13th October 2020
‘I would rather have questions that cannot be answered, than answers that cannot be questioned’ Richard Feynman.
As the impact of COVID19 rampages around the world, there is going to be a massive push to get vaccines launched, and immense pressure applied to people to be vaccinated. Therefore, this seems like a perfect time to have a conference on informed consent in Vaccination.
So, I am helping to publicise the Fifth International Public Conference on Vaccination on-line conference*. Information on this can be found here:
I am acutely aware of the fact that even the mildest caution about vaccines leads to you being instantly labelled as an anti-vaxxer, and thus dismissed as some kind of anti-science lunatic.
However, I think we have an immensely important issue rising to the surface today, with many countries lining up to make any vaccine for COVID19 as close to mandatory as can be achieved, without using force.
This is distinctly worrying. As I pointed out in a previous blog, the Phase III trials for any Sars-Cov2 are not due to report for years. Which means that vaccines are about to be rushed onto the market with very sparse data on safety and efficacy. I think that people have a right to be concerned, and a right to refuse to be vaccinated without massive pressure brought to bear.
I strongly believe that this, and other issues on informed consent, desperately need to be debated – out in the open – and the National Vaccine Information Center is trying to do this. The people involved seem to be as far from being zealots as can be imagined. They just want an open and reasoned discussion.
Here is their statement on the issues of informed consent.
Informed Consent: An Ethical Principle
The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) has not advocated for the abolishment of vaccination laws as other groups have proposed. However, we have always endorsed the right to informed consent as an overarching ethical principle in the practice of medicine for which vaccination should be no exception. We maintain this is a responsible and ethically justifiable position to take in light of the fact that vaccination is a medical intervention performed on a healthy person that has the inherent ability to result in the injury or death of that healthy person.
In consideration of:
- the fact that there can be no guarantee that the deliberate introduction of killed or live microorganisms into the body of a healthy person will not compromise the health or cause the death of that person either immediately or in the future; and
- with very few predictors having been identified by medical science to give advance warning that injury or death may occur; and
- with no guarantee that the vaccine will indeed protect the person from contracting a disease; and
- in the absence of adequate scientific knowledge of the way vaccines singly or in combination act in the human body at the cellular and molecular level
- vaccination is a medical procedure that could reasonably be termed as experimental each time it is performed on a healthy individual
Further, the FDA, CDC and vaccine makers openly state that often the number of human subjects used in pre-licensing studies are too small to detect rarer adverse events, making post-marketing surveillance of new vaccines a de facto scientific experiment. In this regard, the ethical principle of informed consent to vaccination attains even greater importance
I would urge people to have a look at this conference, sign in, and make up their own minds about what is going on.
*Disclosure of interest: I was asked to give a lecture at this conference for which I will be paid. The title of my talk is ‘Manipulating Science to Endorse Policy, and Market Products.’