Given the fear surrounding the ‘novel’ coronavirus, there is strong interest in a vaccine. This is not surprising given the medical industry’s insistence that a vaccine is the only public health measure that can save us from this infection. Thus, the question needs to be asked – Would a COVID 19 vaccine save us?
The answer appears to be – not likely.
There are significant concerns related to the fast tracking of a COVID 19 vaccine, with safety being first and foremost.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States has stated: “We need at least around a year and a half to make sure any new vaccine is safe and effective.”  His confidence in being able to produce a safe and effective vaccine for COVID 19 in 12 – 18 months is not shared by others in the medical profession including Dr. Paul Offit, who has been involved in the development of numerous vaccines and is considered one of the world’s leading experts on vaccination. In Offit’s experience, 20 or more years is needed to develop an effective and safe vaccine.
Offit warns, “Right now you could probably get everyone in this country to get this (CV) vaccine because they are so scared of this virus. I think we should keep remembering that most people who would be getting this vaccine are very unlikely to be killed by this virus.”
Offit is not alone in his opinion. Many scientists and medical experts are concerned that rushing a vaccine to market would end up worsening the infection in some patients rather than preventing it. Studies have suggested that a corona virus vaccine carries the risk of what is known as ‘vaccine enhancement’, where instead of protecting against infection, the vaccine actually makes the infection worse. We saw this phenomenon with the dengue fever vaccine. The mechanism that causes vaccine enhancement is not fully understood and is one of the stumbling blocks that has prevented the successful development of a corona virus vaccine to date.
Testing of vaccines developed for other corona viruses, SARS and MERS, resulted in a high rate of death in test animals; consequently, those vaccines were not approved. Other vaccines, once approved and in use, were found too dangerous and removed from market.
Normally researchers would test for the possibility of vaccine enhancement in animals prior to conducting any human studies. Given the urgency to stem the spread of this virus, some vaccine makers have already moved directly into human testing without the completion of such animal tests.
Dr Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told Reuters, “I understand the importance of accelerating timelines for vaccines in general, but from everything I know, this is not the vaccine to be doing it with.”
Hotez worked on development of a vaccine for SARS, the corona virus behind a major 2003 outbreak. Hotez found that some vaccinated animals developed more severe disease compared with unvaccinated animals. “There is a risk of immune enhancement,” said Hotez. “The way you reduce that risk is first you show it does not occur in laboratory animals.”
A hurried vaccine might not only cause more harm than good in vaccinated individuals, a fast-tracked vaccine that could cause widespread harm has the potential to further undermine an already eroding trust in the vaccination paradigm. The reality is that both the public and the medical profession are showing an increasing loss of trust in the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Surveys reveal that more than 50% of the population are now “vaccine risk aware” or “vaccine hesitant.”
Dr. Heidi Larson, Director of the Vaccine Confidence Project, stated at the 2019 Global Vaccine Safety Summit, “The other thing that’s a trend and an issue is not just confidence in providers, but confidence of healthcare providers. We have a very wobbly health professional front line that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines.”
By-passing standard and prudent safety protocols and rushing a vaccine to market increases the risk of producing a product that will cause more harm than good, and severely undermine trust in our health professionals, our health agencies, and in the entire vaccine paradigm.
Financial Conflict of Interest
There is also the real concern that a COVID 19 vaccine, a product that has the potential to be imposed upon the entire global population on an annual basis, will be co-opted by financial conflicts of interest. The lure of tremendous profit creates the strong potential to exaggerate the benefits and minimize any adverse effects, as already occurs with other vaccines.
Currently, there is no independent testing of vaccine products prior to licensure. Governments rely almost exclusively upon the data provided by the vaccine manufacturers. Further, vaccine safety testing does not undergo the standards required for all other pharmaceutical products – double blind, placebo controlled clinical trials.
Added to this is the risk created by the fact that vaccine manufacturers and professionals administering vaccines are not legally or financially liability for injuries or deaths caused by their products. This lack of accountability for product safety makes us all vulnerable to the production and mandating of an unsafe product.
The influence of significant profit has the real potential to allow profit to supersede health.
Informed Consent Concerns
By-passing proper safety protocols would mean a COVID 19 vaccine is effectively human experimentation. Are human test subjects being made fully aware that they are participating in human experimentation and that proper safety protocols are being by-passed? Are human subjects fully aware that many of the adverse effects of vaccination, especially on the neurological and immunological systems, may not be evident for years if not decades?
Will vaccine testing be conducted on the aged and medically fragile – the populations who are most likely to be affected by the corona virus, or will testing be conducted solely on healthy individuals – those whom would be unlikely to experience significant harm from corona virus infection? Has this testing on human subjects passed an ethical review, and if so, what ethics committee would permit such experimentation on healthy individuals?
Then, there is the question of vaccine mandates. There are already directives being suggested that should a corona virus vaccine be developed, that all humans globally should be mandated to receive the vaccine. Such mandates would be a violation of codes of ethics and values that form the foundation of a free society.
If mandating the coronavirus were to happen, the entire human population could be subjected to severe and irreversible harm.
Vaccine Dependency or Herd Immunity
There are two competing theories of virus management at this time:
- Suppression until Vaccination
- Herd immunity
Suppression Until Vaccination
Currently, the strategy recommended by the WHO and being employed by most countries, including Canada, is suppression. The suppression measures involve, at minimum, social distancing of the entire population, home isolation and quarantine, as well as work, school and public event closures. The social and economic effects of the measures which are needed to achieve this policy goal are profound and severely impact our economic, mental and social well-being.
The major challenge of suppression is that this type of intensive intervention will need to be maintained indefinitely as it is expected that transmission of the virus will quickly rebound if suppression interventions are relaxed. This strategy relies on the development of a safe and effective vaccine that can artificially stimulate immunity, albeit temporary and incomplete, something that has not been possible to date.
Herd Immunity is based on the observation that most people experience no long-term effects of contracting the virus. Further, when a sufficient percentage of the population, approximately 60% – 70%, contracts and recovers from the virus the rest of the population is protected due to herd immunity. Herd immunity has the ability to protect the very young and the very old who are more susceptible to detrimental effects of an infection.
We witnessed the protective effects of herd immunity with measles, mumps, and chicken pox prior to the mass introduction of these vaccines. Mass vaccination has effectively wiped out natural herd immunity and created world-wide dependency upon vaccines.
Advocates of the natural herd immunity model are of the opinion that rather than the mass isolation of billions of people, only the most at-risk people and their close associates should be isolated. The forced mass quarantine of an entire, mostly low-risk population is disproportionate and unnecessary. This was the position advocated by the Netherlands, Israel, and UK.
We need to ask important questions about creating dependency on another vaccine. Are we going to create another scenario where we become ‘vaccine dependent’ or will we recognize the value of natural herd immunity? Is it ethical to deny children, young people and most of the population who are at low risk of mortality the opportunity to develop natural immunity when we know natural immunity is lifelong in most cases?
Mandating a vaccine would make every citizen dependent on vaccine-induced immunity, as has already happened with other vaccines. It is vital to consider the startling admission by Heidi Larson, Director of The Vaccine Confidence Project, at the 2019 Global Vaccine Safety Summit: “We’ve shifted the human population…to dependency on vaccine-induced immunity…We’re in a very fragile state now. We have developed a world that is dependent on vaccinations.”
Is the focus on vaccine products blocking full consideration of other opportunities of treatment and immune enhancement? A government-sponsored research strategy to address host factors in mitigating infection has not been developed, as officials explained that there was no mandate to explore an alternative to the existing vaccination program.
Financial Implications of a Vaccine
Mandating a vaccine for COVID 19 would mean adding another vaccine to the schedule that will be given to every citizen, child and adult. Is this a good use of our financial resources? A vaccine, once introduced, is likely to be maintained as a required intervention for 50+ years. This would mean an investment of hundreds of billions of dollars over its lifetime. Is there a better investment of our financial resources such as naturally boosting immunity with vitamins, diet, and other public health measures? It is important to acknowledge that investing in a vaccine restricts or even eliminates investment in other opportunities to prevent infection and improve health.
What about Co-founding Factors?
What is clear is that not everyone is at equal risk of dying from COVID 19. The novel coronavirus has spread unevenly around the world, clustered in several hot pockets, while leaving other areas with scant outbreaks. Are other factors contributing to the COVID 19 virus mortality? Factors that have been suggested include: age, chronic health conditions, history of vaccination, introduction of new technologies as 5G, complicating medical treatments, lifestyle (smoking/vaping), among others. Have these other variables been fully investigated before investing solely in a questionable and possibly dangerous vaccine to save us?
Further, a general principle of medicine is that the status of one’s immune system and overall health determines morbidity and mortality, and likely our susceptibility to infection in the first place. Are we doing enough to identify public health and nutritional recommendations to improve immune system function?
Is the Pandemic Real?
Diagnosis of death and illness is to a large extent arbitrary and it is considered a grey area of medical science. There are many co-factors involved in death/illness and as the medical profession has a monopoly on this knowledge, they can label the deaths/respiratory illnesses within broad guidelines as they wish. We also know that the identification tests are not reliable.
The fact is scientists can create the appearance of a disease by increased monitoring of the virus/bacteria and the medical profession can easily manipulate the perceived decrease or increase of a disease. This has occurred throughout history in outbreaks of other illnesses, including polio, SIDS, autism spectrum disorders, and the swine-flu ‘pandemic’. In each case this was done by changing the definition of a pandemic or condition. That is, you can create a statistical pandemic by labelling the respiratory deaths to a particular virus – a ‘novel’ virus, for example. This is a strategy regularly used by the medical/industry complex.
Preserving our Rights
Are we making decisions out of fear rather than facts? Is there adequate and independent oversight to ensure that decisions are not being made based on financial self-interest or political and corporate interests? The challenge is that our fear makes us vulnerable to allowing our liberties being taken away from us under the guise of a false sense of security. We need to be cautious of authoritarian governmental reactions and the setting of dangerous precedents – actions that may be more damaging than the virus itself.
Once our rights and freedoms are exchanged for perceived safety, they are rarely given back to the fullest extent of what existed prior. Compliance with forced mass and indiscriminate quarantine or forced vaccination would establish a pernicious precedent. Medical procedures forced on a society establishes the justification for imposition of totalitarian-esque regimes for any pathogenic challenge.
In all of this are we asking these critical questions:
What kind of a society do we want to live in?
Do we want to live in a society where citizens no longer have free will, conscious choice, bodily sovereignty, and the right to make decisions for our children?
What are the values of our society that we want to protect and preserve?
We might carefully consider the question asked by John F Kennedy:
“What is the point in surviving if our rights and freedoms do not survive with us?”