By Alison Campbell 15/04/2021


It’s always something of a shock to come across a page run by a health-focused business that contains substantial misinformation. This one left me gobsmacked, given the sheer number of statements that are demonstrably untrue. And while a fair bit of the content is prefaced by the statement that it’s the personal opinion of one individual, the fact that it’s carried prominently on the business’s webpage means that the business appears to support those views.

The Covid-19 vaccines offered in NZ from this moment are no [sic] vaccines but a high risk first ever trial on humans of a GMO (gene modification) therapy.

Just, no. The Pfizer BioNTech product is a vaccine: it stimulates an immune response to a pathogen (or more correctly, to an antigen from that pathogen) without your being exposed to the actual disease-causing organism. The rollout in NZ is not a trial; the Phase III randomised controlled trial on this vaccine was completed and the results published towards the end of 2020. And the mRNA vaccine cannot change your DNA – and does not result in a therapeutic product – so does not entail gene therapy. (I have to say here that it’s not a GMO either.)

How can humans ever have survived for millions of years without masks and jabs? Because we have anti-virus software built into us.

We do all have immune systems, that much is true. But what the author is forgetting is that for the last 300,000 years (longer, if we think of earlier hominins) we’ve also been dying due to the impacts of a range of pathogens. Many of those gained in significance as the human population expanded and also came to live more closely with a range of domesticated animals, so that pathogens could both jump more easily from other animals to human hosts and spread more easily between humans. So in arguing that we’ve survived for a long time in the absence of masks or vaccines, the author is demonstrating survivor bias & ignoring all those who didn’t survive at all.

Some examples: smallpox killed an estimated 300 million people just in the 20th century – the earliest known case dates to 1157BC, and the virus kills around 30% of those infected. In that same century the 1918-19 influenza pandemic caused an estimated 50 million deaths. Measles used to kill millions every year and still causes the deaths of at least 60,000 children annually, mostly in developing countries.

The seasonal flu is a normal natural phenomena. Almost always corona viruses are part of this.

Again, just no. Influenza is caused by, yes, influenza viruses. They belong to a group (genus) called Orthomyxoviridae, and have a single-stranded segmented (in several pieces) RNA genome. Coronaviruses are from a completely different genus of viruses, the Coronaviridae, and also have a single-stranded RNA genome. Structurally & genetically they’re quite distinguishable. Why would a health professional conflate the two?

In most central European countries there were no Covid-19 deaths under the age of 80.

Well, in order to check that one we need to know what counts as a central European country, and then check the demographic distribution of deaths. Here are the data from three of them: Hungary, Germany, and the Czech Republic. By October 30, 2020, Hungary had experienced 1699 covid19 deaths – most were between 66 and 80 years of age. Data from Germany are more recent: just in 2021 the Statista website tells us that more than 77,000 had died, and while the highest number of deaths was in the 80+ demographic there were around 20,000 deaths in the younger age groups. And in the Czech Republic, in 2020, 28% of covid19 deaths were in those younger than 75. The data for Poland, Austria, Switzerland, and Slovakia  show the same trend.

So that claim is (at best) woefully ill-informed.

The excess death figures of some countries are so exceptionally different that it can not be explained by the virus.

To be honest, I’m not actually sure what the author was trying to say here, but the global excess mortality data are readily available on the Our World in Data website. And they certainly don’t support any suggestion that 2020 was nothing special in terms of global mortality.

At this point I’m also going to note that there’s a tendency to talk about people either dying, or not, and to ignore the fact that “survival” is not necessarily synonymous with “complete recovery”.

Is [the vaccine] even proven to work?

Yes. Yes, it is. Multiple articles now show this (see here, here & here, for example), in addition to the data from the Phase III RCT.

New research shows that Vitamin D plays an important role in the prevention of this virus and many other diseases.

I followed the link, and it doesn’t show that. The linked paper describes correlation, not causation, & in fact the paper’s conclusion is that (my emphasis) “Authors recommend universal screening for Vitamin D deficiency, and further investigation of Vitamin D supplementation in randomized control studies, which may lead to possible treatment or prevention of COVID-19.”

And on & on & on it goes. This is not a science-based page, which is what one might expect from a health provider. It is instead a heaping helping of misinformation, mistruths, and yes, conspiracy theories. For shame.

 

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