The Government of Canada and the official medical advisory groups are, once again, recommending the immediate need for more doses of both the existing COVID-19 vaccines and the new Omicron tailored vaccines, as the SARS CoV-2 virus continues to rapidly evolve, mutate, and spread.
Emergency managers recognize that a vaccine may be part, and only part, of the solution for a virus that is spreading through the population. But, up till now vaccines have taken at least 3 years to be developed and fully tested to ensure that they are safe and effective.
Emergency managers also know that a vaccine may not even be possible for a new, evolving, and mutating virus. It is for this reason that emergency managers did not count on the development of a vaccine until after the COVID-19 virus had become endemic.
In this pandemic, however, we have watched as our Canadian elected officials and Medical Officers of Health focused on a vaccine as the only solution. Not surprisingly, not all countries have followed this approach.
If we return to the first principles in managing emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic, we can easily see what is wrong with our present approach.
The first step in discussing a response to a situation is to establish that there really is a need, and emergency managers do that by starting with a hazard assessment.
Managers realized that beginning in February 2020, that mortality caused by the SARS CoV-2 virus was mainly in the senior demographic cohort of the Canadian population particularly those with multiple comorbidities. The virus was not more deadly than the seasonal influenza virus for young people unless they were severely immune compromised.
Consequently, a vaccine was not required for most Canadians. This conclusion was supported by all the COVID waves that passed through the population (Table 6).
Emergency managers also knew back in March 2020 that a safe and effective vaccine was years away from being developed and properly tested. But our elected officials and their supporters persuaded Canadians that a vaccine could be rushed in a few months, ignoring the lesson that safe vaccines take time to develop and test properly.
In addition, this same group held the belief that they could stop the spread of the virus for years to wait for a vaccine. They immediately invoked the use of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) which we now call “lockdowns”. This response made vaccines appear to be the only way out of this pandemic. This use of NPIs and belief that “lockdowns” are effective and vaccines must be used is both wrong and deadly.
In responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus should have been on treatment for those most at risk rather than relying on vaccinations for the whole population. In the rest of the world, treatment options and multiple drugs have been used in cocktails effectively. Readers will probably remember that possible treatments, were strongly discounted by governments and their employees in Canada. In fact, physicians were disciplined for using alternative treatments.
It soon became evident, that SARS CoV-2 was a fast-evolving virus. Corona viruses, like this one, are known to do this. For a virus that quickly mutating, developing an effective vaccine may not be possible. The virus that causes the common cold is good example of such a virus. Developing an effective vaccine is very difficult if not impossible. Recent studies of the new Omicron BA 4.6 variant support this conclusion. “By the time that a supposed new winter wave of infections would occur in late November or December, it will likely be BA.4.6 and the new booster will be outdated anyway.” Yet officials say we need to approve the new variant vaccines WITHOUT trials.
The SARS CoV-2 is, in some sense, similar to the cold virus. It has mutated becoming more contagious but less deadly. This trend is very common. Of course, this process suggests that as time passes severe conditions diminish and vaccines become less necessary.
As time passes, we have observed that natural immunity from having had the virus has been increasing. Not surprisingly, natural immunity has reduced the severity of the illness when reinfected. This is a normal outcome and is normally how a pandemic draws to a close, with the virus becoming endemic and of acceptable risk in our daily lives.
Government officials have told us that taking the vaccine has decreased the number of deaths but no evidence for this claim has been provided. As a result, it is not clear whether the vaccines are working effectively or if the virus is becoming less deadly. Yet government officials have not tried to investigate this occurrence, claiming it is all due to the vaccine.
Going back to the fact that previous lessons learned taught us not to rely on vaccines as they take 3 – 5 years to be developed and tested to ensure that they are safe and effective. Let us discuss effective first.
To be effective, it has commonly been assumed that effective vaccines will stop people from becoming ill, needing hospitalization and dying.. The vaccines for the COVID-19 virus did none of these things.
In Israel, in June of 2021 researchers showed that the vaccines lost their effectiveness within a few months. In the UK, similar results were reported in August. Consequently, the UK stopped reporting the vaccine effectiveness. In Canada, the weekly government evidence showed similar effectiveness. (Table 7) It is now common knowledge thatknowledge that the COVID vaccines have very little effectiveness.
Yet in Canada, the Canadian Minister of Health is now planning to administer a new vaccine, which will be tailored specifically to the Omicron variants. But this expensive and dangerous intervention, as previously stated, is likely to be in time for the SARS CoV-2 virus to mutate into a new form. One wonders why the government is recommending booster shots for all Canadians.
Finally, the safety of these vaccines has been openly debated by leading scientists. Even if the vaccines are less risky and potentially more beneficial, there has not been a cost benefit analysis of the vaccination protocol. Unfortunately, Canadians may learn that these vaccines are much more deadly than we expected. Fortunately, an excellent summary of both the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines has been published by the Brownstone Institute.
But the government officials have refused to consider the Brownstone evidence. Consequently, they continue to recommend the “updated” vaccines as if Canadians will blindly follow orders and line up again to receive their “pokes.”. Unfortunately, the mainstream media is complicit with the government’s edicts.
Other Countries have moved on to better ways of dealing with the pandemic. Why are Canadians so blind to these other options?
David Redman had a distinguished military career before becoming the head of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency in 2004 and led the provincial response to the devastating floods of June 2005. He also led the team in the development of the 2005 Provincial Pandemic Influenza Plan. He retired in 2013.
For more on this topic see https://fcpp.org/authors/david-redman/