Some of you know it already: I am having a nice sojourn on Gran Canaria at the moment. The sad thing is that it ends tomorrow. So, back again to the dark Northern ranges, battered for the moment by the (last?) onslaught of the Plague.
What can I say about these fourteen days of relief from darkness and coldness? Well, it's a repose and a most welcome at that. Even if the weather did not quite live up to expectations. Only four days of sunshine; five days of calima (sandstorm) and five days of rain and cloudiness. Do I complain? Far from it! I am not here to experience eternal sunshine. I am here to EXERCISE, more precisely to get my feet back in shape through walking barefoot on the beach each morning. And this I can do come rain or sunshine! And my toes, curling comfortably as I am writing this, are thanking me for it. By the way, if you want to learn more about this type of home-cooked cure, permit me to refer you back to an older blog of mine, Walking the beach.
Still, walking the beach all morning leaves the afternoon free for other activities. Now and then, I am perusing my laptop to receive the latest scientific advances to cope with the Plague. I am always amazed by the sheer bulk and timeliness of new insights that keep popping up from the scientific wondermen and -women. A recent scientific article from South Africa got my attention. It dealt with a study involving mice (thereof the blog title), since it would be unethical to carry it out with humans. Half of the critters were being vaccinated with Astra Zeneca vaccin (as I recall) injected directly into a vein. The other half got their injections into muscle tissue. The former got side effects in the form of blood clots and capillary leak symptoms, the latter did not get these side effects.
Since it is always delicate to apply results from animal studies to human conditions, I suspect that this study will go the way of many others, that is, into oblivion. Even I would have put it aside, hadn't yet another study rekindled my interest. That one was carried out by a Norwegian scientist, who studied all youths having been vaccinated (against Corona) in Norway and Denmark, respectively. He found out, to his surprise, that there were more than four times as many cases of myocarditis (heart muscle inflammation) following vaccination in Norway than in Denmark! What could explain this difference? The only valid difference the good doctor could find was: the Danish vaccinators aspired prior to vaccination; the Norwegians DID NOT!
I had to look up the term "aspiration" in a medical lexicon. In the context of vaccination it means that you pull out the plunger slightly before administering the vaccine. If the syringe shows some blood, you have inadvertently pushed the needle into a blood vessel and shall withdraw it! If no blood shows, you can go ahead and push the plunger as far as it can go.
I am not a doctor but have several old friends who are. They all assure me that aspiration before vaccination is good standard practice and should always be done. So, why do the Norwegian vaccinators desist from doing it? Come to think of it, NONE OF THE VACCINATORS that gave me my three shots did either! So, why do Swedish vaccinators also desist from doing it?
I leave it to the Swedish Health Authority and the Swedish Health Administrations to address this issue. To me, the whole affair resembles a playback of an old theatre piece, played in reverse. More than a hundred years ago, a young doctor called Semmelweis had to explain to his older colleagues that washing their hands before delivering babies was good standard practice, to prevent serious side effects of delivering. Nowadays, it is the old guard that knows what to do and has to explain to the youngsters that sloppiness in vaccinating can cause harmful side effects in youngsters (and possibly some oldsters).
I rest my case and leave it at a message to all you youngsters in health care:
DO NO HARM; ASPIRATION BEFORE VACCINATION!
Important update (on 19 February 2022): As you can see in the comment below by Franz (an Austrian medical doctor friend), the German Health Authority (the Koch Institut) had hitherto not found the need for aspiration in Corona vaccination. I was a bit surprised by this conclusion, but am now pleased to note that the Institute, in its latest published bulletin of February, has changed its recommendation. From now on, all Corona vaccination is to be carried out with prior aspiration, with special reference to recently published research. I have not seen a similar change in recommendations issued by the Swedish Health Authority. Therefore, I would appeal to my Swedish medical doctor friends to use their influence to get our, as always sloppy, authorities moving and doing the right thing, as the German authorities have done.
And to my other friends: I would advise you to explicitly demand aspiration before vaccination. If the vaccinator would refuse or not understand what this means, it is advisable to use another clinic that is better informed about how to avoid the risks with intramuscular vaccination.