I live in a seaside town with a surf culture, attracting many seeking an alternative lifestyle, with probably an unusually high percentage of Covid-19 unvaccinated – at least amongst my friends. We have lived free of Covid until recently, until New Year’s Eve. It was four days after that that I first heard about it spreading amongst my friends and acquittances here in Noosa.
For the last decade I have spent most New Year’s Eves at the local surf club. This year I choose to stay home – and play scrabble with my husband and mother. I have been waiting for Covid to arrive, and I have feared it.
I got vaccinated against Covid-19 because I understood that it would reduce my chance of falling ill – of being hospitalized – that was after I was told that it was not clear whether being vaccinated would stop me getting it. I have come to understand that being vaccinated against Covid-19 is more like being vaccinated against the flu, than say smallpox. With a smallpox vaccination you are protected for life, but with a Covid vaccine, well some of my friends are asking why they bothered. Because it doesn’t seem to have made any difference.
Amongst my friends here, and in Cairns where it is also spreading, the vaccinated and unvaccinated seem to be ill for a day or two and then better within three or four. Some of the unvaccinated are taking the alternative medicine Ivermectin with zinc, but not all of them.
This is not how it was meant to be: vaxed as sick as un-vaxed!
I understand that I am not meant to be writing this. That if I was patriotic, I would be lamenting Covid. I know I am meant to still fear it. We see pictures on the news at night, increasingly of children in hospital dying from Covid-19.
I emailed a couple of professionals yesterday, including a relative with a master’s degree in public health, asking about the extent of the testing of the vaccines efficacy, and also its safety. I’m concerned about its safety because the vaccination of children in the 5 to 12 age bracket is about to begin in earnest here in Australia, and with the Pfizer mRNA technology. I can’t find which studies were used by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) to determine the vaccine to be safe for this age group? I am interested. I am always interest in data. I am a scientist and I have an inherent distrust of government and bureaucracies.
There is an open letter from the Queensland Health Practitioners Alliance, and others, explaining:
It is widely recognised and not contested that children are at low risk of serious illness from Covid-19. Children are vulnerable to myocarditis from mRNA vaccines. In addition, now that we have new information on novel gene-based vaccine adverse events, this provides significant warnings and safety signals.
The risk/benefit ratio in children, which was not in favour of Covid-19 vaccination originally, is now very likely to be very negative by any reasonable assessment. A Physicians and Medical Scientists Declaration lists 38 scientific papers as supporting evidence for this view (Attachment 4).
For small subgroups of children who might be at higher risk of serious illness from Covid-19 due to comorbid conditions, the need for vaccination is present but the risk/benefit ratio is likely to be more favourable with Covid-19 protein-based and attenuated virus-based vaccines. These vaccines are based on decades of known technology, and the Australian Government has purchased a supply of protein-based vaccines.
Anyway, the reply to me from the health professional is perhaps typical of those who want to preserve the status-quo and our respective for medical science, no matter the evidence and no matter the risk to our children. She wrote:
I am not interested in debating the science related to vaccination. I know many of vaccine experts personally and would put my trust in their expertise and my life or the life of a loved one over some random click bait internet propelled and generated merchant of doubt*.
We are in the middle of a deadly pandemic, vaccinating the globe is part of our way out of it. This is merchant of doubt territory and it’s dangerous. It will only prolong the misery which will be disproportionately experienced by the poor, vulnerable and immune compromised.
We all benefit from getting people vaccinated. We can trust our health system including its experts. No matter how much I read about it they would know more – and so I put my trust in them.
Really? Trust the experts. Unconditionally.
Just yesterday I read that Professor Mark Smyth is a fellow of the Australia Academy of Science, which describes him on its website as “the most highly cited immunologist in Australia.”
According to an article published yesterday by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (their ABC) this professor has been found to have fabricated scientific data used in support of grant funding applications and human trials. Specifically, and I will quote from the article:
An independent panel, led by retired Queensland Court of Appeal judge Robert Gotterson and which included three eminent scientists, found Professor Smyth had seriously breached codes relating to the responsible conduct of research and the use of animals in research.
“The institute referred the findings to Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission, in line with its legislative obligations,” QIMR Berghofer said in a statement released on Tuesday.
“The findings against Mark Smyth included fabrication of research data, which was used to support grant funding applications and clinical trials.”
The institute said while there was no indication that participant safety had been compromised in any human trials using Professor Smyth’s research data, it had taken “decisive action” to notify the clinical studies involved.
Statistician John P.A. Ioannidis published a review of medical research back in 2005 entitled ‘Why most published research findings are false’ (Plos Medicine, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124 ). It included comment that:
The majority of modern biomedical research is operating in areas with very low pre- and post-study probability for true findings.
The review by Professor Ioannidis is a devastating critic of the sad state of biomedical research; and it this same profession, biomedical research, that developed the new Covid-19 vaccines that do not seem to be working – at least not amongst my friends and acquittances either in Cairns, or here in Noosa.
The feature image is of Professor Mark Smyth who headed the team at QMIR Berghofer studying immunology. His work was featured in the Brisbane Times a few years ago: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/promising-new-treatment-could-target-a-range-of-cancers-20191107-p538i2.html
*This was specifically in response to an article I sent her quoting Dr Robert W. Malone, an American virologist and immunologist who’s work has focused on mRNA technology, pharmaceuticals, and drug repurposing research.