By Eva Wisenbeck 21/04/2021
Conspiracy Theory vs Critical Thinking
…To vaccinate or Not to vaccinate – that is STILL the question
Right! Firstly there are big differences in what the injections currently used contain in the way of ingredients and also the how, the method in which they produce a reaction in the body. For repetition these are all very very different to say a flu vaccine that tends to have a “killed” inactivated version of the actual virus in them. The main 4 ones we will talk about, Pfizer, Moderna, Astra-Zeneca and J&J are all mRNA and DNA based, that is they contain instructions that go into your cells and change what the cells produce. In these cases inserting code so the cells all of a sudden will start producing a spike protein (similar enough to the Sars-Cov-2) on their surface that the immune system will see these and attack.
Our advice, as is always the case, is ask questions. Get curious! Work out what is best for you!
Specifically for the “to vaccinate or not to vaccinate” question you can look at multiple things around for example your risk for developing Covid-19, the disease caused by Sars-Cov-2, what severity you might have of it due to any pre-existing health conditions (age and racial heritage also comes into the picture) and counter that with both the potential benefit of a vaccine and the risks associated with a vaccine. Also take into account how well you tolerate other medications and vaccines, look at your history.
As I mentioned in our chat for me personally I also like to look further ahead (and not base my medical decisions on the lure of a summer beach holiday!) – for example – I currently do not have the flu vaccine yearly, I estimate my risk of developing or indeed dying from the flu as very low versus the potential risks of having a yearly vaccine.
BMJ - “We hear so much about the vital importance of flu shots that it will come as a nasty surprise to learn that they increase the risk of illness from noninfluenza virus infections such as rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, RS viruses, parainfluenza viruses, adenoviruses, HMP viruses and enteroviruses.”
The Not to forget
All current Covid-19 injections only have Emergency Use Authorisation, they are all still experimental in trial medical products.
For the big 4, Pfizer, Moderna, Astra-Zeneca and J&J, the phase 3 trials are ongoing until 2023.
As we said this doesn’t make them good or bad however you should be aware and informed that you are partaking in a trial and all data and risks, both short and long-term, are far from known.
If in the US for example, there had been any other drug officially available and approved for treatment of Covid-19 these vaccines would not have been able to be granted Emergency Use Authorisation. They would have then had to go through ‘the normal’ process of full approval.
Now let’s throw in a potential ‘conspiracy theory’ shall we.
So in many parts of the world including in the US many doctors have used various protocols to treat Covid-19, these include things like off the shelf repurposed trialed and tested medication such as Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine. Also natural treatments such as high dose IV Vitamin C, high dose vitamin D, nebulised hydrogen peroxide etc.
If any of these in the last year had been officially recognised as a possible treatment the Emergency Use Authorisation for the vaccines would end. The other aspect is that the natural treatments are cheap and can’t be patented and the off the shelf repurposed drugs are also cheap and out of patent.
Here is what we were talking about with regards to Merck and the drug Ivermectin, the article is a very good read, here is a highlight - “Merck and the FDA came out against Ivermectin only after the US government contributed $356 million to Merck to develop MK-7110, an anti-COVID drug. This occurred after Merck purchased the rights to MK-7110 for $425 million in a deal announced on December 23, 2020. The chances of this drug receiving approval by the FDA are very high.”
So is this all ‘conspiracy’ or is there some ‘critical thinking’ in there?! I for one would certainly be very happy to receive any of the above treatments if I fell seriously ill and there was no other alternative. In fact in India and other places you can buy ready kits to use to treat at home containing Ivermectin, Doxycycline and Zinc.
The Reporting of adverse reactions and Responsibility
This is where it gets a bit odd, if a product is still in a medical trial phase, one could be forgiven for thinking that ongoing data is gathered and analysed – alas it is not really that straightforward!
Talking about the US and the UK each country has an existing system for reporting any issues, in the US it is VAERS, and in the UK it is Yellow Card. Both these systems are “passive” websites/apps meaning they are relying on people to self-report. Already here there are huge red flags, I personally know about 10 people who has had a Covid-19 injection, I know that 9 technically had “adverse events” such as headaches, chills, fever etc. None were reported!
Is this important? I don’t know. They are not life threatening, but nonetheless when you see a Patient Insert Leaflet (PIL) for any treatment you have headings such as “common reactions” and if these are not reported all data will be off.
As another example, and a bit more serious, let’s use my amazing mum. If my mum 3 weeks after an injection develops shingles, pneumonia or bruising I can say with 100% certainty she would not think of a possible correlation nor would she report it. Well, that isn’t quite true as she and I speak but you can see my point.
Now these reactions are rather more significant and one would think the manufacturers and the governments would like to know.
Then of course we have far more serious issues such as the blood clotting and of course – death!
Again, here there are two big issues, one is that the person needs to recognise it and report it (or their families), and/or a treating physician would have to suspect a correlation to a previous injection, feel the likelihood was strong enough and then be willing to report it.
There sure are many steps and ifs and buts…
And all along, let’s not forget that Big Pharma all have complete indemnity and cannot be made to be held responsible if you or a loved one are injured or killed.
In fact I find it outright disturbing when media (and society) are saying well it’s for “the greater good” and there is always “collateral damage”.
Again, not saying any of this is good or bad, it merely is where we are at and I think we all should be aware. For me any medical treatment or procedure should be undertaken with the aim of gaining or protecting one’s own health and that informs the questions to ask. One to ponder upon...
The Big Pharma
So is the Covid-19 medical market saturated? There are about 6-10 vaccines in use already.
It seems not, in fact there seems to be another incredible:
252 vaccines in development and trial, including some oral and nasal ones
326 medical treatments in development and trials
Not sure what to say to that, or why this is, it certainly is a huge response and rather interesting.
The other interesting aspect of this is that as some of the current Covid-19 vaccines are mRNA based (Pfizer and Moderna) once they gain full approval, rather than just Emergency Use Authorisation, there is a whole host of other vaccines and medications based on mRNA technology waiting on the side-line ready to spring into the market place. It is always easier to gain approval for a new novel method once the first one has passed the post as it were.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for progress and better health and treatments. In fact I would personally love a magic pill to improve my overall health however after a couple of decade going through the system I know such a thing is highly unlikely.
Alzheimer treatments are a very good example of the "there is no one magic bullet" but that is for another day and another blog.
Playing with gene editing and manipulation is still a very new field and there is no way of knowing what the long-term, generational, effects are. I think both caution and certainly a lot of critical – and ethical – thinking need be applied.
The Do we need a vaccine?
Well this is a Critical Thinking segment after all so let’s backtrack and turn over some more stones:
If the survival rate is over 99% (currently I’m seeing about 99.4% in European countries) does the whole world population need to be vaccinated for Covid-19?
What is the total overall mortality where you live compared to the last 5 or 10 years?
If this is a syndemic aka acute disease mixed with chronic lifestyle related diseases, what is the best way to approach and correct the underlying issues rather than just focus on the “pathogen”?
“A syndemic or synergistic epidemic is the aggregation of two or more concurrent or sequential epidemics or disease clusters in a population with biological interactions, which exacerbate the prognosis and burden of disease. The term was developed by Merrill Singer in the mid-1990s.” Wikipedia
What happens when the next virus comes, as it will, they always have?
How come there has been very little airtime and debate around clinically proven, and research supported, risk reductions such as addressing Vitamin D deficiencies and metabolic disorders etc?
What is my personal health status and risk profile for any disease?
What is my past history of tolerance and issues with medication and vaccines?
What is the balance between, “for the greater good”, commercial profit etc?
Financial Times – “The future Covid-19 vaccine market could be worth more than $10bn a year, generating bumper revenues for pharmaceutical companies that have funded large parts of their research with government money. The calculations by analysts at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse assume that people will need to take a Covid-19 vaccine every year, like a flu jab, and are based on projected costs for the shot, currently hovering at about $20 a dose.”
Informed Consent and Medical Freedom
To keep it short and clear, here is a great description from NCBI (The National Center for Biotechnology Information is part of the United States National Library of Medicine, a branch of the National Institutes of Health):
“Informed consent is the process in which a health care provider educates a patient about the risks, benefits, and alternatives of a given procedure or intervention. The patient must be competent to make a voluntary decision about whether to undergo the procedure or intervention. Informed consent is both an ethical and legal obligation of medical practitioners in the US and originates from the patient's right to direct what happens to their body.”
Although this refers to the US the same applies in many countries. I will add the link to the UK NHS page below in sources.
And what about the Nuremberg Rules of Conduct that we mentioned in out chat? Well it seems it might be a bit more “grey” than I thought. Regarding human research it’s been eclipsed by the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki in 1964.
The original Nuremberg Code aimed to protect human subjects from enduring the kind of cruelty and exploitation the prisoners endured at concentration camps.
The 10 elements of the code are:
Voluntary consent is essential
The results of any experiment must be for the greater good of society
Human experiments should be based on previous animal experimentation
Experiments should be conducted by avoiding physical/mental suffering and injury
No experiments should be conducted if it is believed to cause death/disability
The risks should never exceed the benefits
Adequate facilities should be used to protect subjects
Experiments should be conducted only by qualified scientists
Subjects should be able to end their participation at any time
The scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment when injury, disability, or death is likely to occur
And what are guidelines and codes of conduct vs legal obligations I genuinely can’t answer… That is one for lawyers to debate and I have a feeling that will happen in various countries as the Covid-19 vaccines become increasingly more available!
What I do know is that you certainly have a right to ask questions, and gain access to data and risk assessments, before taking any medical decision (yes yes if you are indeed conscious and of sane mind and all that jazz). And our favourite motto still stands – ask questions – What does Informed Consent mean where you live? What rights do you have? What obligations does your doctors have?
StatNews - Next-generation Covid-19 vaccines are supposed to be better. Some experts worry they could be worse
Reuters - China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine 67% effective in preventing symptomatic infection - Chile govt report
ConservativeWoman - Vaccine risks versus rewards – what your GP won’t tell you
Real-time database and meta analysis of 588 COVID-19 studies
AstraZeneca No Worse Than Other Vaccines for Blood Clots, Study Finds
Revealed: Why Britain’s regulator missed the link between the AstraZeneca jab and rare blood clots
Deaths Linked to Covid Vaccines are 30 Times More Common than with Other Vaccines – Is the Safety Reporting System Fit for Purpose?
Can mRNA disrupt the drug industry?
Will the coronavirus help mRNA and DNA vaccines prove their worth?
MRNA vaccines: the post-pandemic outlook after a breakthrough year
mRNA-based therapeutics — developing a new class of drugs
How Many Covid Deaths Are Really Due to COVID-19?
“Real-time database and meta analysis of 588 COVID-19 studies”
"Vitamin C for Covid"
"'Alarmingly high vitamin D deficiency in the United Kingdom"
BioPharmaDive - The coronavirus vaccine frontrunners are advancing quickly. Here's where they stand. https://www.biopharmadive.com/news/coronavirus-vaccine-pipeline-types/579122/
Forbes - 9 Pharmaceutical Companies Racing For A COVID-19 Vaccine https://www.forbes.com/sites/moneyshow/2020/06/16/9-pharmaceutical-companies-racing-for-a-covid-19-vaccine/
Financial Times - Covid-19 vaccine market worth $10bn a year, analysts say https://www.ft.com/content/7961437d-33cd-4f47-b190-2be3b571c8e5
The Lancet - Offline: COVID-19 is not a pandemic https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32000-6/fulltext
Financial Times - Covid-19 is really a syndemic — and that shows us how to fight it https://www.ft.com/content/34a502b1-5665-42ff-8a8d-1298b71f1e7b
Microbenotes - Vaccines- Introduction and Types with Examples https://microbenotes.com/vaccines-introduction-and-types/
NHS – Consent to Treatment https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/consent-to-treatment/
JAMA - The Nuremberg Code 70 Years Later https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2649074
imarc - THE NUREMBERG CODE AND ITS IMPACT ON CLINICAL RESEARCH https://www.imarcresearch.com/blog/bid/359393/nuremberg-code-1947