Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has an appalling history when it comes to the efficacy of its drugs and credibility of its claims – paying billions of dollars in compensation over the years for injuries, false claims and suppressing unfavourable research.
Now, the multi-billion dollar juggernaut is under fresh scrutiny after a respected medical journal published an article which reports serious issues with its Covid vaccine safety trials, including the falsification of data.
The British Medical Journal’s article centres on information provided by a former employee of Ventavia Research Group, which is a Texas-based contracting company that was involved in the phase-three trials for Pfizer’s Covid vaccine last year.
Issues with data integrity
The employee, Brook Jackson, a former regional director at Ventavia, told the British Medical Journal that she repeatedly complained to her superiors about poor laboratory management, patient safety concerns and data integrity issues.
The British Medical Journal also spoke anonymously to two other former Ventavia employees, who “confirmed broad aspects of Ms Jackson’s complaint”.
Ms Jackson claims that after alerting the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to various problems she was fired, with Ventavia saying “she was not a good fit.”
According to the article, Pfizer’s full phase-three trial involved about 44,000 participants across 153 sites. Ventavia enrolled more than 1000 participants at three sites – or only around 2% of the total, but according to reports Pfizer made no mention of the alleged problems at the Ventavia sites in a briefing document submitted to a US FDA advisory committee meeting in December 2020, only a short time before the vaccines were made widely available.
TGA is downplaying the allegations
The TGA is downplaying the British Medical Journal article, saying the Pfizer vaccine is “highly safe and effective”, and that Australians “should not be concerned about the issues raised in the article”.
However, the Covid Medial Network, a collective of doctors who have raised concerns about Australia’s pandemic management response, reported on its website earlier this year that a Freedom of Information request to the TGA with regard to Pfizer vaccinations confirmed that the Australian drugs regulator approved the vaccine without actually ever seeing the vaccination data.
None of this has been widely, or publicly discussed because earlier this year Australian healthcare professionals were warned they could be stripped of their ability to practice if they disseminate information about Covid-19 vaccines which regulators consider to be false or misleading.
And, while they are rarely reported in the mainstream media, there are plenty of stories circulating on social media about adverse reactions to the vaccine.
These too, are being ‘downplayed’ by the TGA although it has been actively monitoring myocarditis and pericarditis, the two main, known, side effects of the Pfizer jab, as “adverse events of special interest”.
The number of cases of heart inflammation in Australia linked to the Pfizer vaccine has risen to almost 300 from about 22.7 million doses.
These figures include a group of more than 50 teenagers in Victoria aged between 12 and 19 years old who were assessed by the Victorian Specialist Immunisation Service (VicSIS) developed myocarditis.
The TGA’s website states: “Like other countries, we have observed a higher than-expected number of cases of myocarditis in vaccinated (people) compared to unvaccinated individuals for Comirnaty (Pfizer).
While the numbers may seem small in comparison to the number of people who have had the jab, these side effects do exist, and certainly attest to the fact that the vaccine is ‘not safe for all’.
Vaccinate at all costs
Despite this, Pfizer vaccines are still being offered to Australians, and have been recommended for Children as young as 12 years old.
The Pfizer vaccination has also been announced as the ‘booster shot’ that will be available to Australians.
The continued push by state governments which includes vaccination mandates also leaves Australians with very little choice but to get vaccinated if they want to work or participate in society. Many businesses, schools and other organisations are now taking cues from the state governments and implementing their own vaccine policies too.
No legal aid work for unvaccinated lawyers
Most recently, the Legal Aid Commission of NSW announced that it will not make legal aid work available to law firms which don’t have vaccinated staff.
This could impact on the backlog of cases already being channeled through legal aid, and will limit the expertise available to clients seeking assistance through the Commission.
Little interest in alternatives
By comparison to what has been invested in vaccination rollouts, the government has invested little in treatment options, or in making rapid-antigen testing an acceptable alternative to the jab, or in shoring up the health system.
So, it has to be asked whether this is responsible government policy, particularly in a democratic society where people should, ideally, be provided with alternatives and information so they can make their own informed choice.
Vaccines are far from a panacea
There is no disputing that Covid-19, in particular the Delta strain of the virus, is a highly contagious, potentially deadly health threat, but there is also a growing body of evidence being gathered worldwide which suggests not only that there are risks with the vaccines, they are far from a panacea.
While vaccines will lessen the severity of the virus if contracted, they don’t necessarily stop transmission, and their efficacy (effectiveness) dwindles over time.
Many countries which have high vaccination rates are still combatting Covid outbreaks, some of them severe. New Zealand has in the past couple of days reported higher case numbers than ever, despite its high vaccination rates. The country is still in lockdown.
We are also yet to fully understand the implication of long term health complications or side effects of the vaccine.
Furthermore, the Australian Government has not set up a general compensation scheme for anyone who suffers severe effects from the vaccines.
It has protected the pharmaceutical companies with indemnity, should anyone sue them, but this system essentially means that the onus is on victims or their families to pursue redress through the courts which can be a long, expensive and stressful process.