...and Moderna vaccines
Transvac vaccination transparency tool launched
Lack of transparency on covid vaccines limits public ability to exercise informed consent
The first covid-19 vaccine in the world, from BioNTech & Pfizer, has been released for mass vaccination of the public - in the UK. Outwardly, given the publication of Phase 3 trials in the peer reviewed literature, many may feel that everything they need to know if they are to give their informed consent for vaccination is already known - is in the public domain.
This simply isn't true.
That is why we've seen fit to create a tracker that can be used to evaluate vaccine transparency for individual vaccines, in specific countries.
In launching the tracker, Transvac, and placing it in the public domain to allow others to engage with the interactive algorithm (in Excel), we hope to be able draw attention to the continued withholding of data that we consider to be essential for properly informed consent.
We have initially evaluated with Transvac two vaccines: the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine in the UK, and the Moderna vaccine in the US. The results showed there is a long way to go before transparency can be declared, the former yielding a 'transparency index' of just 35%, marginally better than Moderna's 30%.
We issued a press release this morning (below) to publicise the new vaccine transparency tool.
PRESS RELEASE For immediate release 17 December 2020
The Alliance for Natural Heath International, a UK-based, internationally active, non-profit campaign, research and education organisation, has released into the public domain an open source vaccine transparency tool, TransVac, that allows comparison of the relative degree of vaccine transparency relating to citizen-facing information for the new generation of covid vaccines.
Using the new tool, Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine, currently being administered to the UK public, was found to have a ‘transparency index’ of just 35%. The Moderna vaccine, destined for imminent release in the US, fared even worse with an index of just 30%.
In April, together with colleagues at the British Society of Ecological Medicine (BSEM), the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) International published an open letter to Matt Hancock, the UK Minister for Health and Social Care, calling for vaccine transparency prior to roll-out of synthetic biology covid vaccines in what is described as the “biggest vaccination drive in British history”.
Given it is crunch time for an increasing number of Britons, and will be soon for US citizens, and others around the world, the vaccine transparency tool was developed to help citizens understand more about the nature and availability of information required for properly informed consent. The tool uses an algorithm to determine compliance with the ten criteria outlined by the ANH and the BSEM in their vaccine transparency manifesto issued earlier this year.
Transvac generated a transparency index for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in the UK of just 35%, with the index varying between 0% and a maximum of 68% for the 10 different criteria. That was marginally greater than the 30% found, using identical criteria, for the Moderna vaccine in the USA, which is expecting an imminent greenlight from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The results suggest that information required by citizens on which to be able to give informed consent is severely limited, and more opaque than it is transparent.
ANH executive and scientific director Rob Verkerk PhD said,
“We’ve developed the Transvac tool to help people understand what they should be asking health professionals and authorities if they wish to exercise properly informed consent, which is a legal right in most parts of the world for any medical intervention. Historically, vaccine transparency has been poor, and given the synthetic biology platforms and fast-track development timetables for the new generation of covid vaccines, a high degree of transparency is more important than ever.”
Although both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines use the same mRNA platform, one of the main differences in transparency between the two vaccines is that the lipid nanoparticle (LNP) ingredients used by Moderna, unlike Pfizer, have yet to be released to the public. This prevents any independent scientific risk assessment. In neither case have the amounts of the LNP adjuvants or their specific physico-chemical properties been released. It has been well established that nanoparticle delivery can greatly alter—and increase—the intrinsic toxicity of nanoparticles compared with the same ingredients in non-nano form. It is therefore unsurprising that “Moderna warned that they cannot be sure their LNP’s will not have adverse effects.”
The ANH is calling on the public, independent scientists, elected representatives and health professionals to engage with the open source Transvac tool. Most of the 10 criteria are subdivided into 4 to 6 sub-components and as more information materialises, the indices will change.
Dr Verkerk said that the ANH has been inundated by members of the public who say they are hesitant to receive covid vaccines because of a lack of information, and added:
“The public is often blamed for vaccine hesitancy. But accountability lies more with the vaccine makers and regulators for information that generates confidence. Transvac provides transparency over the nature of information that the public should have access to if the right to informed consent is to be respected during the forthcoming mass vaccination programs.”