Josef Witt-Doerring (JWD) (See Cause and Effect Credentials) interviewed Shane Cooke on January 15 2022. Josef had Shane’s ER discharge summary describing Shane’s presentation and imaging findings. He also had access to Shane’s prior medical history.
Shane got sucked into the medical system in his late teenage years. Until then he had been a fit, healthy man looking forward to getting married and a higher training qualification.
He was mistakenly diagnosed with a nervous problem and put on SSRIs, which dramatically changed his life and the lives of his family and closest friends.
This problem was compounded by a failure of the mental health system to realise that all his problems were caused by their drugs. They kept piling diagnoses and treatments on him that wrecked his life. See Gripped by and Discarded by GlaxoSmithKline.
About 5 years before Covid, the mistake was realised. Shane successfully stopped valproate, greatly reduced quetiapine but had a host of problems to sort out like drug induced rotting teeth, weight gain, raised blood pressure, which led to treatment with ramipril 10mg OD, amlodipine 10mg OD, and reflux for which he had omeprazole 10mg OD.
Shane does not know his biological parents and so a full family history of gallbladder disease could not be got. However, there is no history of gallbladder disease in his biological siblings.
Shane is 42. He weighs 83kg. He described his diet as unhealthy but not high fat prior to developing cholecystitis.
Shane first two vaccine doses were with AstraZeneca COVID-19 in the first half of 2021. He had mild fatigue following the first dose and no noticeable symptoms following the second dose.
Shane had the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as a booster in mid-December 2021.
Immediately after receiving the booster, he reported pain in his arm that over the next 6 days spread to the shoulder, neck, back, side and chest area. The pain was accompanied by high temperatures and profuse sweating.
On day 6, he presented to the Emergency Room believing he was having a heart attack. The work up there resulted in a diagnosis of cholecystitis. He was treated with metronidazole and morphine on the hospital inpatient unit for three days. His pain gradually improved, and he was eventually discharged with a 7-day course of two antibiotics and outpatient follow up. He was told that the plan was for a laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
An early account of this was presented in Tales of an Unexpected Gallbladder.
Shane took paracetamol/codeine medication for 3 days following discharge and by then the pain had mostly resolved. He started a low-fat diet.
Shane’s CT of his abdomen and an abdominal Ultrasound showed an acalculous (no stones) cholecystitis, and hepatic steatosis. Gallstones can produce an agonizing pain. Cholecystitis without gallstones can be just as bad – one of the worst pains there is.
His blood tests demonstrated “deranged Liver Function Tests”.
He was negative for COVID-19
By the time of his interview with JWD, Shane’s pain had mostly resolved. There was occasional pain in his right upper quadrant, the liver area, but this quickly went away without pain medication. But he was still suffering from more fatigue than usual since leaving the hospital.
Shane was told his next contact would be with general surgery. When he asked could the vaccine have caused this – he was told point blank that this was not possible.
The fact that Shane had just had a booster was recorded by the ambulance crew and possibly transferred to the hospital team on arrival but this was likely just in case Covid testing and possible isolation was needed rather than as an indication of openness to a possible role of the vaccine in this admission.
Shane himself didn’t think there was a link at that point and his family didn’t get to see and ask questions of anyone except discharge staff due to Covid rules.
The hospital record does note that they looked for blood clots as a possible problem which might give the impression that the recent booster jab had been noted. Shane and his family didn’t see those notes until he came home.
The surgical consultant was later given a copy of JWD’s report on the follow up visit and he took a quick look through it, asked if he could keep it and placed it with Shane’s notes.
JWD’s report included the following table from Pfizer’s trial showing at least a three-fold increase in cholecystitis problems on their vaccine compared to placebo.
Shane asked the consultant a few questions, including one about a link between booster and the cholecystitis. The response to that question was “absolutely no link”. The surgeon promised a report which would answer all of the listed questions. No sign of this report so far.
Shane however was told that he would have another appointment in 6 months’ time. This waiting suggests that a link has not been entirely dismissed and that the surgical staff do not know whether a cholecystectomy is the right answer if this was caused by the vaccine.
Cause and Effect
This report describes an adverse reaction to the Moderna COVID-19 booster. One causal link is the acute onset of cholecystitis within days of vaccination. Additional supportive evidence includes the findings from the mRNA Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial that found an increased rate of biliary events in treatment groups compared to placebo groups. Further evidence is outlined below.
The typical risk factors for acalculous cholecystitis are HIV, vascular disease, total parenteral nutrition, prolonged fasting, or being in ICU. Shane does not possess these risk factors.
It is possible he had a gallstone which was not detected on CT or USS, or had had one that passed. Additional studies such as an MRCP/ ERCP would have allowed better detection of a stone or other anatomic pathology that might have explained his new onset cholecystitis. If he had a gallstone that passed, this may have been related to factors like poor diet – or may not have been.
So far, the pain has almost entirely resolved, and the cholecystitis may never recur. But in order to work out how we should approach and treat this, we first of all need to recognise that the vaccines can cause a problem. Otherwise health systems will take the default, and profitable option, and do a cholecystectomy.
In the small circle of people with links to RxISK and DH, Shane is not the only male who has developed cholecystitis, a disorder ordinarily more common in women, after an mRNA vaccine.
What’s Going On?
Some of the problems linked to mRNA vaccines are likely caused by mRNA itself, some by the Spike protein, and some by an action of Spike proteins on ACE-2 receptors. Actions on the ACE-2 receptor which are located in the liver and biliary system and kidneys and intestines may be responsible for liver and biliary problems as well as the commonly reported post-vaccination blood in the urine, and intestinal problems.
One of the discoveries of the past year is that SSRIs and other drugs like thalidomide disable ACE-2 receptors and may hamper the entrance of Spike proteins into cells as a result and therefore prevent some of the problems of Covid.
At present though our experience from a limited sample is that while SSRIs perhaps reduce the frequency of significant Covid infections, they do not seem to block vaccination induced injuries.
Another discovery, which has been one of the scare stories of recent months, came from an Alden et al article that claimed mRNA enters into liver cells in particular where it reverse-transcribes into liver cell DNA. Lots of people, like Augusto (Disappeared in Argentina), who had abnormal liver enzymes after the Pfizer vaccine, were very worried as to what this might mean for them.
A recent report by Hamid Merchant and colleagues suggests however that while reverse transcription can in principle happen, the Alden paper was highly artificial – this was lab work in liver cancer cells rather than a demonstration of a problem in healthy people getting vaccinated where any affected liver cells affected would be eliminated by the immune system or the transcribed RNA would end up becoming junk in our DNA – it seems we have lots of junk in our DNA.
Something much simpler may be of greater importance. Yes, the viral RNA and spike proteins get into our liver cells and there are now convincing reports that these can cause us to have abnormal liver enzymes, as Shane and Augusto had, as well as biliary changes. The Pfizer trials and UK pharmacovigilance reports offer clear evidence for this which is likely an auto-immune or inflammatory hepatitis.
- Coronavirus Vaccine—Weekly Summary of Yellow Card Reporting. MHRA.
- Lodato, F, Larocca, A, D’Errico, A, Cennamo, V. An unusual case of acute cholestatic hepatitis after m-RNA BNT162b2 (Comirnaty) SARS-CoV-2 vaccine: Coincidence, autoimmunity or drug-related liver injury? . J. Hepatol. 2021, 75, 1254–1256.
- Zin Tun, G, Gleeson, D, Al-Joudeh, A, Dube, A. Immune-mediated hepatitis with the Moderna vaccine, no longer a coincidence but confirmed. J Hepatol. 2022, 76, 747–749.
At present the evidence suggests that the more intact the lipid nanoparticle and the mRNA it contains is, the more likely adverse reactions are. This points to a dose effect which is one element that suggests causation. The Moderna mRNA dose is higher than the Pfizer dose and linked to that there appear to be more adverse reactions on Moderna.
As this is being written, British and European newspapers are reporting on a new mystery form of not-obviously infective Hepatitis in Children reported with increasing frequency. The authorities say this is not Hepatitis A, B, C, D or E but insist it is not vaccine linked. They provide no evidence for this.
At present the findings are compatible with what happened Shane and Augusto (Disappeared in Argentina).
The chances are that for both the children and Shane and others similarly affected these conditions are transient. Time will tell.
Meanwhile, Shane who unquestioningly had all vaccine doses up to this point will not be having any more with very good reason.
The UK government are not looking at 150 cases of hepatitis in children under 10 of whom 10 have had to have liver transplants. Its a mystery. They grasp at some suspect straws but do not mention the big V.
The BMJ is also reporting on the issue – again resolutely avoiding any mention of the big V.
Two Years Later
Shane reports being completely recovered at this point. He thinks he is more intolerant of e-additives in food but is not sure if that links to the vaccine or his liver injury.