Why mishandling the Covid Vaccine could have dire consequences.
In March of 2020 a slew of new governmental regulations were issued in the UK and USA, and indeed in most countries around the world.
Regulations extended from limiting the size of crowds, widening police and immigration officer powers of detention and restraint, giving doctors the power to sign death certificates without seeing the deceased person’s body, and stripping back services in care homes.
People who refused to self-isolate could be made to do so using the always contested “reasonable force”.
It was an unpresented move, yet deemed acceptable for these unprecedented times.
In March and April there was a small, but vocal minority of people who sounded the alarm for potential human rights violations. As political scientists and historians have documented, times of crisis are also times ripe for political overreach, corruption, and shock-and-awe tactics.
Since then, that minority of people has been increasingly silenced by a media who seems to think that adults are incapable of holding more than one idea at a time.
Covid-19 can be a serious health crisis which warrants unusual social and political measures and also, we should be suspicious of those who stand to benefit from this moment of aberrant crisis.
Perhaps the most clear instance where we ought to look for clear and transparent information is in the issue of vaccine development and production.
If we want to prevent the spread of conspiracy theories or online hoaxes related to the development and efficacy of the new vaccine, than governments should be as clear as possible about the ways the plan to develop and pay for this developing vaccine.
Unfortunately, there have been signs in the EU and the UK that it will be up to watchdogs and whistle blowers to keep people informed about the developing scandal.
The arrest of German doctor Heiko Schöning by the London Met Police in Hyde Park’s Speakers’ Corner on 27 Sept 2020, was just one of a number of cases where criticism of the government or questioning of public policy has been curtailed or punished in the name of public safety.
In a June 26 press release by the Belgian watchdog group Initiative Citoyenne (“Citizens’ Initiative”) announced that the European Commission — the EU’s Brussels-headquartered executive branch — “has taken it upon itself to place an urgent order for coronavirus vaccines, without a glimmer of transparency.”
According to a report in L’Echo magazine on June 11, the EU Commission is wrapping up advance purchase contracts with several pharmaceutical companies for Covid-19 vaccines with the aim of “vaccinating the entire European population as rapidly as possible.” The Commission has stated that it plans to obtain 300–600 million doses, “depending on whether one or two doses [of vaccine] per person are needed.”
Concurrent press reports refer to the possibility of an EU-wide coronavirus vaccine mandate, quoting Belgium’s Minister of Justice as saying, “If they refuse, we’ll force them.”
There has been little to no media curiosity about the financial implications of such a move, both in the cost to individual countries, but also for the many corporations who will benefit from this contract.
Mandatory vaccines are of course a vexed topic. Yet, making them mandatory has been shown to have little effect on the success of their uptake in the population. A 2010 study of 27 EU countries (plus Iceland and Norway) found that 15 had no mandatory vaccines, yet levels of vaccination were roughly the same between mandatory and non-mandatory countries.
The key point being that education, discussion, and rigorous testing are key to whether people trust in vaccines or not. Many skeptics have, for example, demanded that vaccine be subject to double-bling placebo testing, as well as more rigorous longitudinal studies.
Trust in the medical field and trust in the state are two key factors in the uptake of vaccines. With the current state of affairs, both institutions are facing a massive crisis of public approval and trust.
I am not here to argue for or against the new Covid vaccine. It seems clear that Pfizer has had a massive success and we should celebrate the breakthrough. They claimed that their vaccine stops more than 90% of people developing Covid symptoms stops more than 90% of people developing Covid symptoms and about about 43,000 people have had the vaccine, with no safety concerns.
We do not know if the vaccine stops you spreading the virus or just from developing symptoms. Or if it works equally well in high-risk elderly people.
It uses a completely experimental approach — that involves injecting part of the virus’s genetic code . This should be cause for concern, as it is not simply a new vaccine formula but an entirely new kind of DNA sequenced injection, the long-term implications of which are impossible to know.
If governments want to see their citizens willing to consider a vaccine, then it would surely be in their interest to ensure that the entire process is transparent and neutrally tested.
The Initiative Citoyenne press release stated that the EU seems ready to give vaccine manufacturers a free regulatory pass by waiving “certain environmental protection laws such as the use of GMOs.”
In 2001, the EU placed a de facto moratorium on further approvals of GMO crops, but this has long rankled GMO proponents. Europeans who value the precautionary principle and their region’s restrictions on GMOs in foodstuffs and animal feed need to understand that the genetically engineered, nanoparticle-laden coronavirus vaccine concoctions headed their way are likely to make the GMOs in food seem quaint by comparison.
To restore faith in these institutions we must demand that they tell us the entire chain of development, the individuals who run these corporations, and the financial impact. If we want to prevent corruption and the domination of global corporations, than we need to be proactive in demanding a fair and honest process.
Any indication of covert tactics, backroom politics, or bureaucratic dictums will simply reinforce the idea that corruption runs rife in the medical field and state. It should be the role of media to investigate these matters in an un-biased fashion and hold pharmaceutical companies to account if needed. At the moment the politicization of the vaccine by the Democratic party (Cuomo and Biden have both said they won’t take a ‘Trump’ Vaccine) sets a dangerous precedent, the confluence of politics and medical science, always a dangerous cocktail.