JUST over a week ago the Telegraph, in its wisdom, gave a platform to Matt Hancock – who at the very least should be retired permanently in disgrace – to assert: ‘There is no respectable argument left not to force health and social care workers to get jabbed.’ (my italics)
It left me asking whether this once banner of liberal conservatism could sink any lower.
The Mail, which has also encouraged Hancock’s bigoted demonisation of ‘anti-vaxxers’, at least gave Toby Young the opportunity to tell the former Health Secretary that there were in fact quite a few respectable arguments left.
In How did we go from clapping our carers to sacking our carers? Young listed the obvious objections that Hancock simply ignored: That vaccination stops neither transmission nor infection, that care home staff may well have natural immunity which provides more protection; and the unaffordable (and irrational) staffing crisis this coercive mandate would result in. Finally, he correctly asserted the principle of my body, my choice. All just so.
To my mind, this still missed the key objection which is specific to the novel gene therapy the population has been persuaded and bullied into taking. It is that informed consent for a risky project has been denied, thus denying us (the people) the right to judge the need and risk for ourselves, and with the information to do that. In short our right to make an informed decision has been usurped.
Professor Nikolai Petrovsky, in an interview sent to me by a correspondent, sets this out in such a way that even the intellectually-challenged Hancock should be able understand, or at least listen to. Not least because Petrovsky, a professor from the College of Medicine and Public Health at Flinders University in South Australia, whose specialisms are vaccine development, autoimmunity and immunoinformatics (studying immune functions via computing), is also a vaccine developer by trade.
Founder of a company called Vaxine, he describes himself as ‘the vaccine developer who’s strongly against vaccine mandates’. In his career he’s brought four successful vaccine products to market through clinical trials. So you could hardy describe him as one of the ‘anti-vaxxers’ Hancock so casually demonises.
Does Petrovsky think he is alone amongst vaccine scientists in his views? Not at all, he says, ‘I don’t believe I’m the only one in this position because, ironically, it is those who know the least about vaccine science who are the most vocal supporters of mandates, claiming they will allow life to get back to normal, but they won’t.’
Asked about the people who don’t want to be vaccinated, Petrovsky gets straight to the point which is: ‘The issue of choice and perception of the risk benefit of having not just any vaccine but a particular vaccine, and whether you as an individual are entitled to make that choice, or can it be forced upon you.’
Having it forced on you, he says, is certainly against the Geneva Convention. ‘You cannot force a treatment on any individual unless they’re a threat to the community. So if they’re carrying an infectious disease which is a lethal disease and they’re deliberately transmitting it to people, then at that point the law is that you have a right to restrain them, to protect other people.’
But: ‘The law is very clear that you don’t have a right for someone to have a treatment they don’t want if they’re not a threat to others.’
No, he says, ‘You can’t lock up someone who has flu because they have flu, because they’re at risk of transmitting it to another person, because, and this is the important point, the risks from that transmission are very low.’
Most importantly, he iterates that in terms of people being apprehensive about having the currently available vaccines in Australia, ‘everyone has a right to an opinion and they have a right to feel apprehensive if that’s their assessment of the information that’s available to them now. When we look at those vaccines, the simple answer is they haven’t been around very long.’
Not only have no Covid vaccines been around longer than 18 months, but the technologies that underpin the vaccines also haven’t been around for more than 18 months. It is, he stresses, ‘a very unusual situation’.
Typically – and this, Mr Hancock, is for you – ‘even although it takes a number of years to develop a vaccine, they’ve usually been based on platforms or systems of making a vaccine that, in many cases, have been around for decades, like our vaccine (Covax-19), or in the case of the inactivated vaccines have been around for hundreds of years’.
It’s the experience in treating billions of people over decades or up to hundreds of years that provides a very high level of confidence that those technologies are extremely safe and effective. However, he says:
‘You can’t say that about a vaccine that has really never been used in large number of humans, except for the last six to 12 months. You simply cannot say that with the same level of assurance.’
Though it may be startlingly obvious to you, dear reader, and me, his next significant statement is clearly not to the likes of an awful lot of the people taking decisions on our behalf or to the many unthinkingly endorsing them: ‘We can’t lump all those vaccines into the same basket and say, “Oh, they’re all the same, they’ve gone through the same approval process.” The reality is we just don’t know what the long-term consequences of those vaccines are.
‘We hope that they’re favourable. But can we give 100 per cent certainty about that? Of course we can’t, if we’re being honest. We have to say there is an element of the unknown in terms of where those vaccines may look when we look back in ten or 20 years’ time.’
This is where respect for people’s choice and judgment comes in: ‘Some people will say, “Look, maybe there’s a risk of the unknown. I’m happy to take that on board. I think I want to have that vaccine to protect my health.”
‘Other people who are just more cautious by nature are going to look at it and say, “I’m not convinced that that risk, no matter how small, of something turning up in the future, means that I want to wait and I want to use a different technology that has been around a long time and I have more confidence.” No one is wrong. Both people have a right to their opinion and both are entitled to make their own choices.’
The professor was then asked about the constant meme: ‘You must do this to protect yourself and to protect others, that it is selfish of you to not do that’ and what was wrong with that messaging.
He says quite simply that ‘the science’ behind this is wrong in this case, because it only applies if what you were potentially transmitting to others was a lethal and highly lethal disease – say Ebola, where 90 per cent of those who contract it are going to die; or HIV, which 100 per cent of those who contract it are going to live with for the rest of their lives. It can’t, he emphasised, be a disease like flu.
The decision must be relative to risk. That’s the first principle. It has to be a very high risk to others. But it is not. The risks of passing on Covid to an otherwise healthy person are very low, particularly if you’re passing it on to a young person. ‘It’s not to say it’s a good thing to do’ he adds reasonably, ‘but we have to factor that risk in.’
The bottom line is that the current crop of vaccines neither guarantees you won’t get infected or that you won’t transmit the virus to others.
‘If the vaccine can’t stop that transmission, then it’s a completely flawed argument that you’re protecting other people by having the vaccine. The only person you’re protecting is yourself . . . the vaccine is protecting the individual. There is no evidence whatsoever at this stage that Covid-19 vaccines are protecting the community, and that’s where it’s flawed.
‘Unless you have that evidence, that the vaccine is blocking transmission to everyone else, then it’s a fallacy to imply that forcing you to get vaccinated is somehow beneficial to the community when there is no evidence for that.’
There you have it Messrs Hancock, Javid and Johnson.
You can watch the full interview entitled Vaccine Adverse Events, Mandates and Secrecy in Australia below.
I will be selecting further extracts from this interview to discuss over the coming days.