Holding The Line

Journalists Against Censorship


Vaccine inefficacy, scapegoating and vaccine passports – joining the dots

By Rusere Shoniwa

First published at https://plagueonbothhouses.com

Since 18th September, the Daily Sceptic has been reporting on the dismal performance of the Covid vaccines in preventing infection and transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In its latest report on vaccine efficacy, the infection rate in vaccinated people is more than double the rate in the unvaccinated for the 40-79 age group. In other words, for the 40-79-year age group, you are more than twice as likely to get and transmit Covid if you are vaccinated than if you are not vaccinated. Vaccine (in)effectiveness rises to as high as -124% in the 40-49 age group.

This comes as no surprise to those who have used alternative and reliable news sources outside mainstream media to stay abreast of what is really happening in Covid-related news. After all, it was well understood by the scientific community that infection and transmission were not included as end points in the vaccine trials and the NHS vaccine pamphlet published at the start of the roll-out stated: “we do not yet know how much it will reduce the chance of you catching and passing on the virus.”

Vaccine inefficacy against infection and transmission – a global phenomenon

Nor is the remarkable inefficacy of the vaccines a phenomenon specific to the UK. On 30th September 2021, the European Journal of Epidemiology published a study which investigated the relationship between the percentage of population fully vaccinated and new Covid-19 cases across 68 countries and across 2947 counties in the US. It found that increases in Covid are unrelated to levels of vaccination.

Not only did the study report “no discernible relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new Covid-19 cases” but it in fact found “a marginally positive association, such that countries with higher percentage of population fully vaccinated have higher Covid-19 cases per 1 million people.”

The study also reported that, in the US, “of the top 5 counties that have the highest percentage of population fully vaccinated (99.9–84.3%), the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies 4 of them as ‘High’ Transmission counties.”

In July 2021, the Eurosurveillance Journal, Europe’s journal on infectious disease surveillance, reported on a Delta variant outbreak in an Israeli hospital in which 96.2% of the population was vaccinated. The journal reported that “of the 42 cases diagnosed in this outbreak, 38 were fully vaccinated with two doses of the Comirnaty vaccine” and that “several transmissions probably occurred between two individuals both wearing surgical masks, and in one instance using full PPE, including N-95 mask, face shield, gown and gloves.”

The report observed that this outbreak “challenges the assumption that high universal vaccination rates will lead to herd immunity and prevent Covid-19 outbreaks.” Alluding to the ineffectiveness of masks as a preventive measure, the report observed that “all transmissions between patients and staff occurred between masked and vaccinated individuals”.

The report concluded that “this nosocomial outbreak exemplifies the high transmissibility of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant among twice vaccinated and masked individuals.”

Another study involving transmission of the Delta variant among vaccinated healthcare workers at a hospital in Vietnam has been published in the Lancet. This is a preprint study (not peer reviewed) conducted by a team with affiliations to the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The study analysed ‘breakthrough’ cases (cases in vaccinated populations) and found that:

  • “Viral loads of breakthrough Delta variant infection cases were 251 times higher than those of cases infected with old strains detected between March-April 2020.”
  • “Neutralizing antibody levels after vaccination and at diagnosis of the cases were lower than those in the matched uninfected controls.”

The study’s key interpretation of its findings was:

  • “Breakthrough Delta variant infections are associated with high viral loads, prolonged PCR positivity, and low levels of vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies, explaining the transmission between the vaccinated people.”

There is therefore plenty of evidence for vaccine inefficacy, both in the general public and in health care settings. Placing this evidence of vaccine inefficacy alongside the Health Secretary’s determination to force all NHS workers to get vaccinated presents an obvious contradiction that ought to be sparking a furious debate in the mainstream media. And yet, astonishingly, it is not.

The ‘conspiracy theory’ slur is the chief weapon of those in denial of inconvenient facts

Cambridge statistician Professor David Spiegelhalter denounced the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) for publishing “absurd statistics showing case-rates higher in vaxxed than non-vaxxed”, claiming that the data it is using to derive vaxxed and unvaxxed populations is unreliable. No explanation is offered as to why the UKHSA data is wrong but the Daily Sceptic points out that other experts argue that the UKHSA data may actually underestimate the number of unvaccinated (rather than overestimate them as Professor Spiegelhalter implies). If this is the case, it would make vaccine inefficacy even worse.

Nevertheless, Professor Spiegelhalter is convinced that the UKHSA’s irresponsible publishing of inconvenient data is “feeding conspiracy theorists worldwide.” Recall the study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology which covered 68 countries and 2,947 counties in the US. This worldwide study reported “no discernible relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new Covid-19 cases”. Rather it found “a marginally positive association such that countries with higher percentage of population fully vaccinated have higher Covid-19 cases per 1 million people.”

Professor Spiegelhalter has his work cut out in persuading health authorities across 68 countries and across 2,947 counties in the US to stop “feeding conspiracy theorists worldwide”. Once he has convinced the UKHSA to generate data that conforms to his worldview, perhaps he should then move on to the CDC, which identified 4 of the top 5 counties with the highest percentage of population fully vaccinated (99.9–84.3%), as “High” transmission counties.

Professor Spiegelhalter’s dismissal of inconvenient data as feeding ‘conspiracy theory’ is sadly consistent with the wider branding as ‘conspiracy theory’ of good old-fashioned scepticism along with intellectual curiosity. These are the very foundations of real science. What is most disturbing is that this thought-terminating cliché is being weaponised by those in institutions dedicated to thought, investigation, and debate.

The media’s role in fuelling hatred

While nutty professors feed their delusions that vaccine inefficacy is a global conspiracy theory, the mainstream media is fuelling hatred towards those who knew that vaccine inefficacy was highly likely from the outset and chose not to take part in the experiment.

The media was one of the great institutions that many people once believed was dedicated to critical analysis and debate. And yet, flying in the face of mounting evidence of vaccine inefficacy, it continues to support a bizarre narrative in which the vaccinated simultaneously enjoy protection from Covid but also need protection from the unvaccinated. The absurd contradiction in this stance is self-evident and stems from the need for proponents of the Covid vaccines to ‘win’ no matter what the outcome.

The starting position of vaccine proponents is that they are effective and so the vaccinee is protected. However, bolted on to this position is a culpatory insurance clause: if the vaccines fail, then it is the fault of those who did not take them rather than the vaccine itself. Even when they lose, they win.

This absurdity is manifested in public cries of anguish directed at the unvaccinated by the likes of Stephen Nolan at the BBC, Nick Cohen at the Guardian, Sean O’Grady at the Independent and Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove. Vicious scapegoating is in fact a classic feature of totalitarianism, which itself requires a high state of fear generated by a threat that garners public support for restrictive measures that would, under ordinary circumstances, never be considered. To guarantee never-ending and increasingly repressive restrictions on liberty, that threat must be undefeatable. We are of course facing the perfect perpetual threat that can never be defeated – the invisible mutating virus. This is the Enemy Without.

Those who oppose this narrative, in this case the dissenters who won’t shut and take their medicine, become ready-made scapegoats: the Enemy Within. If this group grows in strength and size, the Enemy Without shrinks and the totalitarian edifice crumbles. This explains the calls to action against the unvaccinated, some of which are nothing short of blood curdling, as evidenced by this spittle-flecked, unhinged diatribe published in the Mirror.

The Mirror’s view is that people expressing their reasons for not wanting to be vaccinated are baby killers more dangerous to society than the Taliban, ISIS and al-Qaeda. Ironically, this level of irrational hatred directed at what the Mirror calls ‘anti-vaxxers’ puts this tabloid into precisely the same camp as the Taliban, ISIS and al-Qaeda – the very extremists it is trying to equate with ‘anti-vaxxers’. Blinded by irrational hatred, they just can’t see it.

The media’s huge responsibility to society is brought into plain view by Voltaire’s pithy quip:

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

The PM’s open invitation to the mainstream media to challenge vaccine passports

During a trip to a vaccine clinic in London on 23rd October, the Prime Minister admitted that double vaccination “doesn’t protect you against catching the disease, and it doesn’t protect you against passing it on.” Wittingly or not, he has issued an open invitation to the media to challenge the introduction of vaccine passports, part of the government’s ‘Plan B’ infection control measures, for which there is no rational basis.

Indeed, that was the finding of a UK parliamentary committee which concluded that vaccine passports are “unnecessary and there is no justification for them in the science and none in logic.” While the findings of some parliamentary committees have been dubious to say the least, the conclusion of the committee on vaccine passports tallies with the facts and is grounded in sound ethics and respect for basic human rights. This may be attributable to its not having been hobbled by a conflict of interest: its members, having not yet voted for vaccine passports, are able to see them for what they are. And what they are is very well summed up in a letter to the PM from religious leaders opposed to them:

“…vaccine passports would constitute an unethical form of coercion and violation of the principle of informed consent…We risk creating a two-tier society, a medical apartheid in which an underclass of people who decline vaccination are excluded from significant areas of public life. There is also a legitimate fear that this scheme would be the thin end of the wedge leading to a permanent state of affairs in which Covid vaccine status could be expanded to encompass other forms of medical treatment and perhaps even other criteria beyond that. This scheme has the potential to bring about the end of liberal democracy as we know it and to create a surveillance state in which the government uses technology to control certain aspects of citizens’ lives. As such, this constitutes one of the most dangerous policy proposals ever to be made in the history of British politics.” [emphasis added]

You don’t believe it could happen here? It is already happening in many places around the world. New Zealand’s PM removed the mask of pretence at compassion, liberty and concern for basic human rights and dignity when, with a smirk, she recently expressed total comfort with the segregation of New Zealand society.

We must not conflate the freedom to choose whether to have a vaccine with vaccine passports. The latter is an open invitation to the government to expand its biometric digital pass controls to other areas of your life, including financial and social control. But don’t take my word for it. The minister entrusted with reviewing the use of Covid certificates, Michael Gove, is on record saying, “Once powers are yielded to the state at moments of crisis or emergency, it’s very rarely the case that the state hands them back.”

Will the media fulfil its duty to hold power to account by challenging vaccine passports or will it abdicate its responsibility as the state grabs more power?

You can read more of Rusere’s work at https://plagueonbothhouses.com


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