I do not have a worthwhile view on the efficacy of the vaccines or of the balance of good and harm from them . I have not read enough of the literature and have no medical training . Yesterday I reported the NHS line and the questions raised by some MP s over the vaccines.I have myself raised other big issues over the way government responded to the pandemic. At the time I raised queries about the statistics presented for infections and deaths.I did not presume to advise my constituents as some non medically qualified MP s did over getting vaccinated. If asked I suggested they talked to a medical adviser they trusted.
During the covid period I did have strong views on the economic damage done by extensive lockdowns. I worked with a small group of MP s to press for Parliament to be up and running and then for the earlier return of an active in person Parliament. I saw the need for more scrutiny of the wide ranging actions being taken to direct the economy and to spend large new budgets on healthcare. I argued for concentrating protections on the vulnerable and helping them safely avoid contact with possible disease carriers, rather than getting most of us to avoid contacts outside our own family or bubble. I voted and argued for less extensive lockdowns.
I also pressed for more work on the possible approval and use of existing medicines to blunt the virus and help with symptoms for those infected. I argued for isolation hospitals to be separate from other general hospitals, for the Nightingale capacity to be used, for more use of the private sector hospitals for non covid patients, for better air flow and air cleansing in hospitals and other public buildings. I have subsequently sent in these issues for the Covid Enquiry to consider when they can spare time from examining the issues over how Ministers behaved. To produce a good report they need to examine the scientific work, forecasts , NHS management of greatly increased resource and medical advice offered as it evolved during the waves of the virus.
I have not published all contributions from yesterday. The share prices of pharmaceutical companies generally have fallen this year for a variety of reasons. The lawsuits I see raised as contributors to share declines are about infringement of patents, rather than harms from covid vaccines. Governments often issued some exemptions from liability to speed introduction of vaccines that they thought would save lives.
Governments and medical experts continue to recommend a range of covid vaccines, and have made decisions now about which ones they prefer to use. Anyone thinking of having vaccinations can now find plenty of information about side effects and about what has happened to a small proportion of people who have experienced greater harm than a sore arm and feeling a bit under the weather for a few days. Those who do dislike these vaccines can make their own decisions as they are free to do and can study outcomes so far from using these treatments.