There’s “peer review” and then there’s peer review. Beall …

Comment on Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions by Sean Pitman.

There’s “peer review” and then there’s peer review.

Beall remained critical of MDPI after removing the publisher from his list of predatory open access publishing companies. In December 2015 he wrote that, “It is clear that MDPI sees peer review as merely a perfunctory step that publishers have to endure before publishing papers and accepting money from the authors” and that “it’s clear that MDPI’s peer review is managed by clueless clerical staff in China.”

Beall, Jeffrey (17 December 2015). “Instead of a Peer Review, Reviewer Sends Warning to Authors”. Scholarly Open Access. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016.

In July 2021, an article titled “Journal citation reports and the definition of a predatory journal: The case of the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)” was published in the academic journal Research Evaluation, written by María Ángeles Oviedo-García. Oviedo-García argued that MDPI used self-citation practices known as “citation cartels” to increase the apparent Impact Factor of MDPI journals, and that MDPI journals bear a number of hallmarks of predatory publishing. MDPI also released a public comment on the article on August 19th, 2021, claiming the article was predicated on the notion that MDPI was a predatory publisher, and that the article misrepresents MDPI business practice. In that comment, MDPI did confirm that its journals had some of the highest self-citation rates amongst academic publishers. The article in Research Evaluation later received an editorial “Expression of Concern,” and as of November 25th 2021, an investigation is ongoing.

Regardless of all of this, the main point that the authors of this paper make is not substantiated by their research. T-cells and B-cells simply are not affected by the mRNA vaccines to any significant degree. So, their arguments really are mute here. That’s the bottom line. You still have no mechanism behind your claims that the mRNA vaccines are more dangerous than they are beneficial or more risky than getting a live COVID-19 infection.

In summary, so as not to contribute to the continuance of malpractice: 1 researchers should neither send papers for their publication, nor cite them, nor act as reviewers for them, nor form part of their editorial committees; 2 research institutions should inform researchers of the reality of predatory journals and their iniquitous consequences at an individual and general level; and, 3 evaluation agencies and committees should ignore the registers that refer to predatory journals. Lastly, but by no means least of all, selective databases should conduct periodic controls and strengthen the criteria for the incorporation of journals, so as to prevent their good names from serving, as previously said, to prolong malpractice among journals ‘that prioritize self-interest at the expense of scholarship and are characterized by false or misleading information, deviation from best editorial and publication practices, a lack of transparency, and/or the use of aggressive and indiscriminate solicitation practices’ (Grudniewicz et al. 2019).

These steps are particularly urgent for databases that already include MDPI-journals (WOS, PubMed and Scopus), since the defining features of predatory journals are that they systematize ‘for profit publication’ (COPE 2019) and ‘prioritize self-interest at the expense of scholarship’ (Grudniewicz et al. 2019). JCR-indexed MDPI-journals betray both traits through a steady increase in number of their published articles (sometimes to several hundred in just one regular issue) and special issues. Besides, JCR-indexed MDPI-journals mimicking names and publicly claimed rapid publication is in direct breach of the COPE/DOAJ/OASPA/WAME Principles for Transparency and Best Practices in Scholarly Publishing. Furthermore, the low variability of timeframes for peer review regardless of the scope of the journal, the size of its editorial board and the volume of published articles all raise questions over the levels of quality assurance required from a legitimate journal/publisher. Finally, self-citation and intra-MDPI citation rates artificially increase the impact factors of JCR-indexed MDPI-journals that is quite clearly in breach of best practice and integrity in science. (Link)

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
Ouch! 😉

Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
Naturally-acquired immunity that is gained from surviving a previous COVID-19 infection has been shown to be protective to a similar if not greater degree compared to vaccine-derived immunity – and therefore should count as having adequate immunity without having to get vaccinated.

Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
Come on now. The antigens were detected in very small amounts due to the “ultralow detection limits of the Simoa assays” that were used. Just because very small amounts of spike protein antigens end up in the plasma does not discount the “basic science” that the spike protein produced by the vaccines does in fact anchor itself, generally speaking, to the surfaces of the cells that produce it following vaccination.

Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

Pastor Ivor Myers and Medical Panel Discuss COVID-19 and Vaccines
The mRNA vaccine are now fully approved by the FDA (no longer under EUA). The technology itself is not “experimental” in any meaningful sense of the world since it has been around now for over 30 years with extensive use in other applications. The current use to produce a small part of the COVID-19 virus, the spike protein, to teach the human immune system how to fight the live virus better when exposed, functions in the very same way as traditional vaccines – and is highly effective as well as having very rare serious side effects. Those who cite VAERS don’t generally understand the purpose of the VEARS data system that is maintained by the CDC and the FDA. The VEARS system is not meant to establish causation, but rather to detect unusual patterns of correlation. This is a key misunderstanding for many people. As far as the human immune system is concerned, the fact is that the human immune system, while certainly amazing, isn’t perfect in this world and tends to degrade over time as we age. That is why vaccines have turned out to be such a God-given gift to humanity, having saved millions upon millions of lives. Also, historically, vaccine mandates are nothing new. Vaccines have long been required to work in various jobs, particularly as medical providers, and to attend schools around the country.

All that being said, I do agree that the current general mandates for the mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 will tend to be less effective compared to other methods… with the exception of those working in places like hospitals or nursing homes. Such medical providers working with the most vulnerable should be required to be vaccinated. For most other people, medical exceptions and even religious exemptions are still recognized and honored in this country.

Dr. Walter Veith and the anti-vaccine arguments of Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche
I’ve very glad that you survived! Keep spreading the message. Some will listen and more lives will be saved.

Pastor Ivor Myers and Medical Panel Discuss COVID-19 and Vaccines
Dr. Veith is mistaken here because he’s listening more to conspiracy theories rather than looking at the weight of good scientific evidence.

Why Vaccinate Kids Against COVID-19?
Assuming the 90% efficacy figure for the Pfizer vaccine holds up, vaccinating one million 5- to 12-year-old children would prevent 33,600 cases and 170 hospitalizations over 120 days. The CDC puts the figure about 58,000 cases and 226 hospitalizations prevented. During the same period of time, there would be around 21 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis (Link, Link). There is also the argument that the significant majority completely recover from vaccine-related myocarditis/pericarditis without any long-term effects. Recovering from a COVID-19 infection requiring hospitalization, however, often results in long-term injuries.

Are mRNA Vaccines for COVID-19 helpful or harmful?
I don’t know about Dr. Botha, in particular, but others have made similar claims. Of course, I see no credible evidence to support such sensational claims…