The purpose and research behind this blog post was for me to gather all the information I needed to make the best choice for myself about further vaccinations and risks from COVID-19 now or in the future. The current landscape of discussion and information on this makes it extremely hard and stressful to reach a balanced and accurate conclusion.
It is very clear that the world as it stood against COVID-19 in December 2020 went on to benefit massively from the available vaccines from Astra Zeneca and Oxford University, BioNTech and Pfizer, Moderna and then Johnson and Johnson or Janssen. However, from the beginning there were concerns about how the vaccines were being rolled out and accessing factual information for individuals to balance their own personal benefits and risk.
The politicisation of this discussion has been extremely divisive, with a relatively small but vocal community on one side being named, shamed and blamed for voicing concerns about the vaccine’s efficacy and safety. As a result, some useful questions went unanswered and ignored.
Today, the picture has become much clearer. Overall, the vaccine protects everyone without natural immunity against severe disease or death from COVID-19. From when cases were first diagnosed in China in December 2019, we had a year before the first vaccines were rolled out. In that time, a portion of the global population caught COVID and survived, people went on to develop Long COVID, thousands required oxygen or mechanical ventilation and there were deaths all over the world.
In the UK, once vaccines had become available to everyone over the age of 40 by April and 30 by May, cases were dropping dramatically, along with deaths and hospitalisations. However, measures to prevent the spread of the virus were dropped in July 2021 and events and gatherings resumed. In other countries, various measures were kept in place to reduce the spread of the virus, but in the United Kingdom, measures were poorly communicated and subsequently cases, hospitalisations and deaths have remained high since mid-summer.
With fierce arguments on social media and one-sided arguments raging in government, society and the press, the noise became so deafening that no one could hear anything they needed to know to make the best choice for themselves and their families.
The sense many people get is that vaccination is for the greater good and that they must sacrifice themselves equally to the cause, even if they became anxious that they have an increased chance of becoming collateral damage. The anxiety and stress alone would be enough to make many people ill and to impact on their immune health.
The fear and isolation many people felt over the vaccine have been exacerbated by unclear guidelines for reducing the spread of the virus and some of the more extreme restrictions imposed during the late-starting lockdowns. Holding meetings outside, reducing contact, using facemasks indoors, sanitisation, quarantines and closing indoor social spaces, churches and non-essential shops has been used before. During the Plague in 1665, the village of Eyam in Derbyshire’s Peak District quarantined itself to limit spread of the pathogen. Church services and meetings were held outside and the village’s borders were closed until transmission had completely stopped because those left had immunity. This must have been either genetic or through natural inoculation from sub-infection doses of pathogen triggering am immune response.
Of course, many lives were lost during to the Plague. I doubt you or I would take our chances with Polio or Smallpox. Although they too came with risks, the benefits of vaccines to prevent these two viruses massively outweighed the risks of infection.
COVID-19 is a serious enough infection for everyone who had not been exposed or infected to choose to take a vaccine. However, unlike Polio or Smallpox, COVID-19 had been circulating for a year before vaccines arrived. Any new vaccine goes through a stage of trial and error and there have been casualties from COVID-19 vaccines because various precautions were not taken in the UK. These could include:
- Waiting for 12 weeks after recovery from a SARS-COV2 infection.
- Ensuring the person has not acquired a substantial level of natural immunity.
- Safeguarding against infection at place of vaccination.
- Checking immune health to ensure the immune system is not over stimulated or malfunctioning.
- Checking for micronutrient deficiencies, allergies or other substance intolerances.
- Ensuring the vaccine is delivered correctly and not entering a blood cell.
Measures prescribed by government, wasteful, vague and confusing message delivery and complete lack of public health information has cost too many people their health and lives in the UK and this has backfired on the vaccination programme. Other countries have been much more successful.
Levels of stress, anxiety and fear about COVID-19 and the vaccination are caused by the decisions, commmunication and policies used in the UK. Like non-communicable diseaes, which cost the NHS billions of pounds to treat, an overall objective from the start of 2020 to protect the nation’s public health and quality of life would have saved more lives than the vaccine.
Japan did not start rolling out their vaccine programme until June 2021, but have 80% of their nation fully vaccinated. This achievement is even more impressive when you consider that Japan previously had one of the highest rates of vaccine hesitancy in the world with ony 30% trusting vaccines. The Japanese government did the following to ensure vaccines were taken up so quickly and effortlessly:
- Tested the vaccines on Japanese people before approving them for use.
- istributed the vaccines with warning labels about any risks.
- Documented any adverse reactions.
- Did very little promotion for the vaccines.
- Only administered the vaccine with informed consent after information was delivered.
- The prime minister advised people not to coerce or force others around them to take a vaccine.
This demonstrates respect and treating everyone equally as capable of taking personal responsibility, which shows in their case and hospital rates. By contrast, Japan had been a developed country at risk from corporate capture in the past. A leader with integrity was all this took.
Articles such as this one by the BBC present views, which have little basis in reality. The vaccine has reduced severity of disease and death with the right timing and delivery for those faced by increased risk from catching covid. As this risk cannot be ascertained and lockdowns have decreased national well-being, only a small percentage haven’t had a dose of any vaccine by January 2022. Has the pandemic been extended by the capitalist drive to sell maximum vaccine doses to rich countries, rather than to protect as many people as possible?
However, inaccurate conclusions such as the one expressed through the BBC, seem to cast blame for vaccine hesitancy instead of wanting to listen and answer people’s concerns. Apparently, Carole is described as a “straight talker”.
“Carole says she often hears “scaremongering” stories linking the jab with patient records and the social care system.”If you get somebody who feeds them negativity, without any real truth, then sometimes it’s hard to get past that,” she says.”Covid: NHS in push to vaccinate the final four million – BBC January 2020.
This type of one-sided communication is counter-effective when it comes to changing people’s minds and people who are witnessing, experiencing or reading about side-effects from vaccines are unconvinced by claims that the vaccine is the most faultless one in history, when it may be one of the most flawed.
This blog explores how the covid-19 narrative has been managed to represent the interests of government and pharmaceutical companies, by funding and threatening the online, social and print media to try and influence opinion. This results in division and religious fanatism instead of the wisdom of crowds or the dissolution of innovation. Early adopters have been excluded so deliberately unclear rules have been dictated to the masses with a mandate to bully anyone who dissents.
When we look back, it seems as if the objective to promote mass vaccination and fight any resistance has been gathering steam for a number of years.
Corporate practice has captured public services and the media, which has bled outwards to infect millions of people. As The Matrix shows, we can choose to take “the pill” and conform to society, which promises validation, reinforcement and invincibility, portrayed as a superpower in fiction. In reality, people have been taking the “the pill” for decades to follow the easy path compared to striking out alone.
I liken getting older to driving a car through life. We start out with clean rear-view and side mirrors but the windscreen is covered in muck. We inherit our parents’ language along with their views, which are challenged as we grow up and come into contact with more people. As we get older, the windscreen wipers clear the dirt and smudges from the windscreen, which means we can see the road ahead and world around us more closely if we choose to look.
As a child, I remember having Chicken Pox, Scarlet Fever and the Flu, I think twice. I was around 6 or 7 years old when the polio inoculation was presented to us at school. The treatment involved more than one disgusting sugar lump but I clearly remember the public service TV, information films and Open University. As the charity Scope and anyone who is deaf and blind with cerebal palsy would tell you, Germany Measles is dangerous to children in the womb if mothers catch it. My brother had German Measles when my mother was pregnant with me, but didn’t catch it and I had the vaccine at primary school.
In 2020, I heard about Dr Jonas Salk and Dr Albert Sabin, who created polio vaccines. Sabin developed a live virus vaccine, using a weakened form of the polio virus to stimulate the immune system. Meanwhile the more famous:
Jonas Salk, a doctor and scientist based at the University of Pittsburgh, on the other hand, believed a killed virus, which would completely lose its infectious qualities, could still trick the body into creating protective antibodies against the polio virus.Lessons from how the polio vaccine went from the lab to the public that Americans can learn from today – Carl Kurlander and Randy P Juhl. September 16, 2020 12.22pm BST
Today, a French company with a lab in Livingston, Scotland, have created a vaccine against COVID-19 using this same technology, which originated in the 1700s with Edward Jenner, who discovered that cow pox provided immunity against small pox and created the first vaccine treatment, which has contributed to eliminating small pox in many countries. No need to remind you that vacca is Latin for cow.
However, the UK government abruptly cancelled their orders for Valneva, which has just completed it’s stage 3 trials on 4,000 people. The public record on this is strange, with a government representative dismissing Valneva’s chances of approval before the application had been submitted. An extraordinary exclamation in light of vaccines rushed through in use since December 2020, still on Emergence Use Authorisation. The European Commission has signed an advanced purchase agreement for 60 million doses with Valneva.
As a vaccine is intended to prompt and support the immune system to fight a virus, I have struggled to understand the process behind the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines particularly. I had a dose of Astra Zeneca, a viral vector candidate, followed by 3 weeks of various reactions, which were a little different to those most commonly reported such as pain at the injection site. I didn’t even feel it go in.
In terms of informed consent, which is part of our right to life, human rights and expectations that medicine adheres to the Hippocratic Oath, a medical ethic promise to “do no harm”, I do not see how the currently used vaccines are being aggressively pushed with a full raft of corporate marketing hype, suppressing critical content and bullying skeptics on social media. These tactics are almost championed by governments, despite various articles suggesting they fail in their objectives.
I found that Facebook blocks a website on Sustainable Development, which lists industries, which conduct this type of practice, which work against the best interests of humans and the environment. According to Facebook, this webpage breaches its “community standards” and considers it spam.
At around the same time in April 2020, when Professor John Newton, acting as Testing Czar alongside Matt Hancock, advised the Department of Health to stop test, track, trace and quarantine “because there would be millions of cases”, the Oxford Vaccine Trials were worried that they wouldn’t have enough volunteers for trials because social distancing would have prevented enough people from being exposed to the. virus by autumn. Here is an article showing this paradox.
In my view, this flies in the face of the tenets of freedom of speech to censor the views of an organisation with an objective on sustainability. Whistleblowers have revealed Facebook has committed human rights abuses in India. Violations by Meta, as Facebook has rebranded itself, include censoring posts critical of government in Vietnam, while Zuckerberg claims Facebook stands by free expression.
Before 2020, there were articles about research into vaccines for the common cold, which were justified as needed due to the economic impact of people taking time off work with infections. In 2009, my employed called me into work with a bad cold, which resulted on the entire sales team coughing and spluttering on the phone and two elderly parents of staff dying. Mild colds in a healthy person can kill elderly or frail people. Articles discussing curing the cold suggest ignorance, as is the misinterpretation of symptoms as disease, rather than the immune system at work. This thinking will cause havoc to human health and the immune system, formed over millions of years facing off thousands of diseases.
“Rhinovirus is by far the most common cause of illness,” says Sebastian Johnston, a professor at Imperial and one of the authors of the editorial. “Look at what people spend on ineffective over-the-counter medications. If you had a safe and effective treatment, you’d take it.”Guardian – 6.10.2017 – Davison, N. Why can’t we cure the common cold?
The thinking in the Guardian article above is ignorant and dangerous. We need the common cold to clear out toxins, particularly for “respiratory” foods such as those that raise blood sugar. There has never been a cure for hte cold as symptoms are the immune system doing its jobs, giving our bodies a good, healthy clear out. Antibodies from 200+ rhinoviruses can prevent more serious diseaes and, unlike the origin of vaccines, cow pox, they protect us against infections outside its virus family.
Today there are reports of increasing auto-immune conditions in many developed nations. Long COVID and ME are both autoimmune conditions, where the immune system could be put out of whack by lack of outdoor exercise, an abrupt halt to daily routines or micronutrient deficiency and doesn’t fight the right cells, causing ongoing symptoms after the infection has left the body. An over-stimulated immune system can continue fighting virus, which remains for months in body tissue or cells after the person is no longer infected.
By my mind, a vaccine prompts the immune system into action by challenging it with enough information about the virus we want it to fight. Reports when the covid vaccines were first rolled out, justified a 12 week gap before second doses were delivered, as an initial dose was shown to be effective at presenting severe disease. If we look at cases in 2021, they dropped in the first quarter while first doses were administered, only to start rising again in early June.
Does the human immune system simply forget the information injected into our bodies about covid-19, even if we are repeatedly challenged by the virus between 14 days and 12 weeks following our first dose? Reports show community transmission may provide low viral doses of virus.
Yet, health authorities focus on protection from the COVID-19 vaccines waning after a few months and ignore natural immunity or people not getting infected despite challenge from the virus. Did previous coronavirus infections confer immunity against Covid-19? Was it such a novel coronavirus after all? Many press reports exist about transmission of a new coronavirus in 2013. Vaccinated people have got ill, been hospitalised and died from COVID-19, with breakthrough infections from the Omicron variant evading two vaccine doses and boosters, as the Lancet report linked above shows. I checked various different months for records of deaths within 28 days of a covid vaccine and the only mention says these reports:
include figures for deaths involving adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccination. There are currently 0 deaths registered with the aligning ICD codes for this.
Freedom of Information request to the ONS for numbers of deaths in December 2020 and January 2021 within 28 days of receiving a covid vaccine.
Although I don’t doubt the veracity of this information from an official viewpoint, it lacks openness and transparency. Can we trust that the “aligning ICD codes” would be included on death certificates in the current climate, with healthcare workers losing their jobs for not having the vaccine.
A blanket vaccine mandate for healthcare workers passed through parliament in December 2021, despite the likelihood that anyone has not built up some immunity while working in settings where 25% of covid transmissions ocurrs for 22 months, often in less than optimal health conditions, seems unbelievable. Neil Ferguson’s paper for Imperial College London published on 16th March 2020, predicted COVID-19 to be as lethal and transmissable as the Spanish flu of 2018-2019.
The last time the world responded to a global emerging disease epidemic of the scale of the current COVID-19 pandemic with no access to vaccines was the 1918-19 H1N1 influenza pandemic. Examples of the measures adopted during this time included closing schools, churches, bars and other social venues. Cities in which these interventions were implemented early in the epidemic were successful at reducing case numbers while the interventions remained in place and experienced lower mortality overall1. However, transmission rebounded once controls were lifted. Whilst our understanding of infectious diseases and their prevention is now very different compared to in 1918, most of the countries across the world face the same challenge today with COVID-19, a virus with comparable lethality to H1N1 influenza in 1918.Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions for COVID-19. Imperial College London 16.3.20. Ferguson et al.
It is interesting to look back on the 1918-19 Flu pandemic, which occured under different circumstances, particularly with soldiers returning from the First World War. in contrast to the severe flu of 100 years ago, outcomes from the wild strain of COVID-19 were far worse for older, sicker and less healthy people, compared to younger, healthier ones who caught the Spanish Flu. It is also worth mentioning that closing indoor spaces to reduce transmission is far safer than months of full blown lockdowns, in which people were prevented from outdoor pursuits for longer than an hour or with any company. Meanwhile, government officials flouted the rules such as Neil Ferguson, Dominic Cummings, Boris and Carrie Johnson and Matt Hancock, along with Downing Street staff and whole departments.
In the Easter of 2020, which was a hot sunny long weekend, parks in London were shut. Outdoor recycling bins were removed in Cornwall, which people could safely use to manage increased household waste from lockdowns. Supermarkets closed their deli counters and replaced themj with glaring promotions for ultraprocessed foods and drinks. Little attempt to encourage the British nation to stay healthy is in evidence anywhere. A hundred years ago, there was no sight of vaccines and many more people died from the flu.
It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus. The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States. Mortality was high in people younger than 5 years old, 20-40 years old, and 65 years and older. The high mortality in healthy people, including those in the 20-40 year age group, was a unique feature of this pandemic.History of 1918 Flu Pandemic – Centre for Disease Control and Prevention 2018.
Origins of COVID
Before 2020, plenty had been written about a novel coronavirus, which is reported to have leapt to humans from bats. There were plenty of warnings with SARS, which emerged in 2002 and spread to 26 countries and MERS in 2012 with family transmission 2013 in the UK.
What if covid-19 had been circulating undetected for some years amongst humans? Like SARS, early variants may have been stamped out and re-emerged. The pandemic has evaded lockdowns, quarantines, restrictions and vaccines for two years, longer than the 1918 flu.
In 2012, 6 miners were infected with a pneumonia-type virus after working Tongguan mineshaft in Mojiang, Yunnan, China, resulting in 3 deaths. The surviving 3 don’t seem to be followed-up on. However, researchers returned in 2013 and took bat guano back to Wuhan carrying samples of RaTG13 (CoV4991), the closest relative to SARS-Cov2 found so far. Did this lethal virus start its halting journey to emerge as the highly successful and transmissable covid-19?
In 2013, I had a terrible cold, which lasted 6 weeks. It is the first time I sought help beyond vitamin C, echinacea and eucalyptus, as the prescription shows from the Chinese Doctor in Falmout (who sadly closed during the 3rd lockdown). I asked friends if they thought colds were getting more respiratory. A friend survived a severe virus infection in 2018. In December 2019, I caught a bad cold with a cough, which woke me up one night short of breath, which was scary.
It seems as if the authorities are not observing or recording what is going on, particularly when healthy people fight through infections because they expect to have regular colds or flu and do not seek medical help. Otherwise, as in 2018, the government blames excess deaths in winter on seasonal flu or the wrong strain of the vaccine.
The flu vaccine has been oversold, and responsibility for outbreaks of previously eradicated illness lain at the doors of pharmaceutical companies for campaigns to shame and alienate people with concerns about vaccines. Social media joined in with government and mainstream media to label anyone questioning vaccines as “anti-vax” or “conspiracy theorists” and dissenting views were censored or “fact-checked” as unsupported or “dangerous disinformation”. Trials for repurposed treatments such as Ivermectin were blocked, such as the PRINCIPLE study by Oxford University ny Merck, or discredited such as deplatformed groups such as FLCCC.
Twitter stamped a tweet about Pfizer’s anti-viral drug using the same 3 CL Protease inhibitor platform as Ivermectin as “misleading” and prevented any comments. This invited packs of trolls recruited by so-called action groups mobilising “grassoroots” or “authentic voices” to gang up on unofficial perspectives online.
SARS-Cov2 is incredibly sophisticated. It can transmit without symptoms, which can take days to emerge, if at all. As the Omicron variant is evading vaccines and cases have dropped in South Africa, with only a third of its population vaccinated, human efforts have been ineffective to fight it, as they are with seasonal and annual flu. If researchers in Wuhan were infected while working with the virus, it has still adapted far too quickly, it seems, to have jumped in late 2019 from an animal host.
After 2003, there was a burst of research, but it was short-lived. “From 2005, it became really difficult to get funding for work on SARS coronavirus,” says Rolf Hilgenfeld at the University of Lübeck, Germany.
We Were Warned so Why Couldn’t We Prevent the Coronavirus Outbreak – New Scientist, 2020.
So funding for independent research dried up in 2005, but SARS vaccine research started in 2004 using ferrets, also in 2008 and studies using mice in 2012. The 2012 SARS vaccine trials were reported to cause pulmonary immunopathology in mice and research was important:
Because of a concern for reemergence or a deliberate release of the SARS coronavirus, vaccine development was initiated.Immunization with SARS coronavirus vaccines leads to pulmonary immunopathology on challenge with the SARS virus
Chien-Te Tseng et al. PLoS One. 2012.
I am sure I remember seeing the inclusion of the possibility of a laboratory accident in the article above, which may be quoted in an earlier blog. However, in 2007, a clearly worded report appeared in the Clinical Microbiology Reveiew:
The small reemergence of SARS in late 2003 after the resumption of the wildlife market in southern China and the recent discovery of a very similar virus in horseshoe bats, bat SARS-CoV, suggested that SARS can return if conditions are fit for the introduction, mutation, amplification, and transmission of this dangerous virusSevere Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus as an Agent of Emerging and Reemerging Infection – Clinical Microbiology Review. Cheng et al. 2007.
The 2007 article covers the most representative works taken from 4,000 publications on “research of the epidemiological, clinical, pathological, immunological, virological, and other basic scientific aspects of the virus and the disease,” which followed the explosive SARS epidemic. This shows that new coronaviruses were seen a huge threat.
Therefore, we now know that work to protect against coronaviruses started after the SARS epidemic. “The marked increase in the understanding of the virus and the disease within such a short time has allowed the development of diagnostic tests, animal models, antivirals, vaccines, and epidemiological and infection control measures, which could prove to be useful in randomized control trials if SARS should return,” wrote Cheng et al in 2007.
In 2008, an article first published by the Microbiology Society about vaccine trials using ferrets, which replicate the same fever as seen in humans, called Severe acute respiratory syndrome vaccine efficacy in ferrets: whole killed virus and adenovirus-vectored vaccines. The conclusion was “However, despite high neutralizing antibody titres, protection was incomplete for all vaccine preparations and administration routes. Our data suggest that a combination of vaccine strategies may be required for effective protection from this pathogen.” The sacrifices of these ferrets and research work by these scientists over 12 years ago seems to have been wasted. Earlier vaccine trials on ferrets in 2004 was reported to cause liver damage.
All this research, studies, trials and publications point to a highly controlled narrative from March 2020, when the UK government started to clumsily introduce restrictions in the UK. It seemed to me as if their focus was already on a vaccine and all other efforts to quarantine, track, trace or test for the virus were delayed until Downing Street was backed into a corner. Then, in typical Johnson style, grand and vastly expensive political gestures were made as if outsourcing everything with large sums of money would give the impression they were taking the virus seriously.
These SARS-CoV vaccines all induced antibody and protection against infection with SARS-CoV. However, challenge of mice given any of the vaccines led to occurrence of Th2-type immunopathology suggesting hypersensitivity to SARS-CoV components was induced. Caution in proceeding to application of a SARS-CoV vaccine in humans is indicated.Immunization with SARS coronavirus vaccines leads to pulmonary immunopathology on challenge with the SARS virus – PLoS One 2012 Tseng
In 2015, the Virology Journal published an article called Bat Origin of Human Coronaviruses, which concluded: “Although the study of bat-borne coronaviruses has only started just about 10 years ago, the scientific community has already learnt a great deal of useful lessons which will be instrumental in mitigating, predicting, and preventing future zoonotic coronavirus outbreaks.” 2020 illustrates that the world must have had collective amnesia when COVID-19 emerged. All these useful lessons and research seemed to have disappeared.
In early 2021, the media warned that vaccines might lead people into a false sense of security, bearing in mind that transmission, hospitalisation and death were not prevented by vaccines alone and that keeping transmission down was the best way to save lives and health. In fact, coercing people to have vaccines so that they could drop restrictions would, in my mind, encourage selfish behaviour, while unvaccinated people still tended to be careful and take precautions against infection.
Those who had recovered from Covid-19 had more immunity than gained from a two-dose vaccine, with the best protection gained from one dose and previous infection, as this preprint from August 2021 concludes. It is amazing how long any challenge to absolute blanket vaccine propaganda takes to be peer reviewed.
There is an interesting Rapid Response to an article about a government commission into excess deaths in 2018, which appeared in the British Medical Journal. The commission had blamed 50,000 excess deaths, when patients had died unexpected compared to the winter months the previous year.
The response’s author John Stone quoted the BBC:
“There were around 50,100 excess winter deaths in England and Wales in 2017-18 – the highest since the winter of 1975-76, figures from the Office for National Statistics show. The increase is thought to be down to the flu, the ineffectiveness of the flu vaccine in older people and spells of very cold weather last winter.”
John Stone suggests that the risk from flu had been exaggerated by 150 times, with 3,454 ICU/HDU admissions and 372 deaths in the UK, with 320 of those deaths and 3,175 of the ICU admissions being in England. This, Stone concluded, suggests the government are blaming all winter deaths on the flu. He concluded;
The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee have been complaining about low flu vaccine uptake again  but we do not even have any information about the vaccination status of the people who died. There are serious ethical issues both for medicine and government here which have yet to be addressed.
It seems as if we entered 2020 with a blanket, one-size-fits-all bias and agenda to get everyone vaccinated, irrespective of gender, health, lifestyle, age, work circumstances or previous infection.
Considering the government didn’t take COVID-19 seriously until March 2020, the idea of stopping transmission and containing the virus doesn’t seem to have been a major objective, going from actions taken. With flu vaccine efficacy quite low, as is usual with an unstable virus, perhaps the candidates for a covid-19 vaccine inspired some hope in governments, working with pharmaceutical companies and media to hit sceptics and doubters head on.
During 2021, the amount of nurses, midwives and other healthcare workers who were the subject of disciplinary hearings seemed high, considering the costs and dedication required in training. The information surround these cases was unspecific, vague or withheld. A section of society will always question missing information and distrust one-sided stories to find out what is being hidden.
Vaccine trials were announced as if government investment and co-operative pharmaceutical companies actually intended to save lives, health and end the pandemic. The UK and USA blundered into a health crisis that had been predicted for years, which could draw from two decades of research and knowledge. Politicians said they knew best and ignored perspectives from scientists across all disciplines.
A symptom tracker app by nutrition company ZOE global was ignored by Westminster, while the devolved parliaments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all encouraged their nations to self-report symptoms. As the government kept their own Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies meetings secret, former NHS boss Sir David King gathered a group of senior NHS and SPI-M scientists to form a public update and consultation each week on Friday called Independent SAGE. I’ve been invited to ask about 10 questions since mid 2020.
Even if China had dragged its feet about announcing the spread of COVID-19, the level of ignorance from the rest of the world was staggering, considering the body of knowledge, research work and historical records, which could have lit the way.
One thing, which has bothered me since regular reports emerged in 2020 about COVID-19 vaccine trials, is the coincidence between where the trials took place and where variants emerged from. This Lancet article shows that vaccine trials took place in the UK, Brazil and South Africa. All three of these places were sources of a more transmissable variant, followed by Delta in India. Cases of Omicron peaked in South Africa on 16th December and have continued to fall since. Compared to the UK, South Africa has vaccinated a third of its population.
“This study demonstrated that natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162b2 two-dose vaccine-induced immunity. Individuals who were both previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 and given a single dose of the vaccine gained additional protection against the Delta Variant” Comparing SARS-CoV-2 natural immunity to vaccine-induced immunity: reinfections versus breakthrough infections. Gazit et al 2021.
Now it is May 2022, the COVID-19 virus still in circulation, with the 5th Omicron variant BA.5 and now Monkeypox cases multiplying. Press reports by the BBC do not hang together, make sense or clearly warn people how to avoid transmission.
Everything could lead a reasonable person to suspect that containing COVID-19 and preventing its spread was never the intention.