It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Sir Roger. I am, as was mentioned, the chair of the all-party parliamentary group on covid-19 vaccine damage. The group is now up and running. We had an enormously well-supported meeting in Portcullis House last Thursday. I agree with the legitimate concerns of the 100,000-plus people who signed the petition, and share their belief that the recent data relating to cardiovascular problems, which is increasing in volume, is of enough concern to warrant an inquiry on safety. As I have said, the big Hallett inquiry on covid-19 will cover a lot of this ground, but it will not report for many years. In the meantime, people are being encouraged to have more and more boosters, and they understandably want to know the impact of those boosters on their health and the risks and rewards.
As well as being chairman of the APPG, I have taken an interest in the subject for about a year, and produced a private Member’s Bill on the subject, and I hope to produce another, which will have its Second Reading next month. Coroners up and down the country have found in their reports that deaths have been caused directly by covid 19 vaccines. I have spoken to some of the bereaved; indeed, I spoke to the gentleman referred to by my hon. Friend the Member for North West Durham (Mr Holden)—the gentleman who attended our meeting on Thursday, and whose wife was a journalist in Newcastle. I have seen with my own eyes the suffering of people who are bereaved or still suffering adverse reactions.
I am sorry that my hon. Friend the Member for Carshalton and Wallington (Elliot Colburn), in introducing the debate, did not have much to say about the people who we know have suffered death or serious injury as a result of the vaccines. My hon. Friend showed himself to be rather the victim of producer capture—the producer in this case being the MHRA. He does not seem to have allowed his researches to go further than the MHRA. Has he, for example, looked at what has been happening in Germany? The Paul Ehrlich Institute is the German regulator responsible for vaccine safety. On 20 July, the institute confirmed that one in 5,000 people was seriously affected after a vaccination. That also reflected a finding that it published earlier in the year, in which the institute tried to raise the alert that one in 5,000 vaccinated people experienced a serious side effect, such as heart muscle inflammation. It said that, statistically, every 10th person must expect a severe consequence from having a course of three or four vaccines. The institute uses the World Health Organisation definition of a “serious adverse event”, meaning one that results in hospitalisation or is life-threatening or life-changing. After a course of four doses, the risk of a report to its system of a serious adverse effect is one in 1,250. That is serious information coming from the regulator of a country that is highly respected for the quality of its healthcare.
Is it not interesting that the number of adverse reports referred to the institute is far fewer than the number of adverse reports that led to the 1976 swine flu vaccine being withdrawn? Some hon. Members may recall that, in 1976, the President of the United States, Gerald Ford, was panicked by swine flu into organising a vaccination campaign. When reports emerged of suspected adverse reactions, including heart attacks and Guillain-Barré syndrome, and there were 53 reported deaths, people began to worry about the safety of the vaccine. The Government halted that mass vaccination programme in December of that year. In that case, the Government acted on far fewer adverse events than we have talked about in this debate and decided that, given the balance of risk and reward, it was too risky to continue with the vaccination programme. Let us look at the facts and not just be beholden to the MHRA. If this were a debate about the MHRA, I would have masses of material on it.
The Government seem to be in denial about the risks of these vaccines. Only this morning, the deputy chief medical officer for England was on the radio saying that the boosters were perfectly safe and effective, but they are not perfectly safe, and there is a question about whether they are effective, but that is for another debate. The fact that they are not perfectly safe has now been admitted by the Government. Indeed, the UK Health Security Agency has issued “A guide to the COVID-19 autumn booster”—you may have seen a copy of it, Sir Roger. It requests that people get another booster from their GP. Unfortunately, the cover letter from the NHS makes no reference to any risks associated with the vaccine, but if one looks at the document included in the envelope, it talks about serious side effects. It says,
“Cases of inflammation of the heart (called myocarditis or pericarditis) have been reported very rarely after both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. These cases have been seen mostly in younger men and within several days of vaccination. Most of the people affected have felt better and recovered quickly following rest and simple treatments.”
It then states:
“You should seek medical advice”.
What it does not state is what happens to those people who do not recover. That is what I will concentrate on in the remainder of my remarks. Those people, if they are disabled to the extent of 60% or more, may be eligible for payments under the vaccine damage payment scheme. They might get £120,000. That scheme, however, is not fit for purpose, because its description of disability does not necessarily apply to autoimmune conditions such as those suffered as a consequence of covid-19 vaccine damage. And what about all of those people who are only 59% disabled? There is no financial help for them and, even more worryingly for many, no specific medical help.
The Government refuse to provide specialist help for these vaccine victims. Although they have set up long covid clinics, vaccine victims are being ignored. I have asked parliamentary questions about this, but I have not been able to get a satisfactory answer as to why there are no clinics for those victims of vaccine damage. As a result of the Government’s behaviour, victims are increasingly telling their loved ones, neighbours and friends about their circumstances, which is leading to a much lower rate applications for booster vaccines. That is happening because the Government cannot suppress the information that ordinary people are sharing with one another, even though there is very little on this topic in the mainstream media.
Many people now would not touch a booster with a bargepole, and I include myself among them. I am not anti-vax—I had my first two vaccines—but from all that I have seen and know about this, the increase in boosters is counterproductive for many and dangerous for some. We need to take into account what is happening on the ground. People are becoming increasingly vaccine-hesitant. Large numbers of doctors and health professionals are now calling for a complete halt to the vaccination programme because the risks outweigh the benefits.