Vaccination Controversies Need Sound Science to be Resolved


By Dr. Michael W. Fox

The politicization of mandatory measures to help prevent spread of the COVID-19 pandemic—masks, social distancing and vaccinations—has resulted in polarization and conspiracy theories which are a lesson in how we, as a culture, respond to a crisis.

No vaccine is without risk including the new mRNA COVID-19 vaccines which were extensively tested on laboratory-confined animals including monkeys, now in short supply for more vaccine development and testing. Some analysts suspect these new mRNA vaccines may undergo reverse transcription and become incorporated into our DNA and also lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.

In 1986, Ronald Reagan signed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) into law, and this law created the VICP (Vaccine Injury Compensation Program) . The VICP protects the pharmaceutical company from liability related to vaccines. If someone suffers from a vaccine injury, they can’t bring a lawsuit against the manufacturer. Instead, they must make a claim to the government, and then, they may receive compensation through this program.

Risks of adverse reactions and poor immune system antibody-response production are greater in certain individuals because of their genetic background, lifestyle and physical and mental health. Obesity/metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus, microbiome dysbiosis, depression and other co-morbidities affecting appetite and physical activity can mean greater susceptibility to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and its evolving variants, and a poorer immune response to vaccinations.

Aware of the risks and limitations of vaccines, Robert F. Kennedy Jr has posted some insightful research and analysis on child health and health care policies on his non-profit organization’s platform, But now, this dedicated attorney who has done much to protect our environment and related health has risen to become a major figure in the vaccine resistance movement. Those close to him say it’s “heartbreaking” states New York Times reporter Adam Nagourney in his 2/26/22 article “A Kennedy’s Crusade vs. Vaccines Anguishes Family.”

What is deeply concerning for me, beyond feeling for his frustration and reputation, is the evident public health response to this and predicted future pandemics: simply more vaccinations. Vaccinations are no panacea and only a partial substitute for other forms of health care protection and maintenance which most governments, along with the medical profession, have largely ignored. These include good nutrition calling for in-school education on healthful food choices, storage and preparation, ideally all organically certified and based on a plant-based diet: And radical improvements in air and potable water quality and safety locally and globally along with immediate determinations of the health-risk of electropollution from the telecommunications cybertechnology industry.( For details see

Big Pharma’s role in the opioid addiction epidemic in the U.S. is illustrative of the corporate hegemony that puts profits over ethics and the common good and is now paying out $billions in compensation to various states to deal with this issue. The food and beverage industries’ opposition to legislation limiting or prohibiting various harmful ingredients (many being obesogenic and diabetogenic) parallels the political power of vested interests that have effectively blocked or watered-down legislation to prevent continued water, soil and air pollution. This is all factual, not fictional, and not some conspiracy but reality: The reality of dystopia and dysbiosis.

To weave conspiracy theories around the political and medical influences of Big Pharma is non-productive. America and most other industrialized nations must face the public health, educational, cultural and agricultural issues linked to the other pandemics of obesity, diabetes, heart attack/stroke, cancer, auto-immune disease, autism and various forms of dementia.

A plant-based diet may help lessen severity of COVID-19 infection and was associated with 73% lower odds of moderate to severe disease in a six-country study. (1). In another study a diet characterized by healthy plant-based foods was associated with lower risk and severity of COVID-19. This association may be particularly evident among individuals living in areas with higher socioeconomic deprivation (2).

I share many of attorney Kennedy’s concerns about vaccines but some should be mandatory, as per the anti-rabies vaccination American dogs must be given, with exceptions according to health-status determined and certified by an informed veterinarian. I would also mandate the core cat and dog vaccines recommended to prevent the spread of contagious companion animal diseases in our communities. (For details see my website postings at These same stipulations should be applied to preventing communicable diseases in the human population, especially school children, many malnourished or borderline-obese in poorly ventilated classrooms. Those children who have a dog in their homes have a more diverse gut microbiome, lower incidence of allergies and fewer respiratory and other infections.

According to the report by the Pew Research center (3), “Of the 16 immunizations the CDC recommends for children and teens, all 50 states (plus the District of Columbia) mandate diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, measles, rubella and chickenpox. In addition, every state except Iowa mandates immunization against mumps. (The diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccines usually are given as a single combined shot, as are the measles, mumps and rubella vaccines.) Except for the chickenpox vaccine, which became available in the United States in 1995, all those vaccines have been around for 50 years or more.”

According to Rene F. Najera (4) “The concept of One Health (animal health has impacts to human health, and vice versa) is something that is being included in more and more public health and veterinary health policies, including vaccination. Unfortunately, just like with human vaccines, animal vaccines are being refused by pet owners more and more. In the United Kingdom, about 25% of dogs and 35% of cats are reported by their owners as not vaccinated or under-vaccinated. Although rabies is eliminated in the UK, other vaccine-preventable diseases in animals are still circulating there.

As a long-time advocate of One Health, I see our civilization at a turning point and the future does not bode well if we fail to address our continued mistreatment of the natural world—our environment—and of other species, plant and animal, wild and domesticated. Three studies, which have not yet been peer-reviewed, reveal intriguing clues about how the COVID-19 pandemic started. Two of the reports trace the outbreak to a huge market that sold live animals in Wuhan, China.(5, 6) A third indicates that the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 spilled over from animals — possibly those sold at the market — into humans at least twice in November or December 2019.(7).

A research team in China tested samples from nearly 2,000 animals at fur farms, zoos and natural habitats, most of which are considered traditional delicacies, and they identified 102 virus species from 13 different families, 21 of which pose a high risk to people (8). Some of the 18 species sampled could serve as intermediary coronavirus hosts between bats and humans, H9N2 influenza virus was found in civets and Asian badgers, and one of the co-authors Edward Holmes warned that the continued sale of wild animals makes another outbreak or pandemic “only a matter of time.”

These studies clearly confirm the harmful consequences of our treating animals, wild and domesticated, inhumanely, as mere commodities, to be exploited and consumed. Zoonotic diseases from farmed animals, notably avian and swine influenza, call not simply for more effective vaccines but for a re-examination of our relationships with, treatment and unbridled consumption of other sentient beings.

REFERNCES 1. Hyunju Kim, Casey M Rebholz, Sheila Hegde et al. Plant-based diets, pescatarian diets and COVID-19 severity: a population-based case–control study in six countries by 6/7/21. published in the online journal BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health. 2. Merino, Amit D Joshi , Long H Nguyen et al. Diet quality and risk and severity of COVID-19: a prospective cohort study . Gut 2021;70:2096–2104. 3. Drew DeSilver, States have mandated vaccinations since long before COVID-19. ( 4. Rene F. Najera, Farm animals and pets also need vaccines 5. Gao, G. et al. Preprint at research square (2022) 6. Worobey, M. et al. Preprint at Zenodo (2022) 7. Pekar, J. E. et al. Preprint at Zenodo (2022)] 8. Wan-Ting He, Xin Hou, Jin Zhao, et al. Virome characterization of game animals in China reveals a spectrum of emerging pathogens, Cell (2022),