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January 2021

Dear Client / Geagte Kliënt


Covid Guinea Pig? That’s The Question

“The first responsibility of any government is to protect its citizens and the threats to public health are amongst the most important of all…” - Matt Hancock.

Teen die agtergrond van hierdie aanhaling skets Cheryl-Anne Ehrenreich, een van ons direkteure, die unieke uitdagings wat ons regering in die gesig staar op gesondheid vlak tydens die pandemie en daarna.  Sy maak voorts ook gewag van spesifieke voorstelle gegrond op velerlei gesprekke deur onafhanklike kundiges op die gebied, wat deesdae baie aandag trek op sosiale platforms, maar wie weinig aandag kry in die massa-media, soos koerante en televisie kanale, wie almal oënskynlik dieselfde narratief onderskryf. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has destroyed most world economies, caused devastation to public health globally and lockdowns have caused bankruptcy to businesses worldwide. 

South Africa as a member of the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) is obligated to follow its instructions, recommendations and guidelines in respect of all matters relating to health, especially pandemics. However, certain countries guarding their sovereignty, were reluctant to cede total legislative power to the W.H.O. and drafted a provision in the International Regulations giving them the right to implement alternative health measures on the premise that these measures were scientifically grounded and for the common good. In light of the recent developments which will be discussed further on this provision was very wise, because it now allows countries to adopt measures, strategies and Regulatory Frameworks best suited to its own demographics, infrastructures and available fiscal space. Hopefully the South African government can start looking at alternative health measures and treatments which could render better and safer results for our citizenry than that recommended by the W.H.O. 

It is said that vaccines usually take a minimum of 10 years to develop. The Coronavirus Vaccines which are being rolled out only took a few months to develop and manufacturers were presumably allowed to skip many safety protocols. Clinical trials (which some have called experiments) have been conducted on human volunteers right here in South Africa. Whether these brave clinical trial volunteers are still alive and whether they developed any side effects or strange illnesses are unknown. How safe and effective these vaccines are is unclear, because there’s only limited, short term safety data available from clinical trials and no way to tell what the long term effects will be. 

Many medical doctors all around the world have taken to social media to warn people against the dangers and possible side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines. Many have come forward with alternative ways to treat the coronavirus claiming 100% recovery rate of hundreds of patients. If alternative, safer, cheaper medication can effectively treat the coronavirus why are countries, and ours in particular, not considering or investigating it? There’s no way of telling with certainty how safe and effective these vaccines really are.

Recently a new variant of the coronavirus called 501.V2 was discovered in South Africa. Whether it is more contagious than COVID-19 is still unclear. According to our national Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, this new variant is now infecting younger people who had no co-morbidities. A senior researcher at the University of KZN said it is highly unlikely that patients with the new variant will have different symptoms. It is, however believed that this new variant is driving the second coronavirus wave. Alarmingly, South Africa apparently has a much higher proportion of the variant than the rest of the world. 

Furthermore, in a video clip circulating on social media, Dr Van Kerhove of the W.H.O. said that South Africa is growing the COVID virus and testing to see if it can mutate. While many South Africans were aware that clinical trials for coronavirus vaccines have been conducted in South Africa since mid 2020, news from W.H.O. that the virus was being grown on South African soil and that tests for mutations are being done here resulted in many concerned outcries on social platforms. People questioned why our president never referred to or made mention of something so vitally important during any of his public briefings. 

While many countries have informed its citizens about their respective COVID-19 vaccine roll out plans, the South African government has so far failed to do so. The vaccines will, according to reports, only be available during the 2nd quarter of 2021. Only 4 categories of people will receive them. According to Professor Barry Schoub, Chairperson of the  Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccines, the following categories of people will receive the vaccines: 
  • healthcare workers;
  • people aged 75 years and older including those who live and work in old age homes;
  • essential workers; and 
  • prisoners and those who are institutionalised.
Some important issues that are unclear at this stage are:
  • Whether taking the vaccines will be voluntary, or mandatory.
  • How many South Africans will receive the vaccine? Although it was initially stated that about 10% of the population will have access to the Covax coronavirus vaccine there have been claims that only 3% will have access to it.  
  • What is the name of the vaccine Covax will deliver to South Africa? This is important as there are about 50 possible coronavirus vaccines currently undergoing clinical trials. At the forefront are the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines whose preliminary findings apparently show a more than 90% effectiveness in clinical trials. Of concern though is that both vaccines use new messenger RNA (mRNA) technology which is based on the idea that the human body can act as its own vaccine factory. You get injected with a customised genetic code that instructs human cells to make key virus proteins to induce an immune response. So technology, instead of a serum, is being used in these vaccines. There are claims from doctors and scientists that such vaccines could change your genetic code, your DNA forever.
  • Will the South African government be conducting their own safety trials and studies on the vaccines before the roll out, and will they be taking responsibility for any possible side effects or fatalities, since the vaccine manufacturers enjoy immunity?
  • Will the vaccine be effective in treating those with the new 501.V2 variant or will a new vaccine have to be developed for such variant? 
In closing, our South African government should consider instructing our own scientists, virologists and medical doctors to conduct their own studies on the coronavirus. These studies should include the effectiveness of wearing masks in the COVID-19 fight, since possible health risks may be posed by the continuous wearing of masks as well as the testing of alternative medical treatments which many doctors from all over the world are using on patients and recommending to colleagues, to establish if such protocols really work. After all, the first responsibility of our government should be to protect the South African citizens and failure to do so could have serious implications and consequences for all.

Regards and a prosperous new year to all our clients, staff, colleagues, and friends.

Hennie, Eberhard & Cheryl-Anne  
Direkteure | Directors

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