Tory MP branded ‘irresponsible’ over COVID vaccine claims

Tory MP branded ‘irresponsible’ over COVID vaccine claims

  • A senior Tory MP has been criticized for claiming COVID vaccines are unsafe

  • Andrew Bridgen has called for a complete halt to vaccine launches – citing a “conspiracy of silence” over their safety

  • Senior doctors have dismissed his claims, with one branding them “irresponsible”.

  • Read Bridgen’s comments below and what senior figures have said about them

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 25: Conservative Party MP Andrew Bridgen is pictured outside the Houses of Parliament as MPs return to their duties after prorogation by Supreme Court Justices on September 25, 2019 in London , England, has been repealed.  The House of Commons meets again today after the Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's five-week prorogation of the UK Parliament in the run-up to the EU exit date at the end of October was unlawful.  (Photo credit should be Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Senior Tory MP Andrew Bridgen has received a backlash after claims the mRNA COVID vaccine may not be safe. (Getty Images)

Senior doctors have criticized Tory MP Andrew Bridgen after he claimed COVID vaccines are “unsafe” and the government should stop using them “immediately”.

Vaccines have ended lockdowns around the world and experts are hailing their rapid development, which has saved millions of lives after the pandemic broke out.

But Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire, said on Wednesday that cardiologist Dr. Research published by Aseem Malhotra has shown that the benefits of mRNA COVID vaccines – like the Pfizer shot – are “nearly non-existent”.

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Experts have refuted the claims, with Professor Kent Woods, a former chief executive officer of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – the body responsible for ensuring medicines are of acceptable safety – calling them “irresponsible”.

Speaking to MPs in the House of Commons, Bridgen made a number of claims about the vaccine.

He said a re-analysis of Pfizer and Moderna’s own randomized controlled trials of mRNA technology — published in the journal Vaccination – revealed a serious adverse event rate of 1 in 800 vaccinated people.

He said: “These results are a smoking gun suggesting the vaccine probably should never have been approved in the first place.”

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2021/08/12: Vials of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in London.  (Photo by Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

COVID mNRA vaccines have been vital in the fight against the pandemic. (Getty Images)

He added there had been half a million “yellow card” reports – the system that allows people to report suspected side effects of medicines and vaccines – linked to vaccination, which he called an unprecedented number and more than all yellow cards. Map reports of the past 40 years together.

He went on to cite a report from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showing that one in 200 had an adverse event that led to hospitalization and symptoms that lasted more than 90 days.

This claim has been branded “misleading” by fact-checkers.

He said: “As the data makes clear to anyone who wants to look at them, the mRNA vaccines are not safe, they are not effective and they are not necessary. I beg the government to stop using them immediately.”

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In his speech, Bridgen said the public was coerced into supporting the sting by a “conspiracy of silence,” which he appears to have targeted at regulators including the MHRA, the media, the pharmaceutical industry, doctors, academic institutions and medical journals.

Bridgen’s comments have drawn sharp criticism from experts contacted by Yahoo News UK.

Prof Woods, now Professor Emeritus of Therapeutics at the University of Leicester, warned that Bridgen’s unsubstantiated claims could cause “harm”.

“The repeated assertion by Dr. Malhotra that his research was peer-reviewed must be questioned,” he said, noting that the research was published in the Journal of Insulin Resistance, a journal with no known expertise in peer-reviewed vaccine safety research .

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 05: Registered Nurse Laura Hastings administers a Covid booster to Andrew Young, 72, at Victoria Manor care home on September 5, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Scotland's winter Covid vaccination program starts today.  (Photo by Lesley Martin - Pool/Getty Images)

Prof Woods, now Professor Emeritus of Therapeutics at the University of Leicester, told Yahoo News that UK vaccines have prevented 20 million deaths a year. (Getty Images)

He added that vaccines “prevented around 20 million additional deaths in the first year of use.”

“To suggest that mRNA vaccines should be phased out is irresponsible, given their apparent public health importance,” added Prof. Woods.

“It is also irresponsible to suggest that there is clear evidence of vaccine-related harm that has been concealed by a conspiracy involving industry, regulators and scientists.

“The MMR/autism fiasco has shown the damage to public health that an unwarranted vaccination can cause.”

The British Society for Immunology told Yahoo News UK that there is a “huge body of evidence” showing COVID vaccines are safe.

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“Unfortunately, much of the recent online discussion of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines does not thoroughly analyze all of the available evidence.”

It added: “There is now a large body of evidence from multiple studies showing that COVID-19 vaccines, including the mRNA vaccines, are the safest and most effective way to prevent serious illness and death from COVID-19 and the benefits of doing so far outweigh the risks for the vast majority of people.”

And an anonymous pharmacoepidemiology expert told Yahoo News UK: “The Vaccine paper on the analysis of the RCTs is a bias and there have been replies to it. There were also reactions to Malhotra’s paper – to say there were none is not true.

“Using yellow card data to estimate the frequency of occurrence of adverse events is nonsensical.”

In response to Bridgen in the House of Commons, Maria Caulfield, Secretary of State for Mental Health and Women, dismissed his comments.

“I disagree with my honorable friend, not only in the content of his speech, but also in the way he mocked doctors, scientists and nurses,” she said.

She also pointed out that the yellow card system does not reliably show the number of side effects caused by vaccines. In response to the significant number of reports, she added that the system recently went live, meaning “anyone can submit any suspected adverse drug reaction”.

She added: “I completely debunk the conspiracy theories about a whole group of people benefiting financially from the launch of the vaccine.”

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