British Indian medic calls for Covid vaccine mandate rethink

British Indian medic calls for Covid vaccine mandate rethink

Dr Aseem Malhotra, a National Health Service (NHS) trained cardiologist, is on a mission – a review of the current public health authorities led mandate for Covid-19 vaccines globally.

The senior medic, who has had two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, insists that being pro-vaccination and pro-transparency are not mutually exclusive. Writing in the ‘European Scientist’ journal recently, Dr Malhotra warns that vaccine mandates and lack of transparency in public health authorities effectively communicating the reasons behind such policies have had detrimental effects on public trust and vaccine confidence across other serious diseases.

He writes: “Global vaccine mandates for Covid-19 must stop until we have the full data on efficacy of all available vaccines.

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“As newer and thankfully, less lethal, mutated strains became dominant, any protection against infection at the very least became less effective and likely completely ineffective, even if there is some significant (as yet to be fully determined in absolute individual terms) protection against serious illness and death.”

Although the principles he covers in his analysis are relevant to all Covid-19 vaccines, the emphasis is more specifically on the BioNTech/Pfizer mRNA vaccine because in Western countries that is the one which has been most widely utilised and continues to be recommended as a booster for the majority of the adult population. Malhotra’s call for an urgent review has been backed by other senior medical professionals worldwide, who also demanded transparent access to data for analysis.

Jay Bhattacharya, Professor of Medicine at the University of Stanford, said: “Covid vaccine mandates passports were instituted on the false thought that the Covid vaccines stop transmission of disease and that Covid recovered people somehow do not possess as strong immunity and protection as vaccinated people.

“It is particularly malign that public health officials and politicians have encouraged the morally problematic idea that unvaccinated individuals are somehow unclean, which has stigmatised people for private medical choices. Travel bans on the unvaccinated, such as the one keeping [Serbian tennis player] Novak Djokovic from playing in the US Open, add an embrace of xenophobia to the sins of public health.”

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Karol Sikora, a British physician and Professor of Medicine at the University of Buckingham, welcomed Malhotra’s intervention which highlights the importance of trust in any vaccination programme.

“As Aseem points out, everything we do in medicine carries a risk of harm. Balancing that risk with benefit is not only up to health professionals but also their patients. Transparency with the data is an absolute necessity. The good, the bad and the ugly all need to be reported. And at over GBP 20 a shot, there's a lot of conflict of interest between pharma, governments and health insurers whether public or private,” he said.

Malhotra cautions that since the rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the evidence of its effectiveness and reporting of adverse events have changed. Even though there may be a benefit in it preventing serious illness and death, the case for it preventing infection and transmission is “illegitimate”.

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