Vax-injured Minnesotans still looking for answers

They feel ignored and overlooked. Invisible. Almost modern-day untouchables. Unseen, unheard, and underrepresented.

Suzanna Newell, left, and Kristie Estes speak at a press conference at the Minnesota Capitol in April 2022. (Alpha News)

Kristie Estes suddenly developed carpal tunnel in both hands despite having no prior symptoms.

She is one of thousands of Minnesotans who have developed unexplainable medical conditions after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Different types of vaccines, different companies, same result: Life-altering health issues.

Estes now belongs to a support group called Minnesota Team Humanity. Team Humanity is looking for answers. The group was started by Suzanna Newell last year when her health dramatically changed after receiving the jab.

Team Humanity connects vax-injured Minnesotans so they can share their stories about the impact the COVID-19 vaccine has had on their health.

Members in the group have a myriad of medical complaints ranging from extreme fatigue to life-threatening liver and heart damage.

They feel ignored and overlooked. Invisible. Almost modern-day untouchables. Unseen, unheard, and underrepresented.

While some doubt the link between the vaccine and illness, Newell is convinced the two are related because she and thousands of others have developed health conditions post-vaccine.

Newell was a triathlete who went from being healthy to being so sick she was unable to perform simple tasks. In addition to suffering from bruising and extreme fatigue, she said she has a rash on her forehead that comes and goes. She’s developed vascular and heart issues and needs a wheelchair, walker, or cane to walk more than a few yards. She’s receiving chemotherapy to treat a post-vaccine blood ailment.

“We did what our government asked us to do. ‘It’s safe; it’s effective. Don’t worry about it. Get the shot,’ they said. We got the shot, now we’re stuck,” said Newell.

Newell’s and Estes’ stories are not rare. They are in a group of more than 19,000 Minnesotans who have reported injuries post-vaccine.

One of the most frustrating things, the injured say, is vaccine manufacturers have no liability.

“They really pushed the vaccine on retirement-aged people,” Estes said. “You qualify for shots; you’d better get them. So I got two Moderna shots in February of 2021.”

A few days later, Estes said she couldn’t raise her arms above her head. After the second shot, she said her toes turned black and blue.

“After the second shot, my hands were pounding, painful, and I found out I have carpal tunnel in both hands. I asked my doctor if he’d ever seen someone get carpal tunnel in both hands with no previous symptoms. He said he’d never seen that before,” she said.

Team Humanity is just one of several vax-injured support groups that has popped up across the country.

RealNotRare is another grassroots support group that has united people through suffering.

“Our government asked us to do our part to stop the virus. We thought we were doing the right thing. Now we are injured, many severely. We are hurting, in pain, and losing our jobs. We are demanding our government do the right thing by acknowledging our injuries, as well as establish compensation for the tens of thousands who have been injured or have died,” says a statement on the website.

Kim Witczak is not vax-injured but has become an advocate for drug safety because of her own personal tragedy. Her husband committed suicide after taking a drug that she believes should have contained a warning. She has joined forces with Team Humanity to get answers.

“It’s about the voiceless having a voice. When I hear these guys are being gaslighted, not seen or heard with no help, I can’t imagine because I know how important it was for me to tell my story for my healing,” she said. “There are always issues with drug safety.”

Newell and Witczak work tirelessly to help the vax-injured receive solace, a sense of community, and compensation.

“We’ve requested meetings with the governor, but have been literally turned away,” Newell said.

“Doctors just don’t know what to do with us. Human kindness helps me more than any medication has helped me so far,” she continued. “In the meantime, they blame the victims and say, ‘Maybe she had some underlying issues or something genetic.’ We don’t say that with bad batches of spinach or lemon laws for cars. We did what was asked and we’re stuck.”

Newell said the vax-injured are labeled “anti-vax” even though they have all had the vaccine. They are shut down and shadow-banned on Facebook. “We are extremely censored. Whole groups of people are trying to connect, and we are shut down,” she said.

“Our government told everyone it’s safe and effective. They don’t want to say they made a mistake,” Newell said.

To connect with the vax-injured in Minnesota, email or join their Facebook group.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, there is help available 24 hours a day. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at: 988 or 800-273-8255.


Sheila Qualls

Sheila Qualls is an award-winning journalist and former civilian editor of an Army newspaper. Prior to joining Alpha News, she was a Christian Marriage and Family columnist at and a personal coach. Her work has been published in The Upper Room, the MOPS blog, Grown and Flown, and The Christian Post. She speaks nationally on issues involving faith and family.