John Locke. ‘A letter concerning Toleration’
Here, I am going have another look at vaccination, before scurrying away from the subject for a bit, and getting back to the safe ground of cardiovascular disease. Much to the relief of some of the regular readers of this blog, no doubt.
I have to say that I thought long and hard about blogging on vaccination. It is most brutal area for discussion that I have ever seen, and a reputation shredder. If you even dare to hint that there may just be the slightest issue with any vaccine, people come down upon you like a ton of bricks.
I also know that by daring to write on this subject, there will inevitably be people moving behind the scenes to have my blog taken down. I cannot imagine WordPress management going to the wire to protect my right to free speech. A little flick of a switch, and I will be gone from the airwaves.
However, as we move towards a world where it seems that all Governments around the world are going to pass laws mandating vaccination for everyone, and people are fined, or lose their jobs, for speaking out, or refusing to be vaccinated, then I feel that some attempt to discuss the area is essential.
Because, once something becomes mandatory, and any research into possible harms moves strictly off limits, we really need to be absolutely one hundred per-cent certain that there is no possibility that we may be doing harm. Or, that we are reducing any potential harm to the lowest level possible.
A tragedy for a brilliant medical researcher and his family. It was brought to my attention by my wife, who knew him quite well.
However, even here, we can see any criticism of vaccines being toned down and deflected. The words ‘’ were carefully avoided. It was reported that he died a yellow fever vaccination – which could mean he was vaccinated, then got hit by a bus. In fact, if you read a little more deeply, it becomes inarguable that the yellow fever vaccine was the direct cause of his death.
Yes, such an event is rare, but such events do occur. People can die following vaccinations, as a direct cause of that vaccination, although the information can be very difficult to find. In Germany, the Paul-Erlich Institute [PEI] is the organisation responsible for the reporting of vaccine security/safety.
Yes, the numbers are relatively small – although by no means vanishingly small. In a fifteen-year period that is 1,350 deaths. If the Germans are preventing tens of thousands of deaths a year through vaccination, then a thousand severe complications and a hundred deaths or so, per year, may be a price worth paying? Discuss.
My own view is that you should never compel people to undergo a medical procedure that could result in severe damage – or death. But my philosophy is very much on the radical libertarian end of the spectrum. Others feel that personal liberties should be restricted for the overall good of society. A central philosophical divide, I suppose.
One of the other interesting facts from the Paul-Erlich Institute is that ‘severe cases’ of vaccine damage, that occur, that must be reported, include:
These are not my words; these are the words of the PEI.
This list obviously raises the issue of potential brain damage following vaccination. Something that was seen with Pandemrix, used to protect against Swine Flu (HIN1).
[A finding not seen in any safety testing carried out prior to the launch of Pandemrix]
Thus, not only can vaccines cause severe reactions up to, and including, death. They can also lead to neurological damage such as narcolepsy. Is this all specifically to do with the vaccine itself, or the preservative it is carried in, or something else? Who knows?
Yet, and yet, despite the apparently indisputable evidence that vaccines can, and do, cause neurological damage we can find articles such as this below. Chosen pretty much at random, but it sums up the current mainstream thinking.
What is being stated here, very forcefully indeed, is that there is no causal relationship between vaccination and neurological damage. It is simply a myth. I find the two bodies of evidence here impossible to reconcile.
Just to give two examples, the Paul Erlich Institute records encephalopathia, seizures, epilepsy, deaths and suchlike, following vaccination. The Pandemrix vaccine, in turn, has been proven to cause narcolepsy. Even the manufacturers, GSK, admitted that it did.
This is… I am not sure what it is. The evidence clearly says one thing, yet we are told we must believe that this evidence is simply an ‘.’ I feel as though I have been transported to Wonderland, or some scary totalitarian state, where the truth cannot be spoken.
Even when it comes to the most contentious area of all, vaccines and autism, it appears to have been accepted – at least in one case in the US – that vaccination lead to autism, with a girl called Hannah Polling.
The final part of the statement was very difficult to understand. ‘’ The vaccine resulted in her autism. Or, her autism resulted in her vaccination?
I have tried that statement a few different ways around, and I have no idea what that means. A lead to B, but A did not cause B. Because B resulted in A…
the March Hare went on.
“ Alice hastily replied;
said the Hatter. “ Alice in Wonderland.
However, the Polling case does raise a further potentially important issue. Namely, that it seems possible that some people have underlying ‘,’ and that vaccination may aggravate this problem, with potentially serious consequences.
Narcolepsy, for example, is believed by some researchers to be a problem with energy production in the mitochondria. Others feel that ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome) could be the result of a mitochondrial dysfunction triggered by various viral infections and, therefore, possibly vaccination?
All of which means that the possibility exists that vaccination could trigger, or exacerbate, significant mitochondrial dysfunction in susceptible individuals. This may or may not be true, but it must surely be an area for research?
To my mind it would be extremely important to establish if mitochondrial dysfunction represents a ‘risk’ for vaccination. We could then identify, using some genetic/epigenetic test, those individuals who are more likely to be damaged by vaccination. At which point we could look at ways to prevent the risk of damage – however small that risk may – be in a susceptible population.
For example, it could be possible to space out the vaccines, or only give separate vaccinations to these individuals. Maybe we could avoid vaccinating against relatively mild conditions e.g. chicken pox, or rubella (in boys) in these individuals. To me, these things seem eminently sensible areas for study.
However, it seems that we are trapped within a paradigm where it is impossible to suggest that any vaccine, for any disease, may be associated with/cause any degree of harm. In such an environment, objective scientific research becomes impossible.
As you can probably tell, I find this all very worrying and deeply, deeply, disturbing. If science has any purpose it is to seek the truth – however much that upsets the current status quo. When I see, what I believe to be important and valid questioning being crushed, I find it almost physically painful.
If that questioning results in the finding that vaccines truly do not cause any adverse effects, then that is fine. I would be more than happy with that outcome, although it currently seems inarguable that vaccines do cause adverse effects. However, as I see it, we currently have a situation whereby:
- Pharmaceutical companies do their own safety testing on vaccines (somewhat like Boeing did on the 737 Max 8). The regulatory authorities have been, effectively, side-lined.
- Many safety studies have only lasted days, with little or no research on any long-term effects. In fact, as far as I can establish, there has been no long-term safety research [see under Pandemrix]
- Some vaccines have been proven to cause neurological damage
- The preservatives and adjuvants in vaccines have not been studied for safety
- There has never been a randomised controlled clinical study on the efficacy of any vaccine – beyond looking for a raised level of antibodies
- Some/many people can suffer from the diseases they have been vaccinated against – and this is not monitored in any way.
Any of these things should be a very large red flag.
Looking specifically at efficacy, on that list, it is usually stated that vaccines are rigorously tested for efficacy. Here is what the University of Oxford has to say in its site ‘Vaccine Knowledge Project.’
However, this does not actually test whether a vaccine really does reduce the number of cases of a disease. As I wrote in the previous blog, even in population with a 98% vaccination rate against measles, a school population still suffered a measles outbreak, and many of those previously vaccinated suffered from measles.
Which means that the statement from the Vaccine Knowledge Project…. needs to be read very carefully. It could be taken to mean ‘ .’ Which is what it has been crafted to imply. However, it actually means ‘ ’
If you want to know if a vaccine really works, vaccinate a hundred thousand people against a disease. Do not vaccinate another hundred thousand people (matched and randomised) – and then see what happens. Then you will know how well your vaccine works.
This is a requirement of all other forms of medical intervention (with provisos), but it is not a requirement for vaccines. A true efficacy study does not simply look at a ‘surrogate’ marker. It needs to study hard endpoints e.g. how many people are truly protected against the disease. Also, what the rate of adverse events may be.
Of course, there are those who think that such a trial would be ridiculous and unethical. Here, I quote from a website KevinMD:
What is being said here is that there is no uncertainty that vaccines work, so there is no need for a randomised controlled trial. The counter argument to this is simply to turn the argument inside out. Without an RCT, how do you know that vaccines work? Where is your evidence? Or does ‘, count?
Medicine is littered with examples of interventions that were considered so inarguably beneficial that no trials were ever done. Strict bed rest following an MI, the radical mastectomy, x-ray screening for lung cancer, PCI in the non-acute setting.
Bernard Lown was a man who dared challenge the ‘unquestionable’ benefits of coronary artery bypass surgery. He had a long and arduous battle to publish his evidence that CABG may cause more harm than benefit. His blog on this, ‘A Maverick’s Lonely Path in Cardiology (Essay 28)’, is well worth a read. As he concludes:
Bernard Lown is one hundred per cent correct, and I find it difficult to conceive that anyone who has the slightest understanding of science could write the words ‘[an RCT]
Disingenuous… Personally, I demand proof like this for all medical interventions, wherever possible, and so should everyone else. The reason why, is because evidence from controlled clinical trials (with all their inherent flaws) is the only tool that we possess to properly assess benefit vs. harm. Without such evidence we are simply hoping and praying that benefits truly outweigh any downsides.
For example, with the Pandemrix vaccine. Had an RCT been done, it is possible, even probable, that the adverse impact on Narcolepsy would have been picked up. Therefore, it would not have been used, therefore many thousands of people would not have been harmed – above and beyond narcolepsy. Some of the key issues around Pandemrix were discussed in the BMJ article
As the article goes on to say:
All good questions.
Had Pandemrix not caused narcolepsy in large numbers, litigation against GSK would not have taken place – in Ireland. Had this not happened, data about the high rate of other adverse effect would never have seen the light of day. It seems that the European Medicines Agency had little interest in the matter.
So, if monitoring product safety is not of interest to them, what exactly do the EMA do? Central here, however, is the fact that we had a vaccine causing a high number of serious adverse events and no-one did, or said, anything. Had there not been a lawsuit, we would still have been unaware of any problems. At least that is my understanding of what happened here.
Does anyone care? Well, in many countries you cannot even sue the manufacturer if a vaccine damages you – as also mentioned in the BMJ article.
’ Quite extraordinary. In my view, beyond extraordinary.
A manufacturer makes a product that you believe may have damaged or killed a loved one, and you cannot do anything about it. Or, those who made the product cannot be sued. In banking they have a phrase for this. They call it moral hazard.
.’ In this case no insurance is required. Governments have given pharmaceutical companies a free pass. Depending on your belief in the inherent ethical standards of pharmaceutical companies you may – or may not – find this reassuring.
Personally, I find it extremely worrying that people, and the entire medical profession, appear willing to accept that all vaccines, for all conditions, are entirely effective and have no adverse effects…. Even when it has been demonstrated, beyond doubt, that they do.
Anyway, I feel I should probably stop here. Others have gone much further than me, others have been braver. But there should be nothing ‘brave’ about asking legitimate scientific questions. As Richard Feynman said.
2: Doctoring Data pp 228 – 9 ISBN 978-1-907797-46-0
Copyright © 2019 Dr. Malcolm Kendrick