Ten (non-anti-vaxx) reasons not to be vaccinated against COVID-19

Wikipedia is always pretty mainstream, because their zealous moderators censor anyone they consider not to be mainstream. You don’t do well if you’re deemed a “pseudoscientist” or a “conspiracy theorist.” That being so, it’s instructive to read their article on RNA vaccines, because today is the very first time one of these has been given official approval to whack into the whole population of Britain, starting with the most vulnerable. The roll-out has been greeted with vast enthusiasm – at least from official sources – rather akin to that which greeted Tony Blair as a kind of Messiah in his election victory in 1997. Journalists and legacy news consumers are jubilant as well, and I think it is because they know nothing and assume everything.

They have been told that the new vaccine is safe – indeed, they have been told constantly by Bill Gates and the media that all vaccines are safe. The hundreds of kids suffering from narcolepsy because of the hastily-produced 2010 Swine Flu vaccine Pandemix are not worthy of mention. All these COVID vaccines are therefore safe, and will allow… “a return to some kind of normality.” Whether that is the “Great Reset” normality or something less like serfdom is not stated. There is a good deal of non-conspiracy-theory stuff that they have not been told, however, and the Wikipedia article is, shall we say, rather dampening to vaccination fever.

Just as yesterday the government got away with continuing pseudo-lockdown without publishing a proper cost-benefit analysis, so they have been exceedingly light on informed consent for COVID vaccines. That is especially the case as they are more than hinting that not being vaccinated will result in continued limitations to our God-given freedoms of association, travel, and so on. You don’t need to inform those who are not offered consent, do you?

Here are a few snippets from that Wikipedia article.

An RNA vaccine or mRNA (messenger RNA) vaccine is a new type of vaccine that transfers molecules of synthetic RNA into human cells. Once inside the cells, the RNA functions as mRNA, reprogramming the cells to make the foreign protein that would normally be produced by the pathogen (e.g. a virus), or by cancer cells.

That is, foreign RNA makes your cells (what proportion?) produce viral protein, provoking an immune response by making antibodies, and also sensitising killer T-cells to destroy the cells producing the protein… yes, that’s right, your cells.

Up until December 2020, no mRNA vaccine, drug, or technology platform, had ever been approved for use in humans, and before 2020, mRNA was only considered a theoretical or experimental candidate for use in humans.

Ah, so these are an experimental type of vaccine, untried before this year. But they’re theoretically safe, right?

Up until 2020, the mRNA biotechs had poor results testing mRNA drugs against various therapeutic areas including cardiovascular, metabolic and renal diseases, and selected targets for cancer, and rare diseases (e.g. Crigler–Najjar syndrome), with most finding that the side-effects of mRNA insertion were still too serious. Many big pharmaceuticals abandoned the technology, however, some biotechs re-focused on the lower margin (i.e. less profitable) area of vaccines, where the doses would be at lower levels, and side-effects reduced.

Given the novel nature of the mechanism of action of RNA vaccines, and their delivery systems, little is known about the medium and longer-term side effects,however, autoimmunity, and reactogenicity (mainly from the lipid nanoparticles), have been highlighted.

Before 2020, no mRNA technology platform (drug or vaccine), had ever been authorized for use in humans, and thus there was the risk of unknown effects,both short-term, and longer-term (e.g. autoimmune responses or diseases).

I guess that means they’ve been tested more than the ordinary vaccines we’ve been using for 200 years then?

In December 2020, Yossi Karko, director of the clinical research unit at Hadassah Medical Center, who ran mRNA trials, said, “The FDA has a mechanism of approving drugs and vaccines for emergency cases. What this means is that the FDA has initial safety data. But if this was a usual situation, the researchers would have followed the volunteers for at least two years before the vaccine was approved”.

Most often entirely new vaccines are tested for ten years: the Pfizer COVID vaccine has been approved after only seven months.

MHRA CEO June Raine said “no corners have been cut in approving it.”

Well – unless you count nine and a half years of safety trials that have been omitted, and the immunity given by governments to the pharmaceutical companies against litigation. But don’t doctors agree it’s as safe as houses?

In November 2020, Peter Hotez said of the emerging mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, “I worry about innovation at the expense of practicality”, while Michal Linial said, “I won’t be taking it immediately – probably not for at least the coming year”, and “We have to wait and see whether it really works”. However Linial also added, “Classical vaccines were designed to take 10 years to develop. I don’t think the world can wait for a classical vaccine”. Tal Brosh, the Head of Infectious Disease Unit at the Samson Assuta Ashdod Hospital said, “There is a race to get the public vaccinated, so we are willing to take more risks”, and “We will have a safety profile for only a certain number of months, so if there is a long-term effect after two years, we cannot know…”

In November 2020, The Washington Post reported on hesitancy amongst healthcare professionals in the United States to the novel mRNA vaccines, citing surveys which reported that: “some did not want to be in the first round, so they could wait and see if there are potential side effects”, and that “doctors and nurses want more data before championing vaccines to end the pandemic”.

That’s worrying. But at least the scientific research proves they’re going to work, yes?

As of December 2020, there are no peer-reviewed results on the efficacy of any potential mRNA vaccines, and in particular their T cell responses, the duration of the antibodies they produce (researchers observed in early-stage trials of mRNA vaccines signs of lasting antibody persistence against some pathogens, such as cytomegalovirus, but waning immunity against others, including influenza), and whether mRNA vaccines can give “transmission-blocking immunity” (i.e. once vaccinated, the individual cannot infect others). In December 2020, Professor Yossi Karko, who oversaw mRNA trials at the Hadassah Medical Center, warned that there were limitations to the data provided to date regarding mRNA vaccines and that the efficacy covered a short period.

Scientists were also not clear as to why the novel mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and BioNTect/Pfizer have shown potential high efficacy rates of 90 to 95 percent (from their November press releases), when the prior mRNA drug trials on other pathogens (i.e. other than COVID-19), were not so promising and had to be abandoned in the early phases of trials. Virologist Margaret Liu stated that it could be due to the “sheer volume of resources” that went into development, or that the vaccines might be “triggering a nonspecific inflammatory response to the mRNA that could be heightening its specific immune response, given that the modified nucleoside technique reduced inflammation but hasn’t eliminated it completely”, and that “this may also explain the intense reactions such as aches and fevers reported in some recipients of the mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccines” (these fevers were believed to be reactogenic effects from the lipid drug delivery molecules).

In addition to the efficacy of potential mRNA vaccines under clinical trial conditions, the effective efficacy of distributed mRNA vaccines could also be hard to sustain at high levels. Unlike DNA molecules, the mRNA molecule is a very fragile molecule that degrades within minutes in an exposed environment…the mRNA molecule is also quickly broken down by the human body. This fragility of the mRNA molecule … could lead people to believe, and act, as if they are immune when they are not.

“Intense reactions, aches, fevers…” that doesn’t sound good. But this is an emergency, isn’t it? And anything’s better than COVID. Well, that partly depends on whether you think COVID remains a serious threat. There is good evidence that after a steep epidemic in March-June, we are seeing only a moderate seasonal spike mainly in areas relatively spared, and herd immunity is near-complete. If so, COVID-19 is now endemic and will scarcely occur after the spring.

But even if not, remember that 50-80% of infected people have no symptoms at all, and nearly all the rest get no more than a cold-like or, at worst, flu-like illness. Children are scarcely affected. As for death, the overall infection fatality is around 1.2 in a thousand, and that is heavily weighted by the over 70s with more severe risk. At 68, with no other pathologies, my own risk of death is about 1 in 200, and with decreasing age the mortality drops precipitously. Even for men over 80, 96% survive, and with underlying conditions, the survival rate for octogenarians is still 80%.

You might ask why such a situation is described as an “emergency,” and you’d be right to wonder. And you might wonder how it warrants mass vaccination – even, perhaps, compulsory vaccination , with such novel substances, in order to be given back basic civil liberties – and I can only agree if you do. Money, and power, may have something to do with it. And ignorance.

Ten reasons not to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2

  • RNA vaccines are a novel technology that reprograms human cells.
  • The incidence of short and long term side effects is unknown. Auto-immunity can be lethal or life-changing.
  • The degree and longevity of protection, in return for the risks, is unknown.
  • For 99.88% of people the disease is not lethal.
  • For children and young people serious risk from COVID is almost nil.
  • Many people – possibly most by now – are already immune.
  • It is not good medicine to risk harming a whole population to protect a vulnerable minority who can themselves be vaccinated.
  • COVID-19 is a risk that is decreasing by the day, and may be virtually gone by the time the vaccine is available.
  • To make vaccination mandatory, or “passively coercive” (by issuing “freedom passports and the like) is a breach of God-given human rights, and ought to be resisted.
  • With vaccines from £14 a shot (Pfizer) to £2 a shot (Oxford) vaccinating the whole country, let alone the whole world, for spurious reasons is an unjust transfer of obscene amounts of money away from vital needs to big pharma and NGOs (the WHO, for example, was convicted of vaccine corruption over Swine Flu and has not been effectively reformed).


Avatar photo

About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
This entry was posted in Medicine, Politics and sociology, Science. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Ten (non-anti-vaxx) reasons not to be vaccinated against COVID-19

  1. Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

    It seems that the risk of auto-immune reactions in this case is particularly concerned with a placental protein that resembles the “spike protein” of COVID. Hence a couple of doctors, including Mike Yeadon, late of Pfizer, have filed an application in Germany to have vaccine trials stopped pending further research.

    Now, of course this may prove not to be a problem, but it is a known unknown which, in the normal course of things, would be targeted in pre-release trials, and/or be used to make the vaccine contraindicated in women of childbearing age.

    But since we are in a post-science world, the press is instead concerned only with rolling out mass vaccination, and Google search only produces a welter of fact-checkers providing bland reassurance that something in whatever report you heard was not accurate.

    All of which shows again that science, moneyed interests and big government do not mix.

  2. Peter Hickman says:

    Sebastian Rushworth has just published an informative and apparently thorough assessment of the Pfizer, AstraZenica and Moderna vaccines:


    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      Thanks for the link, Peter.

      The only thought-provoking thing I saw in the comments (the article raised the right questions otherwise) was Dr Rushworth’s comment that natural immunity was likely to be better than vaccine immunity.

      This of course is true in general, as every working doctor knows. But it sat uneasily with his conclusion that he would take the Moderna vaccine, because the propaganda machine has been pouring out the idea that there is no natural immunity after three months. Hence Matt Hancock’s hint that everyone will have to take the vaccine twice yearly from hereon in.

      This too is nonsense, as T-cell immunity is common and likely to be permanent, but there’s a strong sense of “having cake and eating it” in the narrative. But it makes for yet another nonsense set of policies in which the wonder-vaccine doesn’t actually make you immune within the same outbreak. On what mad planet does the world get vaccinated every 6 months for an endemic virus that only kills the weak and elderly?

  3. Alan Fox says:

    Didn’t know you were an anti-vaxxer, Jon. 😉

    Being of a certain age, I think the risk of being vaccinated is offset by the risk of catching Covid.

    On what mad planet does the world get vaccinated every 6 months for an endemic virus that only kills the weak and elderly?

    That’s me you are referring to. Why every six months? Why can we not eliminate the disease as we appear to have done with smallpox?

  4. Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

    Didn’t know you were an anti-vaxxer, Jon.

    Alan, when the NSAID Opren was heavily advertised, but insufficiently researched, I refused to prescribe it, but it didn’t make me Anti-medicine. I was proven right not long later when it was banned because of toxicity (which Lilly had covered up). I’ve had all my jabs including this season’s flu: but trialling the first RNA vaccine, developed in 9 months, is a different matter.

    I’m pushing into the significantly at-risk age bracket, but calculating my COVID risk it’s low enough for me to be happy to live with – especially since I have above average Vit D levels to reduce risk further. However, I’m unable to do a risk-benefit analysis vis a vis vaccine because there’s just insufficient information in the data that’s been released on the vaccines. The trials failed to pick up the risk of the ITP that killed a US doctor ten years younger than me, after all.

    In particular, the cytocrine storm and auto-immune issues that bedevilled previous Coronavirus vaccines at the animal stage appear to have been addressed by bypassing the animal stage, which doesn’t fill me with any more confidence than the corruption surrounding Pandemrix does. It’s not clear they’ve understood and found answers to those issues, and the motive to do so is lessened by their indemnity against litigation.

    However, if the concern was simply whether I’m more likely to catch and succumb to virus or vaccine, I’d not be that bothered, being fully prepared to meet my Maker either way. But the deal is to vaccinate everyone in the world younger than me too, to protect not them, but me. The young take all the risk and have little obvious medical benefit (just the carrot of a health passport from the government).

    The “twice yearly ongoing” concern I mentioned is directly from the oracles at SAGE via our Secretary of State for Health (not to mention Dr Fauci over in the US), who rightly point out that the trial data suggests only a decreased number of recipients showing symptoms, and didn’t address the rather more important questions of reductions of deaths and prevention of spread. Policy appears to based on it’s not working in those areas.

    At the same time the official line is still that even natural COVID immunity is temporary (for some reason they ignore T-cell immunity) – which is why Boris Johnson had the bug badly and survived, but self-isolated a little later when some colleagues tested positive, and STILL wears a mask. That’s the downbeat mainstream message here in UK, the denial of which makes me (and you, I guess!) a science-denier. Personally I suspect that the vaccines, like virtually all others I’ve used, will provide less immunity than the natural infection: probably both will do the job. But don’t tell Matt Hancock I said so.

    Another local issue, which perhaps you’re spared out there in Macron’s France, is that the SAGE/government caucus has unilaterally decided, contra WHO advice, that it’s fine to delay giving the mandated second dose until maybe three months time, or maybe next winter, or whatever they get around to. Tens of thousands of vulnerable patients are being refused the follow-up dose they agreed to, and which the manufacturers and the trials recommend. GPs were even told to bin vaccine if they couldn’t get first-time patients organised in time, rather than give a second dose to staff or patients. There is of course no data to say whether with delayed second doses immunity will still be enhanced, or reduced, or be more likely to trigger a cytocrine storm… I’m certainly Anti-ignoring-terms-of-licenxxe!

    You must surely see that eradication of smallpox – a very slow job – was fundamentally different because of the nature of the virus and the natural history of the disease. Polio is a somewhat closer parallel, but that too is proving difficult – partly because of the pseudo-polio paralysis caused by oral vaccines in the developing world.

    Smallpox is easily diagnosed on symptoms, rather than being mainly asymptomatic and diagnosed solely on a PCR test with, as yet, no gold standard calibration and an unknown, but significant, false positive rate. Smallpox has a low mutation rate and a large particle size. And it has an IFR of 30%, as opposed to SARS-CoV-2’s 0.12%. And it’s untreatable, whereas there is an increasing number of effective and easily available treatments for COVID.

    And of course, unlike smallpox it’s now endemic worldwide, as well as probably exhibiting dormancy. I’d as soon try to eradicate E. coli.

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      Just for the historical record, let me add that smallpox was eradicable because it has no animal vectors.

      Covid arose from bats and has been seen in many household pets as well as most white-tailed deer in the US. The idea that SARS-CoV-2 could ever be eradicated, especially through mass vaccination, was untenable even when this OP was written – even before the vaccine’s non-sterilizing immunity was demonstrated. But note that it was regarded as likely even by Wikipedia at that point.

  5. Alan Fox says:

    Thanks for the detailed reply, Jon. Quite a bit to chew on.

    Your caution regarding the new vaccines is shared by around 40% of French people according to a recent poll. My optimism is down to the fact that our knowledge and ability to tackle Covid grows daily. Just in my circle of friends and acquaintances, most have avoided it, some have caught it with mild symptoms and recovered quickly, a nephew in his twenties needed emergency treatment and is now fine, a friend’s son is incapacitated with ongoing cognitive problems and one acquaintance has died. Avoiding close contact with strangers and restricting travel has been an effective strategy at keeping infection under control in rural regions especially but it can’t be maintained indefinitely.

    I could wait and see how others fare but that seems a bit mean. I’m going to give the vaccine a shot.

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:


      Somebody told me the caution is shared by about 50% of medical practitioners here, but I have no way of asking them under lockdown, and in any case the NHS cult is so established now they’d be afraid to speak out.

      To HMG’s chagrin, careworkers are reticent too – and that seems to be down to their mainly being from ethnic minorities, who have suffered from a number of problems with previous vaccines that were formulated with white populations in mind.

      I discovered the loss of one university friend early on in the outbreak, in Canada – unsurprisingly he had a couple of other significant health issues. Otherwise Devon has been in the least affected area, despite a brisk holiday influx in the summer during which, according to contact tracing, not a single case came in from that cause. Spread is mainly in households, but nobody seems to explain how it gets into the houses – down the chimney, maybe.

      As you say, quarantine of the healthy cannot be an indefinite strategy – prior to 2020 it wasn’t a strategy at all, being actively discouraged by the WHO as ineffective (apart from in the early stage of few cases) and prohibitively expensive, both economically and in terms of lives lost to other causes. It was Chairman Xi who introduced it, I understand.

      It’s fair enough to get vaccinated if personal risk warrants it, it seems to me – a few of my older friends are due to get it this week. But the evidence for Vitamin D is increasingly good for reducing infection rates and mortality from COVID, and proven for flu, so I’ve been spreading the word to take 4000iu daily (despite never having been a vitamin taker any more than an anti-vaxxer before!).

      The Vit D story goes a long way to explaining the poor outcomes for racial minorities, diabetics and other metabolic syndromes, all being associated with low Vit D in northern climes in winter, together with the low rates in sub-Saharan Africa, barring South Africa. According to an interview with MP David Davis (science background), who has been talking to groups of doctors, around half of them are already taking it, despite the lack of government endorsement.

Leave a Reply