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The truth about vaccines Why is one of the most effective medical interventions known to humanity regarded with such mistrust?

'You might feel a bit of a prick' Photo by Jeremy Selwyn - Pool/Getty Images

'You might feel a bit of a prick' Photo by Jeremy Selwyn - Pool/Getty Images


July 29, 2020   6 mins

Anti-vaxxers are “nuts”. That was Boris Johnson’s summation last week, as he visited a London GP surgery to discuss expanding coverage of the flu vaccine. In a time of mealy-mouthed advice from the government on the pandemic, this was a refreshing moment of clarity.

Vaccines really do work, and have saved millions of lives — indeed, it’s perhaps the biggest irony in medicine that one of the most effective and beneficial interventions known to humanity is the one that’s regarded with the most mistrust and suspicion. With the Prime Minister, we might ask: why can’t these recalcitrant anti-vaccine fools just trust the experts?

But it might be unwise to take such a black-and-white view of the anti-vaccination movement. For although the evidence on the effectiveness and safety of vaccines is clear, scientists and doctors have been anything but immune to missteps and errors in how they’ve dealt with them over the years. Pitting the wacky, hidebound anti-vaxxers against the sober, all-knowing experts risks glossing over the mistakes those experts have made in the past — and failing to learn from the cautionary tales.

Last week was a big week for vaccines. As well as the government’s flu vaccine push, initial results from two new COVID-19 vaccine trials appeared in the journal The Lancet — one from the UK and one from China. They join a US trial from the week before in showing that their candidate vaccines have tolerable side-effects and definitely do cause an immune response. These Phase I and Phase II trials are just the first — albeit crucial — steps on the way to finding a working vaccine. Next, we move to larger, Phase III trials that involve many thousands of people, testing whether those who get the vaccine are actually less likely to catch Covid-19 than those who are injected with a placebo.

It does feel somewhat ironic that The Lancet in particular is taking the lead in publicising the research on Covid-19 vaccines: besides being a super-prestigious medical journal, the main public claim to fame of that particular journal is in publishing one of the worst and most damaging vaccine studies of all time. That was, of course, Andrew Wakefield’s notorious Lancet article linking the MMR vaccine to autism. Its appearance in 1998 fanned the flames of the anti-vaccine movement, with crushing media suspicion falling on the MMR — and a resulting deadly surge in measles cases in the UK and worldwide.

 

Many large, high-quality studies have since found that Wakefield’s MMR-autism correlation — as well as his cockamamie theory about how the attenuated virus from the vaccine causes gut- and brain-related symptoms — is untrue. Worse, though, is the fact that Wakefield wasn’t just wrong — he was a fraud. He fabricated the medical records of every single one of the children in his study to make it appear as if their autism symptoms had come just after the MMR, whereas many had shown symptoms before, or a long time after, receiving the vaccine.

The publication of the Wakefield paper will forever be a stain on The Lancet, and on the peer-review process of science more generally. Even without the fraud, a study with such earth-shattering implications that only included twelve patients should never have been published somewhere so prominent. Compounding the damage was the sheer amount of time it took for the paper to be officially retracted – an astonishing twelve years. All the while, anti-vaxxers could point to a peer-reviewed study — in The Lancet, no less! — to support their view.

Wakefield was pushing at a door that, while perhaps not fully open, was certainly ajar. The anti-vaccination movement has been with us for a long time — indeed, as long as vaccines. Some renowned historical scientists have been a part of it: for example, Alfred Russel Wallace, who came up with the idea of natural selection independently of Charles Darwin, was an implacable opponent of the smallpox vaccine during the late 19th Century.

Whereas Wallace was certainly a bit “nuts” — he spent a great deal of time trying to convince his peers that spiritualist mediums really could talk to the dead and take photographs of ghosts — his approach to analysing the effects of vaccines (he argued they were actively dangerous) was statistically quite sophisticated for the time. And given that statistics were in such an early phase of their development, the pro-vaccine side hardly had much more convincing data to oppose him.

Wallace also expressed his opposition in terms of anti-paternalism (he wrote that compulsory vaccine laws were “a gross interference with personal liberty and the sanctity of the home”) and even socialism, claiming that vaccines were seen as a quick fix that failed to “get rid of the foul conditions” that caused disease to spread among the poor of Victorian Britain. These arguments were, of course, completely wrong-headed, but they weren’t the ravings of a madman, and they hint at the complexity of the anti-vaccine position: defenders of vaccines need to work on multiple fronts to combat objections that are anything but easily-debunked.

Psychologists are fond of invoking a whole series of cognitive biases to explain why people are irrational about vaccines: the availability heuristic (where people focus too much on a few scary stories at the expense of a more rational appraisal of the situation), omission bias (where having committed an act, like getting your child vaccinated, feels worse if something goes wrong than having not done anything), and so on.

But more recent evidence seems to suggest a simpler reason is at play: if people think there’s a high chance they’ll regret vaccination, they’re less likely to do it. Evidence that we can change people’s beliefs about vaccines for the better is scarce; but changing them for the worse by providing more credible-sounding reasons for regret — like Wakefield’s MMR-autism connection — is much easier.

 

Alas, the publication of Wakefield’s study is far from the only significant fumble by vaccine scientists and regulators over the years. Relatively soon after his phony paper was published, the US and the EU capitulated to anti-vaccine campaigners on the issue of thiomersal (sometimes spelled thimerosal), a mercury-containing chemical that had long been used as a preservative in vaccines, and had been — you guessed it — linked to autism by the anti-vaxxers.

The idea of injecting mercury into your child’s arm can be made to sound very frightening, but the type of mercury in thiomersal (ethylmercury) isn’t the same as the type we normally discuss with reference to mercury poisoning (methylmercury, which stays in the bloodstream for far longer and can have seriously damaging effects even at small doses). There was never any evidence to support campaigners’ assertions that vaccines containing thiomersal were linked to autism, but something certainly appeared to be going on once the health experts suddenly decided that thiomersal had to go, banning it from almost all vaccines given to children from around the turn of the century.

Those authorities began speaking out of both sides of their mouths, at once saying thiomersal was completely safe and also recommending it should be removed from vaccines “as expeditiously as possible”. What were parents supposed to think? Again, anti-vaccine campaigners used the confusion to boost their message, with a flare-up of the mercury-autism controversy — as well as a plethora of personal injury claims in courts — occurring after the preservative had needlessly been removed from the vaccines.

Not only did the experts put other countries that still used thiomersal in their vaccines — particularly those in the developing world — in an invidious position, they also torpedoed their own future authority. Any use of “completely safe” or “no evidence for adverse effects
” would now be met with references to their seeming lack of straightforwardness on thiomersal.

This history of vaccination gives numerous further examples. The rushed, politicised rollout of the flu vaccine in the US in 1976 — and the potential increase it caused in the rare neurological condition Guillain-BarrĂ© Syndrome — has been blamed for spawning anti-vaccine suspicion; as have the catastrophic lab errors that caused live polio viruses to be injected into 200,000 children in 1955, permanently paralysing hundreds and killing ten.

Although safety procedures have since improved dramatically, disasters do still occur, such as the 2016 case of the faulty dengue fever vaccine in the Philippines which ended up making the illness worse. Other failures are not the fault of doctors or scientists, but still produce terrible PR for vaccines: who could forget, for example, the fake vaccination programme used by the CIA to spy on Osama bin Laden’s secret compound and get his family’s DNA?

 

So do you have to be “nuts” to hesitate about vaccines? Certainly, you have to be somewhat detached from reality to believe, as some do, that Bill Gates is only helping fund the development of a Covid-19 vaccine so he can inject us all with microchips. And to be an anti-vaxxer, you have to be grossly ignorant of the evidence for the near-miraculous effects of vaccination on human wellbeing. But in seeking to persuade those who aren’t hardcore members of the movement, scientists, doctors, and politicians need to learn the lessons from the list of historical precedents where things haven’t gone to plan.

Those lessons are obvious, but underappreciated. We mustn’t underplay any side-effects of the Covid-19 vaccine. We mustn’t provide confident-sounding yet contradictory advice — as we already have during this pandemic in the case of facemasks, first advising that they were useless and maybe even dangerous (which may or may not have been a “noble lie” to preserve mask stocks for healthcare workers), then mandating their use in shops and on public transport. We mustn’t give any credibility to conspiracy theories. And we must above all be honest and transparent about how the vaccine works, who is prioritised to get it and when, and what our targets are for its eventual rollout across the population.

When the Covid-19 vaccine comes — and let’s not hold our breaths, but the early signs are promising — it’ll join the ranks of the most important medical discoveries of all time. Let’s use the failures of the past to inoculate ourselves against errors in the future — and ensure that the vaccine becomes the pandemic-stopper we need it to be.

 

Stuart Ritchie is the author of, Science Fictions: Exposing Fraud, Bias, Negligence and Hype in Science


Stuart Ritchie is a psychologist and a Lecturer in the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre at King’s College London

StuartJRitchie

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Robin Taylor
Robin Taylor
3 years ago

Interesting that at the start of your article you state that “it might be unwise to take such a black-and-white view of the anti-vaccination movement” but then you conclude that “when the COVID-19 vaccine comes…it’ll join the ranks of the most important medical discoveries of all time”. Sounds a bit “black-and-white” to me and certainly a bit of a prejudgement both about the vaccine and the virus which may well be on the wane despite alarmist media reports.

I am not anti-vaccination but I do have a healthy questioning mind. I do not blindly accept what I am told. Some vaccines are more effective than others and some have more side effects, just as some diseases are more of a threat than others. Some vaccines are bundled up together simply because it is cheaper and more convenient for the authorities to do so. Also, as Elizabeth Hart points out in the comments, there are many conflicts of interest at play.

I have a strong, healthy body and have confidence in it to fight many illnesses. I do not take antibiotics or any medicine without very good informed reason. You rightly refer to the ‘experts’ views on facemasks, “first advising that they were useless and maybe even dangerous…then mandating their use”. When Boris talks about anti-vaxxers being “nuts” and second waves of this “deadly virus” there is a suspicion that he is just paving the way towards mandating the vaccine. I would strongly object to a Government forcing me to take any medicine. If that makes me “nuts” then so be it.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Taylor

Experts haven’t had a good few years. They need to make it clear when there is limited evidence from which to draw their conclusions – masks – and where there is a massive amount of evidence collected over many decades – vaccines.

Go Away Please
Go Away Please
3 years ago

Quite, but there’s a difference between experts and real scientists. Real scientists would do as you say because they know they don’t know everything as that’s how science is. Experts on the other hand are people that governments love to listen to as they stick to their guns and make out they know it all, just like politicians really.

benbow01
benbow01
3 years ago
Reply to  Go Away Please

Science = humility and uncertainty; experts = conceit and certainty.

Politicians prefer to listen to the latter.

Sarah Packman
Sarah Packman
3 years ago
Reply to  benbow01

Politicians big business can buy the latter more easily.

Kerensa Sandham
Kerensa Sandham
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Taylor

Sorry, did not mean to down vote!! I agree with what you say

Jane Webber
Jane Webber
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Taylor

Ă°Ćžâ€˜ÂĂ°ĆžÂÂ»

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Taylor

To “test his eyes” Cummings drove to Barnard Castle where there is a huge vaccine centre of GSK. He went on a Sunday when there would have been no-one else around to see him collect a big box of “documents about vaccines”. Johnson was involved in the Garden Bridge corruption. Only crooks are allowed to become senior ministers, it’s like some gang membership thing.

Derek M
Derek M
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

So Dominic Cummings a well known figure had to do his own delivery driving despite being rather busy as the PM’s chief political advisor? If they wanted collect a big box of “documents about vaccines” couldn’t they have just used the Royal Mail? If you’re going to create a conspiracy theory at least make it logically consistent

Anna Tanneberger
Anna Tanneberger
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Taylor

(sorry, it seems I can only post as a reply to someone else’s post.)
I’m impressed by the intelligence of debate in the comments below. However, in public life debate has been reduced to: “Good people believe this and bad people believe that.” Nobody can imagine life without motor cars. So if someone mentioned that cars can be made safer, that person is a science denier, or a nut case. And if this person has a position in society – his career must be destroyed, he must be ridiculed and pilloried. So, is the author saying it was a mistake to remove mercury from vaccines, was it? Wow! And as far as I can recall, Wakefield was never anti-vaccination, only suggested that the combination of several vaccines together was implicated in complications. Many scientists who pilloried Wakefield publicly, flew their newborns to another country where they could receive the vaccines as separate doses, spaced over a period of time.

Jennifer Saines
Jennifer Saines
3 years ago

Yes, Anna, you are correct about Wakefield. At the time he was not anti-vaccination, and advocated the single measles, mumps and rubella shots. He is now anti-vaccine after many years of investigating the issue. However, there was no fraud found in his paper, and the Lancet should publish it. I am always looking for a good source of solid, alternative journalism. UnHerd is proving itself to be as unreliable as the main stream media by rehashing false narratives.

Anna Tanneberger
Anna Tanneberger
3 years ago

Spiked is another good source of journalism, not the sort that just pushes their opinions in your face. BTW, I still doubt if Wakefield, or any of the other “anti-vaxxers” are really anti-vaccinations? Not according to what I’ve read so far? They’re (a) pro ensuring safety, especially as science develops and we learn more about passive and active immunity (b) anti an ever-lengthening list of compulsory vaccinations (c) anti vaccinations against diseases that are not deadly.

dvcnewton
dvcnewton
3 years ago

Mr. Ritchie here simply hasn’t done his homework or listened to reasoned views. I can only wonder who is paying him…..

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  dvcnewton

It’s curious the way some people, when they encounter someone with a different opinion, jump so quickly to the conclusion that they have been paid to do so. I find that some of the people who disagree with me do so because they have access to a different set of facts, or have assessed the balance between competing positions differently to me. A few are deranged, but the smallest group in my experience are the corrupt or downright evil. Perhaps I’m just lucky.

Dave H
Dave H
3 years ago

Wakefield falsified the records of the kids he was examining. The Lancet withdrew his paper because it was both fraudulent and unethical. He was struck from the medical register for similar reasons.

I’m sorry if this doesn’t fit your narrative, but it’s the reality.

Sarah Packman
Sarah Packman
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

There are billions of dollars behind the pro vaccine narrative, and just a bunch of concerned parents and ethical physicians behind the rational-use-if-vaccines (there’s no such thing as an antivaxxer… that’s just a swear word created by big Pharma PR to vilify those who challenge the safety of their products). Which do you think is most likely to be corrupt and lie to you?
People who challenge big Pharma have absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose; big Pharma destroys their lives and careers, threatens rags like Lancet with withdrawal advertising unless they debunk previously published articles… just think about it. What do you think is more likely? Big Pharma using its vast wealth to silence scientific challenge to its incredibly Profitable revenue stream, or parents and physicians telling lies …. for no gain at all?

david bewick
david bewick
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

There are some that think Richard Horton should’ve suffered the same fate. If not for this then for the Meadow/Clark episode or the letter to gaza or the Iraq war incident. There is no doubt Wakefield was correctly struck off.

Sarah Packman
Sarah Packman
3 years ago

Totally agree. Stuart Richie is clearly being paid… and not by UnHerd.

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago

Many scientists who pilloried Wakefield publicly, flew their newborns to another country where they could receive the vaccines as separate doses, spaced over a period of time.

Name five?

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

Yeah, black and white….then that massive grey area between the two extremes…

Environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. warned Americans on Thursday to be cautious about any new coronavirus vaccine, pointing out that key parts of testing are being skipped.

“The Moderna vaccine, which is the lead candidate, skipped the animal testing altogether,” Kennedy said during an online debate on mandatory vaccinations with renowned Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.

“In the low-dose group, one of the people was so sick from the vaccine they had to be hospitalized,” he explained. “That’s six percent. In the high-dose group, three people got so sick they had to be hospitalized. That’s twenty percent.”
In spite of these significant problems, “they’re going ahead, and making two billion doses of that vaccine.”
Another problem with the testing of the coronavirus vaccine is that it’s tested not on “typical Americans,” but a carefully selected group of people who don’t suffer from certain conditions.
“They use what they call exclusionary criteria,” Kennedy said. “They are only giving these vaccines in these tests that they’re doing to the healthiest people.”
“If you look at their exclusionary idea criteria: You cannot be pregnant, you cannot be overweight, you must have never smoked a cigarette, you must have never vaped, you must have no respiratory problems in your family, you can’t suffer asthma, you can’t have diabetes, you can’t have rheumatoid arthritis or any autoimmune disease. There has to be no history of seizure in the family. These are the people they’re testing the vaccine on.”

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

In spite of these significant problems, “they’re going ahead, and making two billion doses of that vaccine.”

Incorrect. According to NIH press release dated 27 July, they are going ahead to the Phase III clinical trial, not to manufacture.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

Story is from last week, so could be right about PIII trials….It’s gonna be a slam dunk anyway. Nothing is gonna stop this happening, it’s in the plan.

N J
N J
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

Several of the leading vaccine candidates are starting production now, while their trials are continuing. The hope is if the trials succeed, then they will be able to take hundreds of millions of doses to market immediately.

roslynross3
roslynross3
3 years ago
Reply to  N J

As long as vaccines are not mandatory let those who will do so and those who won’t do so.

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

“In the low-dose group, one of the people was so sick from the vaccine they had to be hospitalized,” he explained. “That’s six percent. In the high-dose group, three people got so sick they had to be hospitalized. That’s twenty percent.”

That is not what the report in NEJM at DOI 10.1056/NEJMoa2022483 said. One participant in the high-dose group reported a severe adverse event: a fever which was investigated in clinical care before recovering at home. There is no mention of any other severe adverse event (except soreness or swelling around the injection) or any participant requiring treatment in hospital. Of course, it’s possible that the authors of the paper somehow misreported, but it seems more probable that Mr Kennedy misunderstood or mis-spoke.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

“…Results of immunogenicity testing of the 45 enrolled participants excluded findings for day 36, day 43, and day 57 for 3 participants who did not receive the second vaccination and for time points at which specimens were not collected (in the 100-ĂŽÂŒg group: 1 participant at day 43 and day 57; in the 250-ĂŽÂŒg group: 1 participant at day 29 and 1 at day 57)…”

No, they didn’t explicitly say so, but the above makes it fairly clear that there were 3 issues, the 3 cases that Kennedy refers to in his article.

…and half a million children rendered disabled in Gates’s Indian vaccine roll out…or was that not mentioned in the final paper either?

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

If they were not reported explicitly, then either they did not occur or there would have been significant misreporting.

Why would a report on a novel Covid vaccine mention the claimed side-effects of a polio vaccine?

roslynross3
roslynross3
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

The effects are not claimed but validated.

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  roslynross3

Claimed or validated, why would you expect to see polio vaccine side-effects mentioned in a report on a novel Covid vaccine?

jdcharlwood
jdcharlwood
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

I agree!

Andrew M
Andrew M
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

Well you wouldn’t, but if you did, you’d at least expect polio vaccine side effects mentioned in the proper context, explaining that 2.5bn children have received the polio vaccination (of which the alleged 500,000 would be a 0.02% fraction) and explaining how many children would die and be disabled if there were no polio vaccination programmes.

Julia McMaster
Julia McMaster
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew M

It might be helpful to you to read the book “DIssolving Illusions”. I found it an eye-opener.

Andrew M
Andrew M
3 years ago
Reply to  Julia McMaster

Why would I want to read anti-vaxxer shit? I haven’t the time to do a full academic literature survey on this subject, nor the expertise to appreciate it. I am intelligent and educated enough though to understand these limitations.

I could recount to you the story of how my own child suffered as a result of other twats not getting their kids vaccinated though. No doubt you would not be interested because it wouldn’t fit your narrative.

vinucubeacc
vinucubeacc
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

The NEJM paper is sweeping safety problems under the rug.
https://www.statnews.com/20

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

Of course early phase testing is done on healthy people. Later testing is done on a different basis, in order to determine the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing or reducing the severity of the disease across all sections of the population.

Mark Gilbert
Mark Gilbert
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

I wonder if the vaccine trials will be complete before those in progress on Hydoxychloroquine.

I think we know the answer to that one…

Tim Lundeen
Tim Lundeen
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Gilbert

HARVEY A. RISCH, MD, PHD , PROFESSOR OF EPIDEMIOLOGY, YALE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: “When this inexpensive oral medication [hydroxychloroquinine] is given very early in the course of illness, before the virus has had time to multiply beyond control, it has shown to be highly effective, especially when given in combination with the antibiotics azithromycin or doxycycline and the nutritional supplement zinc.”

https://www.newsweek.com/ke

Anna Tanneberger
Anna Tanneberger
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Gilbert

I don’t even understand why there are trials for chloroquine. It has been used as an anti-malarial for years and the mechanism by which it can help a patient suffering from Covid is well understood: It can inhibit entry of the virus into the endosome inside the cell, thus preventing the manufacture of new “baby” viruses. Here is a lecturer explaining this mechanism, in a lecture on treatment of Covid patients. Aimed at medical professionals, so quite technical, but he is an excelletn lecturer, so a fairly intelligent person will be able to follow the reasoning.
https://www.youtube.com/wat

Anna Tanneberger
Anna Tanneberger
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Gilbert

It seems a link sends your comment into the spam folder.
I don’t even understand why there are trials for chloroquine. It has been used as an anti-malarial for years and the mechanism by which it can help a patient suffering from Covid is well understood: It can inhibit entry of the virus into the endosome inside the cell, thus preventing the manufacture of new viruses. If you’re interested in the treatment of Covid-19 patients, search for Ninja Nerd lectures. These lectures are aimed at medical professionals, but he is an excellent lecturer, so anyone with some intelligence can follow it. He has several lectures on Covid 19. I’m referring to the one on treatment, where he explains the mechanism of chloroquine (and other drugs, such as Remdesivir): COVID-19 | Coronavirus: Treatment, Prognosis, Precautions

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago

6,000 medical practitioners are taking the FDA to court at this moment for banning the release and use of HCQ. Those doctors have used it on over 3,500 patients on this pandemic, all of whom, survived. That is why they requested an audience with the Whithouse to make a public statement, but Youtube, Google, and Facebook have systematically taken down every single video. That tells you everything you need to know. The WHO, CDC, and our own government have systematically, and knowingly lied to us, and are still doing so. It should also be noted that Prof Chris Witty received £40. million in funding from the Gates foundation, as did Ferguson, and the BBC. There is no way on God’s earth that I would take a vaccine from these criminals.

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

6,000 medical practitioners are taking the FDA to court at this moment for banning the release and use of HCQ. Those doctors have used it on over 3,500 patients on this pandemic, all of whom, survived.

The lawsuit is by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a group with about 6000 members. I doubt they are all involved personally. I find nothing in the douments about the 3,500 patients.

Prof Chris Witty received £40. million in funding from the Gates foundation, as did Ferguson, and the BBC

40 million dollars went to a consortium of university research groups one of which was headed by Prof Whitty in 2008. I find no record of grants to the BBC, but the Gates Foundation has given grants to “BBC Media Action”, a charity.

Sarah Packman
Sarah Packman
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

Like Bill Gates, the BBC uses its ‘charitable’ arm to launder money received from big business and the globalists.

Sarah Packman
Sarah Packman
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

Exactly. This was never about public health and always about the agenda of the island owning psychopaths (Soros, Zuckerberg, Bilderberg etc)

Dave H
Dave H
3 years ago

the mechanism by which it can help a patient suffering from Covid is well understood

But it doesn’t work. That’s the bottom line here. It has been tested and found wanting.

Why do people continue to harp on about this busted non-treatment?

Sarah Packman
Sarah Packman
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

The British trial for hydroxychloroquine was sabotaged; when the paper was published it showed that massive overdoses were used in the trial; doses that have never, and would never, be recommended for any condition. Look it up. NB The recommended dose? 200mg x 2 within a week….
Scientists can be bought off just like politicians.

anhgreen2910
anhgreen2910
3 years ago
Reply to  Sarah Packman

I have looked it up and you have misread.

RC Vaugel
RC Vaugel
3 years ago
Reply to  anhgreen2910

She misread? John Campbell would have to agree with her. https://youtu.be/2uzXHnUViro

roslynross3
roslynross3
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

And while vaccines have long involved genetic meddling with disease and animal, bird and human material, the Covid-19 vaccine, will, it has been said, be genetically ‘rewired’ so it genetically ‘rewires’ the individual who is vaccinated.

What idiot thinks that is a good idea?

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago
Reply to  roslynross3

Exactly, they want to alter our RNA. This could have a profound impact on the future of mankind. We would be genetically modified beings. This is a crime against humanity, pure and simple.

anhgreen2910
anhgreen2910
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

Are you being ironic? If not then there is absolutely no evidence to support what you state.

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  roslynross3

There are about a hundred vaccines under development at the moment. Presumably “the Covid-19 vaccine” in this case refers to the Moderna vaccine mRNA-1273? Fortunately other candidates such as the Oxford ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 are based on more traditional protein antigens.

anhgreen2910
anhgreen2910
3 years ago
Reply to  roslynross3

Hard to deal with the idea of genetic rewiring. Epigenetic change is almost exclusively in utero and is about gene expression not alteration

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

a carefully selected group of people who don’t suffer from certain conditions

Well, of course. The tests have to cater for the possibility that the treatment is more risky than thought for people who are not in a good state of health, especially since in this case animal trials were waived. Human trials usually go in three phases. Phase I is small groups of healthy individuals. Phase II investigates dosage and side-effects. Phase III is large groups investigating efficacy.

Is it possible that Mr Kennedy did not know this? It seems unlikely.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

Dr Ritchie, in your article discussing ‘wacky, hidebound anti-vaxxers’, you’ve made some sweeping statements about ‘vaccines’. For instance you say “…the evidence on the effectiveness and safety of vaccines is clear…”

Is it?

Have you undertaken research into vaccine effectiveness and safety?

How much do you know about all the vaccinations recommended on the NHS schedule? Including the combination shots and revaccinations, and vaccinations for adults as well as for children?

Do you think it acceptable that citizens are hindered from questioning vaccination policy and practice, and the ever-increasing number of vaccine products being added to schedules? In countries such as the UK and Australia, these are taxpayer-funded medical interventions.

Are you aware that there is a serious lack of transparency and accountability for vaccination policy, and that this area is awash with conflicts of interest?

Academics involved in vaccine industry-funded clinical trials are also involved in the government committees which recommend vaccine products for national schedules. What do you think about that?

Do you know that Professor Andrew Pollard, the chief investigator of the Oxford COVID19 vaccine trial, is also the Chair of the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises UK health departments on ‘immunisation’? Work on the Oxford COVID19 vaccine trial is funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and others, and the University of Oxford has entered into a partnership with AstraZeneca on this vaccine development.

Do you see any conflict of interest between Professor Andrew Pollard’s roles as chief investigator on a vaccine clinical trial and Chair of the JCVI?

Elizabeth Hart
Independent citizen investigating the over-use of vaccine products and conflicts of interest in vaccination policy

Mike Hearn
Mike Hearn
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

I mean, yes, he is aware of those sorts of things. He literally wrote a book about bad science, advertised at the bottom of the article, which I’m reading at the moment. It’s as well written and easy to read as this article so I can heartily recommend the purchase.

I didn’t read his article as some sort of blind apologetics for vaccines. But his core point is right – vaccines have managed to wipe out some very nasty diseases. It’s right for people to question the institutional processes that control vaccine management. At the same time, it’s not wrong to admit where they’ve worked.

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Do you see any conflict of interest between Professor Andrew Pollard’s roles as chief investigator on a vaccine clinical trial and Chair of the JCVI?

You seem to be suggesting that it’s a bad thing to have an expert on vaccination and immunisation chairing a committee advising the government on vaccination and immunisation? Incidentally, the Oxford Project Leader for ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 is Prof. Sarah Gilbert.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

Elizabeth Hart was asking a question, not making a statement. Therefore she was not suggesting anything.
But that didn’t stop you constructing the straw man, and thus beginning your reply with “You seem to be suggesting….” when clearly that is not the case.

This gives you zero credibility.

I also think you are willfully missing the point.

And no-one trusts “experts” any more, largely because they have been stupendously mendacious, inconsistent and just plain wrong. This has led to confusion in some and distrust in others. Either way, most people do not now trust what experts have to say.

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

asking a question, not making a statement. Therefore she was not suggesting anything.

That’s wrong as a general principle, and wrong in this particular case too, as her follow-up comment makes clear. She seemed to be, and indeed was, suggesting that it was “very problematic”.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

‘When did you stop beating your wife?’ – obviously not a suggestion!

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Thank you 🙂

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

Why ask the question?
Nigel, do you think that Elizabeth Harts questions weren’t a stream of suggestions?
Do you really believe Mr. Pinch has “zero credibility”?
Have you researched every answer to every question in every debate Mr. Pinch has ever been in?
And what is the point Mr. Pinch is missing?
Do we really have free will?
Why am I asking this endless stream of questions, that don’t suggest anything?

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

Richard Pinch, I see a very serious conflict of interest in having a chief investigator on a vaccine clinical trial also be Chair of the committee advising the government on vaccine products for the schedule.

Independent and objective specialists in infectious diseases should be the ones considering what is required to deal with disease outbreaks, and I suggest this is not always a vaccine.

I am finding the concept of ‘vaccination and immunisation committees’ very problematic. Countries such as the UK, the US and Australia have these committees, and they seem to be conduits for the vaccine industry, rubber-stamping an ever-increasing number of vaccine products for schedules.

There are present and past members of these committees with conflicts of interest. Vaccination schedules are contaminated with these conflicts of interest, and I am campaigning for an independent and objective review of bloated vaccination schedules.

Incidentally, the University of Oxford website providing information on Andrew Pollard states: “Professor Andrew J Pollard is the chief investigator of the global clinical trials of the Oxford COVID19 vaccine sponsored by the University of Oxford…” I’d provide a link, but links seem to make comments go off to ‘pending’ or ‘spam’..

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

There is no question that somebody who is working towards developing an anti-COVID vaccine has at least the appearance of a conflict of interest if he is also sitting on the government committee on vaccines.

I would also add, that Dr. Fauci is also seriously conflicted, since the Moderna vaccine that he and NIAID are pushing so hard is being co-funded by NIAID. And of course if NIAID/NIH develop the first successful anti-COVID vaccine, then funds will keep pouring in to the NIAD coffers from congress.

Alison Houston
Alison Houston
3 years ago

Thank you for at least attempting to achieve some balance in this debate, but you make a category error in relation to conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories are like fairy stories, myths, literature, bible stories, parables, they are not believed and perpetuated because they are thought to be literally and absolutely true, they are perpetuated because they contain great truth.

The great truth contained in the conspiracy theories around this rush for a Covid 19 vaccine is that Governments invariably balls things up. The anti Bill and Melinda Gates conspiracy theories are based on the fact that Gates’s billions were made from cornering the market with a product that needs updating every verse end, something akin to rent seeking. And most people do not wish to see themselves as the means by which an already very rich man can seek rent from the state by supplying a product which will be automatically redundant in a few months or years because the virus it is claiming to destroy will itself mutate. The population is suspicious it will have to pay through taxation to keep funding the research and roll out of new versions of vaccines against new forms of Covid.
It is not stupidity to err on the side of caution, it is not nuts to think a man who made us dependent on his products for our livelihoods, to a large extent, can imagine the still greater remuneration he will achieve by making us dependent on his product for our lives.

So my advice to the Government is give up trying to persuade people either way. Champion personal liberty and choice in all things, those who invent stories that take hold in the minds of the population are equally as brilliant as those who come up with scientific discoveries. Dickens invented Mrs Jellaby in 1852, Darwin came up with his theory of evolution in 1858. The entirely fictional Mrs Jellaby is alive and well, she has evolved and now spends all day signalling her virtue by sharing memes about poor black people on the internet. There is as much truth in fiction as in fact.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Alison, as you allude to, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is exerting extraordinary influence over international vaccination policy.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest funder of the WHO, with the Gates Foundation-backed Gavi Alliance in fourth place, behind the US and UK governments (as currently noted on the WHO’s Contributors webpage).

In regards to the Gavi Alliance, this was set up in 1999 with a $750 million pledge from the Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation is a key Gavi partner in ‘vaccine market shaping’.

Bill and Melinda Gates pledged $10 billion for the ‘Decade of Vaccines’. Check out the ‘Decade of Vaccines Collaboration’, consisting of the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the GAVI Alliance, the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance and others, including many governments, health leaders, non-government organizations and other agencies.

At the recent Global Vaccine Summit, hosted by the UK in June 2020, the Gates Foundation-backed Gavi raised “more than $8.8 billion from 31 donor governments and 8 foundations, corporations and organisations to immunise 300 million children and support the global fight against COVID-19”. (See: ‘World leaders make historic commitments to provide equal access to vaccines for all’ on the Gavi Alliance website.)

And check out the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. CEPI was launched in Davos in 2017 and co-founded by, guess who, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, along with the governments of Norway and India, the Wellcome Trust, and the World Economic Forum.

CEPI is an “innovative global partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil society organisations. We’re working together to accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases and equitable access to these vaccines for people during outbreaks”.

In other words, CEPI is working to develop massive global vaccine markets.

To date, CEPI has secured financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, the European Commission, and the governments of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ethiopia, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Norway and the United Kingdom.

CEPI seems to be a bit cagey about clearly defining vaccine industry involvement, but representatives of Sanofi Pasteur, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Takeda are on its Scientific Advisory Committee.

Check out CEPI’s website for more info, including the about / who we are webpage.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg… There’s a massive international web behind the burgeoning global vaccine industry…and it’s time it was investigated…

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Agree with your general point about conspiracy theories containing just enough truths to remain plausible, but really have to pull you up on this:

Gates’s billions were made from cornering the market with a product that needs updating every verse end, something akin to rent seeking.

Do you really think that the very first Windows machine would be useful/functional today? This is utter madness. Bill Gates didn’t cunningly design a device predicated around needing updates – technology moves on. This applies everywhere to everything. Those that don’t update and innovate go bust (Amstrad, Acorn – even almost Apple at one point).

Gates (and Microsoft) made his millions by keeping at the edge of the curve and making sure his products were kept relevant and easy to access.

Simon Jenkins
Simon Jenkins
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Wrong ” Gates via MS made his money via a monopoly, which was why he was successfully prosecuted ” but, as ever, it was already too late as the previous competition (e.g. Netscape) had already been eliminated

Ralph Hulbert
Ralph Hulbert
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Jenkins

I’m reading this on a computer running Open-Source OS and Libre Office. I don’t need to pay Mr Gates for anything. Competition, and free of charge!

Sarah Packman
Sarah Packman
3 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Hulbert

Thanks for the tip.. I hate the man and all his island-owning psychopathic friends. So hate paying to use his software as well.

Ian Thorpe
Ian Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Hulbert

You’re a wise man Ralph

Sarah Packman
Sarah Packman
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Jenkins

Spot on.
He has an advantage over his competitors; a lack of conscience.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Jenkins

Incorrect I am afraid.

The original argument was that he deliberately designed something that intrinsically needed upgrading in order to make money, which is not the case. I.e. the implication is that he could have designed something that never needed upgrading but chose not to in order to make money. Which is nonsense.

How he conducted business with Microsoft in terms of creating a monopoly or cornering the market is irrelevant to that point. If it wasn’t going to be Gates it would have been someone else. I don’t care for Gates particularly either way, but he didn’t invent or monopolise the fundamentals of computer technology.

Does that make sense?

Ian Thorpe
Ian Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

You’re both right and wrong. The very first Windows machine would indeed not be useful . functional today, but then it was not useful . functional in 1985 when it was launched. In fact it was never sold commercially but included as a runtime extension with DOS. Windows 2 never saw the light of day and Windows 3 went through several major revisions before it was considered usable.

I’d been an IT pro for over a decade then and us old hands laughed when told that such an atrocity would become the de facto standard for small computer systems.
But unfortunately Microsoft’s rivals that had Graphic User Interface systems that actually worked (Including DEC, HP, Xerox, Sun and even ICL did not hsve the might of the US Department of Defence, nor the malfeasance of the CIA behind them.

But you can go back even further, to the first IBM / Intel PC launched in 1981 and running MS DOS from floppy disks. If you dig down deep enough into the monstrosity that is Windows 10 you will find the same DOS kernel as ran that first generation of machines.

I have a laptop with Win 10 loaded, I mostly use SUSe Linux but if I have to do anything with Microsoft software I find myself cranking up Windows, going into command (CMD) mode and running it from te DOS command line. I get far more done that way and the OS does not keep trying to tell me, in the manner of Harry Enfield’s annoying neighbour character, “Naaaah! You don’t wanna do that.”

The real reason older computers are no longer useable is planned obsolescence. For years Microsoft’s (and Apple’s) business model was based on making us buy a new computer and software every three years.

And that should explain why I will not go anywhere near anything with which Bill Gates is associated no matter how peripheral his involvement.

CYRIL NAMMOCK
CYRIL NAMMOCK
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Conspiracy Theory is in no way analogous to Myth.

Andy Brown
Andy Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Brilliant

David Barnett
David Barnett
3 years ago

With childhood diseases like measles there is a dilemma. I caught measles as a young child, before measles vaccines were available. Measles tended to spread widely amongst children and most of us recovered quickly. It is generally better to get measles as a child, than later. A small proportion of children (don’t recall the exact figure, maybe 0.001%?) get a very severe case causing lasting damage or even death. Vaccination for them is safer.

Here is the dilemma. Once you start widely vaccinating, the amount of virus in circulation is so low that the chance of getting it naturally as a child is negligible. Thus, in order to protect your child from getting a bad case as an adult, you must vaccinate.

If we were to stop vaccinating now against measles, it could take a generation or more for the natural infection process of my childhood to re-establish. In the mean time, unvaccinated children would grow to adulthood unprotected, and some would become severely ill. So we are now hostages to a vaccination success.

Should we have indulged in mass measles vaccination, making us permanently hostage to it, for the sake of the tiny minority of very severe cases? Most parents, who don’t know if their child might be one of the unlucky ones, would probably vaccinate.

If, however, we could work out who was susceptible to a severe case, we could vaccinate them alone. We are on the cusp of a personalised medicine revolution. That is the hope for a future without making societies hostage to permanent mass intervention.

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  David Barnett

In the year that I got measles, also before the vaccine, there were 763,531 notified cases and 152 people died of it. So about 0.02%

Paul Carline
Paul Carline
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

There is no simple equivalence between then and now. Numerous other factors need to to be taken into account e.g the quality and quantity of foodstuffs, levels of poverty etc. When I was growing up in the late 1940’s and early1950s, many families were still having to use food stamps. There was considerable poverty and consequently often poor hygiene standards. The air was heavily polluted from the coal fires everyone used for heating.
If vaccines were really as safe as is often asserted there would be far less resistance. Unfortunately, it’s not true. In the UK, adverse events are not well publicised and many are not even reported. In the USA, serious adverse events number anything from the 60,000+ that are reported to a probable considerable multiple of that, since it is reckoned that only some 10% of events are reported.
After a court ruling that vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe”, the vaccine makers were given blanket immunity from prosecution and a Vaccine Injury Court was established to examine cases and award compensation. To date, compensation for vaccine-caused injury totals more than $4.35 billion.
Comparisons of the prevalence of illness in vaccinated and unvaccinated children show unequivocally that unvaccinated children are far healthier. The rate of autism-spectrum illness in children is now 1 in 36. It used to be 1 in 400 or 500. There is a very clear correlation between that escalating rate of illness and the staggering increase in childhood vaccination levels in the USA.
Andrew Wakefield will be vindicated. He was a sacrificial victim – by no means the only one – of an industry that cares more about profits than human health.
Bill Gates’ desire to vaccinate 7 billion people – at an estimated cost of 700,000 dead – is literally insane.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Carline

No, Wakefield had an idea that vaccines caused autism. He set up an investigation that will have showed no correlation so he “adjusted” his results to fit the outcome he wanted. And he did adjust almost every data point that it was possible to adjust.
Bedwetting journalists, and others with no science background then asserted for several years that the cause of autism was the MMR vaccine.
The journal that published the article then compounded the issue by at first supporting his results, then backtracking and several years later pulled the paper from their journal record.

The rise in autism is due to more awareness rather than an increase in the proportion of those on the autism spectrum.
My Great Uncle was probably autistic, but he was born in 1910 and so will not have been diagnosed.

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

On “Bedwetting journalists”
It makes me laugh and scowl to recently read in the Daily Mail how “sadly” misinformation about MMR has proliferated for years, when the Mail was one of the principle proliferators of that misinformation.
Reminds me of the volte face all of the tabloids did on Diana the day she died.

N J
N J
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

In response to your comment that it is an increased awareness or diagnosis that is the cause of increasing ASD. Here is an interesting piece of information I propose for your consideration, approximately 40% of kids with ASD are non-verbal, do you think as a society, we didn’t notice that 40% of our kids weren’t able to talk or communicate until now?

Zaph Mann
Zaph Mann
3 years ago
Reply to  N J

N J That’s a mathematical error – if 40% of a subset is X that doesn’t mean we should notice X in 40% of the WHOLE population (of kids in this case)

N J
N J
3 years ago
Reply to  Zaph Mann

Thank you for pointing this out, to clarify the math & comment (since I was referring to the ASD population, and you are referring to total population), 40% of the autism population, ASD rates are currently 2%-3%, so that is approx. 1% of total population (assuming ASD has been around forever and not growing). I still believe if 1% of the population didn’t speak, that is still incredibly significant on a total population basis and society would have noticed before now. Most people think of ASD at the higher end of the spectrum, but this isn’t the reality for most of these kids and families.

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  N J

Around 100 years ago the terminology used was “mentally defective”, graded into various levels of “deficiency”. The proportion of the UK population so classified was about 0.1% around 1890 but rose to about 1% when measures started to be taken to assess and care for such people, maybe 2% in children. It’s hard to equate the various labels with modern diagnoses, but one may assume that ASD would have been included.

I’m going by Egan’s 2001 thesis, which studies late 19th and early 20th century Scotland.

Jennifer Saines
Jennifer Saines
3 years ago
Reply to  N J

Yes, see Mark Blaxill’s “Denial”, where this is demonstrated.

naomi.miname
naomi.miname
3 years ago
Reply to  N J

Autism has been around forever, just with different names.
Back in my parents day kids with severe autism were called mentally retarded, and those with minor autism were just considered odd.

If you go back further, babies who seemed normal but all of a sudden went strange- like how autism presents- were called changelings.

N J
N J
3 years ago
Reply to  naomi.miname

Many of these individuals with ASD are unable to live independently, so if ASD has been around forever, we would be able to see this 2-3% ASD in the 65yr+ population easily.

One of the biggest new developing problems the school & health systems are seeing now, as generations of the increased rates of autism populations are starting to age out of the school systems, there is no infrastructure in place, because society has never had to deal with numbers at this level before. A political economist, Dr. Toby Roger, who has studied this subject at great length from a viewpoint of the coming societal cost, said in a recent interview:

“In 2015, autism cost the United States $268 billion. “ŠAnd they project that if autism continues at its current rate, that autism will cost the United States one trillion dollars by 2025.

The first wave of vaccine injured kids are aging out of the school system and they need adult residential care.

And there is no plan at the federal level or at the state level for how to manage this wave of autistic adults.

Within six years, autism is going to cost the United States more than the U.S. Defense Department budget.

This is a tsunami of costs that are already here, and yet, government isn’t talking about it. Politicians don’t talk about it. And they continue to be engaged in denial.”

The numbers are growing significantly every year, it is a coming storm most aren’t aware of.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  N J

NJ and others – You can find the truth about the autism increase and what really caused it by searching for “Experts Catastrophe” and then reading Chapter 3 (pdf only). Cheers.

Noel Thomas
Noel Thomas
3 years ago
Reply to  naomi.miname

Anyone with an interest in ASD and the numbers of children affected by ASD, now and in the past, must read ” Denial ” by Olmsted and Blaxill. The more we assume we know it all, now, the more need to read the book !

Jennifer Saines
Jennifer Saines
3 years ago
Reply to  naomi.miname

See “Denial” by Mark Blaxill.

fujifiddle
fujifiddle
3 years ago
Reply to  naomi.miname

No, back in the day, children with genetic issues involving neurodevelopment problems, and also children with severe brain damage were called “mentally retarded.”

The rate of such genetic issues dropped when techniques to identify them prenatally were developed, and abortion was offered.

Modern obstetrical techniques and access to maternal health care decreased the number of children born with brain damage.

“Changelings” could refer to a number of medical conditions, including seizures that could have come from children being exposed to a number of dangerous chemicals, including mercurochrome (used as a home antibiotic), lead (found in old glassware, water pipes, paint), and arsenic (used as rat poison).

There is no evidence that children described as “changelings” had autism.

What is unique about regressive autism is that there were no descriptions of children who had developed normally and then lost developmental skills.

Leo Kanner was very specific in his 1943 paper on autism: THERE WAS PREVIOUSLY NO DESCRIPTION OF CHILDREN LIKE THIS ANYWHERE IN THE MEDICAL LITERATURE. That was why he wrote his paper.

Andrew Crisp
Andrew Crisp
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

Just look at the stats. It cannot be ignored the parallel between number of vaccinations and cases of brain damage/autism. This is much more obvious in the U.S. where children are recommended to have over 20 vaccinations before the age of 15 MONTHS! Check out the CDC schedule.

roslynross3
roslynross3
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Crisp

There is already data showing a decline in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome during lockdown as parents avoid doctor visits and vaccination. Will a bit more time also reveal a drop in Autism?

robboschester
robboschester
3 years ago
Reply to  roslynross3

No. Do the research on the genetics of autism.

Jennifer Saines
Jennifer Saines
3 years ago
Reply to  robboschester

The rise in autism has reached epidemic proportions, from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 64, or 59, or 20 in boys in NJ. No gene is causing this. Additionally, the rise in Type 1 diabetes in America’s youth can not be explained by genes.

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Crisp

It cannot be ignored the parallel between number of vaccinations and cases of brain damage/autism.

Rather than simply repeat “correlation is not causation”, let me recommend the excellent book Spurious Correlations by Tyler Viglen. It shows, for example, that there’s a convincing correlation between beef consumption and people getting struck by lightning. (I say this not to discount the serious plight of children with brain damage or autism and their parents, of course.)

K Sheedy
K Sheedy
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

The revenge of the Hindu gods is backed up by the statistics. Hard evidence of a Hindu Pantheon who can wreak revenge on beef eaters.
(btw this is sarcasm)

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Crisp

It is very obvious in the UK where the schedule is no longer any shorter. Meanwhile in Northern Ireland (the province actually has an annual ASD schools census) they now have a 4.2% rate of ASD – risen from 1.2% 11 years ago – with 64% of cases being rated at the highest level of disability, while in Belfast the rate is 6.9%. All UK schools are in crisis because of the numbers of children with neurological disability – the Department of Education tends to get the blame in England but the problem goes back to Department of Health and Social Care who have no explanation apart from bluster. If we now have disability at historically high and unsustainable levels the problem obviously lies at the DHSC not the DOE, which just struggles to keep up. Rather than attribute omnicompetence to the DHSC would it not be truer to to remark that they “couldn’t run a piss-up in a brewery”.

roslynross3
roslynross3
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

So, if Autism is just being more aware, pray, where are all the Autistic adults who must have existed throughout history, and really , up until about forty years ago??????

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  roslynross3

Have a look about, there are plenty of older adults that have great difficulties with life and change, communication and personal interactions. Many lack social and emotional awareness and don’t know how to act or react to others.
Many just get on with their life as best they can, and negotiate life as it comes at them. Most wouldn’t accept that they are on the ASD spectrum somewhere, but they will be.

Jennifer Saines
Jennifer Saines
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

Please see “Denial” by Mark Blaxill. The rise in autism is not due to awareness in diagnostics.

anhgreen2910
anhgreen2910
3 years ago

Yes it is, look around your community and you will see many mental asylums or sites of them. All now closed, We are mentally healthier but more likely to attribute any failing to mental conditions.I do not use my condition as an excuse I work with its strengths and try to manage the weakness’s.

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Carline

There is a very clear correlation between that escalating rate of illness and the staggering increase in childhood vaccination levels in the USA.

Well, as someone said, “There is no simple equivalence between then and now. Numerous other factors need to to be taken into account”. Many things have changed and correlation is not causation. We simply do not know which of them might cause an increased rate of diagnosis of ASD. One possible candidate is increased awareness of the conditions and better diagnosis, for example.

There is certainly an irreducible risk to vaccination, and in the UK there is a Vaccine Damage Payment that recognises that. It is foolish to pretend that vaccination — or anything else in medicine, or life for that matter — is completely without risk. The question is, what is that level of risk?

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

At the beginning of the millenium the adult rate of ASD was held to be 2 in 10,000 in the UK. According to the latest schools census in Northern Ireland the rate is 4.2% (420 in 10,000), 6.9% in Belfast. 64% of those were in the highest category of disability. This a catastrophe about which our goverments are silent and cannot be accounted for remotely by “awareness” or “better recognition”. And nobody has remotest how were are going to cope or how this is going to stop.

Rachel Rolfe
Rachel Rolfe
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

Have a look at the UK Government’s Coronavirus pages – the vaccine damage payment now excluded vaccines for any type of “influenza”

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  Rachel Rolfe

The version I’m looking at includes

influenza, except for influenza caused by a pandemic influenza virus

maytali
maytali
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

yes! well said.

david bewick
david bewick
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Carline

The chances of Andrew Wakefield being vindicated are somewhat similar to Lord Lucan riding past my front door on Shergar. He was found to have falsified records, mistreated patients (children) and a litany of other transgressions. Rightly struck off.

roslynross3
roslynross3
3 years ago
Reply to  david bewick

Read his court records and then rewrite your claims. As you must.

robboschester
robboschester
3 years ago
Reply to  roslynross3

I agree that he is not a nutter. He’s a fraud of the first order.

Jennifer Saines
Jennifer Saines
3 years ago
Reply to  robboschester
david bewick
david bewick
3 years ago
Reply to  roslynross3

I don’t think so. He dropped the libel case and was ordered to pay all costs.

anhgreen2910
anhgreen2910
3 years ago
Reply to  roslynross3

Read and the charges against him stand. What records were you reading?

roslynross3
roslynross3
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Carline

Doctors in the past saw Measles as a disease of poverty in terms of its seriousness. For kids living in good conditions it was mild.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

Are you sure about that figure of 0.02%? 152 of 763,521 is…

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

0.0199% if you want to be that precise.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

I was born in November 1959 in London. My mother recalls me having measles around 18 months of age (this would have been in 1961, and is unlikely to be laboratory verified”Š) She was a young mother, only 19 years old and I was her first child. She was shocked to see her baby covered in spots and called the doctor to the house.

My mother recalls the doctor said I had measles, but told her not to worry, they would just run their course (a rather more benign message than we receive nowadays”Š) My mother said the spots lasted about ten days and I did not seem to be too adversely affected. She said “it did not put you off your food in any way” and “you used to sleep right through the night from 10.00 pm to 6.00 am.”

In 2012 I had serological testing (i.e. a blood test) to check my immunity for measles, mumps and rubella. According to these tests I understand I am ‘protected’. It seems I have natural immunity to measles due to having this disease as a child. Somehow I must have had exposure to mumps too, but I do not recall having obvious symptoms of this disease. It’s likely I had rubella vaccination as a girl.

My mother also mentioned that she was diagnosed with having the mumps when she was fifteen years old, in Ireland (again, unlikely to be laboratory verified). She said: “The pain was so bad I can’t describe it.” This seems to fit with the idea that these diseases can be more severe in older individuals.

roslynross3
roslynross3
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

I had mumps at Christmas when I was about 11. Damn sore throat and had to stick to custard, but over it in a few days.

robboschester
robboschester
3 years ago
Reply to  roslynross3

Well done. Me too. My son however went through an extremely painful experience. It is possible to be so affected that sterility results.

fretwelld
fretwelld
3 years ago
Reply to  robboschester

I had read that the mumps element of the MMR doesn’t always give the same duration of immunity as natural infection (or the other elements of the MMR), which some anti-vaxers state as justification not to vaccinate children against mumps. the alternative being the need to regularly boost mumps vaccination throughout post-puberty adulthood when sterility can be caused.
I’m not sure whether the mumps vaccine has been tested for safety in adults though? It seems at least a remote possibility that the vaccine itself could cause sterility in some cases, as typically the list of adverse effects mirrors the list of side effects of the disease itself.

Robin Taylor
Robin Taylor
3 years ago
Reply to  David Barnett

The UK lost its measles free status in 2019 and had between 1-5 deaths from measles March 2019-February 2020 (ECDC). On 29 September 2019 Matt Hancock told the Conservative Party conference that the UK is looking “very seriously” at making vaccinations compulsory for schoolchildren
(https://www.newscientist.co

The justification for making vaccinations mandatory is that it is for the greater good. This is not dissimilar to the argument that the Chinese Government might make when riding roughshod over individuals or communities that stand in the way of its economic development plans. A nation that had mass starvation a few decades ago is now an economic powerhouse with the majority of the population benefiting. But where do you draw the line between the greater good and the loss of liberty? For me, the right to choose over my own body and those of my children is pretty fundamental.

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  David Barnett

The big problem with the measles vaccine is different – unlike immunity from catching the disease it wears off. Most people in there late 50s or older have had the disease and have life-long immunity. Vaccinated people have a lesser immunity which can not be compensated by more vaccination (after the second go it is also highly ineffective). Furthermore, new strains have developed which the vaccine is less effective against. It means we now have a large vaccinated population with poor immunity, and if a virulent new strain were to develop we would be in at least as much trouble as we are at present with SARS-CoV-2. After 50 years of measles vaccine we are potentially in deep water.

K Sheedy
K Sheedy
3 years ago
Reply to  John Stone

Interesting assertion. What evidence do you base it on?

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  K Sheedy

I included this explanation elsewhere:-

This model will not work and this has been known for a long time. Because the type of immunity a vaccine offfers against measles is much weaker than lifelong immunity from the natural disease the vaccine has gradually been destroying herd immunity against measles, and may lead to pandemic disaster. see:

John Stone, ‘Measles vaccination has substituted one problem for another’, BMJ Rapid Responses 20 June 2019

(This lists 10 studies and I have at least another 20)

John Stone, ‘There should open discussiion about vaccine safety’, BMJ Rapid Responses 2 January 2020

We could easily be over-run by new strains of measles or morbillo viruses because of vaccination. The recent bulge in measles in the UK was was due to the B3 strain against which the vaccine is largely ineffective (but fortunately is not that deadly).

John Stone, ‘Propaganda should not be allowed to overwhelm policy’, BMJ Rapid Resonses 23 October 2019.

I approach this without ideology but there could be dangers to trying to outwit nature.

anhgreen2910
anhgreen2910
3 years ago
Reply to  John Stone

Quoting yourself in letters not research does you no credit.

anhgreen2910
anhgreen2910
3 years ago
Reply to  John Stone

There is no evidence to support these statements. Vaccinated people live longer.

Henry Longstop
Henry Longstop
3 years ago
Reply to  John Stone

Yes, natural immunity wears off, but my understanding is that before a measles vaccine natural immunity in adults was continually boosted by exposure to periodic low level reinfection during outbreaks of wild strain measles in the community.
The unforeseen problem with a measles vaccinated population is that as periodic outbreaks of wild measles are no longer prevalent, there is no low level booster re-infection. As there has been an increase in the incidence of shingles among adults there might be a some connection.
Fortunately the pharmaceutical industry has stepped in to fill the gap by producing a Shingles vaccine,

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Henry Longstop

Shingles? You have confused measles with chickenpox.

Henry Longstop
Henry Longstop
3 years ago
Reply to  John Stone

Apologies. You are correct.

Robin Taylor
Robin Taylor
3 years ago
Reply to  David Barnett

The UK lost its measles free status in 2019 and had between 1-5 deaths from measles March 2019-February 2020 (ECDC). On 29 September 2019 Matt Hancock told the Conservative Party conference that the UK is looking “very seriously” at making vaccinations compulsory for schoolchildren.

The justification for making vaccinations mandatory is that it is for the greater good. This is not dissimilar to the argument that the Chinese Government might make when riding roughshod over individuals or communities that stand in the way of its economic development plans. A nation that had mass starvation a few decades ago is now an economic powerhouse with the majority of the population benefiting. But where do you draw the line between the greater good and the loss of liberty? For me, the right to choose over my own body and those of my children is pretty fundamental.

David Barnett
David Barnett
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Taylor

Perhaps, a better strategy would be to discover what makes children susceptible to a very serious bout of measles, and vaccinate only them.

vinucubeacc
vinucubeacc
3 years ago
Reply to  David Barnett

Exactly! But lazy doctors take the short cut, causing enormous damage.

robboschester
robboschester
3 years ago
Reply to  vinucubeacc

You, I’m afraid are one of the people the psychologist writing the article refer to negatively. With justification.

anhgreen2910
anhgreen2910
3 years ago
Reply to  vinucubeacc

Lazy people do the damage. Look at life expectancy in USA which has increased for 50 years and now is reversing as the gluttony takes its tole.

roslynross3
roslynross3
3 years ago
Reply to  David Barnett

Since having Measles, Mumps, Chicken Pox etc., in childhood, protects one as an adult on many counts – against Cancer, Strokes, Heart Disease – why would we vaccinate any child?

robboschester
robboschester
3 years ago
Reply to  roslynross3

Because there are very significant risks for some children. And there are insignificant risks against. Do the research.

fujifiddle
fujifiddle
3 years ago
Reply to  robboschester

How do you assess the risks against, when there is no adequate reporting system (at least in the US) for adverse events following vaccination? The system in the US, VAERS, was severely flawed from the very beginning, and only got worse. Fewer than 1% of adverse events noted by doctors in the medical records are ever reported to VAERS, as noted in the 2010 CDC-funded Harvard Pilgrim report.

You can’t do a reasonable risk/benefit analysis unless you have accurate data for both risks and benefits.

And even the benefits are sketchy, as vaccines don’t give lifelong immunity; antibody production wanes within a couple of decades, leaving older adults far more susceptible to childhood diseases like measles, mumps, and chickenpox than they ever would have been before the vaccines were introduced, necessitating boosters, which confer shorter and shorter periods of immunity with each successive booster.

anhgreen2910
anhgreen2910
3 years ago
Reply to  robboschester

I have and there is no evidence for this assertion.

David Barnett
David Barnett
3 years ago
Reply to  roslynross3

You are right, up to a point. The immune system has to be trained on real world challenges to learn the differences between self, symbionts, renegade self (eg. cancer), and invader. The drive to eliminate all risk unbalances the system. (I would say that the same problem exists in the mental development of our children, too).

So, given the small mortality risk of Measles, Mumps and Chicken Pox, mass vaccination may well do more harm than good.

There are some diseases with a very high probability of a poor outcome (polio, diphtheria, and increasingly again tuberculosis), where, given the choice, I would vaccinate my child.

I don’t think that vaccination should be compulsory. It is very rare that a pathogen is so inflexible (like smallpox) that total elimination is even possible, although herd resistance (which can control epidemics) might be.

anhgreen2910
anhgreen2910
3 years ago
Reply to  David Barnett

Except every vaccinated population has done better (except for the contaminated batch in 1955. Even the complications which were too high in some cases were better for the population as a whole. Vaccination programmes care about everyone but do not care about the individual. As an individual you are gambling but only a very little and the odds are in your favour.

David Barnett
David Barnett
3 years ago
Reply to  anhgreen2910

It is hard to disentangle the general rise in prosperity from the benefits of universal vaccination.

Measles, for example, was relatively harmless to me and my contemporaries in England, because we were generally healthy and decently fed (even in the 1950s). At the same time, measles in certain poor countries had a significant mortality rate (as well as lasting problems for some of the recovered).

Since I was a child, the world has transformed from 85% very poor, to just 15% very poor. I would expect that penetration of vaccination programmes has been made possible by the rise in prosperity.

David Barnett
David Barnett
3 years ago
Reply to  anhgreen2910

An additional thought to ponder when considering universal vaccination for mild childhood diseases is that once you start, you have to continue, because many of them are more serious when contracted as an adult. Without the herd resistance acquired in childhood, devastating epidemics amongst adults could result.

i don’t think we can take for granted that our existing, highly organised, system will survive forever. If our civilisation collapses, the return of epidemics would be brutal and unforgiving.

We should give serious thought to lessening our dependence on so many “too-big-to-fail” systems. Amongst these is universal vaccination against diseases which are mild in childhood but serious for adults.

David Barnett
David Barnett
3 years ago
Reply to  roslynross3

Further to my previous reply:

There is a wonderful scene in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” where the new, ministry imposed, “Defence Against Dark Arts” teacher announces sanitised, entirely theoretical, course whose sole purpose is to ready the students for their exams. Harry Potter objects that it will do nothing to help them meet real world challenges (such as the return of Voldomort and his Death Eaters).

I think that captures beautifully the hubristic attempt to make everything risk free.

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  roslynross3

having Measles, Mumps, Chicken Pox etc., in childhood, protects one as an adult on many counts – against Cancer, Strokes, Heart Disease

Is there published peer-reviewed evidence for that?

Alison Sutcliffe
Alison Sutcliffe
3 years ago
Reply to  roslynross3

Do you have any evidence for that assertion?

Andrew Crisp
Andrew Crisp
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Taylor

Compare those tragic deaths to the very many autistic children who, in varying degrees, lead very difficult lives because of vaccine damage. Despite what this author says, they DO exist. That’s why the government pays out millions in compensation.

robboschester
robboschester
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Crisp

Stop it. Do the research.

carlyshouse
carlyshouse
3 years ago
Reply to  David Barnett

That does assume that vaccine protects against measles and that when we have had a measles epidemic it was (a) spread by unvaccinated and not vaccinated children, (b) that unvaccinated and not vaccinated children were the only ones who caught measles, (c) that measles does not mutate, (d) that all cases of measles are diagnosed and notified. Those are all assumptions and not facts.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 years ago

I remember reading in the comments to another article s reference to 2 studies showing that the flu vaccine increased the probability of getting infected by other respiratory viruses, including coronaviruses. If those studies are indeed correct, it strikes me that one might want to be rather careful in the widespread adoption of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Further, if the side-effects mentioned in a comment below for the Moderna vaccine were so severe as to require hospitalization, and the vaccine itself uses mRNA technology that has never been used before for any currently available vaccine, I for one would be very cautious about getting a shot(s), at least not until it has been tried on millions of people to ensure that there are no dangerous and long-lasting side effects.

Colin Nicholls
Colin Nicholls
3 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Your first point is particularly relevant, given that Boris is encouraging us all to get flu shots this winter to stop the NHS from being overwhelmed. And one of the studies you mention (Cowling et al, Clin Infect Dis 2012;54:1778) is cited in a letter to the BMJ by a retired paediatrician – hardly your average anti-vax nutter!

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin Nicholls

It’s not impossible that said paediatrician is an anti-vaxer. (I’m not saying (s)he is mind.) Wakefield, after all, was a qualified physician, as are all those nutters who practice homeopathy.

roslynross3
roslynross3
3 years ago

I doubt you bothered to read Wakefield’s research and his court case records, so we can presume your use of the term, nutter, is without substance.

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago
Reply to  roslynross3

I doubt Wakefield’s research or court case made any mention of homeopathy practitioners.

robert.kaye
robert.kaye
3 years ago
Reply to  roslynross3

I think he was referring to homeopaths as nutters, not Wakefield. He was a fraud.

Simon Jenkins
Simon Jenkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Appears there are quite a few pieces of research showing this ” one that comes to mind was a Hong Kong study using a true placebo that found that flu-vaccinated children were 5 times more likely to develop a Covid-like respiratory illness

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Jenkins

Id be interested to know more about this study.

I am generally, pro-vaccine, but it apepars to me that the high level of uptake of flu-vaccine in the UK and Italy may have contributed to either an overhang of older-people waiting to be infected with COVID, or even that a flu epidemic in say Germany may have protected against COVID, preventing it taking hold.

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  Adrian

I think it’s Increased Risk of Noninfluenza Respiratory Virus Infections Associated With Receipt of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine Cowling et al, 2012: PMC3404712

We randomized 115 children to trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) or placebo. Over the following 9 months, TIV recipients had an increased risk of virologically-confirmed non-influenza infections (relative risk: 4.40; 95% confidence interval: 1.31-14.8).

The other infections seem to have included just one case of coronavirus.

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

Thanks very much!
A 95% chance that relative risk has increased by a 1/3 is not to be sniffed at.
Normally the sort of displacement effect that real virus infections might be creating wouldn’t be of concern, after all, ‘flu is far worse than a cold.
If influenza does displace coronavirus, an infection worse than most ‘flu, then the vaccination program might have to go back to the drawing board, especially around ‘flu vaccinating younger people to prevent a rapid spread of ‘flu in older people.

carlyshouse
carlyshouse
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Jenkins

I saw an article regarding that claim published in March this year. I’m not sure if it was about the same study but it definitely showed that those who had received the flu vaccine were more likely to contract covid 19. I’m guessing that the immune system is primed to resist flu type infections. It would be interesting to know if they also contract other forms of coronavirus.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Johann, look at the picture of at the head of this article, that’s Boris Johnson getting his flu shot in October 2019. A few months later he was apparently very ill with COVID-19. Did the flu shot make him more vulnerable?

It’s also notable that most of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 have been in the elderly, a cohort which is pressed to have flu vaccination. I wonder how many of those people had flu vaccination?

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

An interesting thought. However, I suspect that Boris was none too careful when he went visiting the COVID ward, shaking hands with patients and then probably not washing his hands with hand sanitizer afterwards.

Incidentally, at least in the US, healthcare workers in hospitals are forced to get flu shots (at least where I am). They too have been particularly badly hit, but then they do come into contact with many infected patients so there innoculum is likely to be large.

roslynross3
roslynross3
3 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

And the data showing how many Covid cases and deaths had previously had the Flu vaccine would be where?

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  roslynross3

I would like to see that data!

Ian Thorpe
Ian Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

I don’t think anyone would admit that Broris’ flu shot might have made him more vulnerable Elizabeth, but the timing of his illness struck me as extraordinarily convenient as it coincided with a massive push by the Big Phama cartel to drum up orders for untested and undeveloped vaccines.

benbow01
benbow01
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Thorpe

‘ A recent military study shows military personnel evaluated who received the flu vaccine were at 36 percent increased risk for coronavirus with varied benefit in preventing some strains of the flu.’

https://www.disabledveteran

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  benbow01

Which study? “Influenza vaccination and respiratory virus interference among Department of Defense personnel during the 2017″“2018 influenza season”, published in Vaccine volume 38.

Examining noninfluenza viruses specifically, the odds of both coronavirus and human metapneumovirus in vaccinated individuals were significantly higher when compared to unvaccinated individuals (OR = 1.36 and 1.51, respectively) (Table 5). Conversely, all other non-influenza respiratory viruses had decreased odds in the vaccinated population, including significantly decreased odds ratios in
vaccinated people with parainfluenza, RSV, and non-influenza
virus coinfections (Table 5).

Which coronavirus? Well, obviously not Covid19 in this study. In fact, the coronavirus family includes a variety of the common cold.

robert.kaye
robert.kaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Thorpe

“Extremely convenient” is code for “I won’t explicitly say what I’m implying because it’s so patently ridiculous, so I’ll just leave this hanging”.

Ian Thorpe
Ian Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  robert.kaye

You can infer what you like, but I wasn’t implying anything, I was simply stirring the pot

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Thorpe

I think all sort of things but I do not really think that Johnson’s illness was play-acting.

Andrew Crisp
Andrew Crisp
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Yes, in the north of Italy people received a ‘new’ flu shot earlier in 2019 and look what happened there.

vinucubeacc
vinucubeacc
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Here’s the mechanistic evidence for the flu shot causing severe COVID-19.

There’s a strong similarity between chicken/egg proteins in the flu shot and SARS-CoV-2 proteins.

The flu shot causes the development of allergy to egg proteins. Once infected with SARS-CoV-2, the allergic reaction due to cross-reaction will result in severe disease.

Serological examination of IgE- and IgG-specific antibodies to egg protein during influenza virus immunization.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.go

BLASTP comparison:
orf1ab polyprotein [Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2] vs. chicken/egg proteins
poly [ADP-ribose] polymerase 14 isoform X3 [Gallus gallus]
Sequence ID: XP_025008461.1 Length: 1861 Number of Matches: 1
Related Information
Gene-associated gene details
Genome Data Viewer-aligned genomic context
Range 1: 864 to 1036 GenPeptGraphics
Alignment statistics for match #1 Score Expect Method Identities Positives Gaps
60.1 bits(144) 1e-07 Compositional matrix adjust. 57/183(31%) 86/183(46%) 22/183(12%)

This is the reason why allergy medications such as antihistamines (cetirizine/famotidine) help in COVID-19.

Dual-Histamine Blockade with Cetirizine – Famotidine Reduces Pulmonary Symptoms in COVID-19 Patients
https://www.medrxiv.org/con

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

I left a detailed response to Alison Houston’s earlier comment on this article, providing information relevant to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s influence on international vaccination policy, including reference to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which was co-founded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and which is funding the Oxford COVID19 vaccine trial.

My comment has been ‘detected as spam’ and removed. What is going on? My comment is not offensive, and is absolutely relevant to this article, which mentions Bill Gates, but my response disappears. Other comments of mine have also disappeared, including one on Freddie Sayers’ interview with Anders Tegnell, which included reference to the policy of vaccinating children to protect the elderly, a matter which raises serious ethical questions.

It’s very difficult to discuss vaccination matters in public forums, where people questioning vaccination policy and practice are often censored.

UnHerd claims “to push back against the herd mentality with new and bold thinking, and to provide a platform for otherwise unheard ideas, people and places”.

People with legitimate questions about vaccination policy and practice are often deliberately ‘unheard’. We are currently in the midst of a global push for fast-tracked experimental coronavirus vaccine products – there must be an opportunity for the public to engage in this conversation which is relevant to us all.

I request my comments which have been dispatched to spam be reinstated.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Earlier this morning there appears to have been some issues with posting comments, I had to try several times and email the site before I could get a comment posted. Did you get a red banner below the comment box with an error message in it?

Re posts going missing…I think that might be ta site tech problem rather than a deliberate attempt at suppression, but could be wrong.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

No Nigel, my comment with information about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation appeared to be published, but when I looked later it had disappeared, and in my register of comments was noted as “Detected as spam”.

It’s also notable that this article has had a change of title. When I saw it published this morning (in Australia) it was titled ‘Don’t dismiss the anti-vaxxers’, but it was subsequently changed to ‘The truth about vaccines’. I guess someone somewhere couldn’t bear the original title’s inference that there might be legitimate concerns about vaccination.

Mike Young
Mike Young
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

I have had similar post on a different article marked as spam and removed. Mine could not be construed as controversial in an way. So I hope it is an over active spam filter rather than anything more sinister. Either way unherd should have a word with their discussion board provider

Mike Young
Mike Young
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Young

And now I have had one of my post removed from here too. Come on Unherd whats going on!!!

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Fair enough.

And well spotted, in the UK this morning the article was entitled “Don’t dismiss the anti-vaxxers”.

Email the site with your questions, wouldn’t mind seeing any replies though…

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

I, sincerely, suggest you keep your posts about the safety of rushing through a new vaccine, and posts about ethics of vaccinating children to protect the elderly apart from the ones about Bill Gates.

Then your more mainstream criticisms of vaccine policy won’t get undermined by your ‘questions’ along the lines of “Have you heard about blah blah blah that Bill Gates might be doing?” Which though not libelous aren’t questions at all.

I suspect that governents around the world are about to make a huge mistake, that’ll have anti-vaccination hard-liners such as yourself rubbing your hands with glee, after the fact.

The fact that Bill Gates, in his retirement, chooses to try to do good with his money is a distraction from governments pretty much en masse acting foolishly, because their electorates are too spoiled to cope with the fact that very old people die.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Adrian

Adrian, did you see my post on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation before it disappeared?

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is basically running international vaccination policy, including via the WHO, to which they are the biggest donor.

It’s astonishing that software billionaire Bill Gates is calling the shots on vaccination, and is now dictating that the global population has to be vaccinated with fast-tracked experimental coronavirus vaccines “to get us back to normal”.

Bill and Melinda Gates have world leaders at their beck and call, and it’s taxpayers’ money, not just theirs, which is going into the pot. It’s time for accountability.

See: GatesNotes: What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine. 30 April 2020.

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

No I didn’t see the post, unfortunately. Thanks for bringin my attention to it.

I agree it is not good to have a genius in human-computer interaction (which Bill Gates in my opinion is) unduly influencing public health policy, a sphere in which it is unlikely that Gates is also a genius.

I suspect that it would be easier to sell the public a foreseeable story of an imminent tragedy. A tragedy caused by a race for a vaccine, a World Health Organization past their sell by date, a western world unable to cope with even reading about death in the newspapers, a scientifically illiterate political class, a hysterical press, a man who wants to be remembered for more than a software company that ran out of his control decades ago, and all of the other actors in this confederacy of dunces, than it is to sell some half baked evil mastermind conspiracy theory.

I see a tale of hubris not of malice.

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago

Stuart,
You have a touching faith in doctors/medical scientists.
They are under immense pressure to rush through a vaccine from all governments, the immense prestige of being first and, of course, the money involved.
This pressure has already lead to shortcuts in thoroughly testing the upside and downside of a vaccine.
Therefore, this leads me to be very cautions in having the vaccine, until a year or two has passed. Hopefully by then the downsides might have been discovered and ironed out.

Robin Taylor
Robin Taylor
3 years ago

Bill Gates as good as admits this in GatesNotes: What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine. 30 April 2020. Having identified the issues and possible problems with a COVID-19 vaccine, he then advocates rolling it out to “low-income countries” first: in part because in these countries “more people have poor underlying health that makes them more vulnerable to complications”. If there are any issues with the vaccine, these poor “more vulnerable” people will no doubt reveal the complications fairly quickly before it is rolled out on mass to the richer countries.

Anna Tanneberger
Anna Tanneberger
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Taylor

I live in one of these poor countries in Africa, regularly visited by Bill Gates and he’s on first-name terms with our ineffective, but dictatorial head of state. Unlike in the wealthy countries, the majority of people in these poor countries are young, and therefore not in the Covid-19 “death-zone.”

K Sheedy
K Sheedy
3 years ago

While we wait to carefully test the vaccine we can be confident that millions will die of C-19. This is all about relative risk. If, hypothetically, a million lives might be saved at the risk of 1,000 vaccine caused deaths, then the vaccine should be deployed. And we should keep working to make a better one that causes 10 deaths in a million.

Rob Nock
Rob Nock
3 years ago
Reply to  K Sheedy

Is it that simple? If the millions of lives saved each get an extra 3 weeks of low quality-of-life old age but the vaccine injuries and deaths occur amongst younger people then is that either best or morally right.

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago

This article is an exercise in ad hominem typology. A fundamental question is how could we even begin in less than a decade to establish the safety of any of the products which 7.8 billion people are supposed to accept on trust. We could discuss Wakefield, but even if anything you said about him was true, it would be a red herring. If one man researching vaccines was a bad scientist, does it mean that a whole class of products are safe in perpetuity – that is an argument anyone who purports to think scientifically ought to apologise for.

A big question is why – if vaccines are safe – do we need these relentless hate campaigns against their critics. In fact, nothing could ensure the lack of safety of the products, or scientific objectivity, than this relentless hostility to criticism. Everyone is being told that if they dare speak up about harm that they will be humiliated and ostracised.

I am UK editor of Age of Autism

Andy Brown
Andy Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  John Stone

The author of this article I notice works at Kings College, where Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has made large donations. Also what about the amount of money involved, UK government alone has pumped in 210 million just for R and D. Also Gates has said himself that Governments must be liable for issues with the vaccine in the future and not drug companies. I am not a medical expert or a scientist but my gut feeling is that the whole thing stinks !

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Brown

Gates is now likening people who criticise the vaccine programme (ie “antivaxxers”) to people who trade in child pornography, and the question is why?

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Brown

By sleight of semantic hand people criticising the vaccine programme become “anti-vaxxers” (that is very bad people whom Gates now compares to people trading in child exploitative imagery) but the trouble is that truly the vaccine programme is a heavily protected, cosseted racket and it is no wonder that governments and certain affiliated academics do not want us to talk about it.

Malcolm Ripley
Malcolm Ripley
3 years ago

My wife, a retired research nurse, will not take any vaccine developed as fast as it is (less than 5 years). She knows how long it actually takes simply to do all the relevant safety tests. These are clearly being bypassed with this Covid vaccine. One has to wonder why there is a rush? Maybe it’s because they need to make money fast faced with these inconvenient facts :
* They have never yet developed a vaccine for ANY coronavirus before now
* A Coronavirus strain mutates and is gone within two years (SARS, MERS anyone?)
* T-Cell research is rapidly progressing and papers are homing in on a 60-80% existing immuniuty to Coronavirus.
* It’s disappearing fast and in the UK it is already plummeting to be less dangerous than your house (2019 – 18 deaths per day from domestic accidents)

I’m NOT an anti vaxxer. I’m an anti “lets make money and to hell with safety” attitudes that big pharma demonstrates all the time and is blindingly obvious based on all the money they keep paying out in compensation! The US is VERY bad.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Malcolm Ripley

Malcolm, re “It’s disappearing fast…”

In May, Professor Adrian Hill, who is part of the team working on the Oxford vaccine, “revealed that his team now faces a major problem, throwing the September deadline into doubt. In short, their adversary is disappearing so rapidly in the UK that the next phase of trials has only a 50 per cent chance of success. Without Covid-19 spreading in the community, volunteers will not catch the disease, leaving scientists unable to prove that their vaccine makes any difference”. See: ‘Exclusive: Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine trial has 50 per cent chance of ‘no result”. The Telegraph, 23 May 2020.

So now they’re off-loading trials to South Africa and Brazil…

See for example: ‘South Africa vaccine trial caused a shock due to the number of people infected’, (AS website, 11 July 2020). This article reports: “Trials’ Sub-investigator Clare Cutland stated that 202 patients have been enrolled and administered the vaccine so far. Cutland added that 21% of individuals who enrolled for the trial by Monday, had already contracted the Covid-19 virus (35 patients out of 162). “All of them were asymptomatic on the day of their [nasal] sample collection. Global studies are revealing that many people infected with Covid-19 are either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. Because of the high numbers of asymptomatic Covid-19 cases enrolled in the trial to date, it means one out of every five participants will have to be excluded from certain planned analyses, which could affect the power of the study” she said.”

vinucubeacc
vinucubeacc
3 years ago
Reply to  Malcolm Ripley

“T-Cell research is rapidly progressing and papers are homing …”

T cells have a homing function and they home to where the virus entered the body. So if the virus is injected as with a vaccine, they home to the skin. So T cells/protection induced by natural COVID-19 infection cannot be compared to T cells induced by vaccines because they may be protecting the wrong parts of the body. They have to make intranasally administered vaccines. I am not aware of any major player doing that.

Andy Brown
Andy Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  Malcolm Ripley

Well said

Ben Gardiner
Ben Gardiner
3 years ago

I think it’s very inappropriate to use the term “anti-vaxxers” in this context.
I’ve had all my jabs, and go to the GP surgery for additional ones prior to holidays.
I took my son for all of his, including MMR at the height of the scare.
I am not an anti-vaxxer.
But I do think this case is different. The COVID vaccines are definitely being rushed through, and there are enough reasons, as mentioned by other commenters, to be very cautious about it.
I will not be first in the queue

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago

The pro vaccine position is based on the premise that the modern world, westerm medicine, science, industrialisation, Englightenment, rational thought, facts, statistics etc are all good things.

Personally I agree, vaccines seem to have such an overwhelmingly positive effect eg smallpox vaccine has saved 100s millions of lives. There are/have been some relatively small side effects, some of this comes down to the Trolley Problem – do we save a million people but kill 1 person and so on. All easy to dismiss unless it’s your child.

However contrast the recent media/gov/corperation reaction to recent protests, where facts are continually ignored, where reality is brushed aside – where the Enlightenment, rational thought are all under direct attack. Capitalism, that tricky thing that has improved the lives of billions is declared evil and so on. Also see the governments lies and half truths around covid, again supported/ignored by the media, lockdown to flatten, now lockdown forever.

None of this should stop the adoption of vaccines where required, however when we live in a world where the elite go along with any latest fashion and lie freely then don’t be suprised that people are suspicious.

David Barnett
David Barnett
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

I agree. Contempt is rarely persuasive.

Magnus H
Magnus H
3 years ago

There is no evidence vaccines saved millions of lives.

There is evidence that improved hygiene and nutrition saved millions of lives, and that vaccines then took the credit.

Check out Pediatrics 106, 2000, Guyer et al “Annual Summary of Vital Statistics: Trends in the Health of Americans During the 20th Century” it’s freely available on sci-hub.

Simon Jenkins
Simon Jenkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Magnus H

Agreed and quite correct. I was staggered to discover this recently.

Measles was the key and I kept seeing a graph showing how US mortality from measles had practically flatlined to zero before any vaccine was introduced! Yet MMR is still publicly stated as being the reason when quite obviously it never was.

I checked the relevant data for UK via ONS and PHE and it’s exactly the same. Compared to early 1940’s 98-99% of measles deaths per year had already gone before MMR was introduced in 1988.

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Jenkins

Measles vaccine was introduced in the UK in 1968 and had been more-or-less widely administered for several years by 1988. MMR is only one form of measles vaccine.

Simon Jenkins
Simon Jenkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

I was waiting for someone to post that 😉

So, using ONS & PHE data, 95% of measles deaths had already gone by 1968 when the very first (single shot) measles vaccine was introduced. PHE state that widespread coverage (over 90%) was not achieved until MMR was introduced from 1988.

So again, the vaccines had little or even nothing to do with this reduction, but took the credit

As Magnus stated, it’s due to clean water, improved sanitation, better living conditions

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Jenkins

So, using ONS & PHE data, 95% of measles deaths had already gone by 1968

Not correct. ONS data shows that the number of cases for 1967 was 460,407, compared with 160,402 for 1946.

Later: I see you wrote “deaths” not “cases”. That would be 204 versus 99.

Simon Jenkins
Simon Jenkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

Thanks for the reply; however you cherry-picked the one year in the 1940’s that had the lowest no. cases & deaths as your comparison. 1940 & 1941 both had ~400,000 cases with 857 deaths from measles in 1940 and 1,145 in 1941. So let’s compare these with 66 & 67.

2,002 deaths from measles in UK in 40-41 versus 179 in 66-67 gives a reduction of 91% without any vaccine.

Use a 5 year spread comparing 40-44 with 63-67 and there’s still a large 86% reduction

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Jenkins

So your chosen years (following the mass movement of children and in the middle of the Blitz) still only gives 91% not the claimed 95%. I avoided the war-time years on account of the disruption to normal life and in particular public health and hygiene and health care. Taking the first five post-war years and comparing with the last five years pre-vaccine we get 1703 versus 494, which is 70%. And so on.

Clearly post-war reconstruction, rebuilding and improving the public health infrastructure and the introduction of free National Health Service had an effect, and a significant one. But the figures for the late50s and early 60s suggest that the improvement was levelling off, and post-vaccination there was a significant further drop.

These exaggerated claims of 98-99%, then 95%, then 91% do little to support what, if more moderately presented, would have been a fair point. If you had said, say, two-thirds of the improvement in the polio death rate was due to improved public health and hygiene, and one-third to vaccination, that would have been a reasonable position consistent with the data. But to say that “mortality from measles had practically flatlined to zero before any vaccine was introduced” isn’t.

Sarah Packman
Sarah Packman
3 years ago
Reply to  Magnus H

Correct.

yag4153
yag4153
3 years ago
Reply to  Sarah Packman

Can’t compare #cases with #deaths

Peter Frost
Peter Frost
3 years ago
Reply to  Magnus H

Diphtheria was a killer in the 1930s and before. Vaccination stopped it in its tracks. As for the idea that measles vaccination was not and is not a game changer, why have we had significant outbreaks following anti vaccination by various communities.

N J
N J
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Frost

When they look at recent measles outbreaks in the US, 13% to 20% have actually been vaccinated, so it would seem the vaccines don’t appear to be providing immunity as we would expect. As well, initial vaccine failure may also play a part, i.e. studies show 2%-12% of children who receive an MMR vaccine do not respond to the vaccine. Then, when you add into the equation that the population that has lifelong immunity (from having had wild measles) is diminishing, and more of our population relies on vaccine immunity (which is clearly not as effective or as long lasting as the wild immunity) our risk of outbreaks would naturally go up. Basically, the vaccine doesn’t seem to be working as well as we have been told, and we are perhaps beginning to see unintended consequences.

S B
S B
3 years ago

In my view it’s fairly simple, the people which want to be vaccinated shall do so, the ones which don’t live with the risks happily ever after.
Why do the pro vaxxers worry about the unvaccinated, they should be worry free? Or don’t they trust the vaccination?
The government has no right to mandate vaccinations.

Simon Jenkins
Simon Jenkins
3 years ago
Reply to  S B

I think it’s section (6) in the UN charter of Human Rights that outlines very clearly that any drug/vaccine can be refused for any reason. However I do believe that compulsory vaccinations are coming soon. Either they’ll ignore the human rights (again) or make it impossible to travel/work/live without proof of having had them

Peta Seel
Peta Seel
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Jenkins

“make it impossible to travel/work/live without proof of having had them”
The most likely scenario I fear.

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

That’s certainly how it used to be. I had to get vaccinated against smallpox to travel abroad. Hmm, smallpox. I wonder what happened to that?

But more to the point, it’s how it is now. View the NHS website to see which countries require which vaccinations before you can get in.

Peta Seel
Peta Seel
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pinch

I thought all children were vaccinated against small-pox until it was eradicated? I certainly was. I can remember having to travel with a little yellow vaccination book which held a record of everything you had ever been vaccinated against.

N J
N J
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Jenkins

Mandatory vaccines are here – in California, if you want your child to be able to attend public or private school, they must be fully vaccinated according to the current government schedule. SB276 & SB277. Other states are trying to pass similar legislation every year.

Andy Brown
Andy Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  S B

Truly hope it is that simple, and I agree with you

Peta Seel
Peta Seel
3 years ago

“We mustn’t give any credibility to conspiracy theories.”
I disagree. At the start of the C-19 pandemic there were those, including me, who suspected that the virus was an escapee from the Wuhan lab and were dismissed as conspiracy theorists. It is now widely accepted that that was exactly what happened. Where one doesn’t know for sure, the law of probabilities apples and too many “coincidences” should always raise suspicions and be subject to further investigation.

On the subject of vaccines, as a child in the 50’s I was vaccinated against all the usual – small-pox, diptheria, polio etc. and it was considered normal. Maybe there were children adversely affected but I don’t remember knowing any. Yet in my early 20’s by law I had to be innoculated against cholera to go on holiday to Malawi. It made me very ill indeed for a few days and for a fortnight I was unable to use the arm that had been injected. I was one of six in the party and the others had no ill-effects. Even so, that would represent a “serious” side effect in 18% of recipients albeit a very small sample. I have been wary of vaccines ever since.

I am not an anti-vaxxer and appreciate how many millions of lives have been saved and the near eradication of small-pox for example. However, I am seriously concerned about how rapidly this vaccine for C-19 is being developed and have little faith that long term side-effects will be identified simply because there won’t be a “long term” in which to identify them. I think I can easily be forgiven for not trusting “modelling”, especially if that brief is given to people like Neil Ferguson.

My own feeling is that while attempts to find a vaccine should continue, more emphasis should be placed on finding effective treatment for the very tiny percentage of people who suffer from the worst effects of C-19.

Alison Dobson
Alison Dobson
3 years ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

Perhaps read the article in last Saturday’s telegraph “the woman with the whole world in her hands” i.e Professor Sarah Gilbert. It may or may not help you I found it both informative and inspiring.