NotForThem Petition

Mike and Stephie
Dec 15, 2021

TO: Boris Johnson PM, Mark Drakeford FM, Nicola Sturgeon FM, Paul Gican MLA, Chris Whitty CMO, Dr Frank Atherton CMO, Dr Gregor Smith CMO, Dr Michael McBridge CMO, Sajid Javid MP and Eluned Morgan MS AND: JCVI, MHRA, Children’s Commissioners and Children’s Charities

We are writing as professionals, medics, academics, parents, grandparents, and members of the public to express our grave concerns about suggestions to extend the Covid-19 vaccination programme to children. We believe this to be a hasty step that is uncalled for under present circumstances.

You have been clear that society can reopen once the vulnerable have been offered vaccination against Covid-19. This has now been achieved. All the highest risk groups have now been vaccinated and the Government’s own data confirms that 98% of over 60s have antibodies from either vaccination or infection.[1] The NHS has been protected and we are no longer in a crisis situation. Whilst the very old and very frail will, sadly, always be at risk of serious illness, our children are the future. Children’s lives have been put on hold for over a year already at great cost to their physical and mental wellbeing and education. We must not ask them to suffer further harm for the sake of adults.

Limited Benefits v Unknown Harms, Ethics and Efficacy

Thankfully, the evidence shows that children and young people are minimally affected by Covid-19. Vaccinating children, then, is of limited direct benefit to them but for the primary purpose of protecting adults. However, medical treatment cannot be justified if it poses a risk to the individual which is greater than the harm it protects against and this approach would mark a significant departure from established principles of medical ethics. Kate Bingham of the Government Vaccine Task Force said last October, “we just need to vaccinate everyone at risk….there’s going to be no vaccination of people under 18.”[2]

Furthermore, many of the Covid-19 vaccines involve new technology that represents a radical departure from previous forms of the vaccine. We should be especially cautious about using new technologies on our children. Novel vaccines fast-tracked to market have in the past caused devastating harm – we draw your attention, for example, to the many children who now live with severe nervous system injuries caused by the Swine Flu vaccine which was given to children in 2009-10 before being withdrawn.[3][3.1] In another recent example, Dengvaxia, a new vaccine against Dengue Fever, was rolled out to children ahead of the full trial outcomes, and 19 children died of possible antibody-dependent enhancement before the vaccine was withdrawn.[4]

We are aware that many medical doctors and researchers have warned about a variety of potential dangers to children from Covid-19 vaccines. In particular, we refer you to the Open Letter[5] written to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) as reported in the Daily Telegraph on 18 May 2021[6], which described the plan to vaccinate children as “irresponsible, unethical and unnecessary”. We urge you to re-read that letter.

It was further reported in the press on 23rd May that some teenagers and young adults who received Covid-19 vaccines have experienced heart inflammation.[7] The aforementioned letter informs you that there have now been a number of child deaths associated with covid vaccination in the U.S., despite these vaccines only being given to children within trials and a very recent rollout to 16-17 year olds. Repeating mistakes of the past with the Covid-19 vaccines would not only be devastating for the children and families affected but would risk fuelling vaccine hesitancy for other critical childhood vaccination programmes where there is a direct benefit for the child.

Fully Informed Consent

Fully informed consent is the bedrock of medical ethics and should underpin all vaccination programmes, but by contrast, a general assumption towards vaccinating young people against Covid-19 is already being created. Examples include the statement by Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, that “there will continue to be a major disruption in schools until we have vaccinated our children”[8]. Similarly, Mark Drakeford, First Minister of Wales, said “we might, by the autumn, be able to have young people returning to schools with a vaccine available to them and as a result, some of the measures we currently have in schools, such as children wearing masks, might be able to be eased”[9]. Factually misleading and emotionally manipulative teaching material has been circulated to some schools,[10] and statements encouraging the use of peer pressure have been made by school leaders.[11]

Societal Segregation

The vaccination of children raises broader questions which go to the very heart of the society we wish for ourselves and our children. Would vaccinated children be treated differently to unvaccinated children – for example in access to facilities within schools, or indeed in relation to schooling itself as the statements above of Professor Edmunds and Mark Drakeford imply? The broader implications are disturbing.

International Equity

To deploy a significant stock of vaccines on a very low risk group in the UK when many parts of the developing world are struggling to vaccinate even high risk groups is morally fragile. It has been heavily criticised by experts[12][12b] and has been labelled a “moral catastrophe” by World Health Organization’s Executive Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.[13] However, even after vulnerable adults worldwide have been offered the vaccine, it still would be inappropriate to vaccinate healthy children.

Not For Them

We are profoundly concerned that you are considering taking the UK down this road. As a society, we have striven over this last year to protect the vulnerable, but vulnerability comes in many forms and absolutely now includes children. We simply must not put children in unnecessary danger, nor in the situations described above. There is no need to rush to vaccinate children for Covid-19, and there may never be any need to do so. Individual children at very high risk can already receive vaccination on compassionate grounds.[14]

No Covid-19 vaccines should be approved or licensed for use in children until the current clinical trials are complete, all adult safety data is fully published and reviewed, and potentially serious long-term side effects have been conclusively ruled out. There must be an open scientific debate, including ordinary ethical standards with a routine assessment of potential conflicts of interest, as well as due process and Parliamentary scrutiny. Informed questions and criticisms should not only be welcomed but encouraged in order to prevent tragedies from occurring.

In conclusion, we join together in urging you to call a halt to the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme to children.

This is a decision of generational significance. We do not believe you will ever regret a decision to be cautious when it comes to the health and welfare of the twelve million children of this nation.

Selected Signatories ( a small selection)
Academics and Scientists

Professor Anthony Fryer Professor of Clinical Biochemistry, Keele University

Professor Antony Brookes Professor of Genetics and Data Science, Leicester University

Professor David Paton Professor of Industrial Economics, Nottingham University

Professor Matthew Ratcliffe Professor of Philosophy (Mental Health), University of York

Professor Richard Ennos Honorary Professional Fellow, Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh

Professor Robert Endres Professor, Biological Physics., Imperial College, London

Professor Robert Sauer Chair of Economics, Royal Holloway, University of London

Dr Lee Jones University Lecturer, Queen Mary, University of London

Dr Tanya Klymenko Lecturer in Biochemistry, Sheffield Hallam University

Dr David Critchley PhD Emeritus Professor, Dept of Biochemistry, University of Leicester

Dr Branko Latinkic Lecturer – molecular biologist – University of Cardiff

Professor Bill Durodie Chair of Risk and Security at University of Bath

Professor Peter Allen Lecturer, LSE

Professor Keith Willison Chemical Biologist

Prof Georgina Ellison-Hughes Professor, King’s College London

Dr Markus Wolf Senior Lecturer, School of Computing, University of Greenwich

Dr Peter Hewitson Senior Lecturer, Dept of Chemical engineering, Brunel University

Dr Oliver Robinson Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Greenwich

Jemma Dale Biomedical Scientist

Suzanne Tomkinson Biomedical Scientist

Jamie Jenkins Statistician, Former head of health analysis of the ONS

Medical Professionals

Professor John A Fairclough Professor Emeritus Orthopaedic Surgeon

Dr Catherine Heaton GP

Dr Emma Brierly GP

Dr Fiona Underhill GP

Dr Gabriella Fetherston GP

Dr Helen McArdle GP

Dr Helen Westwood GP

Dr Jillian Wilson GP

Dr Jonathan Eastwood GP

Dr K Singh, MRCGP GP

Dr Kim Wilbraham GP

Dr Lisa Clewing GP

Dr Rachel Bristow GP

Dr Renée Hoenderkamp GP

Dr Rick Freeman GP

Dr Ross Worthington GP

Dr Anne Renfrew GP (Retired)

Dr Claudia Wilkinson GP (Retired)

Dr Elizabeth Burton GP (Retired)

Dr Hugh Charles Pollard GP (Retired)

Dr Katrina Young GP (Retired)

Dr Leo Barragry GP (Retired)

Dr Sandra Price GP (Retired)

Dr. Mary Dainton GP (Retired)

Dr Rosamond A K Jones Consultant Paediatrician (retired)

Dr C.Geoffrey Maidment Consultant Physician (retired)

Dr Christopher Paul Chilton Consultant Urologist Emeritus

Dr Julie Maxwell Community Paediatrician

Dr S Allam Consultant Anaesthetist

Dr T. James Royle Consultant general surgeon

Michael Anthony Church Consultant Neuropsychologist (retired)

Dr Nichola Ling Consultant obstetrician

Dr David Conkey Consultant Oncologist

Dr Karen Horridge Consultant Paediatrician

Dr John Roche Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr David Bramble MD Consultant Psychiatrist and Physician

Dr Anthony Hinton FRCS Consultant Surgeon

Dr Lasantha Wijesinghe Consultant surgeon

Dr Christian Duncan Craniofacial Surgeon

Dr Tess Lawrie Director, Evidence-Based Medicine

Dr Bryony Henderson Doctor

Dr Chi Eziefula Doctor

Dr Anne Mc Closkey Doctor

Dr Helen Hawkins Doctor

Dr Helen Macklin Doctor

Dr Ian Wilson Doctor

Dr Natalie Caves Doctor

Dr Rob Duncan Doctor

Dr Sarah Yardley Doctor

Dr Tudno Watkins Doctor (retired)

Dr Marco Chiesa Doctor of Medicine

Dr Alistair Holdcroft Medical Doctor

Dr Gerard Hall Medical Doctor

Dr Vivienne Hornby Medical Doctor

Morgan Kleczkowska Former Immunologist

Dr David Green Intensive Care Consultant

Dr Elizabeth Evans Retired Doctor

Dr Margaret Ann Tottle-Smith Retired doctor

Graham Crawley Retired NHS Consultant

Dr John Mason Doctor

Jessica Righart Biomedical Scientist

Dr Paul Hughes Retired dentist

Dr Charlotte Courtenay-Stamp Dental Surgeon

Dr Robert Durling Dental Surgeon

Dr Susan Hunter Dental Surgeon

Dr David Gill Dentist

Dr Matthew Jackson Dentist

Dr Sylvia Krafft Dentist

Dr Mark Atkinson Retired Medicinal Chemist

Dr Susie Coughlan Veterinary surgeon with PhD Immunology

Dr Ruth Elliott Veterinary Surgeon

Dr Samantha Coe Veterinary Surgeon

Dr Katharine Wiltshire Veterinary Surgeon

Dr Jennifer Aspey Veterinary Surgeon

Dr Rachel Mahoney Clinical Psychologist

Andrea Halewood Psychologist, Psychotherapist

Joanne Rees Radiographer

Julie Deamer Radiographer

Julia Dobson Radiographer

Kirsten Fletcher Radiographer

Dr Gary Sidley Retired Clinical Psychologist

Alton Ainley Chartered Psychologist

Darchana Patel Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Sita Castillo Child Psychologist

James Tapper Clinical Neuropsychologist

Dr Zenobia Storah Clinical Psychologist

Naomi Simcock Clinical Psychologist

Stefania Pethica Clinical Psychologist

Dr Faye Bellanca Clinical Psychologist

Dr Harrie Bunker-Smith Clinical Psychologist

Livia Pontes Clinical Psychologist

Sasha Lillie Lyons Clinical Psychologist

Camellia Kojouri Educational Psychologist

Coral Leather Midwife

Dawn Brackenridge Midwife

Jennifer Sparkes Midwife

Nikki Crawley Midwife

Ruth Barnes Midwife

Sarah McDonald Midwife

Angharad Snow Midwife

Becky Turner Midwife

Helen Gent Midwife

Helena Edwards Midwife

Janet Delamare Paediatric Nurse

Elspeth Hill Paediatric Nurse

Anna Phillips Paediatric Nurse

Sharyl James Respiratory Nurse Specialist

Carolyn Driver Retired Immunisation Specialist Nurse

Kim Bull Paramedic

Damien Cominos Paramedic

Amy Walker Paramedic

Charles Spedding Pharmacist

Richard Clarey Pharmacist

Tonya Hountingwolf Billington Pharmacist

Claire Griffiths Pharmacist

Rachel Airley Pharmacist

Shirley Dann Pharmacist, Consultant in Drug Development

Natasha Patel Pharmacologist

Katherine Price Neurological Psychotherapist

Education and Children’s Services Professionals

(over 700 signatures including teachers and social workers)

Mike Fairclough Headteacher

Barry Read Headteacher

Clive Price Retired Primary School Headteacher and OFSTED inspector

Public Figures

Baron Moonie (Lewis) Retired consultant in public health, and politician

Baroness Morrissey Financier, Peer

Eric Clapton Musician

Yolanda Charles MBE Musician

Sue Cook Writer Broadcaster

Pat Cash Tennis Coach/ Commentator

Bev Turner Journalist

Matthew Le Tissier Football commentator

Hugh Osmond Director

Ian Seale Actor

Julia Hartley-Brewer Journalist

Laura Dodsworth Writer

Tonia Buxton TV Presenter & Author

Kathy Gyngell Editor, The Conservative Woman

David Kurten Heritage Party Leader

Laurence Fox The Reclaim Party Leader

Emma Kenny Registered Psychological Therapist

Deena Payne Actor

Adam Brooks Proprietor

Mark Colbourne MBE Olympian

Richard Tice Director

Bob Moran Journalist

Isabel Oakeshott Journalist

Sonia Elijah Journalist

Gary Chappell Journalist

James Guy Bembridge Journalist

Sophie Warren Smith Journalist

Joanna Williams Journalist

Jemma Moran Journalist

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