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LETTERS: ‘Listen to the experts’

Tuesday 8 February 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion


LETTERS: ‘Listen to the experts’

Dear Editor, snake oils, quack doctors, and charlatans. Once upon a time, it was difficult for people to know what was real and what was fake – people got sick or died from fake medicines.

So we developed a health system we trust. An education system to train scientists in the scientific method. Research institutions to make discoveries and answer questions. Peer-reviewed publications. Clinical trials to test new medicines. Authorities (MedSafe, FDA) to ensure the medicines are safe and effective. Schools to train doctors, nurses and professionals to provide high quality healthcare. This system has developed over centuries and is amazing.

But, this system works on trust. This is the trust you have in your doctors when they give a medicine you can’t even pronounce. This is the trust we have in experts because they have studied and worked in their field for decades. This trust absolves us of analysing mountains of data and learning medicine ourselves. We sleep easy at night.

Last year, a Medsafe NZ panel of experts asked a neutral question: “Is it better to vaccinate or not vaccinate?”. They then analysed all the relevant data, studies and findings to come to their final recommendation: It is better to be vaccinated. The New Zealand and Cook Islands governments and health departments followed this recommendation based on their trust of MedSafe NZ and the underlying system. I would guess, this recommendation is the culmination of many millions of man-hours of research and analysis.

Misinformation, fake news, and conspiracy theorists. Today, we find ourselves in the same position. What is real and what is fake? A number of people are spreading their biased opinions against vaccinations where they cherry-pick information to support their opinions and present it as undisputed truths. This simply does not meet the high standards of scientific research. Nor does it compare to the massive amount of research and analysis that led to the MedSafe NZ recommendation. Based on the presentation of their evidence, it is unlikely these people are experts in the field they are discussing.

What these people are doing is irresponsible, damaging and dangerous. Don’t listen to these people.

Listen to the experts.

Duane Malcolm

Too early to draw conclusions

Having been somewhat following the various positions put forth regarding vaccinations and particularly that of children, I decided to go directly to the source. 

This is taken from the Cominarty Vaccine Insert (purple cap, approved for use in 5-11 year olds) freely available on the FDA website and labelled “media” in the http address extension. That address is:

Clause 13.1 provides the following: 

“... 13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility COMIRNATY has not been evaluated for the potential to cause carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, or impairment of male fertility. In a developmental toxicity study in rats with COMIRNATY there were no vaccine-related effects on female fertility”.

Earlier inserts which I will leave to your own investigation bluntly stated that the impacts of Cominarty on male fertility were “unknown”. 

One of your letter writers stated the following, which was published unedited:

“It (cominarty) does not change your DNA which is biologically impossible ... It (cominarty) does not ... alter fertility ... or cause cancer”.

It is simply not possible for anyone to draw such conclusions at this stage as it has not been evaluated. We cannot say that cominarty does impact fertility, mutagenesis or carcinogenesis but nor can we say that it does not.

We simply do not know.


Nameless Citizen

(Name and address supplied)

Reply: What your correspondent says is strictly true. However, the FDA is always obliged to err on the side of conservatism and makes similar statements about many widely used treatments. The weight of evidence to date confirms safety of the vaccine. What is not in doubt is the lethality of SARS-CoV-2.

Assoc Prof John Dunn FRACS

(Ngati Terei)


Te Tuhi Kelly on 09/02/2022

One cannot say that the practice of medicine or medical research is based on the scientific method. This is where people get bogged down by quoting such as Malcolm refers to in his opinion piece. Dunn and I have had words to that effect and to back his ontological world view that imperically that may be right but then we use our experience, skills, knowledge etc. As I pointed out that is not the scientific method. The scientific method leaves no room for conjecture, or debate, theory or faith or belief. Imperically the outcome is always 100%, the safety of vaccines is never 100% and hence to say it was arrived at by the scientific method shows a lack of understanding what that actually means. 80%, 90% or even 97% is still not 100% no matter how one spins it that then means that out of a world population of 7 billion some millions will be adversely affected and if your child or parent is one of those affected what then, what do you say to them, do you say the lives of the many outweigh the lives of the few?