HOW honest and brave it was for GP Dr Clare Jones to allow the letter she sent to her MP, in which she protests against being compelled to be vaccinated or face disciplinary action from the General Medical Council, to be published in Lockdown Sceptics.
Vaccination plays an important role in society. The smallpox and measles vaccination programmes are good examples but we cannot in any way compare those successes to the current situation. I believe the ‘discover a new virus – hard, protracted lockdown – invent an emergency vaccine’ strategy is blatantly unethical regardless of any good intention behind it. The government’s failure to reject and outlaw vaccine passports and the associated compliance of the medical establishment (kowtowing to Sage) has placed undue pressure on the public to be vaccinated for pure convenience (to go on holiday, the pub and visit or utilise basic amenities) and not for their properly risk-assessed benefit. As I wrote in TCW a couple of weeks ago, this is a scandalous abuse of the principle of informed consent, and Sage and the many scientists working in collaboration with them are acting unethically.
In response to my TCW article ‘Why vaccination should not be so rushed‘, I have received much positive feedback. Many of my friends are in (or retired from) the medical and dental profession. You might be surprised at the number who are sceptical about lockdowns and uncomfortable about the increasing social pressure to be vaccinated or the prospect of being vaccinated as the terms and condition of working. So I’m summarising a post I submitted on the Lockdownsceptics.org Forum almost three months ago replying to another Forum member’s view that lockdownsceptics were morphing into antivaxers:
‘Why has it been announced that doctors and nurses will not be expected to be the first to take the vaccine alongside the elderly and vulnerable? Is it because recent polling has shown that this group of healthcare professionals would rather wait several months or even years before committing?’
We have been provided with the stats on the percentage of elderly people that have been vaccinated within various age bands. There has been no mention directly from the government about the percentage of doctors, dentists and nurses that have been vaccinated as far as I can see. These people should be the most informed in relation to physiology and anatomy and best able to weigh up the pros and cons of vaccination. They are also the most likely to be in close contact with Covid patients.
Healthcare workers should not be pressured into an avenue of repeated, multiple vaccinations now and into the future. Now is the time to say safety first. It is essential to keep scrutinising Sage and the politicians even as this lockdown nonsense (I hope) draws to a close. Medics, dentists and healthcare workers who have been forbidden to speak publicly about the virus should start to vent their frustration and, as the threat of disciplinary action begins to fade, share what they have observed. I believe that time is now. Please, doctors, dentists and nurses, bring back the principles of medical and public health ethics to the public and begin to speak out.
Let’s remind ourselves what these principles are: doing good; doing no harm; giving the patients the chance to choose treatments freely (consent); ensuring fairness; proportionality; efficiency.
Tragically there are many examples of the above being breached, including lockdowns and the blanket emergency vaccination programme even though the average age of a Covid death is over 80 (proportionality and free informed consent); the cost (financial and time) to the NHS (efficiency/resources); the impact of the government strategy on the non-Covid health of the nation (fairness); the campaign to pressurise and rush the public into making decisions using Sage, celebrities and even the Queen and other members of the Royal Family (free and fair consent).
Any strictly monitored ethical vaccination trial prioritises safety that includes, above all, the reporting of any adverse side-effects. So the government and Sage, while promoting vaccination with huge fanfare, have not simultaneously publicised the crucial importance of reporting adverse side-effects. This is another example of unethical behaviour and practice. Under-reporting of adverse drug reactions : a systematic review – PubMed (nih.gov)
It is with further journalistic scrutiny and reporting, possibly long after lockdown ends, that we may be able to achieve our most important long-term objective – not to eradicate the virus (which we must surely learn to live with) but to stem the power and influence of arbitrary committees like Sage and Nervtag, and politicians’ dependence on them, and replace them with a broader-based group of scientific and other advisers, committees of calm-thinking folk: (lawyers like Lord Sumption, doctors like Professor John Lee, historians like Neil Oliver and philosophers and ethicists and the public too). What these people have in common is a broad view that encompasses all issues and brings them back into balance.
Footnote: Adverse reactions reported to date by MHRA can be found here.