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The Vacuum

photo: pixabay

by Shaun Barcavage

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” As a Research Nurse Practitioner and a Covid-19 vaccine injured United States citizen, my life was altered in a matter of days. Since my vaccine injury, which started on December 29, 2020, my life has been filled with both disappointment and despair. Yet in my darkest days of illness, I began to carve pathways of hope as a science-based researcher and medical professional.

Prior to my injury, I was a 52-year-old healthy male with no significant prior medical history. Like most others, I was looking forward to getting vaccinated and hoping we could return to some sense of normal life. For the majority of the vaccinated that was the case, but for many others, we suffered adverse effects that have left us severely ill.

In my case, I developed debilitating tinnitus, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, and neuropathies after vaccination. As a human being and as a medical professional, I was devastated and disillusioned. I could not believe that this could happen to me. Prior to vaccination, I thought for a moment, if something happened to me, I was in New York City – a place with some of the best medical care in the world. And being a nurse, I felt secure my fellow medical professional would be there to help if something went wrong. Shockingly, I found myself floundering in a medical system ill-informed and ill-equipped to understand and treat such reactions. Many medical specialists were in denial that reactions such as mine were plausible. I was left to worsen over months, getting more hopeless with each medical appointment.

My situation was further complicated by the politicization of the pandemic and vaccination debates. If I spoke publicly of my reaction, I was labeled as misinformation. Sadly, the injured were caught in the crosshairs – sick and desperately needing help, yet in the middle of extremist political debates about the pandemic and vaccine mandates. Talk of reactions was being suppressed or labeled as misinformation in an effort not to scare others from vaccination. This added more despair and further complicated access to medical assistance since doctors were left unaware.

In the middle of the debates and politics, I was dumbfounded as a pro-vaccine, pro-science nurse and researcher. It quickly became clear I was treading water in a new world where common sense and reason are easily discarded as society is being pushed into more extremist camps. Independent media is dying, and people are retreating into their own information echo-chambers. As a result, the vulnerable are being further marginalized. The COVID-19 vaccine injured have been relegated to a pandemic pariah reminiscent of the misunderstood and maltreated lepers.

In the common-sense world, science tells us that no medication or vaccine is reaction free. While most have no rection, there will always be those that suffer more moderate to severe reactions. To deny this is the real misinformation. In my mind this is anti-science. It is deeply disappointing that our government and health institutions have lost sight of this. To date, there has been no assistance for injured, no recognition of the varied severe reactions, and no regulations requiring the manufacturers to actively research such injuries in full transparency. If we are rolling out emergency use vaccinations and requiring mandates, would it not be reasonable for the manufacturers and government to have aggressive systems in place to provide research and care for those injured?

Once injured by a vaccine, you find yourself in a very scary and lonely world. The researcher in me turned to researching my own condition. I began to dig deep into the literature and reached out to experts around the world. In my search, I stumbled upon German researchers who were testing plasma for autoantibodies such as anti-ACE2. Much of this research was focused on long haul covid. But in my explorations, I discovered that many of the symptoms of COVID-19 vaccine injury syndromes, often mimicked long haul covid. In my case, I have never had covid, so I knew my reaction was solely from the vaccine. Relying on nascent research from Germany, I presented all my findings to my doctors. Much of this German research has helped to guide my own care here in the United States with trials of immunoglobulin therapy and plasmapheresis. I am grateful to the more openness of the German science community to tackle this issue head on and without fear.

While I remain deeply disappointed, I refuse to lose hope by making attempts to turn this bad into something good. In the United States, we have established a non-profit organization, React19, to stimulate research, raise awareness and help the injured in the existing vacuum. To find our more, please visit The failure to help those injured by the COVID-19 vaccines is against medical ethics and is simply immoral.



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