The government has introduced a 12 week regime for the 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. This regime was not tested in Stage 3 trials. It has been disowned by the manufacturer. Leading US virologists have referred to the policy as “guessing” and “the Wild West“.
Even leaving aside the dangers of running a vaccine programme not based on Stage 3 trial data there is the nasty act of bad faith. People in their eighties where given a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on the precise basis that they would receive the next one in 3 weeks time. They were even given appointment cards. And then in mid-stream the government changed the regime, breaking the manufacturer’s guidelines, to 12 weeks between first and second dose.
This regime – which breaks WHO guidance and the manufacturer’s guidance and in which the UK appears to be virtually (or completely) alone in the world – was introduced by government scientists. (The people who should be protecting us). Johnson is using the new regime to make 100% dishonest claims about the numbers who have been “vaccinated”. If they have received one dose in a rogue regime they cannot be said to have been “vaccinated”. The suspicion must be that the aim of the rogue regime was purely to generate these fake numbers. Whitty – the dangerous Chief Medical Office for England – is trying to appease his conscience by saying it is justified on Public Health grounds. Even if it were true that this will save more people than the tested 3 week regime, and remember that this is “guessing”, Public Health does not justify the act of bad faith in tearing up the appointment cards of thousands of people in the eighties. That really is an act of bad faith. No wonder he is trying to fix his conscience.
But – the main point of this post. I have been following the Guardian’s coverage of this story and it is interesting to note how it has been going out of its way to back up the rogue regime of the coterie of senior government scientific advisers behind it. You would have thought that a newspaper which prides itself on its “open, independent journalism” might be asking why the UK government has gone with a scheme which the WHO is against and which the manufacturer is against, and that they might be asking what the implications are of the test data from Israel which call it into question. No. There is a sequence of stories clearly written to prop up the state position. This is a recent one. (Notice how Professor Anthony Harden who sits on the Committee which made the decisions is in this article reported as using the time honoured technique of trying to bury unfortunate scientific news by talking vaguely about “problems with statistical methods”). Who needs a state media when you have the Guardian?