This is in response to a recent interview with the famous vaccine conspiracy theorist who started it all, Dr. Andrew Wakefield (sent to me by some friends of mine – Link):
Table of Contents
- 1 Dr. Wakefield’s arguments against mRNA vaccines:
- 2 Will the mRNA vaccines cause “Irreversible Genetic Modification”?
- 3 mRNA vaccines aren’t true vaccines?
- 4 Do mRNA vaccines increase the risk of autoimmunity?
- 5 Do mRNA Vaccines increase the risk for anaphylactic reactions?
- 6 The very real risks to the mRNA vaccines:
- 7 DNA Modification?
- 8 Double-blinded placebo-controlled trials:
- 9 Wakefield: a famous deceptive conspiracy theorist:
- 10 Ellen White on vaccines and anti-government conspiracy theories:
Dr. Wakefield’s arguments against mRNA vaccines:
DR. WAKEFIELD WARNS “THIS IS NOT A VACCINE, IT IS IRREVERSIBLE GENETIC MODIFICATION”
Will the mRNA vaccines cause “Irreversible Genetic Modification”?
To start with, the title of the video is very misleading since it claims “Irreversible Genetic Modification” – if one takes an mRNA vaccine. Now, I understand the importance of a good title to get people to watch your video, but that title is simply false when it comes to the mRNA vaccines. These mRNA vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna do not alter human DNA or genetics at all – not even close.
For more information about the mechanism, safety, and effectiveness of these modern mRNA vaccines, I strongly recommend the excellent MedCram interview (December 16, 2020) with Dr. Shane Crotty (virologist and professor in the Vaccine Discovery Division at La Jolla Institute for Immunology – Link).
mRNA vaccines aren’t true vaccines?
Then Wakefield starts off with the nonsense claim that because the mRNA doesn’t produce the immune response directly (only the resulting protein that is produced by the cell’s machinery that decodes the mRNA sequence does that) that the mRNA vaccines “aren’t true vaccines”.
What? How is this a reasonable argument? How does the fact that there’s an extra step involved in producing the vaccine’s protein-based antigen(s) within the human body somehow mean that the final result isn’t a true vaccine? By any rational standard, the mRNA vaccines are true vaccines in every sense of the word since they end up educating the human immune system to recognize a specific type of viral protein antigen which then causes this now educated immune system to specifically target the COVID-19 virus prior to an actual infection by the live virus. That’s what vaccines do…
Do mRNA vaccines increase the risk of autoimmunity?
Then, Wakefield asks, “What could possibly go wrong?” – based on the claim that the cells producing a foreign protein to which the body will mount an immune response is called, “an autoimmune disease”. Now that certainly is a scary thought! Who wants to get an autoimmune disease?! I certainly don’t! Yet, I have already had the first round of the mRNA Pfizer vaccine. Why would I do this to myself? Why would I expose myself to some kind of autoimmune disease or disorder where I get my body to attack itself?
Well, this claim for producing an autoimmune disease might be a concern for those who don’t clearly understand the mechanism in play. What happens is that the mRNA in the vaccine enters the cytoplasm of some of the cells in one’s body. The nuclei of these cells are not entered by the mRNA sequences. The DNA is not altered at all. The mRNA in the cytoplasm then codes for a small piece of the COVID-19 virus – a portion of the spike protein. This protein, once produced, is exported from the cell and is then presented to the cells that make up the immune system. The immune system is then activated to recognize this particular protein sequence as something “foreign”. This means that, in the future, this immune system will more rapidly and effectively be able to attack the actual live virus if the body is ever infected by it. The cells that produce this foreign protein are not attacked because they do not express this viral protein on their own surfaces. This is important because some of the earlier attempts at a SARS vaccine (back in 2002-2004) showed ADE effects (antibody-dependent enhancement with increased immune-mediated inflammation and lung damage following vaccination) in mouse models. However, mouse immunogenicity studies with the current COVID-19 vaccine candidates did not show these effects. This has been why the modern mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 have taken care to put the viral spike protein (coded for by the mRNA vaccines) into its “prefusion” conformation – so that it won’t attach to the cell surfaces of the person receiving the vaccine. The worry has been that if antibodies are generated to this viral “spike protein” after it has had a chance to bind to human cells, that this would give a better chance for non-neutralizing antibodies to arise (and thus provide a better chance for unwanted inflammation of ADE to develop). This is also the reason for the emphasis on detecting neutralizing antibody titers along the way as well since a high proportion of neutralizing antibodies is a safeguard against the antibody-driven enhancement of disease. (Dr. Derek Lowe, December 18, 2020)
Also, the mRNA sequences only produce the viral spike protein for a short time. So, the actual risk for the development of autoimmunity is very minimal here – no more so than with any other type of protein-based vaccine and no more so than getting infected by the full live COVID-19 virus. The mRNA sequence itself is then rapidly degraded within the cytoplasm of the cells that it entered. It doesn’t last very long at all. It’s a very temporary sticky-note message, so to speak, that self-degrades after the message is read a few times.
More extensive details on this can be reviewed here: (Link)
Do mRNA Vaccines increase the risk for anaphylactic reactions?
But what about Wakefield’s claim that there have been anaphylactic responses to these mRNA vaccines, as well as deaths? That certainly sounds serious, but it really isn’t if one understands what is really happening here. First off, the handful of cases of anaphylactic reactions to the mRNA vaccines, out of the millions given so far (a rate of around 1 in 100,000), have been to the lipids used to carry the mRNA. They are not based on some kind of autoimmune disease or condition produced by the vaccine. There are simply people who are at increased risk of anaphylaxis when exposed to certain fats or “lipids”. This is where severe nut allergies come from, for example. Between 2 and 10 children per 1,000 in the United States and the United Kingdom have anaphylactic responses to peanut/tree nuts – “with the prevalence of allergy to nuts being higher in adults (1.6%) than in children (0.6%)” (Link). This is a much much higher rate than the allergic responses to the mRNA vaccines so far at around 1 in 100,000. Yet, no one says that nuts are bad or poisonous for most people – only for those who are known to react in this way to nuts and other proteins or lipids to which they happen to be allergic. Also, the deaths that have been observed after the mRNA vaccines have been given have been no greater than the death rates noted in the regular population at large. Even during the vaccine testing phase, during the double-blinded trials, of the six people who died during this period, four of them were given the placebo (normal saline injection), not the actual vaccine. So, these claims of Wakefield are red herrings to create fear in people that is simply not related to the actual vaccines.
The very real risks to the mRNA vaccines:
Death from immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP):
Now, there are also other situations where vaccines really do increase the risk of certain conditions, some of which can be deadly. Consider, for a recent example, the 56-year-old medical doctor (Dr. Gregory Michael) who recently died in Florida two weeks following vaccination (December 18, 2020) with the mRNA Pfizer vaccine. He died of an autoimmune condition known as Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP). While investigations into this particular case are ongoing, there is a known risk of ITP with getting the COVID-19 live viral infection itself – up to 45 reported cases so far:
“Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) can occur secondary to COVID-19 infections. A systematic approach is essential to diagnose new-onset ITP after excluding several concomitant factors or conditions that can cause thrombocytopenia in COVID-19. ITP has been found to be more common in elderly and moderate-to-severe COVID-19 patients. Several reports of ITP in asymptomatic COVID-19 patients underscore the need for COVID-19 testing in newly diagnosed patients with ITP amid this pandemic… In this review, 38 patients [of the 45 new-onset ITP cases described] (84.5%) had severe thrombocytopenia (platelet count < 20 × 109/L). Intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) was found in 4 patients, with one patient reportedly [dying] of it. The incidence of thrombocytopenia in patients with COVID-19 has been variable across studies. Mild thrombocytopenia has been observed in up to one-third of these patients, with even higher rate in patients with severe disease (57.7%) compared with nonsevere disease (31.6%)… Clinicians should also take note of several reports of ITP in COVID-19 patients in post-recovery period (21%).” – Bhattacharjee and Banerjee, September 2020
In this light, consider that there are some other vaccines that are known to increase the rate of ITP over background levels (the incidence of ITP in adults is approximately 6.6 cases per 100,000 per year). For example, the rate of ITP following MMR vaccination is about 1 to 4 additional cases for every 100,000 vaccines given (above background levels). However, the rate of thrombocytopenia following natural infection with rubella or measles is even higher, anywhere from 6 to 1200 cases, above background levels, for every 100,000 infected individuals (Neunert, ITP Support Association, Accessed January 2021). So, even given that the mRNA vaccines end up slightly increasing one’s risk for ITP, it’s not like one can completely avoid an increased risk of ITP during a pandemic where the actual viral infection has a much higher risk of ITP (not to mention the many other potential short and long-term complications). Again, while there are some real risks to vaccines, these risks, overall, are minimal compared to the risks of getting infected by the live virus.
Deaths in Norway following mRNA vaccinations:
The same is true for the recently reported situation in Norway where 23 very frail nursing home patients (all over 80 years of age) died following vaccination with either the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines (Elson, Jan. 15, 2021). It is somewhat difficult to determine a link in this particular population between the vaccine and any other potential cause of death – since around 400 nursing home residents die in Norway every week (out of a total of some 40,000 nursing home residents, all of which have now been vaccinated). However, at this point, it is not ruled out that adverse reactions occurring within the first days following vaccination (such as fever and nausea) may contribute to a more serious course and fatal outcome in patients with severe underlying disease and general frailty.
“It may be a coincidence, but we aren’t sure,” Steinar Madsen, medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency (NOMA), told The BMJ. “There is no certain connection between these deaths and the vaccine.” (Link)
Steinar Madsen went on to say, “We are not alarmed by this. It is quite clear that these vaccines have very little risk, with a small exception for the frailest patients.” (Link)
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health said concluded that “for very frail patients and terminally ill patients, a careful balance of benefit versus disadvantage of vaccination is recommended.” (Link) Consider this also in the light that more than 30% of nursing home residents are likely to die if an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs. So, weighing the risks and benefits of taking the vaccine vs. being exposed to a potential COVID-19 outbreak seems to weigh heavily in favor of taking the vaccine – with the exception, perhaps, of those who are already very frail.
Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS):
But what about the thousands of reports of vaccine injuries kept on the database known as VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System)? Surely then, most scientists and medical professionals have a long history of seriously downplaying the risks of vaccines. It is not therefore only reasonable to conclude that the same thing will be true for the mRNA vaccines as well?
Inevitably, in the course of speaking with parents who want to support their decision not to vaccinate their children, or even themselves, you will be asked to go and read the VAERS database’s record of thousands upon thousands of vaccine injuries. Why might this be? After all, the VAERS database, maintained by the CDC after all, is a good thing as far as mainstream medical science is concerned. Why then is it so prominent in the arguments of those so opposed to vaccines? Well, it’s because they don’t understand what VAERS really is and what the data contained in this database really means.
VAERS is the place where doctors, patients, and really anyone else can report what they suspect to be side effects of a vaccination. The CDC and the FDA co-sponsor this database, and they use it to monitor possible vaccine side effects. When certain patterns or clusters of similar reports appear, public health officials investigate these events and make appropriate recommendations. For example, in 1999, VAERS caught a higher than expected incidence of intussusception—a bowel disorder—following the administration of RotaShield, a rotavirus vaccine. Epidemiological studies confirmed the heightened risk of this side effect, and the vaccine was pulled from the market.
In this sense, VAERS is invaluable. It gives public health officials the information they need in order to keep our immunization program as safe as possible. As a parent, I take comfort in the fact that VAERS exists and that people who know how to analyze the data are on top of it.However, VAERS is a passive reporting system. This means that anyone can report anything to it. There is no go-between. It’s almost like an online forum or message board; anyone can post and no one vets the claims. As such, a report in VAERS does not prove that any adverse event was actually caused by vaccines. In fact, it doesn’t even prove that any reported adverse event actually existed. One of the more well-known examples of how any report makes it into VAERS was Dr. James Laidler’s report that the influenza vaccine turned him into the Incredible Hulk. He inspired Kevin Leitch from Left Brain Right Brain to report a similar Wonder Woman adverse event.Continued at: Link
Yet, Wakefield goes on to explain that genetic modifications, where actual pieces of the DNA sequences of a living organism are manipulated, almost always have unintended consequences. Again, while true, this is yet another red herring used to misdirect the minds of people and create fear when such things are not being done by the mRNA vaccines at all – not even close. Again, the actual mRNA vaccines do not affect the genetics of a person.
Double-blinded placebo-controlled trials:
In short, these mRNA vaccines have been extensively tested by double-blinded scientific studies on 70,000 people and showed themselves to be very safe and up to 95% effective in blocking the COVID-19 infection. That’s extraordinary given the actual risks of the COVID-19 pandemic in this country and around the world. This pandemic is a real pandemic that has killed around 1 in 1000 people already in this country. And, it kills the elderly at an exponentially higher rate than it kills the young (up to 15% of those over the age of 75, and up to 30% in a nursing home setting). There was also a study showing that 30% of young student-athletes developed heart damage linked to COVID-19, with 15% showing active inflammation of the heart known as myocarditis – even following otherwise mild symptoms associated with the COVID-19 infection (Rajpal, 2020). So, elderly people aren’t the only ones at serious risk from a COVID-19 infection. Young, otherwise healthy, people are also at risk. In comparison, the safety and effectiveness of the mRNA vaccines are miraculous gifts in comparison to the risks we take, as individuals and as a country, to continued exposure to the live viral infection itself.
Wakefield: a famous deceptive conspiracy theorist:
As an aside, Andrew Wakefield is a famous anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist who started off the modern fear of vaccines for many with his fraudulent Lancet paper published in 1998 claiming that childhood autism spectrum disorder was related to the MMR vaccine. He deliberately falsified data in this paper. And, we now have abundant evidence that vaccines do not increase the risk of autism. Maternal health during pregnancy is, however, known to be a risk factor. In fact, a recent paper showed that a maternal lack of vitamin D is linked to autism, especially the increased rate of autism in boys as compared to girls (Link).
Ellen White on vaccines and anti-government conspiracy theories:
Anyway, it seems to me that as Christians, at the very least, we should try to be as even-handed and honest with the evidence that is available to us and avoid sensationalism and conspiracy theories as much as possible – particularly those directed against governments and those individuals in positions of authority. This will only add to our credibility when things really hit the fan in this world. For Seventh-day Adventists in particular, the advice of Ellen White along these lines comes across as very wise:
Our work is not to make a raid on the Government but to prepare a people to stand in the great day of the Lord. The fewer attacks we make on authorities and powers, the more work will we do for God. Let Seventh-day Adventists do nothing that will mark them as lawless and disobedient… Let them keep all inconsistency out of their lives. Our work is to proclaim the truth, leaving the issues with the Lord. Do all in your power to reflect the light, but do not speak words that will irritate or provoke. MS 117a, 1901
Decided proclamations are to be made. But in regard to this line of work, I am instructed to say to our people: Be guarded. In bearing the message, make no personal thrusts at other Churches, not even the Roman Catholic Church. Angels of God see in the different denominations many who can be reached only by the greatest caution. Therefore let us be careful of our words. Let not our ministers follow their own impulses in denouncing and exposing the “mysteries of iniquity” [2 Thessalonians 2:7]. Upon these themes silence is eloquence. Many are deceived. Speak the truth in tones and words of love. Let Christ Jesus be exalted. Keep to the affirmative of truth. Never leave the straight path God has marked out for the purpose of giving someone a thrust. That thrust may do much harm and no good. It may quench conviction in many minds. – EGW, Ms 6, 1902
Ellen White also took the smallpox vaccine herself, as did her son William White – and she recommended it to her companions as well. She did this even though she knew that vaccines were risky (much more risky in her day as compared to modern vaccines). Yet, despite what she knew about the risks of vaccines in her day (her own son had been sicked by a vaccine prior to this – Link), she took and promoted the taking of the smallpox vaccine. Why? Because, the known risks of the vaccine were a whole lot less than the known risks of getting exposed to the smallpox virus. That’s why. The same thing is true today. The risks of the mRNA vaccines are a whole lot less than the known risks of being exposed to the live COVID-19 virus.
Here’s what Ellen White’s personal secretary for 13 years (and husband to her first granddaughter Ella – daughter of William White), D. E. Robinson, wrote about Mrs. White taking the smallpox vaccine (seated at the bottom left in the photo):
You will be interested to know, however, that at a time when there was an epidemic of smallpox in the vicinity, she herself was vaccinated and urged her helpers, those connected with her, to be vaccinated. In taking this step Sister White recognized the fact that it has been proven that vaccination either renders one immune from smallpox or greatly lightens its effects if one does come down with it. She also recognized the danger of their exposing others if they failed to take this precaution. – Signed D. E. Robinson, 2 SM 303.5 – 2SM 303.6
Another letter along these lines was written by Arthur L. White (grandson of Ellen White), quoting the above passage written by D. E. Robinson. Arthur White was working at the Ellen White Estates (or “Publications” at the time) and pointed out that Robinson, in the above passage, was responding in a letter (dated June 12, 1931) to the Ellen White Estate in answer to “an inquiry received”. Arthur White then goes on to add, “At another time, speaking of Mrs. White’s attitude toward this question, Elder Robinson wrote:”
“Though fully aware of the practice of vaccination during an epidemic of smallpox, she expressed no disapproval of it either as a preventative or a remedy. Members of her own family were vaccinated and with her approval.” (D. E. Robinson as quoted by Arthur L. White, January 19, 1956)
Dr. Sean Pitman is a pathologist, with subspecialties in anatomic, clinical, and hematopathology, currently working in N. California.
Article’s Last Update: January 15, 2021