Empire Diaries Desk
January 18, 2023: Virtually puncturing gaping holes in the arguments of the lobby backing Covid-19 vaccines, a high-level panel of Indian medical experts has bucked the trend, saying people who’ve had the coronavirus infection may not get any “additional benefits” from vaccination.
Crucially, the panel called upon the Indian government to limit the jabs to only comorbid people and those who’ve never had the disease.
The joint task force that made the against-the-tide recommendation comprised medical experts from the Indian Public Health Association (IPHA), the Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine (IAPSM), and the Indian Association of Epidemiologists (IAE).
The panel also took on Big Pharma, urging the government to come up with a firm mechanism for preventing disinformation being peddled by pharmaceutical companies and the vaccine industry.
It’s necessary to avoid the “misuse of Covid or any other similar disease in cahoots with self-styled public health experts and scientists,” said the panel, which comprises many doctors who were previously part of the government’s counter-strategy on Covid-19, according to a news report.
The statement comes in the backdrop of growing concerns in medical circles as well as large sections of the population, particularly in the western nations, about the need, effectiveness, and safety aspects of Covid-19 vaccines.
The hurried roll-out of the jab with a strategic EUA (Emergency-Use Authorisation) tag in just a year’s time stands in sharp contrast to the time period of eight to 10 years or even more spent in labs before commercially launching vaccines for other killer diseases.
The task force’s stance has come as a shot in the arm for a growing number of contrarian people in India who have been campaigning to raise awareness about the loopholes associated with coronavirus vaccines. The panel issued a strong warning, arguing that the “unnecessary and irrational use of vaccination against Covid-19 will divert resources and attention from other pressing public health tasks”.
“Resources, both financial and human, saved from avoiding unnecessary vaccination and other unnecessary interventions can be better used for strengthening public healthcare facilities. This would help deal not only with the current pandemic, but also be useful for any other future epidemics,” the experts said in the joint statement.
It may be pointed out here that the obsession of governments worldwide with Covid-19 over the past three years has adversely impacted the fight to prevent and treat other killer diseases such as tuberculosis, and childhood vaccination rates.
PANEL BACKS NATURAL INFECTION
The task force recommended the government to declare an end to the pandemic and reassure the population with appropriate information. The experts also cited evidence to suggest that “natural infection may even provide lifelong immunity”, contradicting the barely questioned media-driven narrative that Covid-19 vaccination is the best way for populations to ward off the disease. “There is no evidence to the contrary, that is, vaccination alone provides better immunity than natural infection,” the experts said.
The task force went as far as cautioning about the harmful fallout of administering vaccines to those who have already been infected with Covid-19. “It would be prudent to err on the side of safety and not insist on vaccination for those who have acquired immunity following natural infection,” the experts advised.
At a time when a [Covid-19] vaccination certificate has become the sole passport for taking flights, attending high-level government programmes, undergoing surgery, and even going to educational institutes, the medical panel pitched for accepting proof of recovery from natural Covid infection as a practical alternative.
“It will help in reducing needless burden on the already-stretched health system, as well as unnecessary harassment of the common man,” the panel said.
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