Flat White

Did we make things worse?

2 May 2022

4:00 AM

2 May 2022

4:00 AM

For almost two years, it has been an article of faith that the only way out of this Covid pandemic is mass vaccination.

On the surface, this has looked to be a plausible claim. It has been repeatedly and forcefully endorsed by public health officials and medical experts. Most people have been happy to go along with it, if not positively embrace it. Unsurprisingly, the result was the creation of an unvaccinated minority who have been subjected to accusations of selfishness, ‘anti-scientism’, and ostracised from society to varying degrees.

As one blogger put it, the unvaccinated ‘have cooties’. 

The unvaccinated, in turn, haven’t held back from judging those who have judged them. They are genuinely bewildered as to how erstwhile sceptics of both Big Pharma and government integrity have been so eager to be injected with the former’s rushed product on the say-so of the latter. This led the unvaccinated to parody their accusers as sheep (‘sheeple’), blindly following authority to the Orwellian stage where they hold two contradictory beliefs: the vaccines are ‘safe and effective’ and the unvaccinated pose a life and death risk to the vaccinated. 

Dr Robert M. Rennebohm is a retired paediatrician who wants to help with this unhappy situation that is straining, if not destroying, friendships and families.


He believes he can do this by passing on the clarity he achieved by spending the last two years deepening his understanding of the complexities of the human immune system. To this end, he has released An Open Letter to Parents and Paediatricians Regarding Covid Vaccination, which has been received as a masterpiece exposition of a highly complex subject. While the letter itself is 121 pages, the 10-page summary provides substantial illumination of the issues at stake and requires no more than an hour or so of focused attention. You can also listen to Rennebohm interviewed here.

As Rennebohm sees it – leaving aside the overwhelming media support for the official narrative – one reason for the impasse between supporters and opponents of Covid vaccine policy is that it depends on scientific questions which are beyond most of us. Consequently, those who accept vaccine mandates usually do so on the basis of authority, while those who reject them argue from a fundamental human rights framework along with the general risks of a product without the usual ten-year safety profile.

The two sides are talking past each other, both failing to address the core issue.

The core issue is whether mass vaccination was (and is) the ‘only way’ out of the pandemic. It is a fundamental question because the extent to which mass vaccination is for the greater good is the extent to which there is a case for weakening human rights and accepting the risks of vaccination. But this is a question of virology and immunology that can’t be addressed without a basic grasp of the relevant science. Rennebohm’s ‘Open Letter’ enables this bridge to be crossed by comparing the scientific support for the official policy with that for a significant dissenting view. 

This is where things could become confronting for adherents to the mainstream, as they did for Rennebohm himself when he delved more deeply into the science.

The counter-narrative he examines in his letter has been advanced by the virologist Geert Vanden Bossche, well known to those who venture down the ‘rabbit hole’ of alternative media, but referred to in the mainstream media only as ‘misinformation’. Vanden Bossche’s thesis – argued with some passion – is that mass vaccination with imperfect vaccines (the only ones we have for respiratory viruses of this nature) and undertaken in the middle of a pandemic has been, and will continue to be, disastrous. The strategy is counterproductive, both for individuals and for the course of the pandemic – for individuals because it erodes natural immunity, and for the evolution of the pandemic because it enables the continual selection of variants that escape the vaccine. Moreover, the two factors compound each other. Mass vaccination, he maintains, makes the situation immeasurably worse. 

This is a confronting idea if Vanden Bossche is right. As laid out by Rennebohm, the science suggests that he could be. More accurately, his argument has scientific support despite the prevailing narrative.

The implication is clear. Far from the world having experienced a pandemic of the unvaccinated, the reverse is the case – the pandemic has been prolonged by mass vaccination, and the overall health of the population would have been better served had a significant majority remained unvaccinated. The demonisation of the unvaccinated as socially irresponsible has no scientific basis.

While the experience of the last two years largely supports Vanden Bossche’s analysis, his work and that of others who argue to a similar conclusion, will remain unaddressed because the official policy is defended on the unverifiable ground that things ‘would have been much worse’ had it not been pursued. In this context, Rennebohm’s role is simply that of bringing Vanden Bossche’s work to the attention of the public.

The objective of Rennebohm’s exercise in basic science education is not to train citizen scientists, but to put some genuine and accessible information into the ‘informed consent’ theoretically required of the vaccinated. For the unvaccinated, his ‘Open Letter’ provides vindication. The wider hope is for some kind of reconciliation for those whose friendships and family relationships have been soured or disrupted.

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