A Medika Editorial
From an editorial point of view, Medika tends to be vocal on matters we feel negatively impact the health of the general public. I find myself at an ethical and personal crossroad of sorts this morning as I plan ahead for our next series of articles. My dilemma centers around vaccines, or to be more specific, the Covid vaccines.
The problem, simply stated, is this. Do we promote the coronavirus vaccine as being safe? What about the people actively trying to discredit or “warn” the public about the vaccine? Do we discredit them publically, as we’ve done with many quacks peddling snake-oil and fake cures? Are these individuals motivated by anything other than a concern for public safety, and more importantly, are they wrong?
Question everything. It’s my favorite T-shirt.
As an author and editor, I have a clear understanding of the power of ideas, seamlessly translated in the hands of skilled craftspeople into stories, and served up to you on a dizzying number of media, across the globe. The process is instant and the effects can be indelible, on both minds and societies.
Words carry weight. They are the vehicles we use to convey our ideas, our thoughts, and our agendas and as such, they demand a certain level of respect and responsibility from their users.
We live in an age where they enjoy neither. They are abused for political, personal, and financial gain. That isn’t what we stand for though and Medika spends as much time contemplating the social impact of what we publish as we do fact-checking our articles. The public-facing documents we produce have consequences and if it’s the public’s health and safety that motivates us, we need to proceed accordingly. For these reasons, Covid vaccines have become a somewhat thorny issue.
Allow me to explain my dilemma through the use of a very relevant example, namely Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg. He personifies the problems surrounding these vaccines. Most of you will be unfamiliar with the good doctor so let‘s have a quick look at his bio.
Who is Wolfgang Wodarg?
Wikipedia shows us the following: Wolfgang Wodarg (born 2 March 1947) is a German physician and politician for SPD.
As chair of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Health Committee Wodarg co-signed a proposed resolution on 18 December 2009, which was briefly discussed in January 2010 in an emergency debate and he called for an inquiry into alleged undue influence exerted by pharmaceutical companies on the World Health Organization’s global H1N1 flu campaign. You can read more on this hearing in this report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.
Early into the 2020 Covid outbreak, Wodarg became an outspoken critic of the media and government’s responses to the pandemic, claiming their responses were disproportionate to a disease that for the most part, would have gone by undiscovered a few years ago. In his opinion, Covid was just another aggressive influenza virus doing the rounds. No need for panic.
So convinced was he, that he made a fundamental error in judgment.
He turned to radical groups within the health industry to make his voice heard. The same groups promoting the imagined risks of vaccines, offering quackery and ridiculous unsanctioned treatments for cancers, autism, and other medical conditions.
Wodarg decided to use their platforms to get his message out. It cost him any last shred of credibility he may have retained within his profession, and he has now been firmly embraced by the pseudo-science fringe, or the Looney Tunes channels as we refer to them. That was in early April, then this month, this happened.
On December 1, the ex-Pfizer head of respiratory research and founder of Novartis, Dr. Michael Yeadon and Wodarg filed an application with the EMA, the European Medicine Agency responsible for EU-wide drug approval, for the immediate suspension of all SARS CoV 2 vaccine studies, in particular the BioNtech/Pfizer study on BNT162b (EudraCT number 2020–002641–42).
What’s the Petition about?
They’re demanding that all actions relating to vaccine distribution be halted pending further testing and subject to the satisfactory resolution of the following concerns.
They suggest that due to the known lack of accuracy of the PCR test in a serious study, a so-called Sanger sequencing must be used as an alternative. This is the only way, they claim, to make reliable statements on the effectiveness of a vaccine against Covid-19. On the basis of the many different PCR tests of highly varying quality, neither the risk of disease nor a possible vaccine benefit can be determined with the necessary certainty, which is why testing the vaccine on humans, using current protocols, is unethical per se.
Non- neutralizing antibodies
The formation of so-called “non-neutralizing antibodies” can lead to an exaggerated immune reaction, especially when the test person is confronted with the real, “wild” virus after vaccination. This so-called antibody-dependent amplification, ADE, has long been known from experiments with corona vaccines in cats, for example. In the course of these studies, all cats that initially tolerated the vaccination well, died after catching the wild virus.
The vaccinations are expected to produce antibodies against spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. However, spike proteins also contain syncytin-homologous proteins, which are essential for the formation of the placenta in mammals such as humans. It must be absolutely ruled out that a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 could trigger an immune reaction against syncytin-1, as otherwise, infertility of indefinite duration could result in vaccinated women.
The mRNA vaccines from BioNTech/Pfizer contain polyethylene glycol (PEG). 70% of people develop antibodies against this substance — this means that many people can develop allergic, potentially fatal reactions to the vaccination.
The short duration of the clinical study does not allow a realistic estimation of the late effects. As in the narcolepsy cases after the swine flu vaccination, millions of healthy people would be exposed to an unacceptable risk if an emergency approval were to be granted and the possibility of observing the late effects of the vaccination were to follow. Nevertheless, BioNTech/Pfizer apparently submitted an application for emergency approval on December 1, 2020.
It’s time for a divorce
So here is where things get tough. Yeadon has a clear conflict of interest here as a former employee of Pfizer, albeit 11 years ago, but brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Wodarg has gone over to the dark side, or has he? He’s been a vocal campaigner for public health safety for many years.
As if the whole Covid issue wasn’t complicated enough to start with, any voice that offers dissent with the public narrative is immediately latched onto by the nutter brigade. Latched onto and amplified as proof or validation of the other crazy claims they make.
Claims like 5G, bleach enema’s, and bark from weird trees growing in obscure South American jungles. I deal with these head cases on a daily basis and it’s both depressing and demoralizing to see the depths we can sink to, just to turn a quick buck off the backs of suffering people.
The effects of this adoption and amplification are twofold. Any materials, however relevant, are immediately discredited by association and medical professionals have now become circumspect about voicing dissent with the public covid narrative. Doing so means instant adoption by the Looney Tunes family and potential professional suicide. It makes things really difficult for those of us sifting through the dross, in search of validated data and actual scientific credibility for posited theories or concerns.
Another innocent victim of this debacle will be vaccines. Not the Covid vaccine, but vaccines in general, the MMR vaccine, Polio, Tetanus, and a host of other essential preventative treatments our children need for their protection. The anti-vaccine campaigners have just been gifted their biggest windfall for a while in terms of the covid-19 virus and they’re latching on with both hands.
Here are some facts about vaccines if you’re still on the fence and I’ve linked below to one of the best deconstructions of an anti-vaccine proponent, Dr Suzanne Humphries, that I’ve seen in a while. It’s a well-written and well-researched article that totally debunks Humphries and her ridiculous use of pseudoscience to justify avoiding vaccines.
So here is what happens if we don’t vaccinate our children. I’m not even going to look at the continued use of vaccination programs, as I am assuming we don’t completely lose our sanity in the coming months. This is a simplistic overview of the basic initial problems not vaccinating our children will lead to.
Diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, and polio will return, bringing with them, the associated costs to healthcare systems that will be forced to deal with the fallout. Your children will contract these diseases and some of them will die. These are not harmless diseases. While most people can cope with the diseases, some children will not be able to. For adults, contracting many of these childhood conditions later in life can prove fatal.
For some children and adults, their systems will be overwhelmed and they will require hospitalization. Some will die, despite advances in medicine. Polio will once again cripple children. There is also every reason to believe these diseases will return in a more virulent form than their predecessors.
Our antibiotics are outdated and more and more people experience antibiotic-resistant infections. Any mechanism we can deploy to prevent the expanded use of antibiotics (like for example vaccination) in the general population should be strongly encouraged.
Vaccines do pose a risk. There no point claiming they are 100% safe, that’s a lie and we need to highlight this. Every form of medication is potentially lethal or life-threatening to someone, somewhere. Vaccines are no different and there is an accepted level of “adverse reaction” that is considered unavoidable in terms of the development of vaccines.
We know there is risk, but the health of the public outweighs the two potential individuals who may react badly to a vaccine.
Also, to be absolutely clear, many new studies have proved beyond doubt that vaccines do not cause autism. This is complete rubbish and is a textbook case of confusing, often intentionally, correlation with causation. All the vaccinated children also ate broccoli, you don’t see that getting the blame.
If you want to meet the medical fraud, Dr. Wakefield, the quack that kicked off this urban vaccine myth with his fraudulent and now infamously retracted Lancet report, follow this link. Wakefield had his medical license revoked in the wake of this scandal by the British Medical Council.
Now, on top of having to deal with an ongoing smear campaign that will hopefully be addressed by the FDA post-pandemic, vaccines have a new worst enemy. Coronavirus. Any and all vaccines developed to combat the virus will be bundled under the generic term, vaccine. It’s a massive marketing fuck up of monumental proportions, for reasons I will explain below, that could potentially undo vaccines and generations of back-breaking work.
How Covid could destroy Vaccines
Test much? Nope, we haven’t. Sorry about that, but it’s been a bit of a rush.
Isn’t that a problem, you know what happened with the Pandemrix vaccine? Yes, well, we don’t really have an option, do we? Also, our company’s future could depend on us being first.
So not only are you rolling out an essentially untested product, but you’ve also decided to try a whole new delivery approach using mRNA? Yeah, so did you see the game last night?
Responsible science has taken a backseat to madness, frenzy, politics, pressure, and common sense on this one. Sorry, but there’s nothing else to be said about it. While all these vaccines currently lining up for EUA’s could potentially be wonderful products, they could just as easily be killers with long term consequences waiting for us, our children, and future generations. I pray that I m wrong. We just don’t know for sure, not beyond any reasonable level of safety, so what have we decided to do in the absence of solid science? GAMBLE!
I appeal to any one of the vaccine developers to produce the following and Medika will then happily and unreservedly endorse your product. I’m not being facetious, please understand the intent. It is a desire to ensure that whatever is fed to the general populace, among which I number, is as safe as we can possibly get it. So here’s my Christmas wishlist of common sense.
- Clear proof that your vaccine is safe within the limits determined for normal vaccine development protocols. Short cut, Lightspeed production protocols just don’t cut it.
- Conclusive evidence that your clinical trials have been accompanied by proper testing of candidates, not utilizing the (flawed?) PCR methodology but with more specific assays, able to correctly identify SARS-nCov2 with a high level of accuracy. Your Pharma, this shouldn’t be a big ask right?
- Scientific rebuttal of the questions posed by Dr. Yeadar and Wodarg, listed above, sufficient and evidence-based to satisfy the concerns raised.
- In addition, a list of the long term side-effects you envisage for your product would be welcomed. If we are going to be transparent, let’s go the whole hog, should we, If there are sharks in the water and we’re going swimming, I’d prefer being prepared.
So there it is. The vaccines that should never ever have been referred to as vaccines. Call them Covid treatments, antivirals, or retrovirals, whatever floats your boat, but stop referring to them as vaccines. They just aren’t and shouldn’t be referred to as such. mRNA is new, it’s cutting edge medicine not broadly understood and the mRNA products adopt a totally new and unique approach to delivering their engineered payloads.
For the more technically minded, this excellent article describes their action in great depth. A hugely promising platform for the delivery of targeted treatments in the future and for those concerned about DNA manipulation, this article explains why that is not an issue. So exciting times ahead, but marred slightly by the current circumstances.
The current covid vaccines being released fail to satisfy old-established FDA safety protocols that have been in place for generations, safety protocols that exist for very good reasons, mainly to protect you and me. We keep seeming to forget that in our haste to cure the “pandemic” and get back to what we so loosely term “normal”. Rewriting FDA protocols to enable rapid production has in effect rendered both the vaccines and the protocols unsafe in traditional terms.
By gambling, essentially placing our bet before we’ve seen our cards, we risk the following;
- catastrophic health consequences across the globe if we’ve somehow gotten things wrong, and with each EUA that gets issued, the odds stack up against us.
- complete loss of confidence in science and medicine, the two groups that have folded in the face of public and political pressure. It’s the political and business sectors applying the pressure now, but they’re old hands at the game and if the wheels come off, we know who the scapegoats are going to be.
- total loss of faith in vaccines, in any shape or form, and the accompanying resurgence of diseases that will accompany this.
The above are obviously worst case scenarios, “What if’s” that we have to consider if we are to be responsible in weighing risk. It’s my sincere hope that in 12 months from now, I’m proven completely wrong and in five years we aren’t saddled with the unpleasant possibilities explored above.
So, patient reader, if you’re still with me after this epic internal ethical dialogue, here’s my final decision.
I won’t, for now, be publically jumping on the persecution bandwagon of some of the scientists I see raising valid concerns about a rushed Covid vaccine and the dangers potentially posed to the public. A valid question remains a valid question, irrelevant of the motivation behind it. Medika will, however, still aggressively be persecuting the quacks selling misinformation and misery to the vulnerable.
There is one final aspect to this that is important. We aren’t in such bad shape. I know doctors up to their eyeballs in sick and dying patients won’t agree with the following statement, but the virus could have been far more deadly. We could easily have faced another Spanish Influenza, (over 50 million dead, by estimates) but we’ve been spared that horror.
The coronavirus’s preference for the older and immune-compromised members of the population (a far smaller demographic than the Spanish flu’s favored victims) has spared us millions of deaths. Possibly hundreds of millions.
I am in no way belittling the deaths of those we have lost to Covid. If we could have spared any lives without risking the health of the entire globe in the process, then I would be fully behind the vaccine drive. The truth though, is that we could or should have waited another six months, possibly even a year, to establish a safer vaccine, a more thoroughly tested, trialed, and rigorously considered product. We still can, but we know that isn’t a likely scenario.
I know many people are deeply divided and confused by the various options and rumors circulating about the Covid vaccines. Educating yourself on the topic is difficult at best, and when the reams of disinformation that exist on the topic are considered, then it seems an almost impossible task. If you are able to take away one thing from this article, I’d like it to be this.
Vaccines are safe and effective tools for combatting disease. They aren’t some Orwellian plot to turn you into a lizard or intentionally make you ill. They are designed by large companies with reputations to protect and billions of dollars of product sales that are potentially forfeit if they harm you, thereby damaging their brand. In many ways and because of the safety protocols, intentionally put in place to protect you, vaccines are one of the safest forms of medicine the public has access to.
The risk we run now is that, unintentionally, we may have missed something in our haste to get a finished product to market. We need to be a little hesitant and perhaps a little more cautious than usual. That is all. It isn’t a Koolaid moment.