As you have been unavailable for a face-to-face this past year, I’ve decided to write instead.
I would like to know why, as the rest of us were being coerced into receiving our mandatory-in-all-but-name vaccinations, you chose to stay silent, only to suddenly find your voice when you yourselves were being forced into taking the vaccine?
While your protest against personal mandatory vaccination is welcome, I wonder why, as a GP able to weigh up the pros and cons of vaccines in a more informed way than most other people, you still went ahead with the vaccination program, knowing your doubts about the safety of the vaccine were significant enough for you to refuse taking the vaccine yourself. Maybe you felt unable to look your patients in the eye and tell them the vaccines are safe. Because no practitioner, virologist, epidemiologist or immunologist – anywhere in the world – is in a position to categorically state that any single one of the hastily developed Covid vaccines is safe. The long-term effects of the vaccines simply cannot be known – because they haven’t been around long enough.
One of the cornerstones of medical ethics is informed consent. How can anyone give informed consent if they are not in possession of the facts, however limited?
Believe it or not I am on your side. I have no idea what it’s like to be a GP and I fully appreciate the vaccination itself has proved a comfort to many elderly people whose COVID-19 related anxieties would only have been compounded had they felt the vaccine was unsafe or that their Government wasn’t working with their best interests at heart. But I truly hope that now the vaccine rollout is extending to the healthy under 65’s and beyond (according to ONS spreadsheets, 2020 deaths in England and Wales ‘due’ to COVID-19 for under 70s with no serious underlying health issues was 621) you will inform your patients fully of other options available to them.
There are many positives. For the not-yet-vaccinated with no serious underlying health issues, survival odds from Covid-19 are within the 99.5-99.99% range. These are good odds. Can any vaccine really improve on those odds? Perhaps your patient may be one of the estimated 30-40% of the population with prior immunity thanks to their T-cell memory, which recalls past encounters with other human coronaviruses. Maybe you could give them a list of places they could get tested to see if they have immunity from Covid-19? Those who’ve already had Covid-19 will have developed immunity. Perhaps you could offer those patients a blood test instead. You could also point them in the direction of many licensed drugs such as Dexamethasone, Tocilizumad, Remdesivir, Thapsigargin and Ivermectin found to be effective in preventing Covid-19 and/or reducing the viral load - drugs already being used by the NHS. Or you could just tell them that the disease itself is receding and not to feel coerced by the mainstream media's campaign of terror.
Patients also need to know the potential dangers associated with taking any one of the vaccines. That for those with prior immunity, added immunization could lead to a hyperinflammatory response, a cytokine storm, and a generally dysregulation of the immune system that allows the virus to cause more damage to their lungs and other organs of their body. Also worth pointing out is that Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the first mRNA vaccines to receive emergency approval for use in humans, that this is not the same as being fully licensed, that these vaccines have not been tested on animals and that no previous research into treating illness or disease with mRNA or RNA vaccines has been successful. In addition, these largely unapproved vaccines only may prevent contracting the virus and that the vaccines’ duration of protection against contracting SARS-Cov-2 or developing COVID-19 is currently unknown.
If you opt to stay silent, it will be in the knowledge that millions of people – some of them your patients - will be jabbed with an unknown substance they most likely don’t need and that could do them harm. If those who don’t need the vaccine don’t take it, there will be far fewer criminal negligence claims later down the line (Big Pharma has a free pass, doctors don’t) and less likelihood of a mandatory vaccine passport.
We need you to fight our corner Doc, just as the FDA’s Dr. Kelsey fought, refusing to authorize Thalidomide for use in the US market because she had concerns about the lack of evidence regarding the drug's safety. She was right.
With zero protection from the Governmental MHRA, GPs and NHS doctors are the only ones standing between the electorate and a needless mass vaccination - one that will lead to mandatory vaccination passports and the creeping erosion of civil liberties. Patients look to you for guidance. So if you have no intention of taking the vaccine yourself, please - at the very least - flag up your concerns to your patients.
We are all under the same Sword of Damocles. We need each other, not least because we all know what happens when good people stay silent.