Israel has been held up as the “gold standard” of how to conduct the coronavirus vaccine rollout. It has seen approximately 70% of its population receive the jab. The Israelis have relied in the main on the Pfizer vaccine. However, recently the country’s Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, stated that the Pfizer vaccine is ‘significantly less’ effective against the so-called Delta variant. This follows on from a statement last June by Ran Balicer, who leads an expert advisory panel for the Israeli government, in announcing that the country might end up in lockdown again. Balicer and other officials said that 90 per cent of the new cases were caused by the Delta variant.
Now an Israeli doctor has revealed a bombshell during a television interview. In the interview on August 5 with Israel’s Chanel 13, Dr Kobi Haviv, medical director of Herzog Hospital in Jerusalem, stated that the majority of coronavirus patients in an Israeli hospital are fully vaccinated, including those with severe disease.
Dr Haviv further specified that: “95% of the severe patients are vaccinated,” adding “85-90% of the hospitalizations are in fully vaccinated people” and the hospital is “opening more and more COVID wards.” This has led him to conclude that “the effectiveness of the vaccine is fading out.”
Of the 72 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, 25 patients were in “critical condition”, 38 were in “moderate” condition, and 9 were in “mild” condition. There were two deaths reported at the time of the interview.
Data from the Israeli Minister of Health released on July 22 declared that the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at preventing COVID-19 has plummeted from 90 percent to only 39 percent, coinciding with the spread of the Delta variant in the country.
All this begs a significant question as far as Australia is concerned. After National Cabinet on July 30, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that there will be “special rules” for people who are vaccinated because they present “less of a public health risk” However, in light of the above, why are our politicians and health officials insisting on this rhetoric, and that vaccinations are the way out of these ‘Delta’ induced lockdowns, when evidence is mounting to the contrary?
A Covid-19 outbreak in a Massachusetts county in July primarily occurred among vaccinated people, sparking fears that a variant of the virus can impact that population more than other strains.
Of the 469 cases detected in Barnstable County, 74 per cent occurred among the fully vaccinated, according to a new study published by the CDC on 30 July. It also emerged last month that 49 fully vaccinated people in New Jersey died of coronavirus.
Across the Atlantic, early analysis from Public Health England suggests vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant may be as infectious as their unvaccinated counterparts. The PHE technical briefing indicates that that “whilst vaccination may reduce an individual’s overall risk of becoming infected, once they are infected there is limited difference in viral load between those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated.”
What is even more concerning is that, as alerted to by the Doctors for Covid Ethics, a Freedom of Information request to the Australian drugs regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration that granted provisional approval to the Pfizer vaccine, confirms that it has never seen the study data.
In other words, the TGA never saw or requested the patient data from Pfizer and simply accepted their reporting of their study as true.This means that when the head of the TGA John Skerritt said that “the safety evidence is pretty thorough” on February 6, his words would ring hollow to most Australians who have assumed, rightly or wrongly, that the TGA had actually looked at the patient data before granting any such approval. As noted by Doctors for Covid Ethics on its website, it is currently not known whether any of the major government agencies around the globe (FDA, MHRA or EMA) has independently verified, or attempted to verify, Pfizer’s data, before proceeding with provisional/emergency authorisation of Pfizer’s mRNA therapy vaccine.
For any government, either by itself or via corporate proxy, to attempt to mandate vaccines in circumstances where there has not been adequate testing and analysis of risks as well as benefits would constitute not only a violation of the principle of informed consent (which Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stated he believes in – see this press conference as an example) — but a violation of Australia’s obligations under international law with respect to medical experimentation.
Indeed, after National Cabinet on August 6, Scott Morrison indicated that mandatory vaccination could breach privacy laws, discrimination laws, and Australia’s policy remained that vaccines should be voluntary and free. In particular, he declared: “In our country, everyone has choices and they have choices that are supported by the rule of law and simply making the point that those choices have to be exercised, are consistent with the rule of law.”
Let’s just see if these will simply be more hollow words from the hollow man.
Dr Rocco Loiacono is a Senior Lecturer at Curtin University Law School.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Curtin University.