UK Parliament debates Covid-19 Vaccine Safety
A number of MPs are getting concerned about this important issue
Over the last month an online petition to debate Covid-19 vaccine safety amassed over 107,000 signatures. This meant that the UK Parliament had to debate this important issue, which it did do on Monday.
The petition stated that:
“There has been a significant increase in heart attacks and related health issues since the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines…This needs immediate and full scientific investigation to establish if there is any possible link with the Covid-19 vaccination rollout.
It is the duty of the Government to ensure that the prescribed medical interventions of its response to Coronavirus are safe. We believe that the recent and increasing volume of data relating to cardiovascular problems since the Covid-19 vaccine rollout began is…enough…to warrant a full Public Inquiry.”
Below, I comment on and transcribe some of the key/interesting parts of the debate. If you want to watch the full thing then click on the image below.
Elliot Colburn MP introduced the debate to the House. He said he was grateful to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for briefing him on its vaccine safety surveillance strategy. Elliot does not think the Government should launch a public inquiry into vaccine safety because it would be a waste of taxpayers’ money and is not necessary for the reasons he discusses in the debate.
Whilst introducing the debate he reminds the House that for the first 26 months of the pandemic, over 178,000 people across the UK died within 27 days of a positive covid-19 test. It remains his position that vaccination is the single most effective way to reduce deaths and severe illness from covid-19.
During Elliot’s introduction, Sir Christopher Chope interjected:
My hon. Friend has obviously done a lot of preparation for the debate. Did part of that preparation include looking at Oracle Films’ “Safe and Effective: A Second Opinion”, which was produced about a month ago and has already had more than 1 million views online? Most people think it highly persuasive.
Elliot had not seen it but has read a lot of anti-vax material which includes climate change denial, moon landing denial and so is inclined to ignore it completely.
Elliot sounds like a man with an open mind and the perfect lead for this debate. However he did agree that:
People have a right to know what is put in their bodies, and have the autonomy to decide whether to have a vaccination. It is therefore the job of the state to ensure not only that vaccines are safe for use and continually reviewed, but that knowledge of why they are safe and effective is communicated well to our constituents.
Danny Kruger MP asked:
My hon. Friend talks about the independence of the MHRA, and I very much hope he is right about that. Is he aware that it is overwhelmingly funded by the pharmaceutical companies that it regulates? Does he have any concerns about the objectivity of its work?
Of course, Elliot did not have any concerns but again brought the conversation back to anti-vaxxers saying that their view that the business model of the pharmaceutical companies is to kill everyone is very strange.
Richard Holden MP said:
My hon. Friend is making a good speech. My constituent Gareth Eve lost his wife Lisa Shaw when she was only 44, as a result of the AstraZeneca vaccine. He is not an anti-vaxxer. Although the debate is on the broad issue, does my hon. Friend agree that matters such as how families get compensation could be dealt with Toggle much better, even if he does not agree with a full public inquiry into the entire body of the issue? So many families, including that of my constituent, have been left waiting for that support for a very long time.
Elliot was sorry to hear about Lisa Shaw but no vaccine is without risk. He said no medicine is without risk but that is the balance we must weigh up when making decisions about our own health. How the safety and efficacy of the vaccine is monitored was then discussed.
As of 28 September 2022, in the UK, 173,381 yellow cards had been reported for Pfizer-BioNTech; 246,393 for AstraZeneca; 42,437 for Moderna; 14 for Novavax; and 1,848 for vaccines where the brand was not specified. For Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna, the reporting rate is about two to five yellow cards per 1,000 doses administered.
However, Elliot says it is important to note this is a self-reporting system and can’t be used to prove a causal link. Furthermore, it could all be made up because it has no verification process.
To this, Danny Kruger said:
I think my hon. Friend is suggesting that the yellow card scheme numbers exaggerate the potential negative effect of the vaccines. Is he aware that the independent MHRA suggests that vaccine injuries have been under-reported by one in 10, meaning that there may be 10 times more vaccine-related injuries than the yellow card scheme reports? Surely, if there is an exaggeration, it is in the opposition direction from the one that he is suggesting.
Elliot was aware of that but reiterates there is no causal link and says most reactions are mild and are a normal immune response.
There have been some occurrences of inflammatory heart conditions following a covid-19 vaccination, but fortunately they are incredibly rare. For Pfizer, the suspected myocarditis reporting rate is 12 reports per 1 million doses. For suspected pericarditis, including viral pericarditis and infective pericarditis, the overall reporting rate is eight reports per 1 million doses. For Moderna, that is 42 per million, and for AstraZeneca four per million.
The events reported are typically mild, with individuals usually recovering within a short time, following standard treatment and rest. The benefits of the vaccines in protecting against covid-19 and the serious complications associated with it far outweigh any currently known side effects.
Elliot discusses excess deaths but says there is no causal relationship with the vaccine. One of the reasons could be the long-term impact from Covid itself.
Danny Kruger MP gave his speech:
Of course there are lunatics out there who make absurd and outrageous claims, but there are many reasonable and respectable people who have anxieties about the vaccine programme, particularly people who have suffered as a result of the programme and their families.
We had what I think was our first meeting last week in a Committee room in Portcullis House. I am afraid there were only a tiny handful of colleagues there, but well over a hundred members of the public attended, which is not the usual story for [a meeting]. I felt somewhat ashamed, on behalf of Parliament, that that was the first time that those members of the public—including families of the bereaved, who are themselves injured citizens—had had the opportunity to be in a room with members of this House.
Although many questions about our covid response need to be answered, the UK is by no means the worst offender. We are not Canada, New Zealand or China—places where Governments think they can exterminate covid by depriving their population of the most basic civil liberties. However, I am afraid that we still have many questions to ask ourselves, and even much to be ashamed of. I put on record that in hindsight I am particularly ashamed of my vote to dismiss care workers who did not want to receive the vaccine. I very much hope that the 40,000 care workers who lost their jobs can be reinstated, and indeed compensated.
He went on to ask why the whole population was vaccinated when initially it was only going to be the over 50s? Andrew Bridgen MP also asked why were people with natural immunity, after contracting the virus, vaccinated?
Danny Kruger MP responded:
The best vaccine against covid is covid, and many people were naturally immune. There are questions to be asked about the effects of vaccination on the immune system.
It is an essential principle of medical ethics that people must be able to give informed consent before any treatment, and I worry about whether we can say that consent was fully informed in all cases.
Throughout, there has been misinformation in favour of the vaccine. I would not say that was deliberate; it was possibly accidental…Perhaps the most egregious example was the claim that the vaccine is 95% effective…That figure refers simply to the relative risk, instead of the actual or absolute reduction in risk to an individual. The absolute risk reduction is really less than 1%.
There was also the widespread claim that the vaccine stops transmission, so people should take the jab to protect other people. We were all told that; we all believed that for many months. Last month, we heard from Pfizer that its vaccine was never tested to see whether it would stop transmission. Despite that, we had the notorious claim by Professor Chris Whitty that even though the vaccine brought no benefit to children, children should be vaccinated to protect wider society. I am all for thinking about society, not the individual, but that, again, feels like a profound break with medical ethics. A lot of people are asking what the vaccine does to children and young people, and Professor Whitty is right that the benefit to healthy children seems to be essentially nil.
How do we explain the increase in the rates of myocarditis, heart attacks and excess deaths among young people? Indeed, across the general population, it is plausible, though not definitive, that the vaccine is responsible for more harms than we know about. As I said in my intervention, we know from the yellow card scheme that up to one in 200 hundred people vaccinated report an adverse reaction. That is bad enough in itself, but we also know that adverse effects are significantly under-reported through the yellow card scheme. Based on the MHRA’s research, there may be as many as 10 times more serious adverse reactions than the yellow card system shows.
Mr Kruger concluded by asking whether the vaccination of children will be reviewed. Furthermore he said “I mentioned that the MHRA is funded by the pharmaceutical companies that produce the drugs and vaccines that it regulates. There might be some universe in which that makes sense, but this is not it. I do not think that is right.”
Sir Christopher Chope spoke next:
Coroners up and down the country have found in their reports that deaths have been caused directly by covid 19 vaccines.
My hon. Friend [Elliot Colburn MP) showed himself to be rather the victim of producer capture—the producer in this case being the MHRA. He does not seem to have allowed his researches to go further than the MHRA. Has he, for example, looked at what has been happening in Germany? The Paul Ehrlich Institute is the German regulator responsible for vaccine safety. On 20 July, the institute confirmed that one in 5,000 people was seriously affected after a vaccination. That also reflected a finding that it published earlier in the year, in which the institute tried to raise the alert that one in 5,000 vaccinated people experienced a serious side effect, such as heart Toggle showing muscle inflammation. It said that, statistically, every 10th person must expect a severe consequence from having a course of three or four vaccines. The institute uses the World Health Organisation definition of a “serious adverse event”, meaning one that results in hospitalisation or is life-threatening or life-changing. After a course of four doses, the risk of a report to its system of a serious adverse effect is one in 1,250. That is serious information coming from the regulator of a country that is highly respected for the quality of its healthcare.
Is it not interesting that the number of adverse reports referred to the institute is far fewer than the number of adverse reports that led to the 1976 swine flu vaccine being withdrawn?
The Government seem to be in denial about the risks of these vaccines. Only this morning, the deputy chief medical officer for England was on the radio saying that the boosters were perfectly safe and effective, but they are not perfectly safe, and there is a question about whether they are effective, but that is for another debate.
As a result of the Government’s behaviour, victims are increasingly telling their loved ones, neighbours and friends about their circumstances, which is leading to a much lower rate applications for booster vaccines. That is happening because the Government cannot suppress the information that ordinary people are sharing with one another, even though there is very little on this topic in the mainstream media.
Many people now would not touch a booster with a bargepole, and I include myself among them. I am not anti-vax—I had my first two vaccines—but from all that I have seen and know about this, the increase in boosters is counterproductive for many and dangerous for some.
In the United States, they changed the definition of a vaccine…That information is not really out there among the public any more than the fact that the booster vaccines have not been tested on humans at all during studies; they were tested only on mice. People are being used as victims for experimentation, and that is why they are getting worried.
Andrew Bridgen MP gave his views:
A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, included 7,806 children aged five or younger who were followed for an average of 91.4 days after their first Pfizer vaccination. The study showed that one in 500 children under five years of age who received a Pfizer mRNA—messenger ribonucleic acid—covid vaccine were hospitalised with a vaccine injury, and one in 200 had symptoms ongoing for weeks or months afterwards.
Half a per cent. of the children—40 out of the 7,806—had symptoms that were still ongoing and of unknown significance at the end of the trial. That was during a two to four-month follow-up period, so 0.5% of the children had an adverse effect that lasted for weeks or months. In two cases, the symptoms were confirmed to have lasted longer than 90 days. Given that evidence, perhaps the Minister could explain why we are vaccinating healthy children who are at minimal risk from covid. Surely that is in breach of the Hippocratic oath to do no harm. We are not in a situation where we can ask young people to risk their lives to protect older people. In a civilised society, that cannot be the way it works.
The Florida department of health conducted an analysis through a self-controlled case series, which is a technique originally developed to evaluate vaccine safety. The analysis found that there is an 84% increase in the relative incidence of cardiac-related death among males aged 18 to 39 within 28 days following messenger ribonucleic acid vaccination.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Dr Aseem Malhotra at the APPG launch last week. He made a very strong case for the idea that up to 90% of adverse vaccine reactions are not even being reported.
Andrew concluded by again asking about excess deaths and saying there is a strong correlation with vaccine uptake. He says this is really important and if we do not get it right, no one will believe us and trust in politicians, in medicine and in our medical system will be lost.
Too late, Mr Bridgen.
After a number of other MPs made speeches about how safe and wonderful the vaccines are, Sir Christopher Chope asked, “if the vaccines were so safe, why was it necessary for the vaccine manufacturers to seek an indemnity against liability for negligence from the Government and the taxpayer?”
More MPs made speeches about how many lives have been saved by the vaccine and how the debate is only taking place due to the vaccine with Elliot Colburn ending the debate by saying:
The proof is that they work, they are saving lives and they protect us and others. I join the Minister in urging people to come forward for their vaccines this winter, to help to protect themselves and others and ensure the strain on our NHS is as minimal as possible.
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