Vaccinations — Ask for What You Need - Camp Jump Start

We have all seen numerous videos of people being immunized.  As an “experienced (a.k.a. old) nurse”—I was horrified that no one was aspirating prior to injection.  This means that you insert the needle into the deltoid (upper arm) muscle, pull back on the plunger to check if any blood returns into the syringe and if not, then inject or push the vaccine into the muscle.  This small but, in my opinion, critical step is not being taught any longer!  The World Health Organization changed the guidelines in 2015 and the CDC followed in 2020 because they say it minimizes pain at the injection site!  They also state that the veins and arteries are too small and would not allow the vaccine to enter intravenously.  But what if this is not the case? 

Over the course of my 40-year career and the thousands of injections that I have given, I can count on my fingers how many times I aspirated and had blood return.  I was taught that it is important to know where that needle stops during an injection—in the muscle or in the blood vessel.  If the shot was meant to be an intramuscular injection then I needed to be sure that it was in the muscle and not in a vein or artery.  I did that by pulling back on the plunger and if I saw blood then it was a warning sign that the needle was not where I wanted it to be.  I would simply remove the needle without injecting and set up for another attempt. 

Over the course of this pandemic, we are learning a lot. 

Out of approximately 7 Billion vaccinations given, doesn’t it make sense that some injections could have been inadvertently given intravenously!  It has not been proven that the lack of aspiration prior to injection causes side effects like myocarditis or blood clots but is it possible?

Both Pfizer and Moderna have clearly stated that their vaccines should only be given via the intramuscular route.

Researchers from Hong Kong looked at Pfizer (mRNA) vaccine and found that intravenous injections could be causing the rare side effects of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart).  The paper is entitled “Intravenous Injection of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) mRNA Vaccine Can Induce Acute Myopericarditis in Mouse Model”. It is a peer reviewed paper and published in Clinical Infectious Diseases

This impressive study takes three groups of mice:
        Group 1 intramuscular Pfizer injection
        Group 2 intravenous Pfizer injection
        Group 3 Control group receiving a saline solution

The mice were observed for 14 days and one group received a booster after the priming dose.
What they observed was ONLY the intravenous injection group developed signs of cardiomyocyte degeneration when cells were examined under a microscope. (Pericarditis was actually seen easily when just looking at the hearts of the mice.)  There was also liver cell damage in the intravenous group.

These side effects lasted for the 14 days after intravenous injection and were markedly aggravated after the booster dose.  Even if the second dose was given correctly as an intramuscular injection, the vaccination aggravated the condition and actually caused more pericarditis following the second dose!  This is exactly what we are seeing in humans!  In fact, risks are increased in younger men especially after the second dose.

There was no evidence of these problems in those mice that received the vaccine intramuscularly!

What do we know for sure?  A muscle is a living tissue with a good blood supply and no two bodies are alike!  Doesn’t it make sense that a youth needs great blood supply as their tissues are active and growing?  (This is why you need to speak up for your children when they are getting any vaccination!)  Young men working out at the gym to build impressive arm muscles would require a much greater blood supply compared to an elderly person.  It does not seem a stretch to believe that the odds of hitting a vessel may be easier in these populations. 

The adenovirus vector vaccines like the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca are to be given intramuscularly as well. 

Researchers out of Milan and Munich wrote the paper “Thrombocytopenia and splenic platelet directed immune responses after intravenous ChAdOx1 nCOV-19 administration”.  It is a pre-print paper which has not been peer-reviewed yet.  The paper describes how intravenous administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine could cause blood clots.  It shows how intravenous but not intramuscular injection of ChAdOx1 nCOV-19 triggers platelet activation with formation of platelet to adenovirus aggregate.  This is followed by an immune response with antibody to platelets which then triggers blood clots.

Giving an intramuscular injection that is checked by aspiration prior to injection, could prevent complications when administering vaccines.

Knowledge is power and you have the right as a patient/customer to ask for what you need.  I just received a tetanus shot and requested the health professional aspirate when giving the injection.  She explained to me that she was not taught this and had to practice in the way that she was taught.  My health is my responsibility and I know the risks are too great if I do not speak up.  I politely told her why it was important to me and asked her to find someone who could help me with my request.  (I would have left without the shot if there was no one available.)

It is true–a shot hurts but for the sake of taking a few more seconds to aspirate, I believe it may very well decrease adverse reactions and be worth that irritation.  It is okay to speak up and ask for what you need!

But you do not have to take my word for it—copy and paste the above articles into a search engine and decide for yourself.