Rod Liddle Rod Liddle

The dilemma of vaccination

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We have a government which is basically libertarian in its instincts, despite its current affection for telling us what we can and can’t do on a daily basis. This seems like a paradox or a non-sequitur, but it isn’t really, because in a sense it is a coalition government between libertarian politicians and a big-statist regulatory medical clergy. It is an interesting political marriage, a marriage of expediency. And it will soon become very strained.

The government is about to run into big problems over its rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which many scientists believe could have a causal link to the prevalence of blood clots in a very small minority of the people who take it. The European Medicines Agency is about to announce the official finding into all this. Our own Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is perhaps similarly minded and may soon suggest the jab should not be given to under-sixties. Several British epidemiologists, such as Professors Neil Ferguson and Paul Hunter, have suggested a causal link is more likely than not.

The risk to society is greater if we do not take our jabs, but the risk to some individuals may be too close to call

This will unquestionably deter some people from getting their jab, especially in the younger age groups. The government’s advice is that we should continue to receive our first and second jabs because the risk of not doing so far, far outweighs the risk of thrombosis. But I am not entirely sure that this is correct. The risk to society is far more dangerous if we do not take our jabs. But the risk to certain individuals may be too close to call, frankly, or even the other way about.

Look at the figures. The medicines regulator has said that 30 blood clots have been reported out of the 18.1

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