WOW! What a Year! That’s a sentiment none of us would disagree with. Except that this is the title of a primary school musical production promoting Covid vaccines and face masks to children aged four to 11.
The Key Stage II musical, performed by the leavers of year 6, has been condemned as ‘unethical’ by some parents. They have complained to Leicestershire-based Edgy Productions, who charge schools £39 for a script.
Two songs in the production, which is about living in times of Covid, prompted the most outrage. One is A Shot In The Arm, the chorus of which cheerily tells children: ‘We’ll all roll up our sleeves and send it on its way . . . Because with just a little prick, we won’t get sick, And that will be an end to it!’ The other is Put That Mask On, with the chorus: ‘Put that mask on your face, Give each other some space, Wash your hands every chance you get. We’ll beat this yet! Ha! No sweat!’
Sorrel Scott, a physiotherapist from south-west London, said in a letter to Dr David Lewis, the director of Edgy Productions: ‘My immediate reaction to reading these lyrics was horror. The UK Government have not made the decision to vaccinate children currently and so it is hard to understand why your musical is trying to normalise and push vaccines for children when there is no medium or long term safety data, and these vaccines are still very much in experimental stages (none of the vaccines finish their experimental stage until 2023).
‘To promote vaccinations for young children who are unable to understand the real harms that may affect them in the short and long term is unethical.
‘To promote face masks for young children goes against current Government guidelines and it is important to note that there are very real harms that can come from wearing face masks, especially in children. These harms include headaches from a build-up of CO2, respiratory and heart problems, microbial contamination, and psychological harms. It has also been noted that facemasks offer little or no protection from tiny virus particles.
‘Have we come to a point where we want to promote mask wearing in small children who are not at risk of the virus and do not pass it on? Have you given a second thought to what effect these songs could have on young children by pushing these messages?’
The musical is not the only way in which children are being bombarded with vaccine propaganda for a jab many experts say they don’t need.
The Stephen Hawking Foundation has produced a slide presentation for schools called Are Vaccines Safe? Slide 11 shows horrific pictures of a child locked in spasm suffering ‘painful muscle contractions of tetanus’, a boy covered in smallpox pustules and a child post-polio in callipers. In almost all cases, Covid is mild or unnoticed in healthy under-18s, so these scare stories are totally irrelevant.
Former headteacher Nigel Utton, education co-ordinator for the World Freedom Alliance, one of a number of organisations fighting for medical freedom, wrote an open letter in May debunking the presentation slide by slide.
He said: ‘Scientists, doctors, lawyers, teachers and citizens are alarmed at the way schools are being used as a vehicle for taking away parental responsibility for the well-being of their children.
‘By allowing this propaganda in your school, you would be acting in loco parentis and you would therefore be morally responsible for any ill effects that the vaccine has on the children in your care. Children have already died in the vaccine studies and others have had life-threatening side effects.’
Adding weight to the campaign to prevent under-18s being vaccinated, Professor Robert Dingwall penned an eight-part heartfelt Twitter post last Wednesday. Professor Dingwall is a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination (JCVI) who advise the government on vaccination.
His post said: ‘Teenagers are at intrinsically low risk from Covid. Vaccines must be exceptionally safe to beat this. Given the low risk of Covid for most teenagers, it is not immoral to think that they may be better protected by natural immunity generated through infection than by asking them to take the *possible* risk of a vaccine.
‘Covid is now a long way from being an important cause of mortality.
‘A reminder: medicine cannot deliver immortality and it is profoundly damaging to society to imply that it can, if only we try hard enough.
‘As Rene Dubos [French-American microbiologist and Pulitzer Prize winning author of So Human An Animal] noted 60 years ago, humans, viruses and bacteria form an ecosystem which has evolved over millennia.
‘Surely we have enough experience of the unintended consequences of humans reshaping other ecosystems to suit their own ends not to rush into reshaping this one without really understanding what it would mean for human lives and immune systems.’
Edgy say that ‘hundreds’ of schools across the country are busy rehearsing Wow! What a Year!
Director Dr Lewis defended the production. He said: ‘It celebrates heroes: nurses, doctors, shop assistants, teachers, delivery drivers, parents who home-schooled their children, (and the children who were home-schooled), those who struggled financially but still managed to feed their families, those who missed closeness to their loved ones, and those that led by example to show resilience in the face of adversity. This is the message that children are presented with.’
He said that if teachers do not like any of the songs, they may remove them: ‘If the teachers don’t like the content or don’t deem it appropriate, their children will not perform it.’
He added: ‘Any accusations that this musical is propaganda for a vaccine or mask agenda, have come exclusively from individuals who have not read the entire script or heard the songs in context. We encourage them to do so.’
Peter Cansell, spokesman for the National Association for Primary Education, said: ‘We would be unwise to offer an opinion as it is straying into requiring medical knowledge rather than educational understanding, but we feel that you have done the right thing in contacting the producers/publishers in this instance.’