Close button
The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter WhatsApp

The unholy crusade against COVID-19 vaccines

Related

This illustration picture taken on November 23, 2020 shows a bottle reading “Vaccine Covid-19” and a syringe next to the Pfizer and Biontech logo. – The European Commission has signed five contracts to pre-order vaccines, among which with the U.S.-German company Pfizer-BioNTech (up to 300 million doses). (Photo by JOEL SAGET / AFP)

Ten million deaths in 5 years.

Yep! That’s the number of lives global immunization programs stopped from being prematurely cut shut by infectious diseases, between 2005 and 2010; it is the number of needless deaths that didn’t happen because of the effectiveness of vaccination. In a 5-year period, vaccines saved 10 million lives and prevented many more millions from developing debilitating illnesses from diseases such as polio, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, adenovirus, rabies, and hepatitis A. Between 1990 and 2016, global cases of measles fell by 93 percent, diphtheria by 89 percent, and tetanus by 89 percent. Pain, misery, suffering, and disabilities are checkmated because people get vaccinated.

x
 
To date, eradication of smallpox has spared the global community of some 350 million new smallpox victims and some 40 million deaths from the disease. The annual savings as a result of vaccination being stopped and hospitals being able to be converted to other uses is estimated to be in excess of $2 billion each year (Ehreth, 2003).
 
The economic impact of vaccines is even more profound when you consider that $100 billion GDP is lost annually in sub-Sahara Africa because of malaria for which a vaccine does not exist.

Here’s a simple truth: vaccines are miracles; they are God’s wonders brought to man through science. Since 1963, when vaccination against these infectious diseases became widespread, vaccines have saved more lives than the number of souls saved through the proselytizing of Christianity. As one of the most cost-effective health technologies ever invented, many more people have avoided contracting sicknesses and diseases because of cheap and free vaccinations than the total number of people who have been healed at Church crusades and deliverance meetings. Vaccines have done more to relieve human misery and prevent human suffering than all the world’s faith healers or miracle workers combined.
 
Think about that for a minute.

x
 
Yet, vaccines and vaccinations face a barrage of attack from those who for a variety of reasons have chosen to hitch their wagon to vaccine eradication.
 
Opposition to vaccines is not novel and the history of vaccines is as long as the history of the opposition to it. Since their advent, vaccines have always faced unrelenting war from rumour mongers and conspiracy theorists. These tiny “Jabs of Life” continue to fend off fierce assaults from anti-vaccine mischief-makers, religious zealots, semi-literate crackpots, and brainwashed rabble rousers, many of whom have built lucrative careers waging a senseless war for the eradication of all vaccines instead of expending their energy and resources in combating the deadly diseases that vaccines have successfully eradicated in the world.
 
Early in the history of smallpox vaccination, local clergies and religious leaders vehemently objected to the vaccination of children with the smallpox vaccine. Their objection stemmed from their belief that it is “unchristianly” to defile the human body by injecting into it a product derived from animals. Similarly, the opposition was mounted against the diphtheria vaccines because of claims that it was associated with neurological disorders. Saving the world’s children from autism caused by vaccines – a false belief that has been scientifically debunked over and over again but would not go away – is a cause célèbre for many others who longed for a world without vaccines.
x
 
The Coronavirus pandemic and the vaccines that are currently under development to combat the deadly virus constitute the latest battlefront in the unholy war against vaccines. Right from the get-go, disparate entities – comprised of rabid antivaxxers, narcissistic politicians, armchair eschatologists, doomsday prognosticators, anti-science libertarians, and their clueless followers – formed a coalition of denialists against Coronavirus.
 
These are folks who deny that COVID-19 is a viral disease and insist it’s a result of the harmful effect of 5G radiation. This group is known for peddling hydroxychloroquine as a miracle cure, promoting the injection of disinfectants and ultraviolet light into the body as a cleansing, rejecting simple and cheap public health measures such as wearing of face masks, handwashing, and social distancing, and resisting the lockdowns imposed to stop the spread of the virus. As they see it, all these measures are nothing more than instruments of control instituted by the Illuminati as necessary steps toward the establishment of the new world order of elite and globalists that will ultimately usher in the reign of the anti-Christ.
 
At the head of this alliance of magical thinking is the lame-duck occupant of the White House whose super spreader rallies have been linked to the surge in the infection, increased hospitalization, and tens of thousands of deaths.
 
Eleven months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the statistics of the devastation, which leaves right-thinking minds stunned, elicits nothing but scorn from these purveyors of nonsensical fairy tales. You’d think that with 60 million infected, 1.4 million dead, and many millions more facing economic woes, worldwide, due to the shutdown of businesses and means of livelihood, these people will pause, back away from their untenable position, and accept the undeniable reality of the pandemic. Instead, unmoored to rationality, the conspiracy theorists continue their downward spiral further and further away from the boundaries of reality.
x
 
After months of powerlessly and blindly battling the COVID-19 menace, with one hand tied behind the back and lacking proven effective and potent weapon to fight back, hope seems to rise on the horizon. Three Pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, have, in quick succession, brought some cheers to the hearts of the people of the world with the announcements of promising results from clinical trials of their vaccine candidates. In a breath-taking turn of event, all the 3 vaccines are shown to be up to 95 percent effective against the disease. The companies plan to immediately submit to the US FDA, an application for the emergency use authorization that would allow for vaccinations to start nationwide.
 
Alarmingly, conspiracy theorists now have COVID-19 vaccines at their crosshairs. Instead of joining the rest of the world in rejoicing at the good news that the calvary is finally on the way, the association of killjoys has decided to embark on a concerted and coordinated effort at dampening the enthusiasm for the vaccines.

The confederacy of malcontents has concocted, yet again, dangerous rumours that could severely hinder the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccines and thus prolong the pain and misery the world has faced since the beginning of this pandemic. 

To be continued tomorrow.

Ojumu, MD, MPH, wrote from the US National Institutes of Health.

writes on the African Plume Blog: https://www.africanplume.com/; https://twitter.com/PlumeAfrican; E-mail: africanplume@gmail.com

x

Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: +2348136370421

No comments yet