Moments after his second shot, vaccine expert Gregory Poland says he felt a pain so severe it almost caused him to veer off the road.
“It startled me,” said Dr Poland, who is 66 years old.
“I thought it was a dog whistle going off right next to me.”
It was not a dog whistle; it was a piercing sound his brain conjured up for an unknown reason.
Dr Poland suspects it may have been a side effect of the vaccine.
That was one year ago. The noise, he said, has been unrelenting ever since.
For the record, neither Dr Poland nor the medical community at large can prove that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine that he received had anything to do with his sudden onset of tinnitus, a condition that is often described as a ringing, buzzing or hissing noise in one or both ears. It can be constant or intermittent.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and vaccine manufacturers, have investigated anecdotal reports of tinnitus through programs such as the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS, following COVID vaccination, but have found no evidence of cause and effect.
And Poland’s tale might not carry much weight if he weren’t Dr Gregory Poland — a globally respected physician who has dedicated his career to vaccine study and development as founder and director of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group in Rochester, Minnesota.