A group calling itself the World Council for Health – which includes several COVID-19 conspiracists – claims coronavirus vaccines are causing a new “complex multi-system inflammatory syndrome” called pCoIS.
However, there is no credible evidence that such a syndrome exists, and experts say the group’s information regarding the purported syndrome is “a garbled mixture of misinformation”.
The page includes an entry for “Post COVID-19 Injection Syndrome”, or pCoIS, also purportedly known as “Post COVID-19 Vaccination Syndrome”. It claims the “syndrome is a collection of symptoms that may differ from person to person”.
It goes on to say that “emerging data” shows the syndrome is “similar to Long COVID or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” before listing a number of symptoms, such as muscle and joint pain, and intense fatigue.
Nevertheless, there is no record of a “Post COVID-19 Injection Syndrome” or vaccination syndrome in reputable academic journal aggregators, such as PubMed and the Cochrane Library. The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) websites also contain no references to either name for the alleged syndrome.
The website claims the eight categories of pCoIS included conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia and multiple sclerosis, as well as various cancers. However, none of these are listed among the rare and serious side effects of COVID-19 vaccinations by reputable health organisations.
The CDC says rare serious side effects of vaccination included anaphylaxis, blood clots and myocarditis, but said “serious side effects that could cause a long-term health problem are extremely unlikely following any vaccination”.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Health website lists headache, chills, fever, nausea and fatigue among the common side effects of the Pfizer vaccine, while rare but potentially serious side effects included myocarditis and allergic reactions.
Flinders University professor of medicine Nikolai Petrovsky, who founded the company Vaxine, which has developed vaccines for COVID-19 among other diseases, told AAP FactCheck that he had never heard of “Post COVID-19 Injection Syndrome” or pCoIS.
“Clearly there is no evidence basis for claims such as cancers being caused by vaccines, so the information seems to be a garbled mixture of misinformation,” he said via email.
Three more experts – University of Otago immunologist James Ussher, who is part of the NZ government’s COVID-19 Vaccine Science and Technical Advisory Group, University of Otago epidemiologist Peter McIntyre, a medical adviser for NZ’s Immunisation Advisory Centre, and Victoria University of Wellington immunologist Graham Le Gros – also told AAP FactCheck they had never heard of pCoIS.
Dr Ussher noted the website contained no references to support its information and the definition of “pCoIS” was “extremely broad and could encompass anything”.
Prof McIntyre said while some people experience muscle and joint pain, gastrointestinal upset and fatigue after vaccination, the eight categories of pCoIS are “simply tosh”.
Prof Le Gros said the pCoIS description “would appear to be a complete fabrication of the website World Council for Health”.
“There is no database to support their claims, or clinical study or published clinical report to support the claims,” he said in an email.
Therapies for pCoIS listed on the website include ivermectin, which has been frequently touted as a potential COVID-19 treatment despite the lack of clear evidence of its efficacy.
The World Council for Health page referring to pCoIS is identified as having been reviewed by six doctors. One of them, Mark Trozzi, has labelled COVID-19 vaccines “a dangerous experimental injection for a non-fatal illness”, while others such as Nasseba Kathrada and Pierre Kory are high-profile advocates of ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment (see here and here).
The origins of the World Council for Health are unclear. The “About” section of its website links to a launch announcement from September 2021 describing the group as “an umbrella organisation driven forward by multiple front-line health and welfare organisations from around the globe”.
Meanwhile, its “steering group” includes the names of various figures who have promoted unfounded conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines, as well as ivermectin advocates.
They include Anna de Buisseret, who has said COVID-19 vaccinations are bioweapons used as part of a “eugenics programme”. Other members include Tess Lawrie, the founder of an ivermectin advocacy group and Zac Cox, a homeopathic dentist.
There is no recognised new disease called Post COVID-19 Injection Syndrome, or pCoIS, and there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines cause many of the conditions said to be associated with it.
The origin of the term appears to be the World Council for Health, an organisation that includes several proponents of baseless COVID-19 and anti-vaccination conspiracy theories. Multiple experts say there is no scientific basis to the claims attached to the purported syndrome.
False – The claim is inaccurate.