A new wave of coronavirus is sweeping across Russia, with over 800 deaths a day, the highest death toll in the world and the highest mortality rate for Russia in the history of the epidemic. Meanwhile, thousands of Russians continue to receive «nothing» instead of vaccines with proven efficacy. Although EpiVacCorona has long been at the epicenter of a scandal (its effectiveness is highly questionable, and its developers have been accused of falsifying data), it has not yet been withdrawn from circulation.
According to officials, by early August over 1 million people in Russia had been vaccinated with the drug. Many of them became sick after vaccination and some even died from COVID. The Insider spoke with friends and relatives of the victims.
According to official data, over a million people have already been vaccinated with EpiVacCorona; this year Vector is planning to increase production to 5 million doses per month. Those who receive this vaccine expect to be protected against a severe form of the disease, but experts appear to have been right about its ineffectiveness and falsified trial results; at any rate, The Insider has already discovered quite a few cases where recipients of this vaccine have died from COVID-19.
«On July 2, my mom passed away,» Nadezhda Erofeeva from Irkutsk told The Insider. «She was 60 years old. She was going to visit her mother and decided to get vaccinated, signed up for Sputnik, but it turned out to be unavailable and she was given EpiVac. Soon she came down with COVID, the vaccination did not help, the disease was very severe, although my mother did not have any chronic diseases. She stayed home sick for 10 days and then spent 3 weeks in the ICU. The cause of death was acute respiratory failure, not some related complication».
Nadezhda is outraged that people are not being told about the ineffectiveness of EpiVac:
«With this story, I do not want to agitate for anything or stir up a debate around an issue that is already sensitive. But I want to ask people to speak out. If we had gotten all the information in advance, before mom decided to get vaccinated, maybe her decision would have been different. My 82-year-old grandmother with a whole bunch of serious chronic ailments had a lighter form of the disease than my mom had with EpiVac. Who's going to answer for that now?»
Recently, the State Duma passed in the first reading a bill to include preventive vaccinations against coronavirus in the national vaccination calendar. These amendments would make COVID-19 vaccination de facto mandatory for teachers, doctors, social workers and some other professions. But in fact, many employers have already been forcing their employees to get a vaccine, threatening to fire them otherwise. Some workers do not wait for threats and decide to get vaccinated to avoid risking their jobs. The only problem is that while there are internationally published scientific papers and more or less reliable statistics on the effectiveness of Sputnik, no reliable data exists on the safety of EpiVac, let alone its effectiveness against COVID-19.
«My colleague Gennady Ruev, Associate Professor of the Information and Technology Department of Novosibirsk State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering, PhD in Physics and Mathematics and just a wonderful person died recently,» says Natalia. «He died from the severe effects of COVID, which he contracted a month after he got an EpiVacCorona vaccine. This raises a number of questions: is the Novosibirsk vaccine useless? Or is it harmful as well?»
«In April and May of this year, I vaccinated my disabled parents with EpiVac,» Irina told The Insider. «I was advised by my doctor that EpiVac is well tolerated at my age and does not cause any side effects. I googled and read stuff, and everywhere it is written that the vaccine is effective, it offers maximum protection against all strains and other nonsense. My sister (also vaccinated) brought COVID into our parents' home. Mom fell ill on July 28 and on July 29 we admitted her to a Covid hospital near Moscow with 10% lung damage. On August 7, mom passed away. The cause on the death certificate was cardiopulmonary failure coupled with coronary heart disease - and they gave us her body in a polyethylene bag like they do with the bodies of those who die of coronavirus. Dad got sick on July 31, we admitted him to a Covid hospital on August 2 with 10-to-15 percent lung damage. Dad passed away, too. What kind of protection is this if the first symptom is a colossal lung damage? Yes, I am told my parents were elderly (they were 73 years old), they had a lot of related diseases, but what the developers of the vaccine had promised was protection for the elderly! I've recovered from grief, and I'm overcome with the desire to get to the bottom of it. Were we merely unlucky or is EpiVac a scam?»
The cause on the death certificate was cardiopulmonary failure coupled with coronary heart disease — and they gave us her body in a polyethylene bag like they do with the bodies of those who die of coronavirus
Tatiana from Irkutsk told The Insider a similar story: «My husband got two shots of EpiVacCorona at Polyclinic #4 in Irkutsk. We had been waiting for this particular vaccine, we had no doubts about its effectiveness. He got sick on June 11, had a CT scan which showed 35% lung damage in both lungs. He was admitted to the Shelekhov district hospital. His condition didn't improve. On the fourth day in the hospital, the CT scan showed 92% lung damage. He had been on a ventilator for the last three days. And in mid-July he passed away. He was 37 years old. He had no comorbidities.»
«I myself recommended EpiVacCorona to my husband. I trusted Vector,» says Tatiana. «I read it's easier to tolerate. And I believed that thanks to it, my husband would have a milder form of COVID. But alas. He spent a month in the ICU without any contact with his family. He left two children, who are 15 and 7 years old. As for me, I am undergoing treatment for breast cancer. He was my bedrock.»
In August, came the news about the death of the «Most» theater actor Yuri Ogulnik who was vaccinated with EpiVac (although he received only one dose). According to his daughter, Svetlana Bogdanova, her father was perfectly healthy before the infection: «Yes, yes, it's hard to believe, at the age of 76 he never took medicine, he was doing yoga and jumping around the stage (really jumping). Everyone who knew him admired him for his youthfulness, excellent skin, and healthy complexion.»
Also in August came the news that an entire family – the spouses Mikhail and Lali Kolesnikov and Lali's mother, grandmother Rita, - had died in the village of Khutor in the Krasnodar region. Their 12-year-old daughter became an orphan. All three victims had been vaccinated with EpiVacCorona; they went to Moscow to get the vaccine, as they believed that EpiVac had fewer side effects. They did have special reasons to be concerned about «side effects», as the couple (and according to other reports, Rita's grandmother) had diseases that required kidney dialysis. A relative told Bloknot.Krasnodar that «every one of them had a different cause of death in the death certificate, but COVID and lung damage were mentioned in all of them». A source in the public health agency told RIA Novosti that the couple and the wife's mother died after they were diagnosed with COVID-19, 10-12 days after getting their first dose of the EpiVac vaccine.
There are also those who have survived after experiencing the severe effects that the vaccine is supposed to prevent. Vitaly from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky was vaccinated with EpiVacCorona in May and fell ill in July. He was hospitalized with 60% lung damage. «It took me a long time to decide to get vaccinated, but choosing a particular vaccine wasn't important to me at all. I took the shot that was in the clinic. It was EpiVacCorona,» Vitaly told V1.ru.
«On July 27, I was with my relatives at the dacha and one of them had a sudden fever. I calmed myself with the thought that I was vaccinated and in theory I was not likely to contract COVID. But after a couple of days, I got a fever. The doctor prescribed medication, but it only made me feel worse. It was hard to breathe, to walk, to sit, everything was difficult. I felt like I was dying. With a saturation of 84 and lung damage of over 60%, I was admitted to the regional hospital. The emergency rooms were full, I was on oxygen support for seven days, then another five days on therapy, I was discharged with a positive test, now I'm recovering at home.»
«I'll tell you my tragic story. My mother is 81 years old. She went for her vaccination to the longevity center in June, she had an individual appointment, minimal contact,» Eugenia posted in the «EpiVacCorona reviews» Telegram channel. «We wanted Sputnik. The doctor talked me into EpiVac. He said it was recommended for the elderly. I myself had already gotten a Sputnik. My reaction was strong, but bearable. Mom, herself a doctor, thought long and hard about EpiVac and finally agreed. The doctor sounded very convincing.
Mom had no contraindications. She had a fever with a temperature of 37 Celsius for one day, and that was it. Next, my mom and I read up on EpiVac and figured it out. And my mom refused the second injection, she demanded Sputnik. Her request was denied. Then she decided not to do anything at all. We had to revisit this issue in August because an eye surgery was coming up. Once again we saw the doctor. «You won't tolerate Sputnik, the first dose is the strongest, do a second EpiVac and go treat your eyes.» That's what he literally said. We did a second EpiVac on August 30th. They said the long gap between injections was no big deal. On September 4, my mom had a stomach bleed. 2 days in the hospital, 1 day in intensive care and Mom was gone. The diagnosis is COVID, viral pneumonia. We can't figure out what caused the bleeding. Her weakened body reacted that way. The hospital didn't do anything. They waited, and then they transported her, already unconscious, to the covid hospital.»
The hospital didn't do anything. They waited, and then they transported her, already unconscious, to the covid hospital
«Good afternoon. My husband and I were vaccinated with EpiVac, we had no choice at the time, but we had faith in Vector,» Tatiana posted in the same Telegram channel. «The second vaccination was on May 17. Then we tested for antibodies, my husband's were 0, mine were 2.06. I was told I had a great result. Now we're both sick with COVID. My husband got sick without antibodies in 4 days; I am staying in the First Infectious Disease Hospital in Novosibirsk with a severe form. Yesterday I suffered from a cytokine storm, almost gave up the ghost. «Thanks» to Vector for the miracle vaccine. One lung is completely damaged.»
Despite criticism of the vaccine from independent experts, it was promoted personally by Vladimir Putin (although he himself was vaccinated with Sputnik), and the developers of EpiVac continue to promote it as particularly recommended for the elderly and those with health problems, even though it is in these groups that mortality from COVID is particularly high. Hundreds of thousands of people who had faith in official claims and believed they had received protection from the coronavirus continue to put their lives in mortal danger.
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