UK doctors want to pause child covid jab roll-out in light of ‘shocking’ new data

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The UK’s Children’s Covid Vaccines Advisory Group of more than 80 doctors, professors and scientists, has written to the UK’s JCVI, the CMOs and the health secretary to urge an immediate pause to the covid vaccine roll-out for children. Here is a copy of the letter in full.

Thursday, 10th February 2022

Professor Wei, JCVI

Professor Sir Chris Whitty, CMO

Sajid Javid, Secretary of State, DHSC

Dear Professor Wei, Professor Whitty and Mr Javid,

We wrote to you and also the MHRA last month regarding urgent investigation of the acknowledged increase in all cause mortality in males aged 15-19 since the Pfizer covid vaccine rollout commenced in this age group in May 2021. ONS have acknowledged in the High Court in London, that the figure of 402 excess deaths is significantly higher than the previous 5 year average of 337 deaths. Indeed they stated it is probably an underestimate because of delays for coroners’ cases.  This equates to at least one additional teenage boy dying each week.   It is thus very disappointing not to have received any response.

We are writing further to ask you to pause the vaccines for children while you undertake and publish an urgent review of the risk/benefit analysis.  In August 2021 you concluded that there was no medical justification for vaccinating healthy 12-15-year-olds, with the authorisation based on an aim to reduce school closures. But this new safety signal and the impact of this uncertainty, must affect your assessment of the risk to benefits.

Since that date, much has changed.  The latest omicron variant has been shown to have a much lower risk of serious illness, hospitalisations and deaths than the previous alpha and delta variants circulating at the time of the decision.  This is true for children as well as adults, so given the extremely low risk for children in previous waves, any potential for benefit must surely have dwindled to virtually zero.  Also, in your analysis you failed to take due regard to naturally-acquired immunity, now demonstrated and widely accepted to be superior to vaccine acquired immunity. Children have had high rates of infection throughout recent weeks with at least 80% now estimated to be immune. In addition, the efficacy of Pfizer against omicron compared to previous variants is reduced to the point where infection rates are now higher in the vaccinated than the unvaccinated removing any potential indirect benefit to immune-compromised family members and perversely creating an increased risk to contacts of the vaccinated.   

On the risks side of the balance sheet, we have further information regarding myocarditis, with an occurrence rate of 1/2680 young men in Hong Kong, where unlike the UK, this was sought systematically from the start of their rollout. Indeed they paused their second dose, just as the UK moved from one to two doses. Data from the US also confirm high rates of 1/9443 in males aged 16-17 after their second dose.  We still have no follow-up data on the increasing number of children reported from the US with significant abnormalities on their cardiac MRI scans.   We also have worrying information on all-cause mortality by vaccination status, which even from the original adult Pfizer trial showed a higher mortality for the vaccinated group.  Side effects are higher when vaccinating those already immune.  Other side effects such as increased blood clots will all be playing a part in this balance of risk. Non-fatal adverse events, particularly neurological, have the potential to blight the lives of affected children.  The latest information from the CDC is extremely worrying, that of 4149 children, 100 (2.41%) had a serious adverse event, 15/4149 (0.36%) had increased troponin (12 confirmed to be myocarditis), 12/4149 (0.29%) had seizures, 2/4149 (0.048%) died (being evaluated).  This in itself is a reason to review. 

Furthermore, there is increasing evidence of impairment of immune function particularly following multiple doses of vaccine.  Israel is now seeing serious illness and death after the fourth vaccine dose.  There is also new bio-distribution data showing that mRNA and spike protein, far from being eliminated within a few days, are still persisting for 60 days or more.  We have no knowledge of the long-term implications of vaccinating children against what is now acknowledged to be a very mild illness for them, indeed with 50% having no symptoms whatsoever.. 

With the arrival of omicron, SARS-CoV-2 has moved from pandemic to endemic.  If the current situation had existed six months ago, there would have been no case made for commencing routine rollout for healthy children.  Now, at a time when it is proposed that even those testing positive for omicron do not need to isolate.  If omicron is no risk to others, why vaccinate?  The prospect now of widening the coverage to 5-11s would be all the more ludicrous. We should, like Norway & Sweden, make clear that vaccination for this age group is simply not necessary.  

The time has now come to pause and acknowledge that there is no emergency for children and that for them the balance of benefit and risk now clearly favours natural immunity.  On that basis the routine programme could and should be halted. Failure to act will lay you open to liability for ongoing harms.

We would like to meet with you urgently, in order to support you in taking stock of all of the pertinent new and emerging data. 

Yours sincerely,

  1. Dr Rosamond Jones, MD, FRCPCH, retired consultant paediatrician
  2. Professor Keith Willison, PhD, Professor of Chemical Biology, Imperial, London
  3. Professor David Livermore, BSc, PhD, Professor of Medical Microbiology, University of East Anglia
  4. Professor Anthony J Brookes, Professor of Genomics and Health Data Science, University of Leicester
  5. Professor Richard Ennos, MA, PhD. Honorary Professorial Fellow, University of Edinburgh
  6. Professor Angus Dalgleish, MD, FRCP, FRACP, FRCPath, FMed Sci, Professor of Oncology, St Georges Hospital, London
  7. Professor John Fairclough FRCS FFSEM retired Honorary Consultant Surgeon 
  8. Professor Norman Fenton, CEng, CMath, PhD, FBCS, MIET, Professor of Risk Information Management, Queen Mary University of London
  9. Professor Anthony Fryer, PhD FRCPath, Professor of Clinical Biochemistry
  10. Lord Moonie,  MBChB, MRCPsych, MFCM, MSc, House of Lords, former parliamentary under-secretary of state 2001-2003, former consultant in Public Health Medicine
  11. Dr Theresa Lawrie, MBBCh, PhD, Director, Evidence-Based Medicine Consultancy Ltd, Bath
  12. Dr John Flack, BPharm, PhD. Retired Director of Safety Evaluation, Beecham Pharmaceuticals 
  13.      1980-1989 and Senior Vice-president for Drug Discovery 1990-92 SmithKline Beecham 
  14. Professor Anthony J Brookes, Professor of Genomics & Health Data Science, University of Leicester
  15. Dr Alan Mordue, MBChB, FFPH. Retired Consultant in Public Health Medicine & Epidemiology
  16. Dr Roland Salmon, MB BS, MRCGP, FFPH, Former Director, Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre Wales
  17. Dr Gerry Quinn, PhD. Postdoctoral researcher in microbiology and immunology
  18. Katherine MacGilchrist, BSc (Hons), MSc, CEO/Systematic Review Director, Epidemica Ltd.
  19. Mr James Royle, MBChB, FRCS, MMedEd, Colorectal surgeon 
  20. Dr Livia Tossici-Bolt, PhD, Clinical Scientist
  21. Dr Elizabeth Evans MA(Cantab), MBBS, DRCOG, Retired Doctor
  22. Dr Rohaan Seth, Bsc (hons), MBChB (hons), MRCGP, Retired General Practitioner
  23. Dr Emma Brierly, MRCGP, General Practitioner
  24. Dr Geoffrey Maidment, MD, FRCP, retired consultant physician
  25. Mr Malcolm Loudon, MBChB, MD, FRCSEd, FRCS(Gen Surg), MIHM,VR, Consultant Surgeon
  26. Dr Alan Black, MBBS, MSc, DipPharmMed, retired pharmaceutical physician
  27. Dr David Cartland, MBChB, BMedSci, General practitioner
  28. Dr Peter Chan, BM, MRCS, MRCGP, NLP, General Practitioner, Functional medicine practitioner 
  29. Dr Greta Mushet, MBChB, MRCPsych, retired Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy
  30. Dr Samuel McBride, MBBCh, BAO, BSc, MSc, MRCP (UK) FRCEM, FRCP (Edinburgh), NHS Emergency Medicine & geriatrics
  31. Mr Ian F Comaish, MA, BM BCh, FRCOphth, FRANZCO, Consultant ophthalmologist
  32. Dr Branko Latinkic, BSc, PhD, Reader in Biosciences
  33. Dr Helen Westwood MBChB MRCGP DCH DRCOG, General Practitioner
  34. Michael Cockayne, MSc, PGDip, SCPHNOH, BA, RN, Occupational Health Practitioner
  35. Mr Anthony Hinton, MBChB, FRCS, Consultant ENT surgeon, London
  36. Dr Tanya Klymenko, PhD, FHEA, FIBMS, Senior lecturer in Biomedical Sciences
  37. Michael Cockayne, MSc, PGDip, SCPHNOH, BA, RN, Occupational Health Practitioner
  38. Dr Carmen Wheatley, DPhil, Orthomolecular Oncology
  39. Dr Charles Lane OBE, Molecular Biologist
  40. Mr Angus Robertson BSc (Med. Sci.) MB ChB  FRCS(Ed) FFSEM(UK) Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
  41. Dr Michael D Bell, MBChB MRCGP Retired General Practitioner
  42. Dr Jayne LM Donegan, MBBS, DRCOG, DCH, DFFP, MRCGP, General Practitioner
  43. Dr David Critchley, BSc, PhD in Pharmacology, 32 years’ experience in Pharmaceutical R&D
  44. Dr Keith Johnson, BA, D.Phil (Oxon), IP Consultant for Diagnostic Testing
  45. Julie Annakin, RN, Immunisation Specialist Nurse
  46. Rev Dr William J U Philip MB ChB, MRCP, BD, Senior Minister The Tron Church, Glasgow, formerly physician specialising in cardiology
  47. Dr Jonathan Rogers MBChB (Bristol) MRCGP DRCOG Retired NHS General Practitioner
  48. Dr Pauline Jones, MB BS, Retired General Practitioner
  49. Dr Emma Brierly, MBBS, MRCGP, General Practitioner
  50. Dr Elizabeth Burton, MB ChB, Retired General Practitioner
  51. Dr Franziska Meuschel, MD, ND, PhD, LFHom, BSEM, Nutritional, Environmental and Integrated Medicine
  52. Dr Michael Bazlinton, MBCHB MRCGP DCH
  53. Dr Holly Young, BSc, MBChB, MRCP, Consultant Palliative Care Medicine
  54. Dr Julian Tomkinson, MBChB, MRCGP, General Practitioner, GP Trainer, PCME
  55. Dr David Bramble, MBChB, MRCPsych, MD, Consultant Psychiatrist
  56. Dr Christina Peers, MBBS, DRCOG, DFSRH, FFSRH, Menopause Specialist
  57. Dr Chris Newton, PhD, Biochemist working in immuno-metabolism
  58. Dr Christopher Exley, PhD, FRSB, Bioinoganic Chemist
  59. Dr Sarah Myhill, MBBS, Retired General Practitioner
  60. Jessica Righart, Senior Critical Care Scientist
  61. Dr Michael D Bell, MBChB, MRCGP, retired General Practitioner
  62. Dr Angharad Powell, MBChB, General Practitioner
  63. Dr Stephen Ting, MB CHB, MRCP, PhD, Consultant Physician
  64. Mr Ahmad K Malik, FRCS (Tr & Orth), Dip Med Sport, Consultant Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgeon
  65. Dr Catherine Hatton, MBChB, General Practitioner 
  66. Dr Kulvinder S. Manik MBChB, MRCGP, MA(Cantab), LLM, Gray’s Inn
  67. Dr Stefanie Williams, MD, Dermatologist
  68. Kim Bull, Foundation Degree in Paramedic Science, Paramedic
  69. Margaret Moss, MA (Cantab), CBiol, MRSB, Director, The Nutrition and Allergy Clinic, Cheshire
  70. Dr Haleema Sheikh, MRCGP, General Practitioner
  71. James Cook, NHS Registered Nurse, Bachelor of Nursing (Hons), Master of Public Health (MPH)
  72. Dr Jonathan Engler, MBChB, LlB (Hons), DipPharmMed
  73. Dr Clare Craig, BMBCh, FRCPath, Pathologist
  74. Dr David Bell, MBBS, PhD, FRCP(UK), Public Health Physician
  75. Dr Ruth Wilde, MB BCh, MRCEM, AFMCP, Integrative & Functional Medicine Doctor
  76. John Collis, RN, Specialist Nurse Practitioner
  77. Dr Damien Downing, MBBS, MRSB, private physician
  78. Mr Lasantha Wijesinghe, FRCS, Consultant Vascular Surgeon
  79. Dr Claire Mottram, BSc Hons, MBChB, Doctor in General Practice
  80. Dr Ali Haggett, Mental health community work, 3rd sector, former lecturer in the history of medicine 
  81. Dr Jenny Goodman, MA, MBChB, Ecological Medicine
  82. Suzanne Tomkinson BSc MSc CSci FIBMS Senior Biomedical Scientist (Clinical Biochemistry)
  83. Dr Felicity Lillingstone, IMD DHS PhD ANP, Doctor, Urgent Care, Research Fellow 
  84. Dr Marco Chiesa, MD, FRCPsych, Consultant Psychiatrist & Visiting Professor, UCL
  85. Anna Phillips, RSCN, BSc Hons, Clinical Lead Trainer Clinical Systems (Paediatric Intensive Care).
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