ELSEWHERE in today’s edition of TCW Defending Freedom, Sally Beck highlights the pressure the Government is turning on children to accept their vaccine’ invitation’, an invitation which nowhere informs them of the significant health risks. She is not alone in her concerns. Last week a number of alarmed doctors wrote to the Government and MHRA setting out the latest evidence on the vaccine’s limited efficacy, the growing evidence of its serious health risks to the young and deploring the government’s reneging on its original promise not pressurise children or their families.
Nadhim Zahawi, Secretary of State for Education
Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Dr June Raine, Chief Executive, MHRA
Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England
Dear Mr Zahawi, Mr Javid, Dr Raine and Professor Whitty,
As a group of senior doctors and scientists, we have written to you on several occasions over the last few months alerting you to our concerns about the safety aspects of rolling out routine Covid-19 vaccines to children, a view largely shared by the JCVI, who expressed significant concerns about adverse events, especially myocarditis and the lack of follow-up of affected children. As you know, they wanted time to assess this further. However, the Chief Medical Officers recommended the vaccine to healthy 12-15-year-olds on the basis of the broader issue of disrupted education and the resulting negative effect on mental health.
There is currently a legal challenge in progress in the High Court questioning, among other things, the Government’s calculation of potential schooldays saved, which Professor Whitty himself confirmed took no account of lesson time lost on the vaccination day itself, or missed schooling due to vaccine side-effects. The modelling also failed to take into account the estimate that over half of secondary school children have already had the infection and thus have already acquired robust, comprehensive and durable natural immunity. Indeed, there may be increased vaccine side effects for those already immune, as has been reported in adults.
We are writing to all of you about a constellation of further concerns that have arisen in the last few days:
- Firstly, more data has come from Israel, which again confirms myocarditis rates of 1 in 6637 for 16-19-year-old males after their second Pfizer dose, and yet we continue to offer this schedule to our 18-19-year-olds. The consent forms for 12-17s simply state ‘full course’, implying that consent is given for any further recommended vaccination doses, rather than just for the one dose currently on offer to younger teenagers.
- A further study from the US has shown a 19-fold increase over baseline rates of myocarditis for 12-15s.
- A very worrying increase in non-Covid excess deaths in males in England and Wales age 15-19 has been apparent since May, which has not been explained.
- At the same time, we have seen Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland suspending Moderna vaccines for under 30s, due to concerns over myocarditis. They are currently investigating the safety of the Pfizer vaccine for young people; however, in relation to myocarditis at least, the incidence rate in the US VAERS database (the largest such database open to public scrutiny) does not suggest sufficient difference between the Pfizer and Moderna products to justify a different policy.
Professor Whitty made clear that the decision to vaccinate 12-15-year-olds was finely balanced and that the vaccine would be ‘offered’ and left up to parents to decide upon. He stated that it would not be acceptable to put pressure on children to try to influence their decision either to be vaccinated or not to be vaccinated. It is therefore particularly disturbing that Nadhim Zahawi, when interviewed in the Times, quoted Jürgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, stating that Premier League footballers who decline the vaccine are morally equivalent to drunk drivers. It is very clear now from the real world data that the vaccine does not prevent infection or transmission, thus it is very misleading to imply that unvaccinated children are putting others at risk. And now, Mr Zahawi and Mr Javid are writing to parents implying that a good vaccine uptake is essential to keep face-to-face education for all.
Moreover, schools in Suffolk are reportedly applying the current isolation guidelines (ie solely those with infection themselves) only to vaccinated siblings, whilst requiring unvaccinated siblings to quarantine, clearly against government advice. These local arrangements risk the very discrimination the government should be seeking to avoid.
In addition, a number of parents have now reported their children being vaccinated in school without their knowledge or consent, despite Nadhim Zahawi specifying that Gillick competence would only be used in full discussion with parents. The NHS data sheet states that the vaccine would not be administered on the day if a child requested it against the parental decision, but instead a further appointment would be made only after full discussion with parents and child. At a secondary school in Tyneside, NHS staff went ahead with a whole year 10 Covid-19 vaccination programme despite no consent forms being available from parents, instead asking the children to consent for themselves. Such flagrant disregard of the official guidelines and accepted norms for the medical ethics of fully informed consent can only risk reducing trust in other well established, essential and safe vaccination programmes. Moreover, it is inappropriate to invoke Gillick competence for a vaccine still in the clinical trial phase and without the benefit of long-term safety data, as fully informed consent cannot be obtained without the full risk profile being known.
We write because, as senior scientists, clinicians and health professionals, we are concerned that the vaccination of 12-15s is putting children at risk. We therefore call upon you to immediately pause the school vaccination program, pending a full investigation of:
(i) all adverse events in 12-15s since the start of the programme, including any fatalities;
(ii) all breaches of procedures in schools around fully informed parental consent;
(iii) if a decision is made to continue the programme, then children who have already had Covid (as assessed by previous positive PCR testing or via a finger-prick antibody test) should not be included.
Dr Rosamond Jones, MD, FRCPCH, retired consultant paediatrician
Professor David Livermore, BSc, PhD, Professor of Medical Microbiology, University of East Anglia
Professor Anthony J Brookes, Department of Genetics & Genome Biology, University of Leicester
Professor Angus Dalgleish, MD, FRCP, FRACP, FRCPath, FMed Sci, Professor of Oncology, St George’s Hospital, London
Professor John Fairclough, FRCS, FFSEM, retired Honorary Consultant Surgeon
Lord Moonie, MBChB, MRCPsych, MFCM, MSc, House of Lords, former parliamentary under-secretary of state 2001-2003, former consultant in Public Health Medicine
Dr John Flack, BPharm, PhD, retired Director of Safety Evaluation, Beecham Pharmaceuticals and retired Senior Vice-president for Drug Discovery, SmithKline Beecham
Mr Malcolm Loudon, MBChB, MD, FRCSEd, FRCS(Gen Surg), MIHM,VR, Consultant Surgeon
Dr Mark A Bell, MBChB, MRCP(UK), FRCEM, Consultant in Emergency Medicine
Dr Christopher Exley, PhD, FRSB, retired professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry
Dr David Critchley, BSc, PhD, 32 years in pharmaceutical R&D as a clinical research scientist
Dr David Morris, MBChB, MRCP(UK), General Practitioner
Dr Livia Tossici-Bolt, PhD, NHS Clinical Scientist
Dr Branko Latinkic, BSc, PhD, Molecular Biologist
Dr Geoffrey Maidment, MBBS, MD, FRCP, retired consultant physician
Dr Jonathan Engler, MBChB DipPharmMed LLB
Dr Theresa Lawrie, MBBCh, PhD, Director, Evidence-Based Medicine Consultancy Ltd, Bath
Katherine MacGilchrist, BSc (Hons), MSc, CEO/Systematic Review Director, Epidemica Ltd
Dr Helen Westwood, MBChB, MRCGP, DCH, DRCOG, General Practitioner
Dr Gerry Quinn, PhD, postdoctoral researcher in microbiology and immunology
Dr Alan Black, MBBS, MSc, DipPharmMed, retired pharmaceutical physician
Dr Zac Cox, BDS, LCPH, Holistic Dentist, Homeopath
Mr Anthony Hinton, MBChB, FRCS, Consultant ENT surgeon, London
Mr Ian F Comaish, MA, BM BCh, FRCOphth, FRANZCO, Consultant ophthalmologist
Dr Emma Brierly MBBS MRCGP, General Practitioner
Dr Elizabeth Evans, MA, MBBS, DRCOG, Retired Doctor
Mr James Royle, MBChB, FRCS, MMedEd, Colorectal surgeon
Dr Jenny Goodman, MA, MB ChB, Ecological Medicine
Dr Christina Peers, MBBS,DRCOG,DFSRH,FFSRH, Women’s health specialist
Dr Damien Downing, MBBS MRSB, ecological physician
Dr David Bramble, MD, MRCPsych, Consultant Psychiatrist, Child & Adolescent Learning Disability (Retired)
Dr Chris Newton BSc, PhD, Molecular Immunologist/Clinical Scientist
Dr Holly Young, BSc, MBChB, MRCP, Palliative care consultant
Dr Scott McLachan, FAIDH, MCSE, MCT, DSysEng, LLM, MPhil, Postdoctoral researcher, Risk & Information
Julia Annakin, RN, Immunisation nurse specialist
Dr Franziska Meuschel, MD, ND, PhD, LFHom, BSEM, Nutritional, Environmental and Integrated Medicine
Dr Greta Mushet, MBChB, MRCPsych, retired Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy
Dr Fiona Martindale, MbChB, MRCGP, GP in out of hours
Dr Rohaan Seth, Bsc (hons), MBChB (hons), MRCGP, General Practitioner
Dr Stefanie Williams, MD, Dermatologist
Dr Clare Craig, BMBCh, FRCPath, Pathologist
Dr Renée Hoenderkamp, MBBS, MRCGP, DFSHRH, General Practitioner
Dr Noel Thomas, MA, MBChB, DCH, DObsRCOG, DTM&H, MFHom, retired doctor
Dr Charles Forsyth, MBBS, BSEM, Independent Medical Practitioner