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Sen. Rand Paul grills Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel@SenRandPaul/Twitter

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) confronted Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel Wednesday on the safety of his company’s mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, particularly mounting evidence linking the shot to increased risk of myocarditis.

The Daily Caller reports that during the Senate hearing, Paul asked, “is there a higher incidence of myocarditis among adolescent males ages 16-24 after taking your vaccine?” Bancel started a non-responsive answer but was cut off by Paul, who reiterated that he wanted a “yes or no.”

“The data … has shown there’s less [risk] for people who get the vaccine versus people who get the COVID infection,” he said.

“That is not true,” Paul responded, citing six research papers on the subject. “The fact that you can’t say it in public is quite disturbing. Do you think it’s scientifically sound to mandate three vaccines for adolescent boys?”

“I’ll ask you this question: your 16-year-old had COVID, your 16-year-old gets better and now has recovered from COVID,” Paul asked. “You vaccinate them and they get myocarditis, are you gonna give them two more vaccines? Your child, give them two more vaccines?”

Bancel once again attempted to demur, stressing that he was “not a physician,” but eventually confirmed that he vaccinated his children “three or four times.”

“The CDC said if your 15 or 16-year-old gets COVID, recovers, takes the vaccine and gets myocarditis, is hospitalized with elevated heart enzymes and is very sick, the CDC says as soon as he gets better, vaccinate him again,” the senator said. “Do you know how many American parents think that’s a rational, reasonable thing to do? Do you know how many countries don’t do this for children?”

“You sit here and act like you’ve never heard of myocarditis and you don’t think it’s an increased risk for young, adolescent males when all of the studies who isolate people out, by age, have found that yes, there’s an increased risk after taking your vaccine,” Paul added. “Pfizer too but worse with Moderna.”

Bancel eventually acknowledged that the shots carried some myocarditis risk, but insisted that the risk from COVID itself was still higher.

Many Americans continue to harbor safety concerns about the COVID shots, which were developed and released in a fraction of the time vaccines usually take under former President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed initiative. The federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting system (VAERS) reports 34,725 deaths, 194,495 hospitalizations, 18,820 heart attacks, and 26,636 myocarditis and pericarditis cases as of March 10. 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 U.S. 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%), neurological disorders (1,048%), multiple sclerosis (680%), Guillain-Barre syndrome (551%), breast cancer, (487%), female infertility (472%), pulmonary embolism (468%), migraines (452%), ovarian dysfunction (437%), testicular cancer (369%), and tachycardia (302%).

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% higher risk of serious adverse events in the vaccine group” while the “Moderna trial exhibited a 6% higher risk of serious adverse events in the vaccine group,” for a combined “16% 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 by the 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).”

COVID vaccination is most controversial for the young, as data shows that children are at little-to-no risk from the virus itself. 

In summer 2021, a team of researchers with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine “analyze[d] approximately 48,000 children under 18 diagnosed with Covid in health-insurance data from April to August 2020,” and found a “mortality rate of zero among children without a pre-existing medical condition such as leukemia.” The lead researcher, Dr. Marty Makary, accused the CDC of basing its advocacy of school COVID vaccination on “flimsy data.”

Meanwhile, even experts otherwise friendly to the new shots — as acknowledged by the left-leaning publication Wired — argue that the potential for vaccine-related myocarditis among young males undermines the public health establishment’s persistent refrain that “the benefits of [COVID-19] vaccination far outweigh any harm.”

In late 2021, when the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) first approved the Pfizer shot for children as young as five years, Dr. Eric Rubin, a member of the FDA’s Vaccines & Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, drew alarm by stating that “we’re never going to learn about how safe this vaccine is unless we start giving it. That’s just the way it goes.”

In January, Bancel complained that “political debate” and “scientific debate” over the shots contributed to “very, very low” vaccination rates in various countries, rather than the public simply accepting that the COVID vaccines have “been approved by the regulators, clinical studies have been done.”