The news that vaccines against COVID are not only on the way, but are here – and that they work – has been greeted with a massive collective sigh of relief. But while we are collectively delighted that there might be some light at the end of the COVID tunnel, that does not mean that everyone is up for being vaccinated.
Anti-vaxxers aside, various polls suggest that substantial numbers of people (over 40% in some surveys) might be hesitant, concerned about how quickly the vaccines have been developed and fearful that they may have unpredicted and unpredictable side effects.
Ex-Pfizer head of respiratory research Dr. Michael Yeadon, a controversial figure in COVID research circles, is among them. As is the lung specialist and former head of the public health department Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg. Their concerns centre on possible side effect to the vaccines which they feel have not been sufficiently investigated. To quote the report on 2020News:
- The formation of so-called “non-neutralizing antibodies” can lead to an exaggerated immune reaction, especially when the test person is confronted with the real, “wild” virus after vaccination. This so-called antibody-dependent amplification, ADE, has long been known from experiments with corona vaccines in cats, for example. In the course of these studies all cats that initially tolerated the vaccination well died after catching the wild virus. (They are not the only people to have voiced this concern.)
- The vaccinations are expected to produce antibodies against spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. However, spike proteins also contain syncytin-homologous proteins, which are essential for the formation of the placenta in mammals such as humans. It must be absolutely ruled out that a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 could trigger an immune reaction against syncytin-1, as otherwise infertility of indefinite duration could result in vaccinated women.
- The mRNA vaccines from BioNTech/Pfizer contain polyethylene glycol (PEG). 70% of people develop antibodies against this substance – this means that many people can develop allergic, potentially fatal reactions to the vaccination.
- The much too short duration of the study does not allow a realistic estimation of the late effects. As in the narcolepsy cases after the swine flu vaccination, millions of healthy people would be exposed to an unacceptable risk if an emergency approval were to be granted and the possibility of observing the late effects of the vaccination were to follow.
They have filed an application with the EMA, the European Medicine Agency responsible for EU-wide drug approval calling for the immediate suspension of all SARS CoV 2 vaccine studies, in particular the BioNtech/Pfizer study on BNT162b (EudraCT number 2020-002641-42).
To be honest I suspect that there is little chance that they will get anywhere, given the political drive to get a vaccine out onto the street. But if you want to support them you can sign their petition by sending the e-mail prepared here to the EMA.