What to know about the COVID-19 ‘vaccine’
Nigeria as part of the modern world is passing through one of the most frightful eras of a rather strange disease epidemic that human beings have experienced since the beginning of time. Because this epidemic is happening all over the world at the same time, it is called a pandemic. And because the disease is spreading all over the world by the high rate of international travels, the local control of the disease in each country must keep conscious of how it is going in all other countries in order to be able to protect their citizens from such international importations.
Obviously, situations like these keep many people in authority under pressure; and if we are not careful, they will make many unsound but superficially reasonable decisions and carry out such actions thereof.
In addition to this global situation, there has been very much talk, mostly political on the control methods and practices. Some of these have been with not enough solid, essential, and especially reasonably holistic science. Unfortunately, this has been the greatest on the biochemical product that is being propagated all over the world as “COVID-19 vaccine”. No doubt, many people in the medical and health sciences who are employed by the government agencies that are involved in these world political programmes have felt obligated to join in promoting these not fully and truly ethical programmes and in exactly the ways that the governments are presenting or asking them to present it. However, those of us who are involved in the fundamental science of medicine and of public health, known as Epidemiology, and especially those of us also concerned about ethics as well as employed where we can exercise the full rights and privileges of our science and profession, must hasten to educate one and all in the real sciences of vaccines and the disease control principles as related to the COVID-19 pandemics. In this way, everybody should understand and be able to make up their minds on where to stand in the controversies erupting in these regards. They should do so with great understanding for everyone and no animosities or negativisms of any sort.
Now, as a public health expert myself, and most obviously purely by the very grace of God, we are happy of our duty as well as to inform all and sundry, that generally, vaccination is the next best control of any infectious disease, often only just next to its very complete eradication. But that is only if what one is talking about is truly a vaccine. Such a vaccine, however, has many other yardsticks to meet, if it is to be such a useful vaccine.
Of course, not all vaccines are very useful; mainly because of failures to meet these requirements of true effectiveness as such. The disease sometimes may be one in which there happen to be other measures that may be more important or more effective than the given vaccine in relation to the relevant properties of that vaccine as already mentioned. All these have to be understood before a responsible government and her ethically and scientifically minded (i.e., more than being merely politically minded) public health workers can determine the correct combination and hierarchy of these public health measures to take in relation to the given disease.
Now to come to the matter of vaccines, and as anybody can indeed Google, Yahoo, or other, electronically search engine and find out for themselves, vaccines are originally killed disease microbes (viruses, bacteria, etc). These microbes have been killed and then introduced into the human body so that the recipients can naturally develop the antibodies or other immune responses to the disease, in readiness for their being subsequently attacked by the disease. Because these microbes, at the beginning of the history of vaccines, were killed, they were not active enough in some cases and the natural immunities they helped people to develop may not be very great. So, in the second generation and class of vaccine production, diseases in which the immunities produced with dead vaccines were inadequate had to have those microbes only partially killed (or attenuated, as we say it in medical language).
In that way, when introduced into the human body, these attenuated microbes try to mimic a disease attack. But because they are attenuated, they will be unable to do so. However, they would have stimulated that recipient’s immune system enough to actively cause the development of such natural immunity to the highest degree possible for that disease. So, to date, these are the only two types of true vaccines, for what is today referred to as active immunization or vaccination. These two brands of products are what true vaccines are in the modern world! None of these have so far been produced for the current Covid-19 pandemic; even though some research laboratories are trying also to develop them!
Now, as anybody may verify for himself, even though various research bodies are still trying to develop either of these two types of true vaccines around the world, some people have gone ahead to develop what should properly be called Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Actually in this case, no such organisms at all have been produced, but genetically modified biomedical products; and decided to be calling them “vaccines”. These currently available “COVID-19 vaccines” are therefore not vaccines as we know it in solid science. The permission or licenses that they have received for administering it/them to any bodies are also most appropriately called EMMERGENCY (DRUG TRIAL TYPES OF EXPERIMENTAL) LICENCES. Now anybody’s genes (or genetics) are the biological basis of his personhood and inherent personality. For anybody to think that he can invade anybody’s person as such, EXCEPT WITH A DETAILED AND PROPERLY SIGNED INFORMED CONSENT, IS MOST UNETHICAL. So, everybody may indeed take this “COVID-19 vaccine”. But the proper ethical practice of medicine and the health professions requires that nobody may impose such a thing on anybody without full information and documented informed consent. So, this is where we are in regard to the present “COVID-19 vaccines” in Nigeria and the world today.
Preventive medicine, public health or community physicians, and any other health workers whose education and training are as adequate in these regards, will also know that COVID-19 is a flu (kind of common cold) virus; except that this has become one of the fast-evolving varieties of these that are tending to be fairly more debilitating and death causing. Yet, they remain still flu viruses, transmitted only by close hand and face contacts with wet or aerosol respiratory (airborne mouth and nose) human outputs for their man to man transmission.
These viruses have hardly had any vaccines with immunities lasting for more than a few months only. The immune conversion after receiving those vaccines had never been so very high either, and the virus is mutating per second per second, and before you finish with developing one vaccine another or several new varieties of the virus may also have developed, and most probably requiring a new vaccine. As many people will know, these flus are common in the temperate or cold countries of the world. So, they had developed systems of developing and using these vaccines in their yearly cycles of these flus. This is not the case with these flus in the tropics. There may be other factors that make this infection, its sustenance and severity by this flu virus not to be the case in these countries; even as the current pandemic has so resoundingly proven.
Therefore, scientifically and ethically for a reasonable public health approach to the community/country control of COVID-19 (and any other such serious flus in the tropics), the hierarchy of the control measures should be as follows:
1). Stay at home and do your work electronically from there, limiting people visiting you there too, as may be possible for you.
2). If and whenever you go out, maintain a 3 to 6 feet distance between yourself and anybody else, whether they think you are silly or not.
3). Maintain hand and face and other respiratory hygiene, washing your hands with soap and running water as often as you ever can; and if you inadvertently touch any rails, door handles or other surfaces that are easily touched by others, have an alcohol-based hand sanitizer in your pocket or bag to sanitize those hands as soonest as possible.
4). Wear a facemask properly all time outside your home and never touch its front (externally exposed) side. Do not worry about the so-called filtration efficacy of masks. Wear highly effective ones if you know them, otherwise wear anyone anyway; and remind others to do so.
5). Avail yourself of the knowledge of the officially learned signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and test readily if you think that you have them. If diagnosed as having caught some of the viruses early, simple home isolation and following the rules for the same will very easily assist you to develop the immunity you need for the disease.
6). If you would otherwise not desire to take this experimental “vaccine” because of the sound scientific and ethical knowledge of these things that you now have, but still have any other serious grounds and/or currently theorized reasons that you may still take the given risks of this “vaccine” in spite of its limitations and dangers, you may then do so.
But as you must know, the “vaccine” so far has far too many genetic unknowns about it. It does not stop you from catching or transmitting the virus; nor does it exempt you from those more fundamental preventative measures and practices that cost so little, even if it apparently may seem to need them less. If we apply these principles, as well as the “vaccination” for those who desire to do so, we should be able to control this disease both in Nigeria and worldwide in a very short time, obviously. Of the 2 first professors in the University of Ibadan who reportedly died of the recent Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, one was reportedly fully immunized with this GMO vaccine but the other, not at all.
Meanwhile, all Nigerians must pray that the corruption and nepotism that have destroyed our internal capacity to produce vaccines internally for ourselves as we had indeed done before, may be overcome ASAP. If we all do these things faithfully, locally, and globally, this COVID-19 will be all over sooner than it would seem. So, let us do this. Let us pray also that Nigeria will be among the first countries to produce true vaccines of dead or attenuated COVID-19 virus (as well as the GMO “vaccines”) so that we may better ethically meet the needs of Nigeria and the world in these regards. Amen.
Asuzu is a retired professor of public health and community medicine at, University of Ibadan.