The case for vaccine hesitancy — backed by science

Aug 1, 2021 | 3 comments

By Jeremy Parfitt

I wrote this at the request of a friend who is receiving enormous pressure to take the jab. She asked me to write something to help her explain why she won’t take it.

An enormous amount of pressure is being placed on people, from politicians, public health officials, the media, celebrities and friends, to get vaccinated. Many go so far as to claim that researching the issue for oneself and doing a careful cost/benefit analysis is selfish. As with all things Covid, this obsessive push is unprecedented, and is not remotely supported by evidence. It is understandable why people are afraid, and mostly misinformed, about Covid in general, and these vaccines in particular. For 18 months we have been subjected to a non-stop, entirely one-sided, campaign of fear, censorship and misinformation. Factual information from the most credible experts in the world has been labelled “fake” and suppressed. Meanwhile misleading, and often false, information is simply asserted as fact, and those who challenge the narrative are criticized and suppressed. Something very strange is going on here.

Until recently, suggesting that making decisions about one’s own body is selfish, would be mostly unthinkable. Now it is commonplace. Determining what one puts in his body is a basic human right, it is important that we do not sacrifice it. Everyone has a right to assess their own risk and decide for themselves.

Around the world hundreds of millions have lined up for Covid vaccines.

Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to take these vaccines.

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– How dangerous is Covid for you should you become sick?

It is well known that the risk of Covid varies widely due to age and health. If you are old and sick, it might make sense to take the vaccines, if you are not, it is reasonable to decide not to. Here is the IFR (infection fatality rate) breakdown by age.

Note that for those under 55, the IFR is similar to the seasonal flu. But, and this is very important, these broad demographic categories include large numbers of very unhealthy people. Within each demographic, the IFR is an average of people at higher and lower risk. According to the CDC, 94% of those reported to have died from Covid had severe comorbidities (average of 2.6). This suggests that your health is the most important factor to consider when assessing risk. If you are healthy, not obese, don’t have diabetes or a heart condition, your actual risk will be significantly lower than the average IFR in your group. Under age 65, the risk to you, if you are healthy, is likely to be similar to, or less than, the risk posed by the seasonal flu. In younger groups, if one is healthy, the risk is negligible. The bottom line is that, if you are healthy, Covid is not very dangerous.

– What are the benefits of the vaccines?

According to the drug manufacturers and the CDC, the vaccines do not necessarily provide immunity, nor prevent infection or transmission. They were tested for efficacy and safety in reducing the likelihood of infection and the severity of the symptoms if infected. Also, while they may reduce transmission and infection, which could accelerate herd immunity, significant numbers of fully vaccinated people have become infected after both doses. This does not mean that you shouldn’t take the vaccine, it just should be considered when assessing risk.

– What are the short-term risks of the vaccines?

These risks range from mild to fatal and include: migraines, muscle soreness, anaphylaxis, uncontrollable spasms, seizures, brain fog, myocarditis, pericarditis and death. How dangerous are these risks? It’s hard to know. Adverse events may (not must) be reported to VAERS (vaccine adverse event reporting system), we can use this information to assess the relative risk of these vaccines to past vaccines. But, it is important to note that a study by Harvard, commissioned by the US government concluded that VAERS vastly under-reports adverse effects. Here is the latest data.

To understand what this means, consider that in 2019 a total of 605 deaths linked to ALL vaccines were reported to VAERS. So far, 11,405 have been reported linked to the Covid vaccines alone. Here is a chart showing reported deaths from 1990 (when it began) and now.

This seems alarming to me. Consider, it is widely accepted that VAERS significantly under-reports the actual adverse events (Harvard studied this, at the request of the CDC, and recommended ways to improve VAERS, the CDC ignored the study), so it is likely that the actual adverse events are higher. There are numerous articles in the corporate press that purport to debunk this information. However, they don’t challenge the numbers, they stress the overall low risk associated with them and suggest, without evidence, that people are gaming the system which has caused over-reporting of adverse events. There are two problems with this unfounded allegation. First, most people have never heard of VAERS, including many doctors. Second, reporting a false event is a crime, punishable by fines and up to 5 years in prison. The striking difference in reported adverse events between these Covid vaccines and past vaccines is troubling (to me at least) and the attempts to explain it away seem desperate and dishonest. Consider these three possibilities:

– for the first time ever, VAERS captures all, or most, of the actual adverse events.
– large numbers of people are risking criminal penalties, including prison time, gaming the system.
– VAERS is functioning roughly as it always has and the dramatic increase in reported events indicates that these vaccines are significantly more dangerous than previous vaccines.
– The first is preposterous, the second is an evidence free allegation, the third is likely.
– What are the long-term risks of these vaccines?

Nobody knows, anyone who says otherwise is deluded or dishonest. These new mRNA vaccines were rushed to market and, for obvious reasons, have not undergone long term testing. These vaccines have not been approved by the FDA, but have received an EUA (emergency use authorization). They have not been tested in the manner required for FDA approval.

So, do we have reasons to be concerned about the long term risks of these vaccines? Yes we do. The previous attempts to develop mRNA vaccines have not fared well.

– In 2004 attempted vaccine produced hepatitis in ferrets
– In 2005 mice and civets became sick and more susceptible to coronaviruses after vaccination.
– In 2012 ferrets became sick and died. And, in this study  mice and ferrets developed lung disease.
– In 2016 this study also produced lung disease in mice.

These previous attempts at mRNA vaccines initially produced good results. But, when exposed to the wild version of the virus, many of the subjects became ill and died. The speculation was that these vaccines produced Antibody Dependent Enhancement. In short, these vaccines seemed to cause the immune system to wildly over-react, often resulting in death. Will these vaccines do the same? Nobody knows.

Add to this the fact that Anthony Fauci, and others pushing the jab, own patents in parts of these vaccines, and it is legitimate to be concerned about conflicts of interest.

– Are there alternatives to these vaccines?

Yes, there are numerous treatments that can be used prophylactically (before sickness) and in the early stages of sickness. These include: hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, zinc, Ivermectin, fluvoxamine, vitamin D, and more, that indicate promising efficacy. Many doctors around the world have achieved great success using these medications, usually in some combination, but information on this has been censored and suppressed. The Lancet published a fraudulent paper claiming that hydroxychloroquine is dangerous and ineffective. They retracted the paper 2 weeks later.

Not only was information suppressed about these alternatives, official treatment guidelines in many parts of the world recommended they not be used. Instead many doctors were instructed to tell their sick patients to stay at home until they were so sick that they had trouble breathing. This insane policy likely caused hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths around the world, and likely contributed to the few places where hospital overcrowding was a real issue. To make it worse, doctors using these alternatives all said that they are effective in the early stages of the disease, but not in the late stages.

The campaign against these treatments was, and still is, medically unjustifiable. It is true that there were no RCTs confirming their efficacy, but their comparative safety has been well established for years. To argue that these treatments should not be used (some doctors have lost their medical licenses for doing so) over phantom concerns about safety, is unconscionable. If a treatment poses no significant risk, but might be beneficial, it is unethical to insist that they not be used until an RCT proves their efficacy. It is interesting to note that no RCTs on the lockdown policies, known to cause extreme harm, were conducted before being forced upon us.

Here’s a peer-reviewed study on Ivermectin.

Here’s another one.

Opposition to these therapies makes no sense medically or scientifically. Unfortunately it does make sense financially. First they are all inexpensive and easily available, which threatens the staggering profits being made by the vaccine producers. Second, and this is quite astonishing, it is illegal to grant emergency use authorization to a drug if there are other safe and effective treatments available. Draw your own conclusions from this.

– Has a one sided campaign of censorship, character assassination, suppression of legitimate information and open discussion, and dissemination of false and misleading information been used to create an environment of fear?

Yes, undeniably. See this.

Dr. Tedros of the WHO intentionally conflated the initial crude case fatality rate (CFR) of Covid with the established infection fatality rate (IFR) of the seasonal flu. It is well known in the scientific community that the CFR is 10 to 100 times greater than the IFR. Dr. Tedros, of the WHO, said “Globally, about 3.4 percent of reported Covid-19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1 percent of those infected.” (generally accepted as 0.1%). He directly compared the two and did not explain that he was comparing two completely different things. I can think of no innocent explanation for this. The impression given was that Covid is 34 times deadlier than the seasonal flu. But, a CFR of 3.4% indicates a likely IFR of 0.034% – 0.34%. What should have been understood as good news, if reported properly, was presented as cause for extreme alarm, “justifying” the unprecedented lockdown policies forced upon us. Interestingly, the CDC now estimates the total IFR (including all demographic categories) at 0.23%,  in line with what we should have expected from the initial CFR of 3.4%.

On March 11, Anthony Fauci lied to the Senate and the American people when he claimed that Covid has a fatality rate of 1%, ten times higher than the seasonal flu. This is quite a charge, so how do I know that he lied? On February 28, a paper he co-authored was published in the NEJM. Here’s the money quote:

“…the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.

Here’s a link to the paper.

To my knowledge, he has never been asked to explain this contradiction by anyone in politics or the media.

Since the beginning of this, the most qualified and credible experts in the world, far more so than Deborah Birx, Anthony Fauci or Neal Ferguson, have been presenting a consistent, non-hysterical narrative, based on data, genuine research and facts. The following are just a handful of the good scientists that the world chose to ignore or vilify. Michael  Levitt (winner of the Nobel prize in chemistry for his work on complex models, John Ioannidis (multiple PhD holder and professor at Stanford), Dr. Jay Bhattacharia (also of Stanford), Dr. Sunetra Gupta (professor at Oxford and considered the premier epidemiologist in the world), Dr. Martin Kulldorff (professor at Harvard, bioststistician and epidemiologist), along with many more. All of these people have been effectively banned from corporate media, have been personally vilified, called deniers, and had their content, videos, etc… censored or banned. It is reasonable to find these people more credible than proven liars and serial hysterics, some of whom have a financial interest in sowing fear.

– Why is so much pressure being employed to get everyone vaccinated?

Honestly, I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense scientifically, ethically or medically. I do know that sowing fear and mistrust, labeling anyone with concerns about these vaccines a “denier”, “anti-vax” or a selfish person who doesn’t care about others, is deplorable.

– Is it true that deciding not to get vaccinated harms others?

No! This is a tool, intended to shame people, founded on a series of claims, always asserted as facts that are not supported by credible evidence.

Asymptomatic spread is the mother of all shame tools, but it is not a significant driver of the virus. This fact was, until recently, acknowledged the CDC, the WHO, even Dr. Fauci himself. There is no new, credible science that justifies this sudden reversal. The claim that asymptomatic spread is a significant driver of the virus is not based on identifying infected, but asymptomatic, individuals, tracking their contacts, and testing whether they infected anyone; they are based on anecdotal claims and mathematical models. Such “evidence” cannot establish causation. Yet this scare tactic, originally used to justify draconian and harmful lockdown policies, is now being used to shame people into taking the vaccine. It is perfectly reasonable to say “because I am not sick, I cannot infect others; if I do get sick, I will quarantine myself until I’m fully recovered”. “Oh, but you might be sick and not know it”, say the people who’ve been conditioned into fear. The asymptomatic spread narrative serves two purposes, sowing fear and shaming those who’ve researched the issue and concluded otherwise. Here is a study on this that does identify, track and test; it found no examples of asymptomatic spread. See this.

— Should children and young adults be vaccinated?

No! Children are not drivers of the virus, pose little threat of infecting others, and are at near zero risk of dying from Covid.

Yet parents are being encouraged to vaccinate their children due to these imaginary risks. This is particularly repellent because, while the risk of the vaccines appears to be low (long-term risks are unknown), they are real and can be debilitating or fatal. Post vaccination myocarditis and pericarditis are more prevalent in children and young adults than in older demographics, and these conditions can cause permanent heart damage. Also, many perfectly healthy children and adults have died shortly after taking the vaccines. It should be obvious that, in the face of statistically zero risk, exposing children to any risk of debilitating injury or death, is unethical.

According to the CDC, the IFR for people aged 0-24 ranges from 0.001 (100 times less than the average IFR of the seasonal flu) to 0.008 (12 times less than the average IFR for the seasonal flu). There’s something else to consider, we know that general health is a major risk factor (perhaps the most significant). According to the CDC, 75% of those 24 and under had underlying health conditions.

This means that the actual risk to healthy children and young adults is lower than the average IFR for those groups (essentially zero). I can’t say this powerfully enough, scaring and pressuring children, young adults and their parents into vaccinating this group is anti-scientific and morally repellent.

– Is vaccine acquired immunity superior to naturally acquired immunity?

It is unlikely that vaccine acquired immunity is superior to naturally acquired immunity. There has not been enough time to properly assess either the long-term immunity, or the effectiveness of immunity for mutations, of these vaccines (though that has not prevented the publication of a slew of papers claiming otherwise). Natural immunity often provides long term protection against the original virus, and cross immunity to variants, which are always very close to the original. The immune system can “remember” portions of the original virus, still intact in the variants, and protect against them. It is unclear whether the mRNA vaccines will do the same. It is interesting to note that Pfizer and Moderna are developing booster shots, as well as vaccines targeted to the variants. This suggests, to me at least, that they’re not quite so sure of the long-term, and cross, immunity provided by their products. Given this, why are people who have recovered from Covid being pressured to take the jab?

Deciding what to put in our bodies is a basic human right. Unfortunately, a one-sided campaign of fear, misinformation, and suppression of alternate views has been waged upon us, making it very difficult to make a rational decision for ourselves.
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Credit: Lew Rockwell

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