Prominent medical journals highlight harm to children from masks, death risk from COVID vaccines

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The range of acceptable opinion on COVID-19 mitigation efforts may be widening, with peer-reviewed medical journals recently publishing research finding that masks likely harm schoolchildren and questioning whether benefits from COVID-19 vaccines outweigh risks.

One journal has already issued an “expression of concern,” however, citing “misrepresentation of the COVID-19 vaccination efforts.”

Measured carbon dioxide content in “inhaled air,” observed in a study of masked German schoolchildren, was at least three-fold higher than German law allows, according to a research letter published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics.

Last week, the journal Vaccines, affiliated with the American Society for Virology, published research that estimates every three COVID-19 deaths prevented by vaccination are offset by two deaths “inflicted by vaccination,” using Israeli and European data.

The papers share a lead author, Harald Walach, a professor in Poznan University of the Medical Sciences’ Pediatric Clinic in Poland and University of Witten/Herdecke’s psychology department in Germany.

“Most of the complaints reported by children” in a Germany-wide register on mask-wearing, including irritability, headache and reluctance to go to school, “can be understood as consequences of elevated carbon dioxide levels in inhaled air,” the JAMA Pediatrics paper said. It cited the “dead-space volume of the masks, which collects exhaled carbon dioxide quickly after a short time.”

In light of “impairments attributable to hypercapnia,” or the bloodstream buildup of CO2, policymakers should reconsider requiring children to wear masks, it said.

The study passed muster at the University of Witten/Herdecke’s ethics board, given that it required each child to wear various masks for a total of 15 minutes, in contrast to the “several hours” they spend masked in school, the trial protocol said.

The authors tried out various masks, including KN95 respirators and surgical masks, on 45 healthy children ages 6-17 in southwest Germany. The room was “well ventilated several times” for each experiment, with CO2 content of ambient air kept under 0.1% by volume.

The first 3-minute measurement gauged “baseline” unmasked CO2 levels. The next 3-minute intervals were for CO2 content in “joint inhaled and exhaled air,” inhaled air only and exhaled air only. 

Two thousand parts per million of CO2, or 0.2%, is the limit for closed rooms under German law, the study said. The child with the lowest CO2 level was three times higher than this limit, while one 7-year-old was measured with 25,000 parts per million.

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