A fear-mongering WhatsApp message by a group of individuals and NGOs has been making its rounds recently.
This is the same group to whom I have replied their 19 questions and debunked their baseless allegations on Covid vaccines.
Instead of replying with facts and figures, they chose the immature and cowardly route of using gutter politics.
These are the same people who insisted the Ministry of Health (MOH) roll out ivermectin without any further clinical trials as required by many international institutions like the US National Institute of Science.
The first Randomised Clinical Trials (RCT) have shown that ivermectin is not effective.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved ivermectin for use in treating or preventing Covid-19 in human beings. Ivermectin tablets at very specific doses are approved for some parasitic worms, and there are topical (on the skin) formulations for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea.
Ivermectin is not an antiviral (a drug for treating viruses). The FDA warned:
- Taking large doses of invermectin is dangerous and can cause serious harm.
- If you have a prescription for ivermectin for an FDA-approved use, get it from a legitimate source and take it exactly as prescribed.
- Never use medications intended for animals on yourself. Ivermectin preparations for animals are very different from those approved for humans.
I actually malas nak layan (don’t want to bother responding to) these conspiracy theorists and anti-vaccination lobbyists. Now apparently there exists dangers of mass vaccinations as alleged by Dr Geert Vanden Bossche. These people obviously do not know their history.
In the 20th century alone, 350-500 million died from smallpox. The World Health Organization (WHO) kick-started mass smallpox vaccination programmes in the 1950s.
Through this global programme, smallpox was successfully eradicated in 1980.
In 1985, there were 400,000 cases of polio. Following the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), which is a universal polio vaccination programme of at least three doses in the first year and two boosters thereafter, i.e. mass vaccination for all children, polio cases have plummeted by 99.9 per cent to 33 reported cases in 2018.
If we do not listen to these people and Dr Bossche, the world will very soon be polio-free.
And if we persevere with the WHO Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), we can also hope to eliminate measles and congenital rubella.
However, they are now scare-mongering about Covid mass immunisation programmes. They obviously have no facts to substantiate their claims except for conjecture and conspiracy theories.
It is sufficient to debunk their wild allegations by sharing the real-world experience of countries that have successfully rolled out the mRNA and other Covid vaccines.
This report from the Israel health ministry, dated March 10, 2021, is extremely reassuring of the success and positive impact of the mass vaccination against COVID.
55 per cent of Israelis have received at least one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine. 43 per cent have been immunised with two doses.
The Vaccine Efficacy (VE) of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine against symptomatic Covid is 97 per cent, which is actually higher than the 95 per cent in the Pfizer Phase Three trials.
The VE against asymptomatic Covid is 94 per cent. This means not only does the vaccine prevent one from getting Covid, it also prevents its transmission.
They quoted Dr Bossche who warned that mass vaccination “creates more asymptomatic cases to spread the virus as the vaccines DO NOT prevent infection and transmission”.
I think they need to keep abreast of the most current literature on the pandemic and not rehash old and outdated press reports.
Their allegations obviously constitute misinformation because:
- There are 55 per cent less cases of Covid-19 after the mass Pfizer mRNA vaccine immunisation programme was initiated.
- There are 71 per cent less Covid-related deaths
- There are 44 per cent less admissions to ICUs.
They allege mass vaccination “helps create new variants and promotes viral immune escape“.
Yes, there have been some new variants, namely the UK B117, South Africa B1351 and Brazil P1 mutant strains.
This is actually anticipated and not surprising, as what has happened with other pathogens. For example, there is a need to immunise annually against influenza, due to antigenic mutations.
Note that 80 per cent of the mutant strains in Israel was the UK B117 variant, and yet the Pfizer mRNA was effective against this new mutant.
If you are living in Israel, and you refuse the vaccine, the risk of you being infected is 44 times higher, and the risk of you dying from Covid is 29 times higher.
That is why the health ministry in Israel is trying very hard to scale up the coverage of the vaccination post-haste to achieve a herd immunity of 70-80 per cent so they can protect:
- Children and adolescents below 16 years who are not presently eligible for the vaccine.
- Those who have a history of anaphylaxis, allergies to polyethylene glycol and polysorbates who cannot be immunised.
- People like you who refuse to be vaccinated.
The UK is probably one of the top five nations in the world to effectively roll out Covid vaccines. I hope you can appreciate that Covid cases, admissions and deaths have seen a drastic decline.
I am hoping that the vaccine rollout by the Jawatankuasa Khas Jaminan Akses Bekalan Vaksin (JKJAV) and the MOH should be ramped up to reap the full benefits of mass vaccination:
- Less Covid-19 cases, especially severe Covid, since all vaccines prevent against severe Covid disease.
- Less hospital admissions which will not overwhelm our health care services.
- Less Covid-related deaths.
I hope these individuals and NGOs will cease spreading misinformation. If they insist on writing about Covid, kindly share their references so that their claims can be verified.
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.