I’m willing to bet you didn’t.
Boris Johnson’s government is consulting on a plan to allow unqualified non-medical staff to administer unlicensed – and therefore possibly dangerous – vaccines to us. Covid-19 is the reason provided for the change but it would not be restricted to treatments for that disease.
If these unlicensed vaccines damage our health, the plan is that we will not have the right to seek compensation if we did not object to the plan. In other words, this change would allow the government to pump us full of unlicensed drugs, that could affect us in who knows how many ways, with absolutely no responsibility for the consequences.
And, of course, the plan is that nobody (or at least not enough people) will even know this consultation is taking place.
As I stated at the top of this article – I’m willing to bet you didn’t.
The consultation began on August 28 and closes on September 18 – so there isn’t much time left if you want to make your opinion known.
I’ve had a look at the online version and the language is practically impenetrable. I think the Plain English Society would have a fit if its members saw it.
The cover page (for want of a better description) describes the purpose of the proposed new law as
- authorising temporary supply of an unlicensed product
- civil liability and immunity
- expanding the workforce eligible to administer vaccinations
- promoting vaccines
- making provisions for wholesale dealing of vaccines
Technically it may be accurate – but it doesn’t tell you exactly what is being proposed, and that is the problem here.
The consultation document itself states:
If there is a compelling case, on public health grounds, for using a vaccine before it is given a product licence, given the nature of the threat we face, the JCVI [Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation – an independent, arms-length organisation, which means the Tory government can deny any responsibility if its recommendations cause a disaster] may take the very unusual step of advising the UK government to use a tested, unlicensed vaccine against COVID-19, and we need to make sure that the right legislative measures are in place to deal with that scenario.
It says the main policy objects are to
[enable] the licensing authority to temporarily authorise the supply of an unlicensed medicinal product for use in response to certain specific types of public health threat, including the suspected spread of pathogens.
[Increase] the scope of immunity from civil liability … so that it clearly applies not just to manufacturers and healthcare professionals but also to the company placing an unlicensed medicine such as a vaccine on the market with the approval of the licensing authority.
Ensure that the UK has the available workforce to administer the COVID-19 vaccine and influenza vaccine [by allowing unqualified individuals to do so].
Someone other than a registered healthcare professional may actually be administering unlicensed vaccines – and as a basic issue of fairness, we think they should benefit from the same immunity from civil liability as a registered healthcare professional who is performing the same role.
Put it all together and you can see that this is a very dangerous plan – that proposes a large risk to public health with those creating that risk bearing absolutely no responsibility for the possible consequences.
The online page where you can respond to the consultation is here. Please visit it and provide your opinions on this plan.
There is a question about the consultation process: “What could we do better?”
I said they could try actually informing people of consultations like this. I only knew about it because a friend informed me. It should have been national news.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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