The synthetic estrogen Diesthylstilbestrol (DES) was prescribed to pregnant women in the U.S. from 1938 to 1971 for the prevention of miscarriages and premature births. In 1953, published research showed that DES did not in fact prevent miscarriages or premature births. However, physicians continued to prescribe it until 1971, when the FDA warned that the drug could cause cancer in women exposed to DES in the womb.1
The daughters of women who used DES while pregnant have about 40 times the risk of developing clear cell adenocarcinoma of the lower genital tract than unexposed women, and also experience greater risk of infertility, pregnancy complications and breast cancer. It is estimated that between five to ten million Americans were exposed to DES between 1940 and 1971.2
DES, Thalidomide, Vioxx: A Cautionary Tale
DES now takes its place in history alongside such tragedies as Thalidomide, Vioxx, and the Swine Flu vaccine—all medications determined to be safe for our use and given to millions of people, but then found to be dangerous. In the case of DES, the effects persist through the generations, as new research now shows that the granddaughters and grandsons of women exposed to DES are also at increased risk for cancer and birth defects.3
Today, there are over 150 coronavirus vaccines in the pipeline,4 including some that use technologies that could change human DNA.5 The leading drug company contenders are conducting trials that follow participants for only a few weeks to monitor for acute effects, such as headaches, fevers, muscle weakness, or injection site pain.
Knowledge Gaps in COVID-19 Clinical Trials
But those clinical trials are not designed to tell us anything about whether those vaccines cause infertility, birth defects, or cancer, or whether they will contribute to autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia and chronic pain syndromes, neurodevelopmental disorders, inflammatory conditions, or neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
They also cannot tell us what will happen if we have already been infected with and recovered from the new coronavirus or when our bodies encounter another common strain of coronavirus—or any other virus, for that matter—after we or our children have been given a COVID-19 vaccine.
In short, they cannot tell us if any near term gain comes at the expense of long term pain.
Every person who receives these hastily developed vaccines will become an unwitting participant in the uncontrolled, liability-free medical experiment to learn about the long-term effects of these vaccines. Unfortunately, as time passes the connection between the vaccine and ill effects is lost, and any connections that are made will be relegated to a footnote in the Post Marketing Experience section of the manufacturer’s insert.
Forced Use of COVID-19 Vaccines A Human Rights Violation
Anyone who wants to participate in this experiment should be free to do so. But forcing people to participate in a medical experiment goes against the universally accepted ethic of medical informed consent and the Declaration of Human Rights created in Nuremburg following the brutal medical experiments conducted by Germany on its citizens during World War II. How can our government officials believe it is acceptable to violate these bedrock tenets of human rights?
“But we’re in a pandemic,” they say. “People are dying and a mandatory vaccine is our only way out.”
It’s unlikely that a coronavirus vaccine will be our savior. Some health officials estimate that effectiveness of a coronavirus vaccine may be as low as 50 percent,6 with the prospect of multiple boosters repeated yearly, and with masking, distancing, dividers, and other measures continuing to be a regular part of our daily lives.7
Alternatives to Mandated Use of COVID-19 Vaccine
Is a mandatory vaccine our only choice? New studies are tumbling out of research institutions, including a recently published study from Boston University showing that when vitamin D levels are adequate the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 is reduced by 54 percent. Many other studies consistently report that in patients with COVID-19, both mortality and severity were significantly reduced in people with adequate vitamin D levels.8 In fact, the benefits of vitamin D are so compelling that even Dr. Fauci reports that he takes vitamin D supplements.9
If we truly care about protecting people from this virus, why aren’t we testing for vitamin D levels and encouraging supplements when needed? Vitamin D is readily available, easily administered, safe, and inexpensive.
What about sick leave policies that ensure that people can stay home when they’re sick without sacrificing the rent?
Many of the risk factors for COVID-19 are lifestyle induced. If we can spend billions to develop a vaccine, why can’t we develop policies and programs to help people reduce their risk factors and strengthen the herd? We have an epidemic of obesity and chronic disease in the U.S.—conditions that put people at risk not just from COVID-19, but from other opportunistic infections that affect all of us.
Flawed Regulatory Process Will Not Protect Us from Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Adverse Effects
There is so much at stake here. The lessons of DES are that the regulatory process is flawed and cannot be relied upon to protect us, and that not all consequences of pharmaceutical products are immediately apparent. Our experiences with DES, Thalidomide, and the Swine Flu vaccine should be cautionary tales as we grapple with our current knowledge gaps about the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the effects of coronavirus vaccines developed at warp speed.
A vaccine for a virus we don’t fully understand, that has skipped standard animal testing, gone through expedited trials with no long term risk analysis, using a technology with no safety record, to manipulate an immune system whose complexity is still not fully understood, is not only arrogant, it is dangerous. For these and other reasons, a coronavirus vaccine should never be made mandatory.
1 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About DES.
2 National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute. Diethylstilbestrol (DES) and Cancer. Oct. 5, 2011.
4 McKeever A. Dozens of COVID-19 vaccines are in development. Here are the ones to follow. National Geographic Oct. 8, 2020.
5 Doheny K. COVID-19 Vaccine: Latest Updates. WebMD Sept. 23, 2020.
6 Rajamani M. Fauci: COVID-19 Vaccine May Only End Up Being 50% to 60% Effective. MSN Aug. 7, 2020.
7 Brueck H. Fauci We’ll likely be wearing masks for most of 2021 even after a vaccine rolls out. Business Insider Sept. 21, 2020.
8 Cáceres B. Three New Studies Support Vitamin D’s Role in Preventing and Treating COVID-19. The Vaccine Reaction Sept. 29, 2020.
9 Landsverk G. Dr. Fauci says he takes vitamin D and C supplements and that they can lessen ‘your susceptibility to infection’. MSN Sept. 11, 2020.