left ear, which started within one to three weeks of receiving her second Pfizer vaccine dose.
Children need protection
“We cannot just throw children under the bus and say they need to get the COVID-19 vaccination for the sake of the rest of society,” the pediatrician wrote. “We must put their needs and health first, especially when we don’t know the long-term effects. Doctors are dismissing the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccination without any evidence or telling patients it is due to anxiety. The side effects to the COVID-19 vaccination are real and not always transitory.”
Danice Hertz, a retired California gastroenterologist, reported suffering a “life-threatening and life-altering severe reaction” 30 minutes after receiving the first Pfizer dose in December 2020. “I have suffered from severe and painful paresthesias in my face, head and body and have been incapacitated for 10 months,” she wrote. “I have suffered from tremors, twitching, internal vibrations, the feeling of a tight constriction band around my chest, loud tinnitus, blurred vision, dizziness and imbalance, weakness and headaches since receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.”
Hertz filed reports with VAERS and has 93 pages of email exchanges with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health. “It is time that these reactions be acknowledged by the medical community,” Dr. Hertz wrote. “The medical community needs to be educated about these reactions and research must be funded to determine what caused these reactions and how to treat them.”
A Georgia pediatrician reported experiencing sinus tachycardia and small-fiber neuropathy three days after taking a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. “When my neurological symptoms began, I was terrified that I would lose my ability to practice medicine because the weakness was so significant,” the doctor wrote. “I worried that I had developed MS (multiple sclerosis) or myasthenia gravis. I am fortunate that my neurologist had another patient with very similar symptoms who was farther along in her evaluation, and was willing to take my concerns seriously.”
The pediatrician reported the side effects to VAERS and the National Institutes of Health, but received a reply “telling me that they did not need to hear my story.”
“I am a pediatrician and steadfastly pro-vaccine. However, I am concerned that these vaccine injuries are not being discussed openly,” the doctor wrote. “ If we are not honest with the public, they will have further reason to distrust the medical community. Additionally, I was fortunate enough to have physicians who listened to me and thoroughly evaluated my symptoms; I have seen multiple physicians on social media who are less receptive to their patients’ stories.”
Dr. Robert J. Benkendorf, an emergency medicine physician from Palm Coast, Fla., reported injuries suffered by three patients and the death of one patient who developed Stevens-Johnson Syndrome within two weeks of her COVID vaccine. A 75-year-old man developed Guillain-Barré Syndrome within two weeks of getting a vaccine, he said. Two women, ages 35 and 40, developed heart-rhythm problems within weeks of getting the shot.
“I am aware that incidents such as these are being under-reported and ignored,” Dr. Benkendorf wrote. “I can only speculate as to why. People deserve informed consent before submitting to any vaccine. Furthermore, people with naturally acquired immunity are being ignored.”
Dr. Joel Anthony Wallskog, an orthopedic surgeon from Mequon, Wis., said he experienced numbness, weakness and balance difficulties after he got a first dose of the Moderna vaccine in December 2020. He was diagnosed with transverse myelitis and a demyelinated lesion on his spinal cord. He was forced to go on long-term disability. He refused to get a second dose.
“Why are we so dependent on UK and Israeli COVID data and only see U.S. data that supports the current pro-vaccine narrative?” Wallskog asked. “…People are not receiving informed consent when they get vaccinated. They are unaware that the COVID vaccines are exempt from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and that getting compensation from the CICP (Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program) is, I understand, almost impossible and is extremely limited.”
Many doctors not taking vaccine injuries seriously
A family medicine doctor reported severe reactions within minutes of both the first and second COVID doses, including tachycardia, dizziness, flushing, facial numbness and elevated blood pressure. The doctor reported almost passing out on the freeway on the drive home from getting the second shot. “I started turning beet red and hot all the time and my heart would race to the 150s for no reason, even in the middle of the night in bed,” the doctor wrote. “I couldn’t stand up or walk more than 100 feet due to severe dizziness, racing heart and feeling like I was burning all over. I then began to experience significant muscle fatiguability in my lower extremities, as well as overall profound fatigue.”
This doctor reported elevated blood-clotting levels and was diagnosed with mast cell activation sydrome, dysautonomia/postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and small-fiber neuropathy. She lost her job because she could not return to seeing a full patient load. Later she returned to her practice, but had to seek a job with more flexible hours due to the fatigue. “My allergist has officially listed the Pfizer COVID vaccine as an allergy,” she wrote. “My cardiologist and neurologist attribute this to the vaccine as well as doctors at the NIH.”
The doctor reported details of her own patients who suffered vaccine injuries after the COVID shot. A 67-year-old woman experienced syncope (fainting) the day after the vaccine, suffering facial bruising and a concussion. The fainting recurred several times in the following weeks. A 32-year-old man with Type 2 diabetes developed shingles shortly after taking the vaccine, resulting in “huge wounds” that would not heal. The wounds on his back penetrated to the muscle level.
The doctor said physicians need better education on these side effects. “There are still many who do not believe these reactions are real,” she wrote. “On my first two trips to the ER, I was treated very poorly (at the hospital where I worked). I was told it was anxiety, postpartum hormones, etc. To be fair to the doctors, they are constantly told these vaccines have a great safety profile.”
A hospital physician on the East Coast became disabled within hours of receiving the Pfizer vaccine. “I developed disabling symptoms,” she wrote. “The majority of these symptoms are still present to this day. My symptom list is long and includes the following: tinnitus, menstrual cycle irregularities, hair loss, paresthesias, fatigue, bladder incontinence, inappropriate tachycardia and cognitive impairment.”
She said many friends and acquaintances on social media are “fighting to be believed.”
“As time goes on, it hurts my heart to see physicians gaslighting their patients by refusing to believe or see these vaccine injuries,” she wrote. “By being closed-minded regarding COVID-19 vaccine-induced injuries, physicians are actively contributing to the cover up of the vaccine injured. This goes against the oath we took as physicians and is entirely inappropriate.”
(Editor’s note: This report has been edited and updated for clarity and accuracy.)
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