It is now a fundamental assumption amongst governments and health experts world wide that a new vaccine for COVID-19 is the only solution to the current pandemic crisis. Billions of dollars, backed by tax payers money and through philanthropic donations from organizations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are being channelled to pharmaceutical companies to fast track a new vaccine to the market.
Why is so much money being spent on finding a new vaccine for an epidemic that at this point on April 23rd has killed about 180,000 people, out of a population of over 7 billion. One and half million people die from TB, another communicable disease, each year. Many more die from diabetes, cancer and a multiple of other diseases. However, the current crisis, fuelled by a global media onslaught and the action of many governments has inflammed an existential fear of a pandemic into a stark reality. We have never seen anything like this before in the history of humanity on such a global level. We are collectively terrified, to the point of which around half the countries in the world are in some form of lockdown, no international travel to speak of, paralysed economies, millions thrown out of work and in poorer countries, millions in or on the edge of destitution. It is this fear that is allowing the extraordinary attention and money to be given to the quest for a vaccine and other drug research as the only solution to this crisis. In the USA alone, the new CARES act is going to cost the taxpayer 2 trillion dollars, a lot of this going to drug and vaccine research. This makes the massive bailout of the banks in the last financial crisis of 2008, pale into significance.
In the UK, this crisis hit a new level when the now famous report from Imperial College, London, fronted by Professor Neil Ferguson, projected that 510,000 people would die in the UK if nothing is done and 250,000 would die if only mild mitigation practices were put in place with some form of social isolation and restrictions in place until a vaccine is found. He has since revised this figure to 20,000 just after the lockdown was instituted in the UK. Dr Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in the USA and the government spokesperson made similar projections, influencing the lockdown scenarios being seen. The socio-economic impact of these lockdowns has yet to be seen but based on initial evidence, it is going to be devastating. Until Imperial College’s projection, the UK was roughly following the model of Sweden, with some social isolation of vulnerable people and other moderate and self-regulatory behaviours to minimize infection. The assumption was that some form of herd immunity would also be achieved this way. So far for Sweden, it is working about the same as full lockdown, but with much less economic impact, not to mention the suspension of normal democratic principles. Dr Johan Giesecke, an epidemiologist advising the Swedish government as well as the WHO gave an interview on Lockdown TV in which he said that in the end, he thinks the impact will be much the same, lockdown or no, and that the Imperial College’s projection were too pessimistic, not to mention that they weren’t even peer reviewed. (1)
The fundamental assumption made is that if allowed to infect the majority of the world’s population, many millions would die. So far, that has simply not happened, lockdown or no. The virus has seriously affected mostly the aged and immune compromised, with some exceptions. It is not conforming to the projections of medical experts. Based on that, we should question our current reaction to the crisis, including the obsession with a vaccine being the solution. We should seriously consider whether the many billions of dollars now being committed to vaccine research would be better spent in other ways and also we should consider whether the lockdown is justified or a colossal error.
The numbers still don’t add up
At this current point, it seems that the total numbers of deaths are about the same as the annual flu deaths globally, but as was clarified in an article in Spectator Magazine, on 28th March 2020, by Dr John Lee, How deadly is the coronavirus? It’s still far from clear: There is room for different interpretations of the data: 28 Mar 2020, analysing and measuring the mortality figures for COVID-19 is not easy and easily manipulated. It is simply hard to trust the figures we are being given. Did the person die WITH the virus or FROM the virus. As Dr Lee said, in the end one has to look at the overall mortality rate and intensive care admissions to evaluate the impact and right now that data is not there. However, that has not stopped the imposition of the current global lockdown. This is even more questionable when looking at how the virus impacts the population. By far the vast majority of cases affect the elderly, the immune compromised, diabetics and those on serious medications. For the vast majority of younger people, the risks are minimal, and yet we have chosen to lock the world down.
Even in Africa, where there is little evidence of any significant impact in the numbers of people dying or being admitted to hospital, half the countries have initiated some form of lockdown. Perhaps in some sub-saharan countries, it is early as winter has not hit yet, but so far the numbers are miniscule. If the virus was having an impact, it would seen in the intensive care units in many countries. That hasn’t happened. However, the impact of the lockdown on people’s lives cannot be overstated. Millions of lives and livelihoods are at stake. South Africa has one of the strictest lockdowns in the world. Out of a population of about 55 million, there are, of April 23rd, 3,635 cases and 65 deaths only. The vast majority of these deaths are elderly and immune compromised, who could have died anyway, as Dr John Lee pointed out in his Spectator Article. A growing number of voices are questioning the strategy. An article in the Mail and Guardian in South Africa on April 8th, pointed out that in a predominantly young population the risk of COVID-19 is very small, whereas the health risks due to social and economic hardship are huge. The latter may far surpass the former. (2) On April 20th an open letter by 19 South African doctors in the Daily Maverick appealed to the President to end lockdown now. There is evidence now that the strains of lockdown are taking their toll. How much longer will it go on before more resistance occurs remains to be seen. In Ghana, a new very draconian law has been put in place even though an existing law already exists to deal with emergencies. Similar laws have been passed in other countries, including the UK and USA. The fear now is that this situation can easily be exploited for political purposes and if one follows the rhetoric of some of the experts, the situation cannot be relaxed in any fundamental until a vaccine is available. Some form of lockdown will be in place virtually permanently. Can this really be justified or it is an insidious exploitation of the current crisis for ever increasing control and surveillance of the world’s population. China has set a good example in this regard.
The big problem is that we simply don’t know if the numbers are correct. More importantly, it is hard to know what the projected numbers would be if a less draconian approach is taken. Dr Johan Gisesecke thinks that in the end, the figures will be similar, with or without lockdown. If true, then the political and economic fall-out may be huge. So far in the UK, there is little resistance to the lockdown, but in the USA, Germany and other places there are signs that people have had enough.
Why is a vaccine the solution for so many experts?
If the figures show that the numbers of mortalities are little different than the annual flu, why is there such an obsession and focus on a vaccine as a solution, when it doesn’t even exist yet? Even though Professor Ferguson and Dr Fauci have talked about an 18-month period, historically a new vaccine takes years. However, even more radical now is a statement of Dr Sarah Gilbert of Oxford University that a new vaccine could be ready by September. That is truly extraordinary, given that preliminary human studies have only just begun. Dr Paul Offit, a vaccine expert from the USA has warned that it could take many years, given his experience to create the RSV vaccine. Who can we believe here and how do we know the safety measures are in place if a new vaccine is being rushed through so quickly? Also, how do we really know that a new vaccine will even work? How can medical experts say that a vaccine is the only solution, and that until then, some forms of social isolation and rolling lockdowns will be enforced as we wait? Pinning all our hopes on a vaccine may be our worst and last option.
History of flu vaccines
We are told that vaccines are safe and that they are nearly always effective. However, when it comes to the flu vaccine and also vaccines for corona viruses, that is simply not the case. The most famous complication of a flu vaccine was in 1976 after a swine flu virus erupted at Fort Dix, New Jersey, in the USA. It led to the vaccination of over 45 million Americans. The proven side effects of the vaccine led to curtailment of the vaccine programme and serious questioning of the government policy which promoted the rush for a vaccine without appropriate safety studies. In the end there was no ‘swine flu’ epidemic but statistical studies confirmed a causal relationship between the vaccine and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), an autoimmune nervous-system reaction characterized by unstable gait and loss of sensation and muscle control.3. During that year, the rate of GBS in Ohio was 13.3 per 1,000,000 in vaccine recipients, compared to 2.6 per 1,000,000 in nonrecipients.4 Doctors became reluctant to administer the vaccine, and public trust the in the flu vaccine campaign was diminished. More recently, an increased risk for GBS occurred in patients during the six weeks following the administration of flu vaccine in the 1992–1993 and 1993–1994 flu seasons.
For normal flu seasons the annual flu shot that especially in the USA has been fostered upon the whole population with massive marketing to back it up has often not worked well. In the 2003-04 season the vaccine did not work well because the strain of flu virus differed from the strain from which the vaccine had been prepared. 5,6 Given the unpredictability of matching each year’s flu vaccine to the actual strain of flu virus that later spread among the human population, it is impossible in most years to guarantee its effectiveness. The CDC report on the 1994–1995 flu season stated that 87 percent of influenza A virus samples and 76 percent of influenza B virus samples were not similar to that year’s vaccine. 7 Although researchers today can be more accurate in matching vaccine to virus, it is still essentially a hit-or-miss affair. According to “Recommendations for Influenza Immunization of Children,” an American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement, “Protective efficacy against influenza illness confirmed by positive culture varies between 30 percent and 95 percent.” 8–12
Another type of flu vaccine currently given is called “Flumist”. It is a nasal spray flu vaccine given to non-pregnant people between 2 and 49 years of age. It is designed to protect against four influenza viruses: an influenza (H1N1) virus, a (H3N2) influenza A virus and two influenza B viruses. FluMist contains live (attenuated) influenza viruses that replicate themselves in the recipient’s nasopharynx (nose and throat) whereas the other flu vaccine is not live and given via injection. Researchers have documented the specific risks associated with a live virus, including the possibility of enhanced replication of the attenuated virus in individuals with compromised immune systems, and the possibility of a bacterial superinfection if the replicating live virus disrupts nasal membranes.13,14 It has been shown that vaccinated individuals shed more virus than non-vaccinated individuals and the live virus can be spread from the vaccine recipient to other, non-vaccinated people for up to 21 days. A warning on the FluMist package insert states, “FluMist recipients should avoid close contact with immune-compromised individuals for at least 21 days.” Those living with or coming into contact with people who have compromised immune systems should not take the FluMist vaccine yet it is difficult to see how such contacts could be avoided.
An attempt was made to find a vaccine for the SARS virus, SARS 1, after the epidemic in 2003. However, researchers encountered serious problems in animal studies, where the virus showed “enhanced respiratory disease in vaccinated animals after exposure to the live virus”. The WHO roadmap specifically states that “Evaluating the potential for enhanced disease in humans is critical before [vaccines] can be assessed through larger-scale studies.” 15 A hyper immune reaction also occurred in the RSV vaccine trials in the 1960s. In other words, the vaccinated animals or children in the trials produced a hyper immune reaction when exposed to natural viruses in the atmosphere. It took Dr Paul Offit over 25 years to create a rotavirus vaccine. The SARS-1 vaccine was never made. Are we sure things will be safer now?
What has happened since the first SARS epidemic is that technology has developed. Scientists are now working with gene-based vaccines that encode a viral protein from a pathogen (like COVID-19) in human DNA or mRNA. In an article published by the National Vaccine Information Centre, Barbara Loe Fisher explains that “DNA vaccines deliver pieces of DNA into human cells to stimulate the immune system to create antibodies specific to pathogenic proteins without causing disease. DNA vaccines require no culture or fermentation for production and no refrigeration after production because they are made in a lab using synthetic processes, and can be produced in large quantities for less money than traditional vaccines. Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines inject human cells with mRNA, usually within lipid nanoparticles, to stimulate cells in the body to become manufacturers of viral proteins. In March 2020, a virologist at Imperial College London told Chemistry World that one advantage of using mRNA technology to make vaccines for humans is that, “Rather than generating proteins in a manufacturing plant and purifying them, you are getting the muscle to do the job and make the protein itself.” Like DNA vaccines, mRNA vaccines can be produced in the lab using faster and less expensive process than traditional vaccines. RNA vaccines can be delivered with syringes, nasal spray or needle-free into the skin (patches). Although neither DNA or mRNA vaccines have been tested in large-scale clinical trials, an Apr. 3 article in Chemical and Engineering News highlights the breakneck speed at which COVID-19 vaccines, “are moving new technologies from the computer and into the clinic at an unprecedented rate.” What should be separate pre-licensure phases for proving safety and effectiveness—preclinical animal models, clinical testing, and manufacturing—are now “happening all at once”. 16
The article then cites all the risks inherent in this process, including that the vaccine could continually stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies leading to chronic inflammation. It could lead to mutations through possible integration of plasmid DNA into the body’s host genome, with a triggering of autoimmune responses and activation of cancer forming genes. The fact is, no one now knows what the long-term effects could be of this method of making vaccines. It could be a Russian roulette type experiment with the human body.
Is this why Bill Gates has said that organizations, drug companies and governments need to ensure they have legal indemnity from any risks of vaccine harm? The current race is now between more than 70 different organizations and individuals, all trying to be the first to find a new vaccine, with the possibilty of billions of dollars worth of profits.
Most importantly, do we really need a vaccine and is it worth spending the billions of dollars necessary to create one and distribute it to everyone on the planet? Bill Gates, Anthony Fauci, and others have made it clear that some form of mandatory vaccine with a digital vaccine card is their preference and before that is ready, to maintain varying forms of social control. This may not acceptable for most democratic countries and it is highly questionable that a private individual with vast amounts of money can influence public policy in such a way, not to mention that there is no guarantee that an effective and safe vaccine can be ready in the near term.
The importance of natural immunity
A discussion about natural immunity needs to be considered in this situation. It is likely that millions of people have been exposed to the virus with only mild or no symptoms and from that exposure developed an immunity to it. That is how immunity works and historically a natural immunity to a disease often confers a lifelong immunity to the same or similar pathogen. The immune system of a human being is a highly developed biological process and that is basically how the species has survived. Why should that be any different with the COVID-19 virus? The human species has been able to able to survive for thousands of years without vaccines, through natural adaption. This is a core prinicple of evolutionary theory.
Herd immunity was being considered before the lockdown strategy. By allowing enough healthy people to be naturally exposed to the virus so that about 60-80% of the population had been in contact with the virus, herd immunity would be conferred on the whole population. In the UK, that was the initial strategy of Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK Chief Scientific Advisor before Imperial College’s pessimistic projections were published. Also, the immunity from a vaccine is not as effective as natural immunity. It may not last as long as natural immunity which is why now even adults are being recommended to have booster doses of children’s diseases such as measles. If one caught the disease naturally as a child, then a life-long immunity is conferred. A case can be made that if a person is generally healthy and at low risk of serious complications, it is better to simply be exposed to the virus and through this to develop an immunity which would likely last many years to the same or very similar virus. As with all flus, it is when it mutates to a new form that serious consequences occur as a person doesn’t have immunity to that strain. So, why is there a need for a vaccine for everyone? As with normal flu vaccines, a case at best can be made only for vulnerable people to be vaccinated and even then, only if it is sure the vaccine will be effective.
The same issue could occur with COVID-19. Even if a vaccine is produced, how do we know that a new strain will not appear in the coming years, requiring a new vaccine? Dr Fauci has even recommended this, saying that we could produce a kind of vaccine chassis and then put a new strain of vaccine into that as needed.
As nearly all serious cases are in the aged and immune compromised, it should only be those that need the type of lockdown strategy employed. The rest can relatively safely be exposed and through that exposure, protect the vulnerable. Thinking that the spread of a ubiquitous virus like COVID-19 can be controlled through a ruthless lockdown, is highly debatable. It is distinctly possible that there will be a spike in cases as lockdown is relieved, which would confirm Sweden’s strategy of allowing a more natural herd immunity to develop in the beginning and letting the virus work its way through the population and mainly focusing on protecting the vulnerable.
There is not necessarily a right and wrong way to combat the spread of the infection. However, the current lockdown strategy should be rigorously questioned, as should the assumption that a new vaccine is the only solution, not only to end the lockdown, but even as the best option to protect against the virus.
The influence of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Both Bill Gates and Anthony Fauci have discouraged the idea of herd immunity, preferring the lockdown and vaccine strategy, as long as they can ensure governments will use legislative powers to mandate compulsory vaccines and also to give legal indemnity to drug companies and other organizations. Gates stated in an interview on CNBC news that before this new vaccine is released globally, “governments will need indemnification from the risks involved.” 17 In an interview with Chris Anderson on “CBS This Morning” and released by TED Talks, Bill Gates stresses that all US states should be made to impose a lockdown and when asked when it would be possible to open them up again, said “….activities like mass gatherings, may be, in a certain sense more optional. And so until you’re widely vaccinated those [activities] may not come back at all”. In an OpEd of the Washington Post on March 31st, he stated lockdown should last “10 weeks or more.” “Eventually we will have some digital certificates to show who has recovered or been tested recently, or when we have a vaccine, who has received it.” and that this certificate would be needed, for example to travel. 18 This is a non-elected private citizen who happens to front one of the biggest philanthropic donor organizations in the world. His influence though is being increasingly criticized by people who feel that the vast donations he gives to organizations like the WHO, and the funding to organizations like the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI) should not give him undue influence, especially in such a pivotal time in world history.
GAVI stated that US$7.4 billion will be given as additional resources to protect the next generation with vaccines, with a focus on making them available to the most vulnerable, “for the world’s poorest countries thanks to Gavi’s market-shaping experience.” In the online journal “The Conversation”, on April 6th, the writer Jennifer Mabuka-Maroa, of the African Academy of Sciences made the case that so far, only South Africa has offered to do clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine and that it is important that more African countries sign up to be part of any vaccine research. The African Academy of Sciences is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Is there a conflict of interest here? Dr Anthony Fauci, the US government spokesperson for the COVID-19 crisis is on the board of the Bill and Melinda Gates Global Vaccine Action Plan and is very much part of the Gate’s Foundation vision for a COVID-19 vaccine.
There are extremely powerful and influential people at the centre of the drive for more vaccines to address this pandemic and any future ones. It should concern citizens everywhere that this pandemic crisis is being influenced in such a profound way by Bill Gates and his allies.
A vaccine is only one option to this crisis. It is not the only solution, contrary to what is being said. The billions now being spend on drug and vaccine research could be much better spent. Big Pharma and the Bill Gates are at the center of attempting to dictate government policy how to deal with the crisis. Even the claims that new technology will make the process of vaccine manufacture that much more effective and quicker in finding a vaccine should not be taken at face value. On April 20th, Sir Michael Vallance said a vaccine could still be years away and is a long shot, and yet Sarah Gilbert of Oxford University says they are confident it will be ready by September. Bill Gates wants us all in lockdown until a vaccine is available, and then to limit all movement unless proof of vaccine is given. We are hearing from thousands of experts, most of whom are caught in a mad race to find the first vaccine, with governments pouring the money in and ready to mandate their population to be vaccinated without really thinking about what is best for all of us.
We are moving very quickly down a slippery slope, where basic freedoms are removed, a radical compromise of democratic accountability in many countries and the imposition of a vaccine solution for the world’s population for a pandemic that has killed less people globally than malaria does in Africa in one year. This makes no sense.
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- “Flu Shot Unable to Combat Virus Strain,” http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Living/ap20031215_870.html.
- “Panel of Vaccine Experts Fear Flu Shot May Not Work Well in Combating This Year’s Virus Strain,” www.nvic.org/PressReleases/prfluvac cine.htm
- Randall Neustaedter, The Vaccine Guide (Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2003): 159.
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- Moran N. WHO releases COVID-19 roadmap funding efforts in progress.BioWorldMar. 9,2020