15 5 mins 1 yr

I am of two minds when it comes to vaccines. On the plus side of things, in my own youthful days, I was the recipient of individual smallpox and yellow fever inoculations. I had to have these, because it was a requirement of British Merchant Navy service. I had been infected through either school or family, by measles, mumps and whooping cough, so was immune to any repeats. I was also vaccinated against polio, the one disease, the effects of which I had personal knowledge, as a good mate of mine was stricken, and was forced to exist by virtue of an iron lung. As soon as Dr. Salk’s magical miracle became available, all my mates queued to sign up.

As to the negative side of things, I do believe that, whilst the vaccine manufacturers have, in general, followed the diktats of Hippocrates; they have been led down sidetracks because of the need to generate ever more profit by bowing to the marketplace. When a vaccine for, say, measles was released after extensive testing, all responsible families began arranging G.P. appointments, because measles, especially in later life, can have devastating consequences. A new vaccine for mumps appeared, and, again families commenced signing up, fearful of complications which hit hearing especially hard. A similar vaccine for rubella (a.k.a. German measles) came to market, and possibly because of fears regarding pregnant women who might be infected, was another marketing winner. 

A certain section of the public did not avail themselves of the definite protection given by these various vaccines; possibly because they were ill-educated and even more likely, because they were just plain ignorant and lazy, they failed to set the different appointments for the various vaccinations, and thus their children were not protected. The Marketing divisions of the pharmaceutical companies got to thinking, and decided to decrease the need for the constant appointments at clinics, and persuaded the Pharma bunch to meld the three main vaccines together, and: hey presto; the MMR vaccine was born. Born very conveniently without the publicity of the MMR overcoming sloth, ignorance and plain laziness by stating ‘no longer three visits, just once and you are done!’.

But, along comes Dr. Andrew Wakefield, with his theories about how a large viral overload, in certain situations, could be the forerunner of autism, where no autistic symptoms were known previously. His stance, publications and theories were debunked by a heavy onslaught from the medical establishment. Dr. Wakefield was stripped of his licence, and left for America.Was he treated unfairly? Not being of a medical background, I feel unable to comment, but that does not answer the anguished parents who send their seemingly healthy kids for MMR vaccination, and watch them reappear with strong autistic symptoms just a short time later. 

Myself? I seem to recall the post I wrote upon vaccinations, along with mention of the good Dr. Wakefield. I also recall the last time that the term ‘Pandemic was used, which was when the Swine Flu scare was around. ” I wrote about that as well.

But, it seems that, after over 52,000 deaths in the UK alone; the Chinese virus is not only extremely nasty to both elderly and vulnerable people, it ain’t no laughing matter. We here in GB&NI have access now to two vaccines, and, as I have a duty to protect myself, my truly vulnerable wife, and because I ache for closer contact with the three small tornadoes masquerading as three of my four grandsons who live fairly close to me, I have signed up for vaccination through my G.P., qualifying because of my eight decades; and when it arrives, I’ll be there.

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15 thoughts on “Vaccines: almost available; but it will be a long haul.

  1. Good luck getting the vaccine, Mike. I can’t even get a flu jab. I don’t think I’ll bother trying any more. No-one’s getting flu this year anyway. Not unless flu has been renamed Covid, and they wouldn’t do that.

    So we have the Pfizer juice and today the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine was approved. That’s the one which can be stored in a fridge. The UK has bought 100 million doses and we’ll need every last one of them if illegals are going to get it, which will probably happen. I’d make them wait for the African vaccine. Africa is developing one, yes?

    The EU has made right Euro-cock up, again. Because of Euro-politics it failed to buy enough of the Pfizer vaccine even though it was offered plenty. What a shower –

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/why-the-eu-s-vaccine-strategy-is-failing

    The EU was offered a further 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, yet as the German magazine Der Spiegel reports, this offer was rejected for purely political reasons. France, in particular, objected because it could see that the extra supplies of the Pfizer vaccine would undermine the rival vaccine being developed by French company Sanofi …

    Yet the Pfizer vaccine is ready for deployment now. The Sanofi vaccine, on the other hand, has yet to enter phase 3 trials and is unlikely to be approved much before the end of 2021, and it will take some time after that to roll it out through the remaining unvaccinated population. Result: EU countries face another winter without herd immunity to Covid 19.

  2. That sounds like horrible decision by France / EU, could cause death by protectionism and dead weight bureaucracy. In defense of a Sanofi vaccine that may never arrive.

    If an independent UK avoids errors like that, it’ll do fine

    The US vaccine rollout has been slow generally but I know of five who have received it .

  3. //That sounds like horrible decision by France / EU, //

    And it comes from Pete Moore, quoting the Spectator, and it’s about the EU, and Phantom rushes to believe it.

  4. Re-read the “ sounds like “ words, which are there for a reason.

    Is the assertion by the paper true or is it not true?

    Is the EU as capable of error as the US and UK are?

  5. Noel –

    The Speccie picked it up from Der Spiegel, which it links to in the piece.

    Don’t be crabby all the time. It’s not a good look.

  6. //Is the assertion by the paper true or is it not true?//

    Nobody knows for sure, but it probably isn’t true. Spiegel doesn’t say what the Spec says it says, and even what Spiegel says is, it admits, just hearsay.

    But enough of this stuff, I’m off to drink a full bucket of Kir Royal with my wife and, this year for the first time, no-one else.

    I’ll probably be in bed before midnight, which is as good a commentary on the past year as anything else.

  7. There were bound to be errors when all countries of the world are all trying to buy the same limited, brand new product at the same time.

    While trying to get the best price.

    While ( perhaps ) trying to protect home industry.

  8. Phantom –

    EU countries haven’t been trying to buy any vaccines. Their catastrophic error was to leave it up to the EU, for ideological reasons. From Der Spiegel –

    Health care is actually one of the competencies that is reserved for the member states in the EU. But the vaccine supply was meant to serve as a symbol of solidarity in contrast to the U.S., where Donald Trump was propagating his “America First” stance and fueling merciless global competition for the coveted vaccines.

    The result was so bad that Merkel ordered German authorities to take back control of vaccines for Germany. Do read it all to see what a madhouse the EU is.

  9. I did read it all, and Pete’s description of the article is entirely correct.

    The EU was slow to order vaccines in quantity ; the UK and US have been decisive.

    The vaccines ordered per capita by country graph is damning, all the more because the very good Pfizer vaccine was invented by Germany’s BioNTech.

    And you can’t say that Der Spiegel is a crazy anti EU publication either. There is no reason to believe that they are misinformed or that they’re biased here.

    Way back in July, the U.S. secured 600 million doses of the BioNTech vaccine and 500 million doses from Moderna. Japan, Canada, Hong Kong and others signed contracts in the summer and autumn. The EU only reserved doses. It didn’t place concrete orders until mid-November. And even then, it ordered far less than it could have.

  10. The designer of the vaccine has given an interview saying more or less the same thing as the Spec article, so it appears the Spec and Pete and Phantom are right here.

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