Wellcome Trust

Wellcome-funded Scientists Publish Paper Opposing Vaccine Mandates and Passports

A group of scientists and academics from the Universities of Oxford, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and more has published a paper setting out why coercive vaccination policies are “counterproductive and harmful”. Covering behavioural psychology, politics and law, socioeconomics, and the integrity of science and public health, the authors – two of whom are funded by the Wellcome Trust, a major funder of medical research led by Sir Jeremy Farrar with close ties to the pharmaceutical industry – set out why the “risks and harms of punitive public health strategies far outweigh the benefits”.

The full list of authors is as follows:

  • Dr. Kevin Bardosh, Applied Medical Anthropologist, University of Washington
  • Dr. Alex de Figueiredo, Research Fellow, Vaccine Confidence Project, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Dr. Rachel Gur-Arie, Postdoctoral Fellow, Bioethics, Johns Hopkins University
  • Dr. Euzebiusz Jamrozik, Fellow in Ethics and Infectious Diseases, Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities, University of Oxford
  • Dr. James J Doidge, Senior Statistician, ICNARC
  • Professor Trudo Lemmens, Health Law and Policy, University of Toronto
  • Professor Salmaan Keshavjee, Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Professor Janice Graham, Medical Anthropology and Infectious Diseases, Dalhousie University
  • Professor Stefan Baral, Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University

In the paper, the authors point to the backlash against coercive vaccination policies and the breaching of important ethical norms and the implications for public health in the future.

The adoption of new vaccination status policies has provoked a multilayered global and local backlash, resistance and polarisation that threaten to escalate if current policies continue. It is important to emphasise that these policies are not viewed as ‘incentives’ or ‘nudges’ by substantial proportions of populations, especially in marginalised, underserved, or low COVID-19-risk groups. Denying individuals education, livelihoods, medical care, or social life unless they get vaccinated does not appear to coincide with constitutional and bioethical principles, especially in liberal democracies. While public support appears to have consolidated behind these policies in many countries, we should acknowledge that human rights frameworks were designed to ensure that rights are respected and promoted even during public health emergencies.

They argue the coercive policies are ineffective on multiple fronts and not fit for purpose.

Treat Covid Like the Common Cold, Says the Wellcome Trust – As Leading Israeli Immunologist Blasts Lockdown Consensus: “It’s Time to Admit Failure”

The Wellcome Trust – Britain’s biggest independent funder of medical research, set up by the man whose pharmaceutical firm became GlaxoSmithKline – has called for coronavirus to be “treated like the common cold”. The Telegraph has the story.

Nick Moakes, the charity’s Chief Investment Officer, said restrictions were no longer economically justified and it was time to “live with” coronavirus. 

“I don’t think it can mean going back into regular lockdowns because it is just not economically viable. We don’t do that for the flu, we don’t do that for the common cold,” he said.

“The best case end game is where it is treated like the common cold, like flu. And on an annual basis, those that are vulnerable get a jab against it – and the rest of us have built up a degree of immunity that protects us sufficiently. And we do live with it.”

His comments are at odds with those of the WHO Senior Emergency Officer Dr. Catherine Smallwood, who said on Tuesday that we are “nowhere near” treating Covid as an endemic virus.

However, they are in line with those of Professor David Heymann of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), who has suggested in a Chatham House online briefing that the U.K. is seeing the virus become endemic. According to the Telegraph: