A retired academic from Edinburgh is pushing the Scottish government to explain more than 1,500 unattributed excess deaths in the country this summer.
Professor Richard Ennos has also expressed his concerns with MSPs and health bosses that official data points to a ‘prima facie case’ for the country’s mass Covid vaccination programme being ‘a contributing factor to the dramatic rise’.
Information he gathered from the National Records for Scotland shows that deaths increased down through age groups almost simultaneously with the injections being rolled out to ever-younger people.
Comparing the huge rise in excess deaths figures for summer 2021 compared to summer 2020, Professor Ennos tells Anita Morrison, Scotland’s head of health and social care analysis and support:
‘What differs between the two years? The glaringly obvious answer is the rollout of Covid-19 vaccination.
‘There was no Covid-19 vaccination programme in 2020, but there was roll-out of Covid vaccinations in a sequential way to increasingly younger age groups in 2021, a pattern that we see in the manifestation of excess deaths.’
He also suggests that policy also provides ‘simple and compelling explanation’ for a ‘three to six-fold increase in summer covid hospitalisations’.
In a response to Ms Morrison on October 28, he adds: ‘All of the Covid-19 vaccines are novel and experimental with no long-term safety data. They are now associated with a wide range of serious side-effects (blood clotting, myocarditis, Guillain-Barre syndrome) whose likely frequency in the wider population was not assessed in the small-scale phase one and two trials that included only a subset of healthy volunteers.
‘The Yellow Card adverse events reporting system, that capture only a fraction of events, has already recorded over 1,700 deaths in the UK population associated with the Covid-19 vaccines. There is therefore a prima facie case for Covid-19 vaccination being a contributing factor to the dramatic rise in summer excess deaths in Scotland in 2021.’
The former professor of evolutionary biology the University of Edinburgh collated detailed official data covering 21 weeks over this summer in an effort to seek an explanation for 3,000 excess deaths.
Responding to an inquiry on the matter from Edinburgh MSP Sarah Boyack on October 25th, Ms Morrison revealed that Covid accounted for 45% of deaths and states that Public Health Scotland analysis from 2020 provided ‘some possible reasons for non-covid excess deaths’.
She lists them as:
Artefact: deaths directly due to Covid-19 that were not certified as such in provisional data (although this is less likely now due to mass testing).
Unintended consequences (social determinants): deaths are due to unintended consequences of the non-clinical response to Covid-19.
Service supply/access: deaths due to problems with health and social care service access.
Service demand: deaths of individuals not presenting to health and social care services as they would at other time.
Other: other causes that have not yet been identified.
In an article for the Daily Sceptic on November 4th, Professor Ennos states that he and others have written to MSPs about the ‘dreadful situation’ of more than 3,000 excess deaths in 21 weeks this summer asking ‘for a thorough analysis of what is responsible’.
He adds: ‘Five possible explanations are given, none of which reflect favourably on the Scottish government’s public health policy.
‘To paraphrase her [Ms Morrison’s] reply, 45% are due to Covid-19 and the rest are accounted for by one or more of:
Covid deaths that were not recognised.
Unintended consequences of the Scottish Government’s non-clinical response to Covid-19 (masks, social isolation etc.).
Problems with access to the health and social care services (presumably due to the Scottish Government policy of withdrawing these).
Patients not accessing services that were available (presumably because they were too scared of catching Covid-19 due to the Scottish government exaggeration of the risks).
Some other causes that have not been identified.’
Professor Ennos adds that Ms Morrison’s ‘response is a damning indictment of Scottish government public health policy whose outcome should ultimately be measured by the metric of excess death’.
Footnote: By December 20th 2020 there were 6,298 deaths registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate because of a positive PCR test within the prior 28 days.
A Freedom of Information request to the Scottish government in December 2020 revealed there had been fewer than 500 deaths directly attributed to covid since March 2020.
Big Media to public: Don’t exceed your think limit!
In July 2020, the mainstream media clearly signposted the direction of travel in relation to curtailing independent critical analysis of Covid and other science underpinning Government policy. The instruction given to the public in the title of a Forbes article was unequivocal: “You must not ‘do your own research’ when it comes to science.”
Regarding the question of whether to “research both sides and make up your own mind”, the article’s verdict was clear: “when it comes to issues like vaccinations, climate change, and the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, it can be dangerous, destructive, and even deadly.”
The message and tone of the article are supercilious, arrogant, condescending, paternalistic and, for all those reasons, a grave insult to your intelligence. But above all, it is potently anti-democratic. Government policy based on the prevailing science has an enormous impact on your life, wellbeing and, as Covid has demonstrated, your liberty. But, if Forbes gets its way, under no circumstances will the stupid citizenry be permitted to weigh up ‘both sides’ of a debate for itself. You will not be permitted to democratically challenge the machinery of government that grinds out the law and statutes which govern your every waking hour.
You are being told to leave the ‘dangerous, destructive, and even deadly’ business of deciding what’s good for you to the scientists and to the Government who, after filtering it with immaculate benevolence, will deliver only what it deems good for you and which, by complete happenstance, will align perfectly with Government policy and objectives. There’s just one small problem with that process: it’s called censorship, and it’s the slip road taking us onto the highway to tyranny.
Science is a process for getting closer to the truth. It is always evolving and almost no debate terminates at a truth that remains immutable for all time. Dissenting views are vital because they lead to new avenues of truth that often prove the consensus wrong. Dissent has negative connotations only to authoritarians. To true democrats, it is a welcome opportunity to test the veracity of claims made and to further the cause of truth and enlightenment.
Crucially, it is the voting public’s democratic right to be the final arbiter of how, and indeed even whether, The Science should be used to determine how we live. With the growing politicisation of science, we will not be free to choose if the choices put before us are controlled and censored.
The disingenuous moral panic about ‘misinformation’ and ‘disinformation’ is a deceitful denial of the fact that error is the unavoidable consequence of debate and understanding. In the words of former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption, “We cannot have truth without accommodating error. It is the price that we pay for allowing knowledge and understanding to develop and human civilisation to advance.” Stifling dissenting viewpoints is the surest way to intellectual stagnation and spiritual atrophy.
The Online Safety Bill – the funeral pyre for free speech
Big Brother Watch, a UK civil liberties campaign group, is at the forefront of the fight to defend free speech. In its report ‘The State of Free Speech Online’, it reminds us that, up until very recently, the internet has been a democratising force placing the opportunity of instantaneous global communications at our fingertips. Social media platforms are increasingly becoming our public squares. To the extent that uncensored news disseminated in these public digital squares serves democracy by holding power to account, it is a public utility. However, this public utility is in the hands of a private monopoly, as our communications are largely controlled by powerful corporate intermediaries.
Under the auspices of Big Tech, industrial scale censorship implemented through nebulous ‘community guidelines’ is now the norm. This process began in 2020 when the alignment of pro-lockdown governments’ interests with those of Big Tech was evidenced by the full-throated cries of lawmakers everywhere for Big Tech to join them in the noble cause of supressing dissent. In March this year, Ireland’s Justice Minister enjoined Big Tech to do its bit in curbing public protest, while here in the UK, MP David Lammy went a step further by accepting money from Facebook for promotional services rendered while publicly exhorting the platform to increase its already heavy-handed levels of censorship.
Brute censorship on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter has been effective in muting dissent but not effective enough for the overzealous authoritarians allied to Big Tech and Big Pharma. The public understands that Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four was a warning to us of how governments could control both the individual’s mind and society at large by obliterating pathways to information and truth. The Government, however, appears to be using Nineteen Eighty-Four not as a warning but as an instruction manual to manifest the dystopian vision we were warned about.
The hounding of dissenting voices from dominant platforms like YouTube and Facebook has spawned the growth of platforms dedicated to free speech like Rumble, Odysee and Telegram. These relatively new players are behaving like true platforms and not publishers – they are committed to free speech and will only act if content is illegal under existing legislation. Aware that the vacuum of truth left by Big Tech censorship is being filled by new players, the Government is taking decisive action with this legislation to capture all platforms in a diabolical censorship net.
The UK already has extensive communications and other legislation to reinforce the principle that what is unlawful offline should also be unlawful online. If anything, existing legislation goes too far since the Communications Act (2003) criminalises communications that are deemed to be “grossly offensive”, although in practice the Human Rights Act 1998, which protects freedom of expression, can nullify action taken against “grossly offensive” but lawful speech. However, this overarching duty to comply with the Human Rights Act would not apply to online platforms under the Online Safety Bill.
“The legislation introduces state-backed censorship and monitoring on a scale never seen before in a liberal democracy… This regulation would deputise private companies like Facebook to be the speech police of the internet. Government has designed the plans not only to deal with crime online, but to explicitly target lawful speech.” [emphasis added]
So bold is the Government’s overreach with this Bill that it makes no effort to hide the fact that it is tackling legal content: the Bill instructs Ofcom to draft codes that require platforms to address content that is “legal but harmful” (page 88-89 of the linked report). So chilling is its scope that it will extend to surveillance of private messaging between individuals (page 104 of the linked report). This Bill is the blueprint for totalitarian control of information.
The Bill defines ‘harmful’ content as that which presents “a material risk of the content having, or indirectly having, a significant adverse physical or psychological impact on an adult of ordinary sensibilities”. Why have such infantilising sentiments directed at adults found expression in government legislation? It is beyond preposterous to suggest that it is now the Government’s or any other institution’s responsibility to protect adults of ‘ordinary sensibilities’ from psychological harm through exposure to the written word.
Up until now, the discourse around online harm has been understandably focused on those that society would reasonably perceive to be at risk – children and young teenagers. The deliberate shift to include adults has nothing to do with whom the government wishes to protect but rather with the nature of the content it wishes to control. If the Government is to effectively guide your thinking on key policy issues like lockdowns, vaccinations, biometric digital ID passes, climate change and Central Bank Digital Currencies, then thought control will need to be directed at the voting-age public.
We should not be fooled into thinking that the Government cares about a deterioration of your mental health should you accidentally click the wrong link while browsing on Amazon.
Framed as something designed to protect the public from being ‘misinformed’ and harmed, the reality is that this Bill lays down the foundations for wholesale government and corporate disinformation campaigns directed at voting adults. It would be far more ‘harmful’ to the Government than to you if you did not ‘think correctly’ on the big issues looming on the horizon.
Depending on your level of cynicism, the impossibility of defining ‘harmful’ content is either a gaping error in the Bill or a deliberate design flaw to give the private censorship enforcers carte blanche to remove pretty much anything that might conceivably bring a tear to the eye of an adult of ‘ordinary sensibilities’. Once you add to that the threat of heavy financial and other penalties to be meted out to platforms for not enforcing removal of such ill-defined ‘harmful’ content, private platforms are all but guaranteed to take an even bigger sledgehammer to online content than they already are.
This Bill is the funeral pyre for lawful free speech. There is no other way to interpret it.
Is extrajudicial state censorship already taking place?
The UK Government, via the Department of Digital Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), is already actively violating free speech through its involvement in the removal of lawful online content. The DCMS operates a unit with the sinister name of ‘Counter Disinformation Cell’ (page 106 of linked report) to combat all manner of ‘disinformation’, with a feverish focus on what it deems ‘anti-vax’ content. In an unconscious acknowledgement of its potentially illicit role in extrajudicial state censorship, the unit has styled itself as a ‘cell’, a term normally applied to terrorism and other clandestine activities. In the words of the responsible DCMS director, the cell “encourages swift takedown” of content during “daily interactions with almost all the platforms”.
The current tsunami of deleted content across platforms like YouTube includes verifiable facts that the public has a right to know. A recent YouTube post showed an eminently qualified expert, Dr Peter Doshi, articulating information about the Covid vaccines – namely that certain manufacturers’ claims to efficacy are not supported by the actual trial data and that we might want to critically assess whether these vaccines warrant categorisation as vaccines owing to their very different nature in comparison to traditional vaccines. YouTube deleted the video of Dr Doshi giving evidence on Capitol Hill to an expert panel on Covid vaccines. You can watch a fellow medical professional articulating why this deletion is so shocking and you can view the original video on Brandnewtube here.
Big Tech has boldly confirmed that climate change ‘misinformation’ is the next big censorship target. How, or even if, you can travel, what to eat and how often you can eat it —these are the issues that will be decided for you, and under no circumstances are you to ‘do your own research’! With Big Tech and the Government putting themselves between you and harm’s way, the coming edicts on climate change should all make perfect sense.
We must act to halt the global war on free speech and democracy
The war on free speech and democracy is unmistakably a global one, with many Western governments using Covid as a trojan horse to entrench censorship through the statute book. Legislators in Canada and Ireland are in sync with the UK’s efforts to attack free speech. In New Zealand, government agencies including the police can issue a ‘takedown notice’ for any online publication that meets the ridiculously low bar of merely being “objectionable”.
In short, the entire Western world, with very few exceptions, is taking on the character of a giant banana republic with its claim to democracy growing more farcical by the day.
In the UK, we have a government that, on the one hand, denies its responsibility for directly causing real-life harm to vast numbers of people through recklessly destructive lockdowns and yet, on the other hand, makes a cynical pretence of caring about digital online ‘harm’ to citizens by imposing on companies an absurd psychological duty of care over digital interactions between members of the public. Each of these acts taken individually poses a serious blow to accountability and democracy. But the rank hypocrisy implicit in the combination of the two assaults on liberty is a clear indication of a psychopathy not exhibited before by Western governments in recent history. Write to your MP and visit Big Brother Watch to help their campaign to defend freedom of speech. We must not allow this dire assault on our liberty to stand.
Before looking at a headline summary of Covid hospitalisation and death data included in the UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) Vaccine Surveillance Report for week 44, it is important to remind ourselves of the shakiness of one of the pillars that is foundational to much of the data in this report – testing and cases.
In ‘case’ of emergency press pause
After an 18-month onslaught of a mass testing regime, it’s easy to forget that the mass testing paradigm is a flawed one, especially when it is embedded in so much of the reporting that the Government desperately uses to try to get us to believe in the official Covid narrative. So perhaps we should remind ourselves that reliable independent media sources have reported extensively on the inaccuracy of both the PCR test – the linked expert analysis suggests mass testing leads to as many as 99% of positive results being false – and lateral flow test.
Yes, the above link to the critical analysis of PCR test’s reliability is over a year old but what has changed since then to transform it into a beacon of light in diagnostic testing? It is still the same test whose inventor said should not be used as a diagnostic tool let alone a mass screening tool. Its unfitness for purpose has been underscored by a Portuguese Court which ruled, based on expert testimony, that the ‘the PCR process is not a reliable test for Sars-Cov-2’ and cited a study that pointed to potentially 97% of positive results being false positives when running the test at 35 cycles or more.
Apart from being phenomenally unreliable, Covid testing has been hugely successful in propagating a wider insidious process of normalising the abnormal by an attempted nullification of the fundamental medical tenet that a ‘case’ is both symptomatic and must be diagnosed by a doctor. Research shows that 86% of people who test positive have no symptoms at all. So, 86% of people who test positive for Covid would not know they have Covid in the absence of a test, which says a lot about the apocalyptic hype that has surrounded this virus. Considering the test’s unreliability and absence of symptoms in 86% of test results, is it too presumptuous to ask if the 86% actually have Covid?
As with much politicised science in the Covid era, the study’s finding is turned on its head – rather than challenge the meaning and reliability of the test, the authors call for “more widespread testing…to catch ‘silent’ transmission.”
Using the 86% non-symptomatic test statistic as a guideline, it’s easy to see how the UKHSA’s alarming week 44 report of 975,224 cases in weeks 40-43 is actually not that alarming since 838,692 were probably oblivious of their ‘condition’ right up to the moment they were told there was something ‘wrong’ with them. The vast gap between 975,224 ‘cases’ and people needing treatment in hospital (8,637 or 0.9% of the total cases) tends to give some credence to the claim that the majority of those testing positive are false positives.
Following this damning indictment, it would be rational of you to think that the PAC’s recommendation would be to turn off the taxpayer money hose and bring the whole scandal of meaningless testing to an abrupt halt. But such rationality would demonstrate a misunderstanding of how Covid logic and Covid economics works. Like much Covid science, the PAC turned its report finding on its head by telling the Government to make the unworkable workable, instructing it to “rapidly turn around these fortunes and begin to demonstrate the worth and value of this staggering investment of taxpayers’ money”!
Sane members of the public scratch their heads while the £1000 per day consultants that the PAC lambasts in its report breathe a sigh of relief.
To the extent that case numbers mean anything, they appear to demonstrate, on the Government’s own terms (namely the use of the mass testing juggernaut), that the vaccines are not just useless at preventing infection and transmission, but that they appear to enhance infection and transmission in the 40-79 age group, based on data in the week 43 report. Yes, you read that correctly. The vaccines register negative efficacy rates in this age group which means, if you are over 40, you are twice as likely to get infected after receiving the jab than if you had opted out of the biggest experiment ever conducted in the history of experimentation on humans, or possibly any life form including lab rats.
I think it’s safe to say this is precisely the sort of occurrence that was uppermost in the mind of the person who coined the expression: ‘sobering thought’. Following a reprimand from the U.K. Statistics Authority, the UKHSA has denounced the use of its unadjusted numbers to calculate vaccine efficacy and its arguments have been countered by those doing the analysis of vaccine efficacy that the Government refuses to do. We fully support the right of journalists to responsibly analyse and comment on data produced by the Government to allow the public to make up their own minds.
For all the above reasons, I have not analysed the week 44 case data and, in a sense, the headline commentary on cases has now been made.
Deaths within 60 days of a positive Covid-19 test
The table below is a summary of deaths within 60 days of a positive Covid-19 test for weeks 40-43, excluding unlinked* cases which are those where NHS numbers were unavailable to link to the National Immunisation Management System database. Unlinked deaths totalled 19 or 0.5% of the total number reported.
The same data presented graphically looks like this:
Because all deaths included in these figures are those that occurred within 60 days of a positive test result, the proportion for which Covid was determined to be the primary cause of death is not known.
Total linked deaths within 60 days of a positive Covid-19 test over the four-week period amounted to 3,804. Total deaths registered in England and Wales from all causes in the comparable four-week period were 44,279. Covid associated deaths comprise 9% of that total (6% for weeks 39-42).
79% of all Covid associated deaths were in the fully vaccinated (79% for weeks 39-42).
The week 44 Vaccine surveillance report, under the heading “Results” on page 14, claims that: “The rate of death within 28 days or within 60 days of a positive COVID-19 test increases with age, and again is substantially greater in unvaccinated individuals compared to fully vaccinated individuals.” [emphasis added]
I find it hard to reconcile the last part of that statement with the table and graph above that are derived from the data in the same UKHSA report on page 19. For the avoidance of doubt, here is a screen grab of the report’s death numbers which you may add up for yourself:
“But is it true? When that statement by prominent public health officials was penned, there had been just one death, one death across the 70,000 Pfizer and Moderna trial participants. Today, we have more data, and you can see that there were similar numbers of deaths in the vaccine and placebo groups. The trials did not show a reduction in death. Even for Covid deaths, as opposed to other causes, the evidence is flimsy, with just two deaths in the placebo group versus one in the vaccine group. My point is not that I know the truth about what the vaccine can and cannot do, my point is that those who claimed the trials showed the vaccines were highly effective in saving lives were wrong. The trials did not demonstrate this.” [Emphasis added]
He also had this to say about the vaccines, or ‘vaccines’ if you are inclined to share Dr Doshi’s eloquently expressed doubts about the classification of Big Pharma’s new treatments as vaccines or if you question the CDC’s redefining of what a vaccine is:
‘I am one of the academics that argues that these mRNA products, which everybody calls vaccines, are qualitatively different than standard vaccines. And so I found it fascinating to learn that Merriam-Webster changed its definition of “vaccine” early this year. mRNA products did not meet the definition of “vaccine” that has been in place for 15 years in Merriam-Webster, but the definition was expanded such that mRNA products are now vaccines. I highlight this to ask a question: How would you feel about mandating COVID vaccines if we didn’t call them vaccines? What if these injections were called “drugs” instead? So here’s the scenario: We have this “drug”, and we have evidence that it doesn’t prevent infection, nor does it stop viral transmission, but the “drug” is understood to reduce your risk of getting very sick and dying of COVID. Would you take a dose of this drug every six months or so for possibly the rest of your life if that’s what it took for the drug to stay effective? Would you not just take this drug yourself, but support regulations mandating that everybody else around you take this drug? Or would you say, “Hold on a sec”. Maybe you’d say that, “If that’s all the drug does, why not use a normal medicine instead? The kind we take when we’re sick and want to get better? And why would you mandate it?”
He punctuated the end of his presentation with this observation: ‘I think it’s time to inject some critical thinking into that conversation [about the vaccines and mandates] and that is what I hope we are doing today.’
Leader of the United Australia Party, Craig Kelly MP talks to Sonia Elijah about Australia’s extremist Covid policies, the suppression of early treatments, censorship, vaccine mandates, freedom of speech and much more.
‘Preventing a sick person from getting medical treatment or access to a medicine is a crime against humanity, full stop, and that is what our government regulators have done.’
‘So many things in this Covid episode don’t make sense. They are contrary to the logic and contrary to the evidence. Every time something doesn’t add up, it leads to one road and that is to force people into getting injected.’
Investigative journalist Sonia Elijah interviews Dr Peter McCullough MD MPH, expert cardiologist and epidemiologist and one of the most cited physicians in the world, on the abrupt removal by two publishers of his and Dr Jessica Rose’s peer-reviewed paper revealing the alarming spike in myocarditis cases in young males connected with Covid jabs. In an unprecedented move, their published report was removed from Elsevier and Current Problems in Cardiology without notice given to the authors. This happened just before the US FDA approved the Pfizer jab in 5–11-year-olds.
The main findings of the Myocarditis report
Hundreds of thousands of individuals have reported adverse events (AEs), using the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System in the US (VAERS).
Vaccine-induced myocarditis qualifies as a serious adverse event (SAE) and is often associated with hospitalization in ~90% of cases.
Myocarditis rates are significantly higher in male youths between the ages of 13-23.
Myocarditis cases in the vaccination volunteers were 19 times greater than the expected background number of myocarditis cases for this age group.
A fivefold increase in the myocarditis rate was observed after the second dose when compared to the first dose in 15-year-old males.
A total of 67% of all myocarditis cases occurred with the Pfizer BNT162b2 vaccine.
Cardiac injuries associated with Covid-19 are different from the clinical picture of vaccine-induced ‘myocarditis’, which has been loosely defined as a mild troponin elevation common to ICU patients of all types.
The report also highlighted: ‘It is vital to recall that children have a negligible risk for COVID-19 respiratory illness, and yet they are a high-risk group for myocarditis with vaccination.’
This interview forms the basis of PART 1 of Sonia’s investigative series published in TrialSite News: Are the scientific journals censoring the Science?
With no hint of comic intent, the study finding is turned on its head to show “why getting even more people vaccinated and protected is important”.
Science or séance?
The febrile drive to vaccinate the entire planet has generated at least two irrational memes. The first meme is the ‘it-only-works-if-we-all-do-it-together argument’. This is bunk for the simple reason that there is no one-size-fits-all medical treatment that we all have to undertake together. Vaccination is no exception, particularly in the case of Covid, whose risk profile is heavily skewed to one segment of the population – the frail elderly. It is also obvious to many experts that the huge number of people with prior immunity from infection should not seek vaccination, partly because of the potential harm to them from additional priming of their immune systems through vaccination but also because of the emerging evidence that natural infection confers far superior immunity than the vaccines.
Therefore, the belief that we all have to get jabbed or they don’t work is cult rhetoric, in the same league as enjoining everyone at a séance to hold hands so that the spirits from the other side can be successfully summoned forth. Martin Kulldorff is a professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations. He debunked this notion by saying that “thinking that everyone must be vaccinated is as scientifically flawed as thinking that nobody should”.
The second meme is that of scapegoating, which is a corollary of the first flawed argument. It engenders a spirit of intolerance of bystanders, resulting in a venomous persecution of the unvaccinated. Everyone must board the vaccination train when ‘called forward’ or forfeit their right to function in society as a free human being. It’s nonsense because it depends on the equally nonsensical first meme. And as a violation of fundamental human rights and natural law, it is morally repugnant.
Taking the flight from reason to new heights and borne out of the painful realisation of vaccine inefficacy, the BBC article heralds the emergence of a third meme as it warns the unvaccinated that they “cannot rely on those around them being jabbed to remove their risk of getting infected”. Let’s call it the don’t-think-you-can-ride-on-our-coattails-now-that-the-vaccines-are-failing meme. Like previous iterations, its flaw is gaping: the unvaccinated cannot ride on the coattails of the vaccinated precisely because the vaccines are failing.
The unvaccinated could be forgiven for construing this latest meme as a backhanded insult: it implies that they are stupid, cowardly, freeloading parasites. This meme really does contain all these elements in it. And so, on behalf of an unvaccinated leper who complained to me about the BBC article, I will lodge a rebuttal of these insinuations before moving on to more serious matters concerning presentation of Covid mortality data and leaky vaccines.
The unvaccinated have opted out because they do not believe these vaccines do what vaccines are supposed to do – prevent infection and transmission of the targeted pathogen. And, so far, they have not been proven wrong. The BBC warning implies that there was a time, prior to the revelations of the Lancet study, when the unvaccinated were allegedly using the vaccinated as a shield. This in turn implies that, if the unvaccinated have rejected the vaccines because they do not believe they would work for them, they would have to believe in some process of alchemist witchcraft that converts an ineffective vaccine in a vaccinated person to an effective one in an unvaccinated person. Vaccine transubstantiation?
Put more bluntly, if the vaccinated themselves cannot rely on each other to ‘remove their risk of getting infected’, on what basis does the BBC assume that the unvaccinated were stupid enough to seek a ‘free’ ride on a bus with no wheels?
Regarding the insinuation of freeloading and cowardice, the unvaccinated do not believe that personal medical treatments delivered to individuals can be mystically converted to a shared public good. They believe that vaccination is something you do to protect yourself and not others. They acknowledge that herd immunity slows the spread of the virus by reducing the number of uninfected hosts available for the virus to propagate. But they believe that, given everything they know about this virus and everything they don’t yet know about this vaccine, they are well within their natural human rights to exercise control of their bodies by rejecting a medication they think is not right for them.
Nor are they cowards hiding behind vaccinated hosts. On the contrary, they have weighed up the benefits and risks of vaccination against the risks of the disease and have decided to do their bit for herd immunity by facing the disease head-on and dicing with a broad infection fatality risk of 0.15%. Indeed, many have decided not to get the vaccine because they have already had the disease before the option to consider a vaccine was available. The vaccinated, in seeking to avoid the risk of catching Covid, are implicitly acknowledging that the approach of dicing with the 0.15% chance of death from (or perhaps more accurately with) Covid takes some courage.
The unvaccinated are undoubtedly in awe of the courage it must take for a vaccinated person to face down, all for the ‘greater good’, the risks of anaphylactic shock, blood clots, myocarditis, stroke, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and even death to list a few of the known side effects of the vaccines. The unvaccinated therefore feel that there must be a mutual recognition of each party’s bravery and they categorically reject the insinuation that they are cowards hiding behind the vaccinated. After all, the unvaccinated may soon face the additional risk of being attacked by angry mobs with pitchforks and machetes should their demonisation by the media reach such perilous levels.
The message and the nudge
In its Background section, the study acknowledges at the outset that: “The SARS-CoV-2 delta (B.1.617.2) variant is highly transmissible and spreading globally, including in populations with high vaccination rates.” The BBC article articulates the study’s key findings:
Individuals who have had two vaccine doses can be just as infectious as those who have not been jabbed and have similar peak viral loads to that seen in unvaccinated people.
Vaccinated individuals have a one in four chance (25%) of getting Covid from housemates who are also fully vaccinated.
For unvaccinated people, this rises to 38%.
“Vaccines do an excellent job of preventing serious Covid illness and deaths but are less good at stopping infections.”
The vaccines’ poor performance against infections is reinforced with a quote from a co-author of the study: “Our findings provide important insights into the effect of vaccination in the face of new variants, and specifically, why the Delta variant is continuing to cause high Covid case numbers around the world, even in countries with high vaccination rates” [emphasis added]
The key messages which follow these findings are:
“Since households are where most Covid transmission occurs, making sure every member who is eligible for a vaccine has had one and is up to date with their doses makes sense, say experts.” [emphasis added]
Quoting Prof Lalvani of Imperial College London, who co-led the study: “The ongoing transmission we are seeing between vaccinated people makes it essential for unvaccinated people to get vaccinated to protect themselves from acquiring infection and severe Covid-19…We found that susceptibility to infection increased already within a few months after the second vaccine dose – so those eligible for booster shots should get them promptly.” [bold emphasis and highlighting added]
One obvious question arising from the unequivocal observation that “households are where most Covid transmission occurs” is: why were we locked down in our households several times over the course of 2020/21 and, with the Government’s ongoing pledge to follow The Science ™, can we now look forward to lockdowns being removed from the Government’s ‘Plan B’ winter measures?
The statement by Prof Lalvani, if reproduced correctly by the BBC, is problematic for its breakdown in logical reasoning. Ongoing transmission between vaccinated people provides little to no incentive for an unvaccinated person to get jabbed and so it is jarring to see rampant transmission between vaccinated people being used as an argument to persuade unvaccinated people to join the ranks of the vaccinated.
At any rate, if it is possible to put that logic error to one side, the BBC article’s message is clear: vaccination does not meaningfully stop infection and transmission, but people should get vaccinated anyway to avoid serious illness.
The BBC article’s statement that “vaccines do an excellent job of preventing serious Covid illness and deaths” is likely gleaned from a section in the study, ‘Implications for all available evidence’, where the authors note: “Although vaccines remain highly effective at preventing severe disease and deaths from COVID-19, our findings suggest that vaccination is not sufficient to prevent transmission of the delta variant in household settings with prolonged exposures.”
The claim that vaccines “remain highly effective at preventing severe disease and deaths” is made twice in the study – in the Introduction and again in the Discussion section – but no reference to other studies is provided to support this, which does not mean there aren’t other studies to support it. Rather, assessing efficacy in preventing severe disease and death was not within the scope of the study so these claims represent a curious departure from the stated purpose of the study: “to investigate transmission and viral load kinetics in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals with mild delta variant infection in the community.”
Moreover, the results section of the study states: “All participants [who tested positive] had non-severe ambulatory illness or were asymptomatic.” So, no serious illness at all was observed in this study in either vaccinated or unvaccinated participants.
And yet, while recognising that “vaccination alone is not sufficient to prevent all transmission of the delta variant in the household setting”, the study makes an explicit policy recommendation in the discussion section: “Increasing population immunity via booster programmes and vaccination of teenagers will help to increase the currently limited effect of vaccination on transmission.”
The study itself and the BBC’s representation of it appear to mark a point in the evolution of vaccine (in)efficacy where the waving of a white flag in regard to transmission and infection has sparked a compensating need to brandish the argument for continued roll-out of boosters and vaccination of teenagers (whose risk is negligible) based on a much-vaunted benefit of the prevention of severe illness and death.
There are, as I shall argue, other ways in which this study could have been used to spark a debate about vaccines and the direction of travel to take with them. We can also use the BBC article as a springboard to discuss the potential implications for how data about Covid mortality is presented and its impact on public opinion.
Data – it’s all in the presentation
Following the Daily Sceptic’s analysis and reporting of UKHSA data to arrive at unadjusted vaccine efficacy figures, the UKHSA has updated its Vaccine Surveillance reporting to remove a chart showing infection rates that are higher in the double-vaccinated than the unvaccinated for all over-30s and more than double the rates for those aged 40-79. The removal has been reinforced by the UKHSA’s admonition: “Comparing case rates among vaccinated and unvaccinated populations should not be used to estimate vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infection.”
The Daily Sceptic provides a detailed explanation of the absurdity of the government’s attempt to redefine a basic concept of immunology, characterising it as a “thinly-disguised attempt to throw a sheet over unfavourable data”.
While attempting to ban a comparison of case ratesamong vaccinated and unvaccinated groups to estimate vaccine effectiveness, the UKHSA continues to place emphasis on how the vaccines are providing “high levels of protection (over 90%)” against mortality. But this figure is a relative risk assessment arrived at by comparing death ratesamong vaccinated and unvaccinated groups. Relative risk comparisons – the comparison of one group’s risk relative to another – can be misleading because they do not provide perspective on the magnitude of the risk faced. This is provided by an understanding of absolute risk which is the risk of getting ill over a period of time and is independent of any comparison to other groups. The relative risk reduction for the Pfizer vaccine prior to roll-out was reported as 95%. The absolute risk reduction was a far less impressive 0.84%.
How fearful the public is about Covid mortality and how confident it should be in claims about the vaccines’ effectiveness in preventing serious illness might depend on how the information is presented. What might the presentation of information look like if the media attempted to provide the public with an overview of the magnitude of Covid impact on mortality? Using the UKHSA data for deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test between weeks 39 and 42 of 2021, the following picture emerges:
*Unlinked deaths are those where NHS numbers were unavailable to link to the National Immunisation Management System database. The total number of unlinked deaths was 15 (0.54%) and was excluded from the analysis.
Total deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test over the four-week period amounted to 2,757. Total deaths registered in England and Wales from all causes in the comparable four-week period were 43,802. Covid associated deaths comprise 6% of that total.
79% of all Covid associated deaths were in the fully vaccinated.
According to the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Statistics for England for the week ending 24 October 2021, 85.1% of individuals aged 18 and over have been vaccinated with two doses. (4.95% of individuals aged 18 and over have received one dose.)
Confirming the heavily age-dependent risk profile of Covid, 77% of all linked deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test over weeks 39 – 42 occurred in those aged 70 years and over.
Contrast this headline summary of Covid mortality (using UKHSA, ONS and NHS data) with the UKHSA’s claim of “high levels of protection (over 90%)” against mortality or the BBC’s claim that vaccines “remain highly effective at preventing severe disease and deaths”. Is this headline summary any less valid than the UKHSA’s and BBC’s claims and, crucially, would it change the public’s perception of the overall risk?
“COVID-19 vaccinations are not associated with decreases in COVID-19 death rates and, thus, do not reduce serious hospitalized COVID-19 case rates. Overall, numerical data show COVID-19 vaccine rollouts are associated with increased COVID-19 illnesses and deaths.”
However, if it is indeed the case in the UK that vaccines remain highly effective at preventing severe disease and deaths, there should at least be a more nuanced discussion of a risk-benefit analysis which would be markedly different for certain populations such as children than for adults, particularly the elderly and those with comorbidities. Recognising the existence of high levels of natural immunity before the vaccine roll-out and a relatively small at-risk population would, of necessity, make continued messaging in support of mass vaccination look increasingly irrational.
No medical intervention, including vaccines, is a one-size-fits-all solution. This was recognised by the JCVI’s recommendation, ignored by the government, not to pursue the roll-out of vaccines to teenagers. This basic medical principle is continually being spotlighted by reports around the world like the one in which a US Army Physician challenged military vaccine mandates saying:
“Use of mRNA vaccines in our fighting force presents a risk of undetermined magnitude, in a population in which less than 20 active-duty personnel out of 1.4 million died of the underlying SARS-CoV-2.”
20 as a percentage of 1.4m is 0.001%. This principle can be applied to vast numbers of people in low-risk categories around the world and would serve to make vaccination, along with all other medical treatments, what it used to be before Covid hysteria: a private medical matter between a patient and their physician. As shocking as these developments are to some of us, it is equally, if not more, shocking to observe the mainstream media’s total failure to facilitate debate of fundamental issues like this.
There is mounting evidence that the Covid vaccines are leaky. The title of the BBC article is a give-away clue. That and the 19 reports and studies linked in the Brownstone Institute article. Leaky vaccines fail to prevent transmission since they erect an imperfect barrier against a virus. Consequently, they can result in the emergence of more virulent pathogen strains. In the case of Covid vaccines, they prime the immune system to respond only to the spike protein allowing variants over time to bypass its limited defences more easily. It is this narrow immune response that causes the virus to persist and give it every incentive and opportunity to adapt and grow stronger.
With an abundance of evidence for the leakiness of the Covid vaccines, the Brownstone Institute article questions “whether vaccines with limited capacity to prevent symptomatic disease may drive the evolution of more virulent strains”. It concluded that “the public benefit of universal vaccination is in grave doubt” and that “Covid vaccines should not be expected to contribute to eliminating the communal spread of the virus or the reaching of herd immunity. This unravels the rationale for vaccine mandates and passports”.
It is therefore not difficult to argue that the Imperial College study presented in the BBC article could just as easily have been used to debate the dangers of continuing a mass vaccination program with a ‘leaky’ vaccine.
The BBC blunders on, fortified against pain and impervious to scientific scepticism
Across the EU, the UK and the US, the Covid vaccines have the highest reported vaccine injury rate and post-vaccine death rate of any vaccine in history. And yet the BBC remains impervious to the suffering this has caused millions the world over. Worse still, many of those who suffered will have been coerced into receiving the vaccine for ‘the greater good’.
While many in the scientific community are trying to have an open debate about the dangers of mass vaccination with leaky vaccines during a pandemic, the BBC remains determined to block this debate.
Fortified against pain and impervious to scientific scepticism, like a leaky vaccine, the BBC remains myopically focused on one single message: get vaccinated. Rather than critically assessing and challenging government action, it is acting as an extension of government policy making. This is a betrayal of its mission and of the public it is meant to serve.