Friday, July 23, 2021
HomeBBC WatchPlease Miss, what the Devi are you on about?

Please Miss, what the Devi are you on about?

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REMEMBER when John Craven’s Newsround told young viewers about firework safety campaigns, rehousing orphaned bunnies,  or UFO sightings in the Welsh village of Broad Haven near Haverfordwest? Not any more. 

Recently on its successor programme, BBC Newsround, Martin Dougan announced that the UK’s medical regulator had approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds. ‘But that doesn’t mean you’ll be offered it just yet,’ said Martin. ‘You sent your questions in to the website and we’ve got an expert to answer some of them.’ 

Unfortunately for the children, the ‘expert’ was Devi Sridhar, Professor and Chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, who drew a raft of criticism reported by Sally Beck in these pages last week.  

But let’s go a little further into how Devi did.  Here are all the questions she fielded and my scores for her answers …  

First up with a question was ‘Adorable Sloth’. 

1. Can you still spread covid-19 once you have the vaccine? 

Devi’s answer was that when the Pfizer vaccine was trialled in the United States, they found absolutely no cases of illness in the group that received the vaccine and so it looks like the vaccine does protect against getting Covid-19. 

No points for that answer, Devi. Firstly, that’s not what Adorable Sloth asked and secondly, ‘looks like’ is not a scientific term that can be quantified in numbers. Also Devi, you failed to factor in the possibility that the findings had nothing to do with the vaccine and more to do with the fact that healthy children don’t get ill from Covid-19.  

And why, Devi, didn’t you tell the frightened, healthy children that they have zero chance of dying from Covid-19 and even those with comorbidities had only a one in 1.3million chance of dying from it at the height of the pandemic. And why didn’t you say that the youngsters needn’t worry because we are at herd immunity? In other words Devi, the kids don’t need this vaccine. 

Devi’s Score: Minus 3. (One point subtracted for not answering the question, one for being unscientific and one for holding back the kind of information needed for informed consent). 

2. ‘Strawberry’ asked: Would children get any side-effects if they have the vaccine? 

Devi explained that some children experience similar side-effects to adults. These include fatigue (which she helpfully explained to the kids means feeling tired), having a headache, feeling generally unwell, but that these cleared within a day or two and it seems a small price to pay for actually being protected from the real disease when it comes. 

Real disease? As opposed to what, Devi? An imaginary one? Or did she mean the next real disease from the real gain-of-function lab? 

Devi also forgot to mention a plethora of other side-effects – the sort that are magnified in those with young, strong immune systems.  

These are side-effects that might not go away after a few days, such as lymphadenopathy (inflamed lymph nodes), tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), blood clots (vein blockage), tinnitus (ringing in your ears) and myocarditis (heart muscle inflammation). Oh, and death. That’s quite a big side-effect wouldn’t you say, Devi? Maybe not. You’re the expert. 

Also Devi, you didn’t bring up the 1,156 people who have developed Covid following vaccination – 72 of whom died. And perhaps it slipped your expert mind that those headaches you mentioned could equate to a blood clot? Maybe you were just being kind and didn’t want to give the little children nightmares so close to bedtime. 

Devi’s Score: Minus 2 

3. ‘Candycloudgalaxy123’ asked: What are the benefits and disadvantages of getting the jab? 

Devi told the children the benefit was that they wouldn’t need to worry about Covid-19 after they’d had the vaccine (medically, they didn’t need to worry about it before, Devi – even after Susan Michie massaged their anxieties) ‘And the downside is … it’s another jab, another injection into your arm. But the benefits definitely outweigh the risks’. 

That’ll have to be the naughty step for you, Devi. But the upside is, you get to wear the D hat. No, the ‘D’ does not stand for ‘Devi’. You see Devi, the benefits of the Covid vaccines absolutely do not outweigh the risks for those who are young and healthy and you will have to retake mathematics.  

Devi’s Score: Minus 3 

4. Is it possible to make the vaccines into pills because I don’t like injections (asked by ‘Tennis Racket’) 

Devi says: ‘Unfortunately at this point the vaccine is only available as an injection, but it really doesn’t hurt too much, just a quick pinch into your arm, the first time, and then several weeks later the second one and then you’re fully protected.’ 

You may as well stay on the naughty step, Devi. No one is fully protected from Covid-19 following vaccination, not even the pharmaceutical companies raking it in from sales of the ‘vaccines’ claim as much.  

Aside from the fact that natural immunity is more efficacious and lasts longer, don’t forget all those who developed Covid-19 as a result of being vaccinated or that 45.23 per cent of those vaccinated died from the Delta variant. 

What the poor little children are not protected from Devi, is you and your ilk: The teachers’ unions, the Government’s scientific advisory group SAGE, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the State. 

School is a place of learning Devi, not indoctrination to The Cause. You really should have mentioned that there is a plethora of alternative, safe treatments for Covid in the unlikely event youngsters get it.  

Treatments that have been around for years, licensed treatments for which there is long-term safety data available. Treatments good enough for a US President and which are also being used in the NHS.  

Oh, and you forgot to mention the as-yet-unknown long-term risks of the Covid-19 vaccines, such as infertility. Then again, I suppose you didn’t want to put them off. That’s not your job. 

Devi’s Score: Minus 1 (for saying the children would be ‘fully protected’). 

5. When will kids start to get the vaccine and will it go to vulnerable kids first? 

‘The Pfizer vaccine has been approved now in the UK as being safe and effective and the question now is when will children get it?  

‘It looks likely to be when people in their 20s are done, people in their 30s, then will move down to younger age groups and to the next group to get it after those in their 20s will be those who are 12 and older, probably starting with the vulnerable children first.’ 

Devi’s Score: 1.  

Even though the vaccine is neither safe nor effective for 12 to 15-year olds (who don’t die from Covid, so the only effect would be an adverse one which – unlike Covid in healthy kids – could be fatal), Devi is correct in telling the little children that the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for emergency use in that age group.  

This, children, is because the MHRA doesn’t give a toss about your safety. If it did, it wouldn’t have waved through the Thalidomide pill.  

So, at the end of Newsround, Devi’s total score is minus 9 plus 1. That’s minus 8. Not very impressive for a Rhodes Scholar who, according to Wikipedia managed to bag a meeting with the Queen and Nelson Mandela within two weeks of arriving at these shores. 

But maybe the kids were asking the wrong questions. Perhaps they’d have been better off asking Devi what it’s like working with the World Economic Forum, or being an associate fellow at Chatham House Centre on Global Health (whose donors include Facebook, the World Health Organisation, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the BBC and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). 

Or maybe they should have asked how involved she is with the Wellcome Trust and if the Wellcome Trust should technically be referred to as a charity, seeing it reportedly has a £275million stake in the Novartis pharmaceutical company and a £252million stake in Roche, another member of Big Pharma. 

They could have asked her if she had a crystal ball, because as far back as 2018’s Hay Festival she warned of the risk of infectious disease from animal-to-human transmission travelling to the UK from China.  

Maybe they could have questioned Devi on whether she’d ever discussed the virus she warned about in 2018 with Wellcome Trust director Sir Jeremy Farrar.  

And if it was true that he (along with the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance) had tried to bury a possible Wuhan leak of what turned out to be a gain-of-function virus, which increases pathogenesis and transmissibility. Or Devi could have been asked why she thinks it’s important to Vaccinate the World.  

If only one of the little children had asked why Devi had co-signed a Lancet paper claiming naturally-acquired herd immunity was a dangerous fallacy when their biology teachers had told them herd immunity is how the herd has managed to survive for so many millions of years. 

Had this been a real (as opposed to virtual) classroom, maybe the teacher could have asked how Devi had the temerity to sit on the board of trustees of Save The Children when here she was, coercing the little ones into accepting a gene-based vaccine – one they didn’t need and which could cause them real harm – by telling them it could save the lives of their parents and teachers. 

Lucky for Devi, this wasn’t a live event and I wasn’t a pupil at the school. Had I been, I would have put my hand up and projected with my loudest voice from the back: ‘Miss, do you know what you’re talking about?’ 

Safe to say that statistically, Devi would have answered incorrectly.

Currently the WHO does not recommend vaccinating children. Back to school Devi, where you can learn about informed consent, medical malpractice and misfeasance in public office. 

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Suzie Halewood
Suzie Halewood is a filmmaker with a degree in mathematics.

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