Vaccines are important but must remain voluntary
One morning in my matric year the doorbell rang. When I opened the door there was a man with a sombre expression on his face. Softly he asked if my parents were at home. I invited him in and called my mother. “There’s a man who really looks sad – maybe someone has died,” I told her worriedly.
When he had gone she told me more about him. “Oom Joost is a remote relative, but he isn’t sad; it is grief that you see in his eyes. His daughter was seriously disabled because of polio, and he is blaming himself for refusing her to be vaccinated.”
“But why did he do that, all of us were vaccinated against a whole range of diseases?” I wanted to know.
“Oom Joost said he trusted in the Lord, not in the government’s vaccines,” she replied. “Then his child got polio and he has been sharing her suffering every day for many years.”
“But didn’t anyone talk to him?” I asked.
“Yes, Grandpa and his minister told him several times the Lord provides through scientists and doctors and vaccines. But Oom Joost remained stubborn; he had heard stories about people for whom it didn’t work.”
Reasons for distrust
I have often thought about this incident since the Covid-19 pestilence hit the world. In those days, Oom Joost was the exception; today there are more “Oom Joosts” who are opposed to vaccination. The reason is that there are many differences between those days and today. Many of the same people who have been living with vaccination for decades, today are against it. The biggest single reason is distrust. Many people simply do not believe the authorities, media, pharmaceutical companies and world leaders any more. I share some of this distrust, because many of these people have politicised Covid-19.
Let me explain. In December last year I heard about ivermectin for the first time. At first I was astonished when an eminent farmer and a successful banker whom I visited strongly recommended it. “But it is meant for farm animals,” I argued in amazement. As the second wave gathered momentum, I started making further enquiries because our researchers were on holiday. I was confused by the diverse opinions expressed in the media; one really did not know whom to believe.
But I did know whom not to believe. I do not believe the government, I do not believe the minister of health, I have my doubts about the World Health Organization (WHO) and I wonder whether the pharmaceutical companies may be viewing ivermectin as a competitor for their (still to come) vaccines. I also do not trust the Chinese governing Communist Party about the origin of the virus.
Then my dog got sick, and I asked my daughter who took the dog to the vet, to ask his opinion. (The vet’s, not my dog’s!) He said I was free to use it, as long as I strictly keep to the prescriptions. This is no “wonder cure”, but it is all there is now, he said. I then checked with a pharmacist I trust and I also asked a friend who was a doctor. They all agreed – the Farmer, the Banker, the Vet, the Pharmacist and the Doctor. It is not a fool-proof solution, but it may be of value especially with early treatment.
A farmer gave me some of the stuff and I took the prescribed dose. That evening I thought about my process of decision-making. I do not trust the government’s Health Products Council, because their offices were mostly closed during the lockdown and they did not particularly impress me in our contact with them. I do not trust the opinions of the ANC leaders, because for the most part they are incompetent and/or dishonest.
Neither the pharmaceutical companies, because it looks like they simply want to make money and avoid antagonising governments by supplying vaccines to the private sector. Even the media mostly try to please the authorities. I can go on like this. But I trust my vet, my farmer friends, my pharmacist and my doctor.
I started feeling that I would rather take my dog’s medicine than that of the government. Gradually more and more research results are made known, and we go to court and win cases to allow medical practitioners to prescribe ivermectin if it is in the interest of their patients, and we institute actions against the government to allow the private sector to purchase vaccines. My conclusion is that it is not a case of either vaccine or ivermectin, but both together if need be.
My distrust in all the bodies mentioned above stem especially from the politicisation of the battle against Covid-19. It started with the initial denial by the WHO and many world leaders of Chinese complicity. It subsequently became clear that Western world leaders in particular want to abuse the Covid-19 crisis to promote their political agendas. Their plans for a so-called "global reset" suspiciously look like a project to curb freedom under the guise of emergency powers for the battle against pandemics, environmental matters and inequality.
Thirdly, our government’s dismal handling of the Covid-19 pandemic has converted the crisis into a disaster. It soon appeared that they want to use it to enforce their control, their racial policy and their socialist plans such as the National Health Insurance system. As the Nobel Prize economist Milton Friedman put it, “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”
Separating the chaff from the wheat
The plethora of social media messages and videos only served to further confuse people. This is why we at Solidarity called in a number of experts to separate the chaff from the wheat and ascertain the truth. The fact that almost three billion people have already been vaccinated was most useful, and we have learned much from the effects of the vaccines that have been administered to about 200 million people in the US.
Eventually, we could draw three conclusions. The first is that Covid-19 is indeed a highly dangerous virus and that the waves will continue until a solution has been found. Many more people have died of Covid-19 than in farm attacks. The second is that ivermectin could help in the early treatment of Covid-19. It is not a cure-all, but it definitively is better than nothing. Governments and medical authorities are going to have much to explain as to why they tried to keep it away when there was nothing else.
Thirdly, all statistics indicate that the vaccines injected into billions of people so far have indeed resulted in a drastic decrease in the number of hospitalisations and deaths. Vaccines are not perfect, there are still questions about their development in record time, it has not been possible to conduct adequate studies of their long-term effects – but they save lives.
It is true that a small percentage of people who have been vaccinated may fall ill, but there is ample evidence that Covid-19 is much more dangerous. Studies show that 2 500 people in a million vaccinated may develop side effects, but of those who get Covid-19, more than 100 000 per million are hospitalised and thousands die.
This does not mean that people should be compelled to be vaccinated – especially not children, who are not a high-risk group. Everybody should clearly understand the consequences of his or her decisions and should not harm other people by those decisions. Tough times require tough decisions, but we must guard against mistrusting all vaccines owing to our understandable distrust in corrupt politicians.
Flip Buys is chairman of the Solidarity Movement. This article first appeared on Maroela Media.