It has become the crux of the conversation anytime one brings up any talks of “back to normal” – that is the Covid-19 vaccine. Public pressure has been coming from the media and politicians alike telling Canadians that the vaccine is the key to get things “back to normal.”
The media and politicians have divided the population into two distinct groups – those that support the government’s draconian actions and the dirty “others.” A group characterized as Yahoo’s and out to lunch. The prevailing narrative appears to be that anyone who questions getting a vaccine approved under interim approval is an “anti-vaxxer.” I suppose that’s one way to attempt to drive people away from vaccine hesitancy – shame them by calling them names.
The issue is that calling someone names and shaming them because they have a legitimate difference of opinion only gaslights the public. You don’t convince me that the vaccine is any more needed for myself and you don’t convince address the other concerns I have.
What are the concerns I have?
There are several concerns I have with the Covid-19 vaccine – but here is the shortlist:
- I don’t trust my public officials
- Big Pharma has been sued many times – many of those sued are the same ones developing vaccines
- The vaccine isn’t proven to prevent transmission
- no peer review as through a traditional review process
- the low risk from Covid for my age vs the high risk of unpleasant reactions from the vaccine like headache, fatigue, pain at vaccination site nausea etc.
Why don’t I trust my public health officials?
Simply put, It has been a combination of many factors. Most recently it was the government of Canada’s flip flop on the Astrazeneca vaccine. As European nations were pulling the vaccine over safety concerns, Canada’s health officials seemed undeterred.
On March 18th a release was put out that said “Health Canada confirms that the benefits of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in protecting Canadians from COVID-19 continue to outweigh the risks” only to change their position again and say that they would only give the Astrazeneca vaccine to those above the age of 55. All of that occurred within 11 days – so forgive me if I’m hesitant to trust public officials.
It’s more than just that though – the models have never once been right. The hospitals weren’t overwhelmed anywhere near what the media claimed as is evident by looking at ICU capacity and hospital admission trends over the last 30 days.
Lawsuits of Big Pharma
The vaccines that are approved under interim use and available for use against Covid-19 in Canada are the Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson).
All the lawsuits
Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) – Fined $2.2 billion
In 2013, the United States Department of Justice issued a release stating that Johnson and Johnson had been ordered to pay “$2.2 Billion to Resolve Criminal and Civil Investigation.” In the complaint to the FDA from the government, they claim that “J&J and Janssen were aware that Risperdal posed serious health risks for the elderly, including an increased risk of strokes, but that the companies downplayed these risks. “
Sounds like someone who is very trustworthy and deserves to have the approval of their vaccine sped up through interim approval processes – doesn’t it?
The release continues:
“The complaint alleges that, despite the FDA warnings and increased health risks, from 1999 through 2005, Janssen aggressively marketed Risperdal to control behavioural disturbances in dementia patients through an “ElderCare sales force” designed to target nursing homes and doctors who treated the elderly.” As if that is already damning enough against the companies reputation the release continued about the complaints that concerned children.
“In addition to promoting Risperdal for elderly dementia patients, from 1999 through 2005, Janssen allegedly promoted the antipsychotic drug for use in children and individuals with mental disabilities. The complaint alleges that J&J and Janssen knew that Risperdal posed certain health risks to children, including the risk of elevated levels of prolactin, a hormone that can stimulate breast development and milk production. Nonetheless, one of Janssen’s Key Base Business Goals was to grow and protect the drug’s market share with child/adolescent patients. Janssen instructed its sales representatives to call on child psychiatrists, as well as mental health facilities that primarily treated children, and to market Risperdal as safe and effective for symptoms of various childhood disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and autism.”
So essentially, the drug wasn’t approved by the FDA for use in children and Janssen still instructed their sales representatives to call on child psychiatrists, and mental health facilities that primarily treated children the complaint claims.
AstraZeneca lawsuit – fined $520 million
In 2010 Astrazeneca had to pay $520 million in fines by the federal government for illegally marketing their anti-psychotic drug Seroquel to children and elderly patients for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
According to an ABC article “the FDA approved Seroquel to treat only psychotic disorders, specifically short-term treatments of schizophrenia, bipolar mania and bipolar depression. The government claims that AstraZeneca intentionally marketed the drugs — by paying kickbacks to doctors — for a variety of illnesses for which it had never been tested, including aggression, Alzheimer’s, anger management, anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dementia, depression, mood disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and sleeplessness. It was given to the elderly, children, veterans and inmates, who were treated as “guinea pigs,” according to the acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.“
Are we getting the pattern I’m driving at yet? These people now have less oversight in regards to the development of the Covid-19 vaccine than they did when they were fined for these transgressions by the government – why would I trust them now with even less oversight than the regular approval processes?
Pfizer lawsuit $2.3 billion in fines
Pfizer was fined $2.3 billion resulting in the largest health care fraud settlement in history. The pharmaceutical was fined this massive amount of money for “illegally promoted uses of four of its drugs, including the painkiller Bextra” the U.S. Department of Justice said. Seeming like a pattern yet?
The Pfizer subsidiary Pharmacia & Upjohn “pleaded guilty to a felony violation for promoting off-label uses of Bextra, such as for pain relief after knee replacement surgery. ” Essentially, you aren’t allowed to promote a drug for any use other than the FDA-approved use – something they were found guilty of doing.
Moderna – Although I don’t see any lawsuits for Moderna, I do find their declared partners interesting. AstraZeneca, Merck and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are partners according to Moderna’s website.
Normally before the final approval of a vaccine, all of the data gets released for peer review – this process has not occurred under the interim approval of the Covid vaccines – another cause of my “vaccine hesitancy”. Furthermore, why would I get a vaccine that gives headaches and fatigue to roughly half of its recipients when my age group is statistically not at risk from Covid (minuscule) and the vaccine isn’t proven to reduce transmission?
In closing, I am refusing the Covid vaccine and won’t apologize for doing so. When I look at the extensive history of dishonesty from pharmaceutical companies I’m all that more “hesitant” to take their vaccine that bypassed regular approval processes. They went beyond dishonesty and many marketed their drugs for unapproved uses – why should I trust them now?
We don’t know what the 1,3,5 and 10-year safety outlook of these vaccines will look like. We can’t sue the manufacturers for side effects if things go wrong either! Considering the mRNA vaccine is also a new technology – I’ll especially pass on it considering it was approved through interim approval processes. Any time a vaccine is rushed there is a risk associated with that – that’s just a logical assessment.
Last but not least, I’ll refuse the vaccine because Covid isn’t the deadly pathogen it was made out to be. We must protect the most vulnerable as we do every year in influenza season – but that doesn’t mean you need a vaccine to do it. Better ventilation in retirement and LTC facilities would be a start combined with adequate staffing and sick leave for sick staff. If we address those problems – we address over 70% of the problem of COVID and any other seasonal Influenza-like-illnesses.
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