Covid-19 vaccine for children: Open letter from 12 Singapore doctors and reply from Senior Minister for Health…

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Received via WhatsApp:

From a group of Singapore doctors 👇

20th May 2021

An open letter to all parents deciding to vaccinate or not to vaccinate their child.

We are a group of Singaporean Doctors, who are of the view that MOH should quickly approve a killed-virus vaccine for our children and adults. Here are our humble ponderings:

1/ Children: 99.99% do not need ICU when they catch Covid-19. According to a Senior Pediatrician (Dr Chandra Sekhar Devulapalli), this is likely due to NL63, an almost universal childhood common cold. This immunity is likely to be present in younger Singaporeans in the form of Memory T-Cells. Unfortunately, it wears out by about age 65. This explains why the population above this age frequently populates our ICU when they become very sick with Covid-19. The good news is that Children are doing amazingly well, without any Covid-19 vaccines.

2/ The two mRNA vaccines have been vigorously tested to be safe, but we know this is true only for the short term. We have no evidence that the mRNA vaccines are SAFE in the longer term (10-20 years). This is not a problem with those over 65, as the immediate benefits of vaccination for this high-risk group outweigh the risks of the unknown long-term side effects. For Children, however, it is another matter altogether.

3/  mRNA themselves are very fragile in the human body and are easily attacked by Ribonucleases that are distributed very widely in our body. Reverse Transcriptase, which converts RNA to DNA, is very troubling. It is not naturally found in our body but becomes readily available if you are very sick with a chronic virus, like Hepatitis B. Our local population has significantly higher rates of Hepatitis B (about 3.6% – many of the infected are unaware) and many are still undetected. Relying on data from a population that is significantly different from our local population is NOT very wise.

Please refer to the article:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33330870/

4/ mRNA vaccines do not stop adults from transmitting Covid-19-VOC. We can assume that this will also be the case with children.

5/ It is NOT very WISE to try on Singaporean Children with Novel mRNA technology when they do not really need it and it DOES NOT effectively STOP them from becoming VECTORS.

6/ Killed-Virus technology has been around for decades and has a very long and safe track record. We even have thousands of it in our local warehouse at this moment and it had just been tested to be safe at Phase II/III for children (550 subjects).

Please refer to the article:   
https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/sinovac-vaccine-safe-children-young-76624380

7/ We feel a lot safer, with KNOWN technology (proven to be SAFE), since our children are likely to outlive us. Primum non nocere.

8/ For mRNA, long-term side effects are unknown and unstudied. This point is supported by all Experts.

9/ These are our humble opinions. We hope MOH will allow parents to pick a vaccine that has been proven to be safe (ie, with no long-term harmful side effects) for our children and grandchildren.

Let us as a community, stand together and overcome this pandemic, with wisdom and prudence. Vaccination will drastically reduce the severity of Covid-19 infection for the vulnerable and will save many lives. We are very grateful for the availability of Vaccines made available by the determined effort of the MTF. Providing us an option for a killed-virus vaccine would be most appreciated.

Yours Sincerely,

Dr Benny K H Tan (MCR 01588A)
Dr Chia AM (MCR M02673E)
Dr Clement Lai (MCR M04559D)
Dr Colleen Thomas (MCR M05352Z)
Dr CT Tan (MCR M01740Z)
Dr Diane Jek (MCR 09198G)
Dr Judy Chen (MCR 05364C)  
Dr Kee Leng Chee (MCR (M01006E)
Dr Kho Kwang Po  (MCR 00499E)
Dr Khoo Boo Kian (MCR 03808C)
Dr Paul IW Yang (MCR 08851z)
Dr Suzie Lee (MCR M05023G)

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Singapore minister slams doctors for spreading myths, untruths in open letter on Covid-19 vaccine

Sunday, 23 May 2021 09:20 AM MYT

SINGAPORE, May 23 — Referring to an open letter by 12 doctors to parents questioning the long-term safety of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use on children, Senior Minister of State for Health Koh Poh Koon said he was “aghast and disappointed” by the doctors’ conduct.

In a Facebook post yesterday, he wrote that the “unscientific and unprofessional” way in which these doctors had interpreted scientific evidence and conducted themselves had also “created confusion and fear” in the public.

“It created confusion and fear in the public and propagated myths and untruths,” wrote Dr Koh, who is a colorectal surgeon.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, one of the two Covid-19 vaccines approved for use here, was earlier this week approved by the Health Sciences Authority to be safe for use for those between the ages of 12 and 15.

The letter from the doctors, dated May 20 and addressed to parents who are deciding whether to vaccinate their children, contained a list of issues that the doctors urged parents to think through carefully before choosing to inoculate their children against Covid-19.

The original letter mentioned the following doctors along with their medical licence numbers: Dr Benny KH Tan, Dr Chia AM, Dr Clement Lai, Dr Colleen Thomas, Dr CT Tan, Dr Diane Jek, Dr Judy Chen, Dr Kee Leng Chee, Dr Kho Kwang Po, Dr Khoo Boo Kian, Dr Paul IW Yang and Dr Suzie Lee.

Eleven of the doctors, excluding Dr Khoo, eventually retracted their letter and said they were withdrawing their “humble ponderings” as some of their thoughts may be misunderstood by some laypersons.

“We will henceforth ponder in a more professional and private forum,” they said.

In a statement on Friday, Singapore’s expert committee on coronavirus vaccination responded to that letter and laid out its reasons for deeming the vaccine to be safe and efficacious for this age group.

The doctors’ letter cited a study suggesting that the RNA from Sars-Cov-2 — the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 — can be converted into DNA using an enzyme called reverse transcriptase, which the doctors said is “very troubling”.

The statement from the expert committee clarified that the vaccine, which makes use of messenger ribonucleic acid technology (mRNA), cannot alter a person’s DNA.

Dr Koh said he was “glad” to see other doctors stepping up and speaking out against such untruths.

“I urge all of us to get our information from reliable sources The fight against Covid-19 will continue to evolve as new data and development present themselves,” he added.

“We need to navigate this with scientific rigor and not let our emotions or personal biases create more confusion.” — TODAY

https://www.malaymail.com/news/singapore/2021/05/23/singapore-minister-slams-doctors-for-spreading-myths-untruths-in-open-lette/1976325?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_channel=Echobox&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1621733722

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The group of 12 referred to this article which is a surprise, to put it mildly, since it has not been peer-reviewed.

pubmed logo

This article is a preprint Preprints have not been peer reviewed. Learn more about preprints in the NIH Preprint Pilot.

SARS-CoV-2 RNA reverse-transcribed and integrated into the human genome

Liguo ZhangAlexsia RichardsAndrew KhalilEmile WogramHaiting MaRichard A YoungRudolf Jaenisch

Free PMC article

Abstract

Prolonged SARS-CoV-2 RNA shedding and recurrence of PCR-positive tests have been widely reported in patients after recovery, yet these patients most commonly are non-infectious. Here we investigated the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 RNAs can be reverse-transcribed and integrated into the human genome and that transcription of the integrated sequences might account for PCR-positive tests. In support of this hypothesis, we found chimeric transcripts consisting of viral fused to cellular sequences in published data sets of SARS-CoV-2 infected cultured cells and primary cells of patients, consistent with the transcription of viral sequences integrated into the genome. To experimentally corroborate the possibility of viral retro-integration, we describe evidence that SARS-CoV-2 RNAs can be reverse transcribed in human cells by reverse transcriptase (RT) from LINE-1 elements or by HIV-1 RT, and that these DNA sequences can be integrated into the cell genome and subsequently be transcribed. Human endogenous LINE-1 expression was induced upon SARS-CoV-2 infection or by cytokine exposure in cultured cells, suggesting a molecular mechanism for SARS-CoV-2 retro-integration in patients. This novel feature of SARS-CoV-2 infection may explain why patients can continue to produce viral RNA after recovery and suggests a new aspect of RNA virus replication.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33330870/

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