A woman has died of a rare brain disease only three months after receiving her second Pfizer shot. Her medical team suspects a connection between the disease that caused her death and the mRNA vaccine.

Cheryl Cohen was a healthy 64-year-old from Florida who received her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine back in April. Soon after that, she started exhibiting symptoms of a rare degenerative brain disorder known as Creuzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD). After a three-months-long struggle, Cheryl passed away on July 22. 

Cheryl started showing her first symptoms of CJD in May, less than two weeks after receiving her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. According to her daughter Giani, she experienced severe headaches and “brain fog.”

“She had extreme brain fog and confusion. She couldn’t remember where she was driving and got really scared.”

At the end of May, Cheryl was hospitalized, though at first, doctors could not figure out what the problem was. After MRI imaging of her brain showed evidence of prion disease, her doctors performed two lumbar punctures, the second one of which enabled them to diagnose CJD. Ten days after receiving her diagnosis on July 12, Cheryl Cohen died.

“We didn’t know what to do,” Giani told . “It’s fatal. There’s no repairing what was going on. It’s like fast-acting dementia. It was a really sad thing, so scary, so insane and something [her] doctors hadn’t seen before.”

“It was literally like watching something eat her brain alive,” Giani added.

Before she died, Cheryl was able to confide in her daughter that she believed the vaccine was responsible.

“While shaking, she managed to get out the words, ‘This is ****ing stupid.’”

“I said, ‘Mom, is this the vaccine?’ and she said, ‘yep.’”

Cheryl’s physician, Dr. Andrea Folds from Aventura Hospital, also believes the COVID-19 vaccine to have been the cause of the prion disease. He provided with the following written statement:

This case identifies potential adverse events that could occur with the administration of the novel COVID-19 vaccine. Moreover, clinicians need to consider neurodegenerative diseases such as prion disease (e.g. sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease), autoimmune encephalitis, infection, non-epileptic seizure, toxic-metabolic disorders, etc. in their differential diagnoses when a patient presents with rapidly progressive dementia, particularly in the setting of recent vaccination.

Although there is currently no cure for sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), early diagnosis is crucial to avoid the unnecessary administration of empiric medications for suspected psychological or neurological disorders.

More importantly, recognizing adverse effects provides individuals with vital information to make a more educated decision regarding their health.

Prion diseases such as CJD, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are caused by pathogenic agents known as prions which, according to the CDC’s website, “are able to induce abnormal folding of specific proteins called prion proteins which are abundantly found in the brain. The abnormal folding of the prion proteins leads to brain damage and the characteristic signs and symptoms of the disease.”

Two recent studies published by immunologist J. Bart Classen in February and July show that mRNA vaccines could trigger prion disease in vaccinated patients. Evidence put forward by Classen in his papers indicates that the vaccine spike protein can induce misfolding of essential binding proteins called TDP-43 and FUS, causing them to “assume toxic configurations.”

Classen conducted his study on both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines and concluded that both have the ability to cause prion disease. He advised that the vaccination be halted until risks of vaccine-induced prion disease can be further assessed. He wrote, “The findings suggest that regulatory approval, even under an Emergency Use Authorization, for COVID vaccines was premature and that widespread use should be halted until full long-term safety studies evaluating prion toxicity have been completed.”

Another possibility is that the vaccines could accelerate prion disease already in progression within certain individuals. It normally takes years or even decades for prions to induce misfolding of prion-proteins in the brain, but the COVID vaccines could be accelerating this process.

Classen also stressed the importance of reporting cases of possible vaccine-induced prion disease but warned that reporting is likely to fail for diseases that develop over longer periods of time, as he notes that “essentially none of the adverse events occurring years or decades after administration of a pharmaceutical are ever reported.”

CJD gained somber notoriety back in the 1990s and early 2000s when its bovine variant, BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), caused an epidemic of what is commonly referred to as “madcow disease” in Great Britain and parts of continental Europe. The disease was proven to be entirely man-made as the practice of feeding meat-and-bone meals to cattle was shown to have been at the origin of the pandemic among bovines.

This practice was subsequently banned, though by then it was far too late, as potentially millions of individuals in the U.K. had already been exposed to contaminated meat. The U.K. government at the time not only failed to stop the infected meat from getting into the human food chain but also neglected to alert the public of the potential danger, claiming that the beef was “safe.” John Gummer, the U.K. minister of agriculture at the time, even went as far as having himself photographed by the national media feeding his own daughter a beef burger.

The affair remains to this day the biggest food scandal in history as more than two hundred people have died as a result of the illness since then, and scientists have warned that hundreds more could die in the next few years. It is impossible to say how many people currently carry the disease as it remains undetectable before the onset of symptoms and the incubation period can last for several decades. Early symptoms include behavioral changes, confusion, and memory loss, and in the later stage, patients exhibit dementia, poor coordination, and involuntary movements.

The disease is incurable and always fatal, with death usually occurring from a few months to a year after the first appearance of symptoms. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has imposed a ban on blood donations from anyone who has spent more than six months in Great Britain from 1980 to 1997 because of the possible risk of transmitting the human form of BSE through blood transfusions.

If the recent studies by Bart Classen prove true, the vaccination of millions of individuals with the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines could trigger a new wave of prion disease and cause a similar scandal.

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