50 percent of healthcare workers and hospital staff in Riverside County are refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
Why are those who have concerns with vaccine safety ridiculed and labelled as anti-vax conspiracy theorists? Why are the concerns never really acknowledged or addressed? Is the COVID vaccine even able to stop/prevent infection and transmission?
What Happened: Riverside County, California has a population of approximately 2.4 million, and about 50 percent of healthcare workers in the county are refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine despite the fact that they have top priority and access to it. At Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, one in five frontline nurses and doctors have declined the shot. Roughly 20% to 40% of L.A. County’s frontline workers who were offered the vaccine did the same, according to county public health officials.
According to the L.A. Times, “The vaccine doubts swirling among healthcare workers across the country come as a surprise to researchers, who assumed hospital staff would be among those most in tune with the scientific data backing the vaccines.”
The “scientific data” as the L.A. Times puts it has also come into question by academicians, scientists and doctors. For example, Dr. Peter Doshi, an associate editor at the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a piece in the journal issuing a word of caution about the supposed “95% Effective” COVID vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.” In it he outlines how there is no proof showing that the vaccine can and will prevent infection and/or transmission of the virus.
Another recent article published in the BMJ by journalist Paul D. Thacker highlights the conflicts of interest that exist between the United Kingdom’s COVID-19 advisors, which also seems to be a common theme around the globe.
Even Kamran Abbas, a doctor, executive editor of the BMJ and the editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization published an article about COVID-19, the suppression of science and the politicization of medicine. This is evident by the fact that other cheap therapies have shown a tremendous amount of promise and success for treating COVID-19, yet they’ve been heavily ridicule by the “medical-political complex,” as Abbas calls it.
The UK’s pandemic response relies too heavily on scientists and other government appointees with worrying competing interests, including shareholdings in companies that manufacture covid-19 diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines. Government appointees are able to ignore or cherry pick science—another form of misuse—and indulge in anti-competitive practices that favour their own products and those of friends and associates. – Abbas
These are simply a few examples as to why it comes as no surprise to many that frontline health-care workers are refusing to take the vaccine. Afterall, how necessary is it really for a virus that has a 99.95 percent survival rate for people under the age of 70? For people over the age of 70 the survival rate is still 95 percent. This data comes from more than 50 seroprevalence studies that have now been published. Let’s not forget about the fact that tens and thousands of doctors have openly opposed lockdown measures as a means to combat the virus, citing a lot of information showing the harms lockdowns are having from deaths that could have been prevented, to economic impacts, starvation, poverty and much more.
The L.A. times points out that “The extent to which healthcare workers are refusing the vaccine is unclear, but reports of lower-than-expected participation rates are emerging around the country…To persuade reluctant workers, many hospitals are using instructional videos and interactive webinars showing staff getting vaccinated. At an Orange County hospital, Anthony Wilkinson, an intensive care nurse who cares for coronavirus patients, said he had co-workers who had “lost faith in big pharma and even the CDC.”
Why This Is Important: Losing faith in “big pharma” does not come without good reason. For example, in 2010 Robert G. Evans, PhD, Centre for Health Services and Policy Research Emeritus Professor, Vancouver School of Economics, UBC, published a paper that’s accessible in PubMed titled “Tough on Crime? Pfizer and the CIHR.”
In it, he outlines the fact that,
Pfizer has been a “habitual offender,” persistently engaging in illegal and corrupt marketing practices, bribing physicians and suppressing adverse trial results. Since 2002 the company and its subsidiaries have been assessed $3 billion in criminal convictions, civil penalties and jury awards. The 2.3-billion settlement…set a new record for both criminal fines and total penalties. A link with Pfizer might well advance the commercialization of Canadian research.
Suppressing clinical trial results is something I’ve come across multiple times with several different medicines. Five years ago I wrote about how big pharma did not share adverse reactions people had and harmful results from their clinical trials for commonly used antidepressant drugs.
Even scientists from within federal these health regulatory agencies have been sounding the alarm. For example, a few years ago more than a dozen scientists from within the CDC put out an anonymous public statement detailing the influence corporations have on government policies. They were referred to as the Spider Papers.
We are a group of scientists at CDC that are very concerned about the current state of ethics at our agency. It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests. It seems that our mission and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception. Some senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviours. Others see it and turn the other way. Some staff are intimidated and pressed to do things they know are not right. We have representatives from across the agency that witness this unacceptable behaviour. It occurs at all levels and in all of our respective units. These questionable and unethical practices threaten to undermine our credibility and reputation as a trusted leader in public health. (source)
When it comes to vaccines specifically, a quote from a paper published in the International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy by professor Paddy Rawlinson, from Western Sydney University, provides some good insight into what I am referring to.
Critical criminology repeatedly has drawn attention to the state-corporate nexus as a site of corruption and other forms of criminality, a scenario exacerbated by the intensification of neoliberalism in areas such as health. The state-pharmaceutical relationship, which increasingly influences health policy, is no exception. That is especially so when pharmaceutical products such as vaccines, a burgeoning sector of the industry, are mandated in direct violation of the principle of informed consent. Such policies have provoked suspicion and dissent as critics question the integrity of the state-pharma alliance and its impact on vaccine safety. However, rather than encouraging open debate, draconian modes of governance have been implemented to repress and silence any form of criticism, thereby protecting the activities of the state and pharmaceutical industry from independent scrutiny. The article examines this relationship in the context of recent legislation in Australia to intensify its mandatory regime around vaccines. It argues that attempts to undermine freedom of speech, and to systematically excoriate those who criticise or dissent from mandatory vaccine programs, function as a corrupting process and, by extension, serve to provoke the notion that corruption does indeed exist within the state-pharma alliance.
Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new: Vaccine hesitancy among physicians and academics is nothing new. To illustrate this I often point to a conference held at the end of 2019 put on by the World Health Organization (WHO). At the conference, Dr. Heidi Larson a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project Emphasized this point, having stated,
The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers. We have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen…still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider.
A study published in the journal EbioMedicine as far back as 2013 outlines this point, stating in the introduction,
Over the past two decades several vaccine controversies have emerged in various countries, including France, inducing worries about severe adverse effects and eroding confidence in health authorities, experts and science. These two dimensions are at the core of vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. VH is defined as delay in acceptance of vaccination, or refusal, or even acceptance with doubts about its safety and benefits, with all these behaviours and attitudes varying according to context , vaccine and personal profile, despite the availability of vaccine services VH presents a challenge to physicians who must address their patients’ concerns about vaccines and ensure satisfactory vaccination coverage.
More data beyond the L.A. times article indicates widespread hesitancy.
Researchers from the University of California Los Angeles’ Karin Fielding School of Public Health surveyed healthcare personnel working in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. As the Washington Post reported, they found that two thirds (66.5%) of healthcare workers “intend to delay vaccination,” meaning they do not intend to get the COVID vaccine when it becomes available. They plan instead on reviewing the data once it’s widely administered and proven safe.
A recent Gallup poll showed that only 58% of Americans plan on getting the COVID vaccine when it’s available. An October poll conducted by Zogby found that nearly 50% of Americans have concerns about the safety of the coming COVID vaccines.
Concerns about vaccines are not just rooted in a lack of trust, but sound science. You can read about one of many examples, aluminum, here if you’re interested. Vaccines are not a one size fits all product, in the US alone nearly $4 billion has been paid out to families of vaccine injured children, and a number of studies are calling into question their safety.
The Takeaway: Doubts surrounding the COVID -19 vaccine have been largely unacknowledged. When they are acknowledged within the mainstream media they are usually played off as ridiculous, or not based in sanity. For the most part anybody who is concerned about vaccine safety is usually dubbed an “anti-vax conspiracy theorist.” Concerns that many scientists, doctors and people are bringing up with regards to vaccine safety are never really acknowledged or addressed, which brings me to my next point.
Why do we have such a hard time discussing controversial topics? Why are things always made out to seem so black and white? Why are we so polarized in our beliefs to the point where we can’t look at another viewpoint that challenges our own? Why can’t we understand why some people disagree with us and why they feel the way they do?
When it comes to vaccines, there is clearly an increased pressure for mandates in several different ways to the point where some of our rights and freedoms may be restricted if we don’t comply. Is all of this really justified? Is it really for the greater good or are we just made to believe it is? Should freedom of choice always remain? Why do we give so much power over to governments and private institutions to the point where they can lockdown the world against the will of many people? Should governments simply recommend measures and present the science on both ends of the coin in an open and transparent way and let people do as they please?
Are we seeing basic freedoms and enjoyable experiences within life become inaccessible for those that don’t wish to participate in extreme COVID measures? What is this fear driven approach saying about our general view of life at this time?
These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.
Amongst 100’s of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.
This content was originally published here.