This column contains facts and assessments that paint a different picture of current measures to contain the novel coronavirus. I present this information not as an expert but as a person with a lifelong obsession for examining policies and beliefs I find incongruous. For example, if vaccination protects from the virus, why are vaccinated people fearful of the unvaccinated? Are these fears, apparently shared by hundreds of millions of people around the world, entirely irrational? Or do they indicate an instinctive sense that something might be wrong with the vaccines?
These thoughts prompted a lot of additional reading. While I’m aware of some of the more novel ideas out there, I deliberately avoided relying on sources that, however well-meaning they might be, could be dismissed as extreme. The information I present here comes entirely from mainstream sources that are unimpeachable by those who are making public health and pandemic management decisions.
The creation of multiple Covid-19 vaccines in an astonishingly short period was a stunning achievement by the biotech industry. The vaccines were approved for “emergency use” in just a few months, rather than the 8-10 years normally required to thoroughly assess the longer-term risks of previous vaccines developed in the past 50 years. Most Canadians were more than willing to accept the added risk, which in any event our public authorities promised us was negligible, and still do. According to federal government data, over 86 percent of Canadians 12 and older are “fully vaccinated,” including yours truly. (Percentage as of November 26; figures at the linked site are updated daily.)
As millions of Canadians received their first and then second shots last spring, rapidly diminishing Covid-19 infection rates seemed to indicate the pandemic was nearing an end. But as summer turned to fall, the more contagious Delta variant gained a foothold and in some provinces and countries unleashed a fourth wave that, by some measures, was the worst one of all. Soon, case numbers and hospitalizations were escalating.
And that escalation was blamed on the unvaccinated, creating divisiveness that’s tearing at the social fabric of our nation. You’re either a vaccinated “good Canadian” or a villainous “anti-vaxxer.” The federal government’s decision to forbid the unvaccinated from working in the public service and federally regulated corporations created a cascade of prohibitions soon extending to post-secondary education and hundreds of thousands of businesses and other private organizations large and small. The unvaccinated can no longer work in much of the private sector, study in person, go to restaurants, gyms or sports events, or even travel on public transportation. And, in a flagrant violation of basic Canadian rights and freedoms, the Prime Minister suddenly issued a dictatorial edict forbidding air travel – even for those with a negative Covid-19 test.
But now, increasing reports that fully vaccinated persons are getting and transmitting the virus are demolishing the very foundation of those divisive and draconian restrictions. A prime example is widely circulated news that 10 players and a coach of the fully vaccinated Ottawa Senators NHL team tested positive for the virus. Even more worrying is that these fully vaccinated players infected their families. Another widely reported example is the quarantining of hundreds of Canadian soldiers who had participated in a training exercise at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa that apparently triggered a Covid-19 outbreak. A spokesman for the military stated that everyone involved was fully vaccinated. And just days ago we learned that Canadian rock legend Bryan Adams – himself also fully vaccinated – tested positive for Covid-19 in October and again upon arriving in Milan for a photo shoot just last week.
This and other evidence that fully vaccinated persons can both contract and spread the virus is momentous, and should be considered a game-changer. I’ve long been puzzled why the supposedly immune “fully vaccinated” worry about catching Covid-19 from the unvaccinated. Now it’s the unvaccinated who should be worried about catching the virus from the vaccinated.
Despite these clear signals that something about current pandemic management isn’t working, vaccination hysteria continues raging throughout the country with children as young as five being forced to roll up their sleeves, an imponderable and dangerous decision. Imponderable because children who contract the virus almost never die of it. The latest Canadian government statistics show that just 19 Canadians under age 19 have died of the virus in the past 18 months. (At the linked site, scroll down to Figure 7, then click on “deceased.”) According to other reports, most of these cases had serious comorbidities. Tragic as each of these cases is, statistically they add up to a very small number – roughly the same number as the pre-pandemic 12-month average for the seasonal flu.
And forcing vaccines upon this large demographic is dangerous because the long-term impact of injecting children with a DNA-based drug before their immune systems mature is completely unknown. The Covid-19 vaccines were approved for “emergency use.” Where is the emergency for children? There is none; the vast majority of children and youths who “get” Covid-19 do not fall seriously ill, or at all. Canadians aged 19 and under represent 21.3 percent of all “cases,” 2.1 percent of hospitalizations and 0 percent of fatalities.
New research, financed by Pfizer and published in The Lancet medical journal, found the protection level of that vaccine (administered to most Canadians) drops to less than 50 percent in just five months. This startling news has worried health officials sending urgent messages offering third and even fourth booster shots. No one knows if the protection period will continue to wane, but it should be clear that trying to hold back the virus mainly with vaccines sets up an endless booster-shot gerbil wheel that’s a golden dream for drug manufacturers, without providing genuine immunization for the population let alone restoring the “normal” we all long for.
If never-ending booster shots aren’t the answer, what is? A study published in the journal Nature concluded that many people who have recovered from SARs-CoV-2 “will probably make antibodies against the virus for most of their lives.” This “natural immunity” effect appears comparable to that developed for measles and other viral diseases – longer-lasting than vaccines, and probably stronger too. So the millions of unvaccinated people who are catching and recovering from Covid-19 are making an important contribution in moving societies towards “herd immunity.”
This should be recognized, and some countries are doing so. Germany, for example, treats recovered persons the same as the fully vaccinated. Canada, by contrast, applies the same restrictions to the recovered as to the unvaccinated.
The fixation on vaccination (top) is both self-defeating and unnecessary. Much greater emphasis should be placed on therapies to treat Covid-19 (middle). And countries such as Canada must at last recognize the positive role that could be played by natural immunity, which is likely to be stronger and longer-lasting than vaccination, as a recent study by Nature (bottom) concluded. (Source of top two images: Shutterstock)
Clear evidence that vaccinated people can and do contract and spread the virus destroys the underlying premise of vaccine passports. It also undermines the notion – apparently a near-religious belief among our public health authorities and political class – that we can vaccinate our way out of the pandemic. It should create much greater urgency to develop better treatments – especially outpatient therapies – for those sickened by Covid-19.
Unfortunately, back in never-never land, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, fresh from COP-26 where he pledged to lead the world off fossil fuels, has announced that he intends to also lead the world out of the Covid-19 pandemic with the creation of a “global vaccine passport.” One can only hope that his quixotic global fantasies take him far, far away. The two-thirds of Canadians who didn’t vote for him would be overjoyed.
Gwyn Morgan is a retired business leader who has been a director of five global corporations.