Like guinea pigs to the slaughter

Are vaccination-hungry governments rushing to adopt dangerous remedies and will they force them on their citizens?
Pixabay Covid-19 Vaccine Corona - Free vector graphic on Pixabay

A few years ago, a friend of mine found himself in Peru in a smart restaurant. Looking at the menu, he was surprised to find “guinea pig” offered as an entree. Certain that it would not resemble a roasted rat, in the same way, that one does not expect one’s steak to look like a dead cow, he ordered this specialty. When it finally arrived, he looked down at his plate and was shocked to see the roasted animal, split down its spine, with its mouth wide open, staring him in the eye. Like a guinea pig to the slaughter.

Well, today I feel like a guinea pig to the slaughter.

We are blessed to have not one but three (or more) potential vaccines available to protect us from Covid — from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca. However, all is not what it seems.

When one looks at the testing time for these vaccines, they have been approved after 2 months of human trials, rather than the 10-15 years usually set aside for such tests.

If that were not enough, the AstraZeneca trial has recently been called into question by experts because the half-dose worked significantly better than the full dose. This means that, strictly speaking, the trials should be repeated using the half-dose as the central feature of the tests, with other doses being used as controls. However, the company initially presented their results as a fait accompli and would have happily moved forward with manufacturing (which they still may do).

The Pfizer tests themselves are not so clear cut. If you look at the small print, candidates who took the vaccine were only considered as having contracted Covid if they had BOTH of symptoms and a positive test for Covid. This means that those candidates who did not appear to have symptoms were not even tested for Covid but assumed to be clear. Now, there is significant data showing that 80% of Covid infections are mild or asymptomatic – so what if a substantial number of the 90% of “protected” candidates were actually just asymptomatic and still able to infect others? Surely that would mean that the benefit of the Pfizer vaccine was next to zero?

In their rush to vaccinate the world, will world leaders consider the risks to our children of taking dangerous chemical and biological cocktails that have not been adequately tested? Given that the risk of dying from Covid for a child is less than being run over by a bus, do we have the right to vaccinate them with potentially dangerous biological agents that have a far higher likelihood of causing them harm than Covid itself?

And if you say democratic governments will not force anyone to vaccinate, there is much evidence that severe restrictions will be imposed on those who refuse. Health Ministry director-general Prof. Hezi Levy recently stated that he “would like to push forward a law… to require people for whom there isn’t a health risk to get vaccinated.”

While the idea of vaccinating whole populations sounds sensible, in order to protect our elderly and those most at risk from Covid, should we be offering them to those at low risk if the side effects of the vaccine could be far more harmful to them than the disease itself?

That’s why I fear we, the vaccination-hungry West, are going forward like guinea pigs to the slaughter.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In a previous version, this post cited disproved allegations of fatalities in drug trials. Neither Dengvaxia nor the HPV vaccination were implicated in deaths during testing, and both are proven safe and lifesaving. Government handling of this crisis and the unprecedented speed with which clinical testing has been conducted remain legitimate and worthwhile topics of public debate. For dependable medical information on all aspects of the virus, see Times of Israel’s coronavirus coverage, and consult authoritative health resources.

About the Author
The writer is the emeritus Rabbi of Radlett United Synagogue with a Masters degree in Public Health from Hebrew University and a lifelong career in finance.
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