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Calgary woman got Bell’s Palsy after Pfizer shot

“Twenty-five minutes after my vaccine I started having issues swallowing, then about five minutes later I just felt my face drop. My daughter had to call 911,” Karkut said, referring to her 13-year-old.




A Calgary mother has still not fully recovered from an adverse reaction she received from the Pfizer COVID-19 jab two months ago.

Sharlene Karkut, a stay-at-home mom in Calgary, told the Western Standard her problems began within a half hour of getting her first shot on May 21.

“Twenty-five minutes after my vaccine I started having issues swallowing, then about five minutes later I just felt my face drop. My daughter had to call 911,” Karkut said, referring to her 13-year-old.

The EMS and doctors told Karkut she was having an allergic reaction. They gave her some Benadryl and released her from hospital the next morning.

“I went to a friend’s house to keep an eye on things. Four hours later, symptoms were back – issues swallowing, vision, facial issues, could not walk. I have two friends that were with me to prove this. One friend took me back to urgent care,” Karkut said.

“That is where they said I was having an anxiety attack, that it had nothing to do with the vaccine.”

The Western Standard reported a Saskatoon man who died three days after his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine and it inspired Karkut to share her experience.

“It is the first time I have ever told anyone about it. I just feel that the article that you shared just makes me so sad that people are looking for another reason that these things happen,” she said.

“People do not believe there is something not right about getting it. I did have it and had an adverse reaction. Health Canada has been notified.”

On May 31, 10 days after Karkut’s Pfizer shot, her rheumatologist diagnosed her with Bell’s Palsy. Two months have passed since her shot, but she has not entirely recovered.

“Right now I still have numbness in my face,” said Karkut, who added her facial muscles are improving. “They are working better. Still having some eye issues but they are getting better.”

In February, the journal Brain, Behavior, & Immunity Immunization published a study regarding a 57-year-old woman entitled, “Bell’s Palsy after second dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination in a patient with history of recurrent Bell’s Palsy.” The paper noted the condition was found in four participants in the Pfizer trials and four in the Moderna trials, including one placebo recipient.

“Considering the temporal association and biological plausibility, FDA recommends surveillance for cases of Bell’s Palsy with deployment of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine into larger populations. Such recommendation is not associated with the Pfizer vaccine,” the paper read.

Bell’s palsy is an unexplained episode of facial muscle weakness or paralysis. It begins suddenly and worsens over 48 hours. This condition results from damage to the facial nerve (the 7th cranial nerve.) Pain and discomfort usually occur on one side of the face or head. Bell’s palsy can strike anyone at any age.

Left to her own inclination, Karkut might not have gotten the vaccine at all.

“My husband works in the oil field and he is against it,” she said, but added other family members felt differently.

“I have heard so much, all from extended family.”

“So sick of it. I was bullied into getting into it. My sister would not let me see her baby without getting it. I kept hearing about how I was making the wrong choice in not getting it.”

Now Karkut’s sister says, “that I better not get the second one.” Karkut still hasn’t visited her, but plans to do so in August. 

Regarding the adverse reaction, Karkut adds, “My doctor has been on my side about it” but the experience “has been so bad. Now they have no idea what to do as now I cannot be fully vaccinated, so I am hooped in travelling, etc. So many hoops to still work through.”

Karkut has advice for those pondering vaccination.

“Just to honestly do what you think is best. Make up your own mind. Don’t let anyone pressure you into getting something you don’t want.”

Still, Karkut believes stories like hers are more common than the lack of media reports might suggest.

“I am just tired of the truth not actually being allowed out there,” she said.

Lee Harding is a Western Standard correspondent based in Saskatchewan.

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  1. Baron Not Baron

    July 26, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    One day, when you’ll give up your fuc&ing TV, you’ll be half way free! Unfortunately, the common imbecil does not know what else to do with with its(!) life, but to watch TV, eat sh!t, (non-intending to ever work individual ->) ask for the handout.. and die while still watching TV..
    You have became plants – btw, not surprised about the morphing into the vegan critters of so many young people.

  2. Baron Not Baron

    July 26, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    A lobotomized nation that is ready to suicide when a gvt imbecil snaps its fingers to give you the signal.. and it keeps going. Sorry, but you all deserve it. Perhaps this is helping you to wake (tf) up!

  3. Dennis

    July 26, 2021 at 11:14 am

    Jennifer Dyck, I assume you didn’t get this information from the CBC, CTV or CNN etc? Thank you for posting this. So many people are completely blind to what is going on. In government we trust! NOT

  4. Dennis

    July 26, 2021 at 11:03 am

    The really sad part of this travesty is that there is and effective treatment that is proven safe for the prevention and treatment of this virus and very inexpensive to boot. There is something very sinister happening when any mention of Ivermectin is censored. My family doctor as much as chased me out of his office when I asked about Ivermectin saying he could loose his licence and or be fired for discussing it. Is that what a person should expect from their family doctor when asked for medical advice? It’s high time people get their head out of their ass and start paying attention to what is happening around us. Quit relying on the CBC and CNN for your news. Hats off to Lee for dipping into this mess. You are one of only a handful that have the guts to tackle this subject.


  5. Left Coast

    July 26, 2021 at 9:01 am

    Lets ask an Expert . . .
    Dr. Robert Malone, MRNA inventor . . .

    He said mRNA vaccines are not vaccines. The process of using nucleic acids to alter cell function is more properly called gene therapy.That’s why Dr. Malone’s Wikipedia bio disappeared along with all the articles praising him for developing DNA/RNA transfection technology. Dr. Malone developed transfection technology in 1988, while working at the Salk Institute, and the covid mRNA vaccines are based on Dr. Malone’s transfection technology. So what exactly is transfection technology and what is it used for?

    Transfection is described as “the process of artificially introducing nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) into cells, utilizing means other than viral infection.” According to Britannica, “it’s used to insert foreign nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) into a cell, typically with the intention of altering the properties of the cell.”

    And then there’s this comment a decade ago . . .

    Kissinger quote from a speech to the WHO Council on Eugenics, February 25th 2009:

    “Once the herd accepts mandatory vaccinations, It’s GAME OVER. They will accept anything – Forcible blood or organ donation- “For the greater good”.

    We can genetically modify children and sterilize them- “For the greater good”. Control sheep minds and you control the herd.

    Vaccine makers stand to make billions. And many of you in this room are investors. It’s a BIG win/win. We thin out the herd, and the herd pays us for extermination services”

    Henry Kissinger~

    I NOW Believe that the entire Wuhan Virus episode was a Planned & Orchestrated event that was likely going to happen mid 2020s . . . but Trump crushing China in 2019 created a situation where they had to pull it out early to stop him.

    And the Canooks all said . . . . Baaaaaa !

  6. berta baby

    July 26, 2021 at 5:35 am

    Here is the link supporting how useless the vaccines really are and how they do not stop the spread …. The conspiracy we where told we believed in about the vaccine making the spread faster is by the looks of it true IMO


  7. Marc

    July 25, 2021 at 7:55 pm

    You know what else has side effects and adverse reactions? Covid-19. You have a better chance of getting Bell’s Palsy from Covid-19 than you do from the vaccine. Also, no one has ever died from Bell’s Palsy, but millions have died from Covid-19. Don’t let this story scare you. Get the vaccine. It could save your life.

  8. Tony

    July 25, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    So, tell me again, why do I want a medical treatment for which no long term safety data exists to protect me from something with a 0,3% chance of killing me, if I even become infected?

  9. mm

    Lee Harding

    July 25, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    You’re welcome BERTA BABY

  10. berta baby

    July 25, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    Thanks to Lee for covering these stories and the brave lady who is letting her story be told we need more of the truth out

  11. berta baby

    July 25, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    Know a person who got pullsey from the Moderna and shingles from the Pfizer, know a person who has heart problems after 2 does of the Pfizer…. And good news it doesn’t stop you from getting the wu flu or spreading it!! And now the propaganda says vax it and mask it!! Congratulations to all the double digit IQ people out there that thought it would end the lock downs and masking and end the pandemic by being a lab rat
    One does35% effective in stopping the so called delta variant data out of Israel high 80’s in stopping severe outcomes , which all together now…. Means you still get the virus and you still spread it kinda like the Democrats from Texas a couple weeks ago…super spreaders without masks… so now we know the rest of the story

  12. Jennifer Dyck

    July 25, 2021 at 4:05 pm

    The US reporting system VAERS as of July 23 reported 2,428 cases of Bell’s Palsy. Estimates are that VAERS receives between 1% and 10% of actual adverse reactions. “Data released today show that between Dec. 14, 2020 and July 16, 2021, a total of 491,218 total adverse events were reported to VAERS, including 11,405 deaths — an increase of 414 over the previous week. There were 48,385 serious injuries reported during the same time period — up 7,767 compared with the previous week.” – Childrens’ Health Defense

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Loophole benching minor hockey in Cochrane

Within hours of sending out the e-mail, Oaten confirmed between 30 and 40 kids had withdrawn from the program.




Although new restrictions announced this week allow for recreational sports to continue for youth under 18 without proof of vaccination, one minor detail is benching minor hockey players in Cochrane.

Thursday morning, Cochrane Minor Hockey Association (CMHA) President Cory Oaten, was sent an e-mail from Hockey Alberta stating: “…based on Hockey Alberta’s interpretation of current information, minor hockey games and practices can continue, subject to the updated temporary measures that came into effect at 12:01 am this morning.”

However, Friday morning, Oaten was notified by his local facility, Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, it would be requiring proof of vaccination for those 12 and older entering the building.

That morning Oaten notified families registered with CMHA of the new requirement and included a provided statement from the facility and assured families the decision was not that of Hockey Alberta or CMHA.

“… all persons entering the Cochrane Arena or SLSFSC (ages 12+) must show proof of full vaccination, proof of a single dose as long as the dose was given more than two weeks ago, a negative test result or a medical doctor approved medical exemption.”

“Tonnes of kids are withdrawing,” Oaten said.

Within hours of sending out the e-mail, Oaten confirmed between 30 and 40 kids had withdrawn from the program.

“I’m not against the vaccines, but I’m pro-choice,” Oaten said.

The Western Standard spoke with one father who pulled his CMHA player as a result of the facility mandates. He requested to remain anonymous.

“Obviously the government is just passing the buck on this and it’s the businesses that are going to take the brunt,” he said.

A father of four children under the age of 12, he was also in line to coach his son’s team, but will not be permitted inside as he is not vaccinated.  

“We’re not the type of parents that are just going to drop our kids off at a facility and leave them unsupervised,” he said, adding those decisions effectively ended his kids’ participation in CMHA’s sports programs.

He said he also has concerns for the liability involved with those businesses being ill-equipped to manage peoples’ sensitive health records.

“Forget the legality of all this. Morally, we just can’t support businesses that take this approach.”

Alberta Country Singer and former health care worker at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Paul Brandt, took to Facebook on Friday to express his thoughts on the vaccine passport issue.  

Facebook post

“I want to be clear, I am not against vaccines,” his post confirms. “What is troubling to me is this: Why aren’t people who have had COVID and recovered being included in the conversation?”

Brandt’s son is a CMHA player. Both have recovered from COVID-19.

“Why are we not being recognized as people who have adequate immunity?

As of today, my son has also been told by the arena that hosts his hockey association he will not be allowed to participate in sports unless he is vaccinated—even though he has immunity to COVID-19, and is of no greater risk to his peers than anyone else.”

Oaten pointed out that players who have yet to be vaccinated will be eliminated from the important tryouts happening now and, because of wait times between doses and the 14-day waiting period to be considered fully vaccinated, many will miss a chunk of the season.

“It’s about the kids,” said an emotional Oaten.

“What makes me upset is kids are going to have to quit hockey because they don’t want to have to choose a medical procedure in order to play.”

Risdon is a reporter for the Western Standard

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WS EXCLUSIVE: UCP vice-president calls for emergency meeting to initiate leadership review

“I think we need to carefully consider the option of initiating a leadership review. I believe the future of our party may be at stake.”




The Western Standard has obtained an email from the vice-president (policy) of Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP) calling for an emergency meeting of the province-wide board of directors to discuss a leadership review of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.

Joel Mullan e-mailed the party’s board of directors at 8:33 pm MST September 17, under the subject line “Leadership review—request for meeting.”

“In light of events this past week, I believe we should meet and therefore request a meeting,” wrote Mullan.

“Specifically, I think we need to carefully consider the option of initiating a leadership review. I believe the future of our party may be at stake.”

The Western Standard spoke to a member of the party’s board of directors who received the e-mail who said—on condition of anonymity—a timely review of Kenney’s leadership has “become inevitable.”

As of publishing it’s not known if the request for an emergency meeting has been accepted by party president Ryan Becker or the board at large.

One day before, the Western Standard reported the UCP constituency association (CA) in Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills voted almost unanimously to trigger a prompt leadership review of Kenney.

The party currently has a review scheduled for late 2022, but that could be within six months of the next election, and for local CA president Robert Smith, that’s not good enough.

By a vote of 27-1, the CA’s board voted to send a letter to the party demanding a review before that as soon as possible, but before next March, said Smith.

“We would love for it to happen tomorrow,” Smith told the Western Standard.

“In talking to people, mainly rural people, it’s fair to say we have no confidence in the premier.”

While the letter was sent on the heels of controversial new COVID-19 lockdown restrictions introduced by Kenney—including the imposition of a vaccine passport—Smith stressed the letter wasn’t as a result of that, but had been brewing for months.

But he said those restrictions could help the momentum to reach the mark of 22 ridings needed to spark a leadership review.

Smith said he gets a sense in talking to other constituency association leaders “critical mass of 22 ridings could have been reached now.

“I feel confident in saying that target can now be met. I’m surprised it hasn’t been met before,” he said.

Clockwise, Jason Nixon, Tyler Shandro, Jason Kenney, Travis Toews, and an unidentified guest on the rooftop patio of the “Sky Palace”

One of the biggest concerns for the board was when the now infamous pictures f Kenney holding an outdoor dinner on the balcony of the “Sky Palace”—in contravention of the government’s of laws, regulations, and guidelines—were published.

“The entitlement and the double standard incensed the board,” said Smith.

In April, a UCP MLA told the Western Standard they are “100% certain” Kenney will be the subject of an early party leadership review.

“Caucus is in total chaos,” said the MLA, who spoke with the Western Standard on the condition of anonymity.

The Western Standard reported earlier there are at least eight ridings now on board for a review.

Even earlier this week there were signs of dissension with the UCP Caucus.

During a tense meeting of caucus Tuesday, three MLAs told Kenney they had “no confidence” in his continued premiership of the province and leadership of the party, multiple sources told the Western Standard.

Sources inside of the caucus told the Western Standard the emergency meeting saw sharp polarization around the issues of putting the province under another lockdown, a potential mandatory vaccine passport, and firing healthcare workers who did not agree to be vaccinated.

According to the MLAs who attended the caucus meeting, three MLAs openly told Kenney they had “no confidence” in him, and several others implied as much using softer language.

The sources all gave the same three names, but none of the three MLAs responded to request for comment or confirmation from the Western Standard.

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THOMSON: An Alberta solution to the drug poisoning crisis

A regulated drug supply is the best deal on offer to shrink public health costs and enforcement budgets and repossess the drug market from organized crime syndicates, while creating good jobs and preserving the lives of thousands of working-age Albertans.




Dr. Euan Thomson is an entrepreneur, scientist and director of EACH+EVERY, a coalition of over 100 Alberta businesses calling for policy action to end the overdose crisis.

Drug poisoning is the leading cause of death among working-age Albertans, claiming more than 1,800 Albertan lives since the beginning of 2020. Almost all of these people were between the ages of 15 and 60, and people in the trades are vastly overrepresented.

These tragedies are more accurately called poisonings because people typically cannot be certain what they’re taking when they consume illegal drugs. Surviving through an unregulated drug supply is its own small miracle, particularly as elephant-strength synthetic opioids like carfentanil now slip through our sieve-like borders.

Let’s face it: synthetic opioids have extinguished any hope of “winning” the war on drugs, given the entire 2016 American fentanyl supply could fit into a dozen oil drums.

Albertans are free thinkers, and this crisis calls for a made-in-Alberta solution that centres personal autonomy, free enterprise, fiscal responsibility, and a healthy irreverence toward federal power. A century into drug prohibition with nothing to show but accelerating body counts, it is time to regain control through a regulated market.

The idea that in a regulated market, we would walk into corner stores and find crystal meth between the Mentos and Tic Tacs would be laughable if it wasn’t so widely cited. For experimenting adolescents, alcohol is at least as hard to obtain as illegal drugs precisely because its access is controlled—a distinction that also encourages open conversations and harm reduction measures. We can implement regulatory barriers as needed to keep kids safe, but only once we control the supply. For adults, the question is much simpler: shouldn’t we be allowed to put what we want in our bodies?

Decriminalization is the first step toward a legal market. Since decriminalizing drugs 20 years ago, Portugal has among the lowest youth drug use rates in Europe and effectively left its drug poisoning crisis behind. Our federal parties are short on details around their vision for ending Canada’s crisis, but the Western Standard Editorial Board recently gave the federal NDP’s platform section on drug policy the only A-grade for endorsing decriminalization and other measures emphasizing personal autonomy and freedom from harassment by authorities. (For the record, it was one of the only high-scoring parts of the NDP platform from the Western Standard.)

It turns out, people across the political spectrum agree after a hundred years, criminalization has failed to even slow down drug use, let alone end it.

While personal autonomy and market philosophy are intuitive drug policy cornerstones, the fiscal argument is at least as compelling. The Cato Institute reports ending the War on Drugs would eliminate $27 billion USD a year from American enforcement budgets and siphon $40 billion a year from organized crime. For Canada, this translates to billions cut from our enforcement, judicial and incarceration balance sheet and billions added to taxable sales. Meanwhile, reducing hospital visits due to drug poisonings could single-handedly solve the chronic ambulance shortages squeezing our emergency response capacity.

A regulated drug supply is the best deal on offer to shrink public health costs and enforcement budgets and repossess the drug market from organized crime syndicates, while creating good jobs and preserving the lives of thousands of working-age Albertans.

How can we propel this plan against the drag of federal inaction?

First, set up a province-wide exemption from Section 56 of the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to abolish police enforcement of drug possession laws.

Next, support Albertan pilot projects to prescribe safe supply options to encourage more widespread access and choke off the demand for a street supply. Non-profit compassion clubs would cover those who cannot afford their prescriptions, as we saw during cannabis prohibition.

Finally, establish the first provincial Section 55 exemption to allow for drug manufacturing and distribution here at home, a move that would instantly benefit a Lethbridge-based operation and their partners in the nearby Blood Tribe. Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis already looks after compliance for legal drugs; we can apply similar stringency around labelling on the new products so people know what they’re taking.

Then watch as other provinces struggling with the same crisis adopt this updated, evidence-based Alberta Model; one that aligns compassion for people who use drugs with core values shared by so many in this province: personal autonomy, free enterprise, and fiscal responsibility.

While we’re at it, we can thumb our collective nose at a century of bad federal policy—all together, on brand for Alberta.

Tell your local federal and municipal candidates, as well as your provincial MLA, you want to see your values reflected in our drug policies.

Dr. Euan Thomson is an entrepreneur, scientist and director of EACH+EVERY, a coalition of over 100 Alberta businesses calling for policy action to end the overdose crisis.

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