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(LifeSiteNews) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has ceased printing COVID-19 vaccine record cards as vaccine mandates to participate in normal daily life have largely disappeared, yet concerns linger about a potential revival of COVID restrictions on the horizon.

The Associated Press reports that, with the federal government no longer directly distributing COVID shots and most establishments no longer requiring proof of vaccination, the CDC has stopped printing the wallet-sized cards. Americans who still require proof of vaccination for a particular purpose can request copies of their records through their local clinic, pharmacy, or state health department.

Between late 2020 and early May 2023, the federal government is estimated to have distributed more than 980 million of the cards, which for critics became a symbol of “COVID tyranny” and the federal government and medical establishment’s efforts to force COVID vaccination on the general public as a condition to work outside the home, attend school, shop, gather in public, serve in the military, and more.

Championed by former President Donald Trump during the last year of his administration, which was also the first year of the global COVID outbreak, the COVID shots were developed and reviewed in a fraction of the time vaccines usually take. The accelerated pace of the government’s Operation Warp Speed initiative was billed as the key to getting society back to normal, which in turn was the rationalization for the mandates, but that pace also left many concerned about the shots’ safety and effectiveness. 

Those concerns have largely been vindicated by available data, which found the shots were inferior to natural immunity from prior infection at providing long-lasting protection from severe illness, largely ineffective at preventing transmission of the virus to others, and linked to serious side effects.

Studies have found that jab-induced COVID “protection” wanes around six months (or potentially sooner), with whatever alleged protection the shots offer further undermined by the rise of variants since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

The federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) reports 36,286 deaths, 210,138 hospitalizations, 20,848 heart attacks, and 27,549 myocarditis and pericarditis cases as of September 22, among other ailments. An April 2022 study out of Israel indicates that COVID infection itself cannot fully account for the myocarditis numbers, despite common insistence to the contrary.

Jab defenders are quick to stress that reports submitted to VAERS are unconfirmed, as anyone can submit one, but U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) researchers have recognized a “high verification rate of reports of myocarditis to VAERS after mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccination,” leading to the conclusion that “under-reporting is more likely” than over-reporting.

Further, VAERS is not the only data source containing red flags. Data from the Pentagon’s Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED) shows that 2021 saw drastic spikes in a variety of diagnoses for serious medical issues over the previous five-year average, including hypertension (2,181 percent), neurological disorders (1,048 percent), multiple sclerosis (680 percent), Guillain-Barre syndrome (551 percent), breast cancer, (487 percent), female infertility (472 percent), pulmonary embolism (468 percent), migraines (452 percent), ovarian dysfunction (437 percent), testicular cancer (369 percent), and tachycardia (302 percent).

Last September, the Japanese Society for Vaccinology published a peer-reviewed study conducted by researchers from Stanford, UCLA, and the University of Maryland, which found that the “Pfizer trial exhibited a 36 percent higher risk of serious adverse events in the vaccine group” while the “Moderna trial exhibited a 6 percent higher risk of serious adverse events in the vaccine group,” for a combined “16 percent higher risk of serious adverse events in mRNA vaccine recipients.”

In December 2022, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) hosted a roundtable discussion during which civil rights attorney Aaron Siri detailed data from the CDC’s V-Safe reporting system revealing that 800,000 of the system’s 10 million participants, or approximately 7.7 percent, reported needing medical care after COVID injection. “25 percent of those people needed emergency care or were hospitalized, and another 48 percent sought urgent care,” Siri added. “Also, another 25 percent on top of the 7.7 percent reported being unable to work or go to school.”

Another study by a team of American, British, and Canadian researchers, published last December in the Journal of Medical Ethics, found that COVID booster mandates for university students – a relatively healthy group at relatively low risk from the virus – do far more harm than good: “per COVID-19 hospitalisation prevented, we anticipate at least 18.5 serious adverse events from mRNA vaccines, including 1.5–4.6 booster-associated myopericarditis cases in males (typically requiring hospitalisation).”

In recent months, some schools, hospitals, and businesses have resumed mask mandates, citing rising cases from new COVID variants against which the government admits current vaccines may be ineffective. The news has prompted speculation as to whether a return to broader lockdowns is forthcoming. 

President Joe Biden has announced he is seeking funding from Congress to develop new COVID vaccines for these variants, prompting fears of new mandates, similarly rushed development, and whether they would have similar problems as the shots developed under his predecessor.