Correcting the anti-vax myths

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
New Zealand, we have frequently and famously been told, is a team of five million when it comes to the struggle with Covid-19.

However there are, sadly, a few players doing their level best for the other team.

Dunedin, and now Central Otago, have recently been littered with leaflets which purport to be offering the "truth" about the Covid-19 vaccine.

"Litter" is the appropriate word, as the rubbish bin is the right place for this addled assemblage of junk science and half-baked conspiracy theories.

There are a range of anti-vaccine flyers doing the rounds but the one most commonly seen in the South has been printed by a group called "Voices For Freedom".

Its agenda, based on principles of personal autonomy and the rights of the individual, runs diametrically opposite to the utilitarian basis for Covid-19 pandemic control measures such as widespread mask wearing and mass vaccination.

The Bill of Rights defends the freedom of the individual, but it also permits those rights to be curbed if it is demonstrably in the public good for that to be done.

Few would argue that preventing New Zealanders dying from Covid-19, as we are seeing happen by the thousand in other countries which have relaxed their vigilance, is not in the greater good.

Unless you are Voices For Freedom, which argues medical specialists are lying, the Government is suppressing rights and freedoms, and that the media is complicit in this grand conspiracy.

Daring to report that experts assess that Voices For Freedom’s views are ill-founded at best or flat-out wrong at worst, as the Otago Daily Times and many other publications have done, draws accusations of bias and being an enemy of free will and free speech.

Voices For Freedom is absolutely entitled to promulgate its views, but should not expect to be exempt from the media using the same freedom of expression to challenge and debunk those views.

For example, its claim that "All Covid-19 vaccines are currently experimental".

The vaccine being used in New Zealand, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, finished its standard safety tests months ago and it, as well as other vaccines in use around the world, are now approved for use and in the "surveillance" phase where any side-effects are closely watched. Hence another Voices For Freedom claim, that "It is unknown if the vaccine will cause cancer, sterility or mutate cells."

No other vaccine has done these things and, as one prominent local scientist has said, the VFF wording is akin to asking someone to prove there are not fairies at the bottom of their garden.

Perhaps most damaging is the Voices For Freedom claim that "The vaccine has not been shown to stop you catching SARS-CoV-2 or passing it on to others."

In fact, a wide range of studies carried out in the United States, Britain and Israel have found the exact opposite.

It is all the more important to use free speech to challenge the likes of Voices For Freedom when its positions threaten to derail the national effort for life to return to a pre-Covid normal.

A year of pandemic infection means that the notion of herd immunity is understood by many, and the fear is that enough hesitancy exists for the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination effort to be undermined by misleading statements from the likes of Voices For Freedom.

Its social media feed claims vaccination is a challenge to the retention and preservation of our rights and freedoms.

It is instead the passport to returning to those freedoms — most of which we have been fortunate enough to retain due to most New Zealanders’ acceptance that this was how a deadly disease needed to be fought.

A successful vaccination drive will see New Zealand’s borders opened to one and all once more.

That could result in Covid-19 re-entering the community, the irony being that those who have fought so strongly for their right not to be vaccinated will then become the most vulnerable to catching the potentially lethal disease.

Comments

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I cant find a name on this editorial opinion.
I have seen the pamphlet. I have not personally seen any media report showing the reverse side of the pamphlet which states 8 facts which are not addressed here. If you wish to see the side of the pamphlet they are not showing, go to https://voicesforfreedom.co.nz

Pfizer vaccine IS still in experimental phase with results due 2023 and IS approved for emergency use only. You can find this out with a simple search online try www.drugs.com search "mRNA"
Also American doctors and Surgeons have an full medical action plan in place to avert reduce and prevent hospitalization including Vit D, C, Zinc, Ivermectin. Vaccinations are 4th and last on their list of actions https://aapsonline.org

My unqualified caring opinion is -if you are a healthy person who is feeling pressured, trust your intuition. Delay and set some time aside to do your own research.

Editorials do not usually contain byline.

That's not true! The International Academy, Research, and Industry Association (IARIA) state that all editorials should use the full names of authors (preferred) (https://www.iaria.org/editorialrules.html). The lack of a byline is the exception, not the norm.

I too would like to know who the "brainiac" is that is lecturing us about the vaccine. I would recommend that the "brainiac" go to the CDC website: Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (https://vaers.hhs.gov/index.html). The CDC website reports 4,393 (0.2%) adverse events after receipt of the vaccine in the US. If you download the data and sift through it you will find 1362 people died after getting the vaccine. That said, it is impossible to determine if the people died after receiving the vaccine or from the vaccine based upon the manner in which the data is recorded. The CDC approval for the use of the vaccine states :"Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) under section 564 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360bbb-3) for an investigational vaccine to prevent COVID-19" (https://www.fda.gov/media/142749/download) There is no liscensed use of the vaccine anywhere. That said, if you want to take the shot...go for it! Why would you care if others choose not to? You will be protected. I will not take the shot for at least a year to see how the guinea pigs do. Dont worry about me, Ill be fine. Worry about yourself. Leave those of us who want to wait alone.

Covid 19 has been likened to the effects of the Spanish influenza. People are not still dieing of Spanish Flu today. Eventually Covid 19 will exterminate itself.

We are told Covid kills, yet we are fed the vaccine doesn't.... yeah, right.

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