It's been many years since I smelled sweaty gyms and so nervous classmates lined up to be vaccinated with the BCG vaccine against tuberculosis. Where I lived, vaccine skepticism was not a major issue in the 70's. Show up, get vaccinated, done.
Anyone who today asks skeptical questions about new vaccines ends up in the same category as conspiracy theorists and people with foil hats who think the earth is flat and the moon landing a bluff. The trenches are bigger and deeper than ever, and few can stand on the sidelines with a gentle index finger in the air and ask: Is this safe?
Author, philosopher and anthropologist Trond Skaftnesmo dares to ask questions. He likes to examine views that contradict accepted truths and became unpopular with the book Enemies of the people (2012) about the three controversial researchers Andrew Wakefield, Olle Johansson and Arpad Pusztai.
With the book Vaccine coercion in the shadow of the corona crisis he sticks his questioning hand into another wasp nest, without hiding his underlying skepticism of the authorities and the pharmaceutical industry. The source-packed book, 334 sources of varying quality for 265 pages, was almost finished when the corona pandemic broke out. The book bears the mark of this, it is mostly about vaccines against known diseases such as measles, pertussis and influenza and vaccine programs that concern children – and little about today's coronary vaccines.
On the other hand, Skaftnesmo's book is good at global coercive issues: Are we now losing a number of the freedoms we have had?
"A wave of vaccine coercion"
One of the main points of this book is that there is a "global wave of vaccine coercion". You risk sanctions of various kinds if you do not take vaccines or refuse to let your children be vaccinated (also read separate case about Infection tracking and monitoring). On page 18 of the book: “The state may threaten to take your children from you. Or the children can be vaccinated at school without your knowledge and will. This is happening in the United States. " The source (# 4 in the book) of this claim is stated as Jefferey Jaxen in The Highwire June 23, 2019 – but is not found with Highwire's own search engine (but Google finds it). Highwire has plenty of vaccine-skeptical videos of Del Bigtree – who is one of the producers behind the film Vaxxed. From Cover-Up to Catastrophe (2016) and part of the "Vaccine Risk Awareness Movement".
But is the claim about the United States true? When MODERN TIMES checks with the US CDC (Center for Disease Control), it is stated that each state has its own laws and regulations on vaccination of children. A random sample of the authorities in New York City gir access to a form with ticks for which vaccines you want to exempt the child from. It sounds like you have a certain freedom, but if the child is not vaccinated, can it is excluded from school unless it has demonstrated immunity.
Next example from Vaccine intake is Australia with its "No Jab, No Pay" principle. Families are at risk do not have access to public support schemes if they refuse to let the children review the compulsory vaccination program – which among other things contains vaccines against diphtheria, polio and measles. But when MODERN TIMES checks, there is actually an exemption – which is not mentioned in the book. The information is available on public websites: You can get an exemption if an approved doctor confirms that there are medical contraindications (you can get sick from the vaccine) or if you have a "natural immunity" to the disease.
Was it the vaccine or better hygiene?
Skaftnesmo reviews various childhood vaccines and diseases – such as measles – historically and in detail in the book. The historical part of the book has a thought-provoking point in that mortality fell sharply before vaccines and antibiotics came. But the vaccines got the credit, although it may just as well have been clean drinking water and better hygiene that prevented the spread of infection – for example, scarlet fever, which is caused by a bacterium. Skaftnesmo retrieves graphs and examples from the book here Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and The Forgotten History (2013) by doctor Suzanne Humphries and Roman Bystrianyk, who have researched medical history. Humphries is an internal medicine, homeopath and initiator of a vaccine-critical organization.
In the USA – which Skaftnesmo often refers to – there is skepticism about mandatory vaccines also from medical teams. The book quotes a letter from the American Medical Association AAPS, sent to the Senate on 26 February 2019: «Risk / benefit assessments must be made by patient and doctor, not imposed by the authorities», and «vaccines are neither 100% safe nor 100% effective». The Norwegian Medical Association also writes that patients and parents have the right to refuse vaccination (even if they can be quarantined in the event of infection), and they are also concerned about conflicts of interest. "People who have not been vaccinated and who have not been exposed to the disease do not pose an obvious risk," it concludes.
Sensational power of attorney law in Denmark
The book mentions a large number of countries that have introduced public coercive measures and aggressive methods for both surveillance and punishment. In the chapter "The corona crisis and the global police state" we can read that in Denmark a sensational power of attorney law was passed already in March 2020 due to covid-19. It lasts until March 2021 before renewal and reads according to the book as follows: “Citizens who do not want to be tested or vaccinated (when the time comes) can be fined or imprisoned. […] It is within the scope of the law that people can be forcibly vaccinated. " Skaftnesmo refers to an article in Berlingske Tidende.
When MODERN TIMES checks with the Folketing in December, it says in the Danes' adopted legislative amendments quite rightly in paragraph 5 that: «The Minister of Health and the Elderly may order anyone who suffers from a generally dangerous disease, or who is presumed to be infected with such: 1) To be examined by a health professional. 2) To be admitted to a hospital or other suitable facility. 3) To be isolated in a suitable facility. " Thus, one can neither refuse a medical examination nor hospitalization or «other facility».
So how should this be enforced?
Paragraph 5, second paragraph describes that one can «initiate compulsory treatment if isolation is not sufficient […]» and 2rd paragraph that «the Minister of Health and the Elderly may, after negotiation with the Minister of Justice, lay down rules on police assistance in applying the powers in para. 3 and 1, including on the assistance of the police in carrying out orders for examination, hospitalization or isolation and compulsory treatment ». Reluctant Danish citizens can actually get the police at the door if the investigation is to be enforced – the Minister of Health and the Minister of Justice must only have a small chat first.
But there was trouble. In December 2020, the Danes proposed removing the compulsory provisions on vaccination in the law.
Sweden and Norway
In Sweden, people are a little more careful. The temporary pandemic law was debated fiercely before Christmas. The government wanted urgent treatment of a new pandemic law and wanted a legal basis for crisis management in the future, Stefan Löfven announced at a press conference. A committee will look into the matter. The public health authority has received the vaccine, which offered the population – especially "risk groups" that are defined as the elderly with home nursing or nursing home residents, as well as health personnel who work with these are prioritized according to the Public Health Authority's website. The vaccine recommended in general «For everyone over the age of 18», but without coercion or sanctions.
According to Skaftnesmo's book, the compulsory vaccine for children is popular with the FRP and the Labor Party in Norway. He refers to "Vaccination is not a private matter", which Frps Åshild Bruun-Gundersen wrote about the child vaccination program, and that the Labor Party's national meeting in 2015 adopted a proposal for a pilot project with mandatory vaccination. "Compulsory vaccination" is therefore not a new and foreign idea in the vaccine program. But will it gain renewed relevance to the coronary vaccine eventually? Currently, the coronary vaccine is voluntary in Norway – and the support among people is high.
Vaccination at an uneven pace
After the book Vaccine intake went into print, a lot has happened: the infection increases, decreases, flattens out. Increases again. Several vaccines have been urgently approved and put into use. The virus has mutated with extra infectious variants in England and South Africa, reports NRK. These mutations have also reached us. Much of the content in the said book is therefore perceived as outdated, as a reader will miss more up-to-date corona-related information.
The European Commission EMA gave green light for the Pfizer / Biontech vaccine Comirnaty, the first vaccine for the EU and Norway. The first delivery to Norway came on Christmas Eve, and vaccination started shortly after but at a surprisingly slow pace. When this review is updated shortly two months later, on 22 February 2021, 290 people have been vaccinated with the first dose. In comparison, the Swedes have vaccinated 321 people (as of 585, first dose) while in the UK, which started the vaccination on December 843, 19.2 people have now been vaccinated, of whom 8 have received their , vaccine dose – a total number of vaccine doses set at 13 according to the UK Health Authority (NHS, 331).
In other words, the Germans would spend three days setting as many doses as we have managed in two months, we must believe the statistics.
Other countries show high vaccination efficiency compared to us. Huge vaccination facilities were built in Germany: 75 booths were set up in Berlin's Velodrome to vaccinate 20 Berliners weekday for six weeks – equivalent to about 10 percent of the city's residents (according to The Economist, December 12). According to Statista.com in February 2021, the Germans have had 139 vaccinations performed weekday since they started in late December. In other words, the Germans would spend three days setting as many doses as we have managed in two months, we must believe the statistics.
In Denmark, Sweden and Norway, vaccine skepticism has gained little traction, except for some newspaper comments such as this one from Hans Husum, district doctor in Finnmark. Would the skepticism have been more widespread with some more information readily available? Like the fact that these vaccines are generally not tested like other drugs, where the control group receives an ineffective and neutral drug (placebo): Skaftnesmo writes in Vaccine intake that in vaccine studies, other vaccines are used as a control (such as last year's flu vaccine) or active substances (adjuvants). The source is the Institute of Medicine in the USA, which claims that the vaccine studies are inadequate to conclude about side effects – due to small observation groups, very short observation time (from 4 to 42 days) and that they do not use a real placebo.
But for the record, when MODERN TIMES checks: Pfizer's clinical protocol states that it has used saline solution as a placebo (page 41) in early studies. At the same time, the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) has confirmed that the observation time for the coronary vaccine is shorter than with other vaccines.
The coronary vaccines have been developed at record speed. Those who first came to Norway – such as Comirnaty (BNT162b2) from Pfizer / Biontech – are not based on similar viruses as a seasonal flu vaccine. These are RNA vaccines that contain a copy of a piece of genetic material from a coronavirus in which the body's cells are programmed to produce a molecule similar to what constitutes the "spikes" on the virus' surface. So that the body itself makes the vaccine.
At Helsenorge.no – where the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) is one of the sources – it says that "the vaccine will be thoroughly tested and approved before use". NIPH Director Camilla Stoltenberg repeats the message: "For vaccines, the goal is always for the population to get the protection they need without being exposed to serious side effects. A vaccine is approved only if the benefit is considered greater than the risk. Corona vaccines are likely to receive conditional approval in the first instance. This means that approval is given before you have long-term data on effects and side effects.»[Editorial highlights]
Pandemrix: «the most serious vaccine disaster in modern times».
Pandemrix and risk
We hear about the usefulness of the coronary vaccine: “This is a day of liberation, to free us from this virus. When we have a vaccine, we can take everyday life back », in Erna Solberg when she introduced the vaccination on Sunday 27 December. At the beginning of March, we are still a long way from everyday life before the pandemic.
But what is the risk? Clinical trials report mild side effects such as muscle pain, headache, nausea and fever / feeling cold. Fact Sheet at the FDA. But can you be sure that you do not risk narcolepsy or chronic fatigue syndrome (ME) as with the Pandemrix vaccine?
Here, the book could with advantage have gone into depth on the extent of the Pandemrix damage. This is nothing new. In 1,9, 2009 million Norwegians were vaccinated with the newly developed and untested vaccine Pandemrix (H5N1) developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). We now know that the Norwegian Patient Injury Compensation (NPE) has paid almost NOK 350 million in compensation (as of 2019). NPE has made decisions in 737 cases. 151 people have been upheld, 38 cases are still pending. The majority (586) have been rejected. The majority of cases concern narcolepsy and ME.
Pandemrix was added adjuvant (additives that make the vaccine more effective), something German critics in 2009 highlighted as a "possible associated increased risk of side effects", according to a post in Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association (TNL); Skepticism then increased The Mirror reported that the German government had secured 200 doses of an alternative vaccine (Celvapan) without adjuvant.
In the wake of Pandemrix's lawsuit against GSK, new analyzes showed, among other things, a 9,6-fold increase in the frequency of serious side effects and a 6,2-fold increase in the number of deaths to the detriment of Pandemrix when compared with two similar adjuvant-free vaccines. The side effects include anaphylaxis [allergic shock, ed. note], facial muscle paralysis, Guillain-Barré syndrome and seizures, it says in the post at TNL.
Do the authorities this time provide enough information about risks and side effects for the population to be able to make an informed choice? And are all coronary vaccines without adjuvant?
Pharmaceutical companies paid out NOK 7,5 million to health personnel who has not given consent for fees to be published.
Skaftnesmo has become acquainted with "Big Pharma" and its secrecy, influence and compensation cases in the USA. But let's add what was pointed out in the said article in TNL (May 2019): «The year after the swine flu outbreak described the British Medical Journal how professionals with financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry with interests in the production of vaccines and antiviral drugs were used as key suppliers of premises by the health authorities in a process that was anything but transparent ", writes the authors, professor Elling Ulvestad (head of the microbiology department at Haukeland, specialist in immunology and transfusion medicine), and Lars Slørdal (specialist in clinical pharmacology and professor at the Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine at NTNU and chief physician at St. Olavs Hospital). The two express concern that the Norwegian political authorities are considering making the flu vaccine compulsory for health professionals.
Ulvestad and Slørdal also write about how the governing parties opposed the mandatory publication of conflicts of interest, where healthcare professionals would be forced to be open about fees from the pharmaceutical industry. Skaftnesmo could thus use several examples from Norway to highlight problematic ties. For example wrote Dagens Medisin in 2019 that pharmaceutical companies paid out NOK 7,5 million to health personnel who has not given consent for fees to be published.
We lack not only information about the vaccine itself, but also insight into who may have a financial interest in the people being vaccinated. This also creates skepticism in addition to examples such as Pandemrix.
In advance, "everyone" was excited about the Pandemrix vaccine.
FHI's consultant Preben Aavitsland called in 2012 Pandemrix «The most serious vaccine disaster in modern times». In advance, "everyone" was excited about the Pandemrix vaccine. The Norwegian Medicines Agency now ask the people for help with reporting of any adverse reactions following the coronary vaccine. And FHI reports you: "All vaccines have side effects, most mild and transient."
I Vaccine intake You can read about a number of known and proven vaccines and their side effects, as well as their varying effects: For example, a regular flu vaccine is ineffective, since the virus mutates every year – the vaccine is produced before the outbreak. In the period 2004–2019, the vaccine was 60 per cent inefficient on average, according to calculations from the Children's Health Defense, where Robert F. Kennedy jr. is engaged. Pfizer, for its part, has already claimed that their coronary vaccine is more than 90 percent effective.
Will the vaccinated person still be able to be a carrier? How long are you immune?
Emotions and science
The feelings around the vaccine are strong. When 90-year-old Margaret Keenan got England's first vaccine sting, the British Minister of Health wiped a tear in prime time. The media here at home followed the first vaccination from nursing home to nursing home. And the daily press in Norway has daily vaccine news with war types: Where do you stand in the vaccine queue, who gets the vaccine first from the elderly or health professionals, and similar cases that raise the mood in step with the government's frequent press conferences on changed coronary measures and now in March, redistribution of vaccine doses. You do not ask om you need to be vaccinated, however when.
Emotions are just as strong among vaccine opponents, who are fighting against public vaccine programs. In three episodes on SVT has the recent documentary series The vaccine warriors followed the movements of Swedish and American vaccine opponents from the inside.
A common thread in The vaccine wars is that resistance is based on emotion. Parents of young children are anxious, or as a Swedish mother puts it: “It is unnatural with syringes on my little son's body. ” She "does not get an answer" from the health service and therefore seeks information in closed Facebook groups and other places, where the private and personal experience is proof well enough.
Question of the type: "If it really is so, why has no one become aware of this?" is dismissed and answered with: "Either you believe in what people have experienced, or not." A critical question is the same as attacking people's faith and grief over the loss of a son or daughter. The movement becomes almost unassailable.
But at the same time it seems science around the vaccine to be weaker than the emotions – and may be more difficult to communicate. Back to the coronary vaccine: "We will inform about the effect and what side effects the approved vaccines have so that everyone can make an informed choice", writes FHI under the title «Informed choice» the same week as the first vaccine injections were given.
But what effect? And which informed choice? We do not have all the information. When will it arrive? No one knows if there will be serious side effects in a few months. Or years. No one expresses real skepticism about the coronary vaccine from opublic hold, vaccination is recommended.
The fear of side effects is stated as the main reason why many do not want to be vaccinated.
Fear of side effects
Can one expect the average Norwegian to find vaccine studies and experiments (and the additions with the figures) to them, and understand what they mean?
And how effective is the coronary vaccine? Will the vaccinated person still be able to be a carrier? When can you live as normal and drop the face mask – after the second vaccine dose, or later? How long are you immune – and how many achieve not immunity? NIPH wrote (December 21) that "When the vaccines are approved, we know that they have an acceptable effect, but we do not know how long the effect lasts." What is 'acceptable'?
And what control do we have over the vaccines? Skaftnesmo writes that we are dealing with a virus family for which an approved vaccine has never been made, and that the coronary vaccine from Moderna [and Pfizer, editor's note] has been developed with gene therapeutic methods. In May 2019, the government sent out a consultation note on amendments to the Biotechnology Act (on egg donation, among other things) in which it is proposed that vaccines in the national vaccination program be exempted from the regulations of the Biotechnology Act. The purpose should be to harmonize our laws with EU regulations, which the book also mentions.
I Storting bill 34 L The proposal is supported by the Norwegian Directorate of Health, the Norwegian Medicines Agency, the Biotechnology Council and others. On May 26, 2020, it was made a decision to the Act on Amendments to the Biotechnology Act: «There is no uncertainty associated with the risk of the vaccines that would indicate that there is a need for special rules for the use (…) The Ministry's proposal means that no approval or written consent will be required for the use of these vaccines according to the Biotechnology Act ». The new vaccines, on the other hand, are defined as medicines, because as it says: "Vaccines are a type of medicine that must meet all the requirements of the pharmaceutical legislation in order to be placed on the market." Is it unproblematic?
The HOPE project has investigated how many will be vaccinated in different countries. Lack of information can fuel both skepticism and vaccine resistance. The fear of side effects is stated as the main reason why many do not want to be vaccinated. Add horror stories about previous vaccines, skepticism of money-laundering drug companies and their partly dirty history and lawsuits – as well as secrecy of financial ties and conspiracy theories. Then it becomes difficult to understand that whole 7 out of 10 Norwegians answer a resounding yes to get vaccinated. Is this an informed decision they have made, or is it hope?
READ MORE PART 2:
Tracking and monitoring – about travel passes, drones and mandatory testing
ALSO READ author Trond Skaftnesmos posts with corrections to this review.
The case was last updated: 11.3.21
Changes / updates in this review after publication 1.1.2021:
5.1.2021: The title changed from "Vaccine coercion and the informed decision" to "Is there any reason to rejoice over the coronary vaccine?", Main illustration changed.
A link to an article in The Highwire is included in the section "A wave of vaccine coercion".
7.1.2021: "In December, the Danes proposed to remove the compulsory provisions on vaccination in the law" added at the end of the section on Denmark's pandemic law and clarification that the current pandemic law lasts until March 2021 (it said "one year").
10.3.2021 Introduction, conclusion and some updates changed according to the spring edition of Ny Tid. More links added.
Illustration at the top is drawn by Firuz Kutal (www.libex.eu)