Letter from Dr. Eric Payne to College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta with commentary by Mark Bricca ND
This letter came my way today, and I honestly think it may be the most important, cogent, and well put together piece that I have read on the pandemic in some time. Amidst all the conflict, fear, and competing agendas, I feel that actual facts have gotten slipperier and increasingly difficult to reliably ascertain, unfortunately. This letter is written by Eric Payne, MD, MPH, a Harvard and Mayo Clinic trained Canadian pediatric critical care neurologist, and I appreciate Dr. Payne’s thoughtful, sincere, well researched, and non-confrontational approach (although he asserts his views with passion, I get that what he’s seeking is truth and less suffering for all people).
Personally, I continue to remain open to all possibilities. “Not knowing is most intimate,” as Frank Ostaseski teaches. I am not “anti-vaccine,” but, like Dr. Payne, I do have sincere concerns, which I believe are scientifically well founded and legitimate, regarding all we do and do not yet know regarding the current crop of Covid-19 vaccines and their possible unintended consequences. Rather than restate Dr. Payne’s article, I want to share it here in hopes that we can add it to CovidStrategies as an important voice.
In brief, some of my primary questions and concerns with the current “shot in every arm” approach include:
- The lack of acknowledgement of durable natural immunity (for as long as we’ve studied thus far) following recovered Covid-19 infection
- The fact that we may be about to approve current, novel mRNA vaccines for use in children as young as 5 years of age, based on approximately 2 months of limited trial data
- The fact that careful analysis of the data indicates that children, in actuality, have exceedingly low risk of long-term adverse outcomes from SARS-CoV-2 infection
- But, we don’t know for sure what, if any, significant adverse effects may be generated 2, 3, 5, 10, or 20 years down the road (i.e. in a 25 year-old who gets vaccinated at 5 years-old)–because we, quite simply, have NO data on this question at this time
- Current vaccines are losing efficacy, and potentially, contributing to, or possibly encouraging, evolution in the SARS-CoV-2 virus
- So, we are looking at boosters, possibly repeatedly and indefinitely–and we don’t know what long-term impact these might have
- In the last couple weeks, a friend of one of my closest colleagues, an apparently healthy 27 year-old man, suffered a heart attack one week after completing his Pfizer vaccination series. Causal or coincidence? I don’t know, but this raises questions and concerns for me. Simultaneously, a dear patient I care for, in August was doing wonderfully. This month, he is suffering sudden onset, debilitating brain fog, anxiety, and depression so severe that he has needed to take a medical leave of absence from work. His lab work looks great, and nothing in his life has changed that I can find that could explain his sudden and unexpected health downturn–except the fact that, around the beginning of June, he completed his Pfizer vaccination series that was mandated by his work. I am treating him presumptively for neuroinflammation caused by vaccination, because it is the only thing that makes sense to me after taking his history and carefully analyzing his situation, symptoms, and labs.
I want to be clear that I am not anti-vaccine. Personally, I have been vaccinated many times, as have many of my patients. I am pro-science and pro-open and thoughtful discourse and I generally think the truth most often is found in the middle of things, usually where there is lots of gray and frequently not much black and white. I am open to limited and careful/cautious use of currently available Covid-19 vaccines, and I stand firmly against the “shot in every arm” mandate based on lack of currently available supporting data. As a parent of a 3.5 year-old, I am also adamantly opposed to vaccinating young children with current Covid-19 vaccines, quite simply because data on possible long-term outcomes is lacking–we don’t know what we don’t know, and it is never wise to test something in children and then potentially discover years later that there was a blind spot or blind spots.
As Dr. Payne notes in his letter, there are probably advantages to other vaccine platforms, and I remain hopeful that, in 2022, we will see availability of additional, better understood, more time-tested vaccine technologies, possibly including Novovax and/or Covaxin, maybe others as well. One of the problems with the current mRNA vaccines that has been established by data is the fact that, in some people, it is clear that the injected mRNA does not always stay at the injection site. Thus, some vaccine recipients end up with spike protein distributed throughout their bodies and in vital organs for weeks (as long as Pfizer looked) post-vaccination. Given the inherent toxicity of the spike protein, particularly to blood vessels, this is not a good situation, and it is easy to understand how adverse effects, such as myocardial infarctions and neuroinflammatory syndromes might result from this situation. Inducement of potential autoimmunity is another open question and, since autoimmunity often takes years to develop, we won’t have firm answers regarding this possibility for some time to come.
Lastly, another piece of all of this that concerns me, having just sat through a wonderful 3-day cancer conference, is the fundamental truth that, much more so than almost any illness, it is the fundamental lack of underlying health of so many people, and sadly, of our planet, that really puts us at risk. Most cancers are absolutely preventable through nutrition, lifestyle, and care for our natural environment, and yet we continue seeking magic bullets in ever more complex, and costly, medical treatments. Similarly, we, as a society, are completely missing the opportunity we have to look at people’s underlying risk factors and treatable preexisting conditions, and our public health agencies are almost entirely ignoring data that does exist on helpful, accessible, and economical public health interventions (e.g. population wide dosing with vitamin D, easy protocols for early, at-home Covid-19 treatment to reduce illness severity, etc) that could be easily applied–if we weren’t so entirely focused collectively on getting a “shot in every arm.”
Personally, I stand for informed consent, and I am concerned about what we may not yet know about long-term, unintended effects from some of our current vaccines. I long for our public health authorities to actually care about population-wide nutrition, healthy lifestyle, and healthy environment (we ignore our current environmental crisis at our own peril, and we can’t vaccinate our way out of polluted air, polluted water, depleted soils, toxic food, and etc), at least as much if not more than high-tech solutions. I am pro-safe vaccination, and I look forward to additional Covid-19 vaccine options in the future. If current mRNA vaccines are demonstrated safe 5-10 years from now, I will wholeheartedly support them. Until that time comes, based on what I have seen in practice and in the literature thus far, I remain cautious and reserved, and adamantly opposed to use of current mRNA vaccines in young children. It saddens me, greatly, that people like Dr. Payne, accomplished physicians who care and who ask good, legitimate, thoughtful, and scientifically valid questions, in our current climate, are so often being seen these days as contrary, even as threats to the dominant narrative, which is perceived as correct. I stand for respectful, kind, open, and considerate dialogue, in a spirit of curiosity, in search of truth and with humility and willingness to not know.
These are my current views, which have been touched on by Dr. Payne’s letter and research. I share them humbly and respectfully. I am completely open to being wrong about anything. I believe the truth is almost always more nuanced than we can perceive. Ultimately, I want all beings to be safe, supported, and out of harm’s way, and I value the precautionary principle when implementing anything new in medicine on a mass scale.
Mark Bricca, ND, MAc
Bodhicitta Healing Arts
September 14, 2021
College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) Council
2700 – 10020 100 Street NW
Edmonton, AB Canada T5J 0N3
Dear CPSA council members,
RE: Mandatory mRNA vaccine mandate for Alberta physicians
Thank you for allowing me to listen Friday morning during council’s discussion on a vaccine mandate for Alberta physicians. Let me please provide the perspective of a physician who loves his job, cares deeply about his patients, and continues to avoid the mRNA vaccines. I am a pediatric neurologist and researcher specializing in epilepsy and neurocritical care at Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH). I have a Master of Public Health from Harvard University and before returning to ACH in February 2020, I spent 6 years on staff at Mayo Clinic where I developed expertise in neuroinflammation. Both medical school and pediatric neurology residency were completed here in Calgary. I am also a father of 3 young children and remain very much pro-vaccine. While I refuse to take this novel experimental mRNA therapy, my wife, children, and I are completely vaccinated, including yearly flu shots. This is not a contradictory stance as these current mRNA vaccines represent a dramatic departure from using, for instance, live attenuated viruses. Rather, they represent a completely novel and experimental therapy with no longterm data. Consider that the CDC just updated the definitions of immunity and vaccine on September 1, 2021 – 13 days ago -swapping out the prior “produce immunity” to “provide protection” (1).
On August 31, 2021, AHS President and CEO Dr. Verna Yiu, issued a vaccine mandate to all staff, physicians and volunteers stating, “workers are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, by October 31, 2021”. I am now faced with the impending possibility of “an unpaid Leave of Absence to allow for compliance”. I am so disappointed by this extreme AHS coercion, and truly hope that the CPSA will steer clear of mandating this as a condition of my license. You briefly covered the legal aspects during your meeting and a vaccine mandate would certainly appear to violate individual rights as protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (2), but under the auspice of a pandemic, the Alberta provincial government is presently circumventing these rights with Bill 10 – the public health emergency powers amendment act (3). Of course, these forced experimental mRNA vaccine mandates also directly violate the internationally accepted Nuremberg code, which was developed in 1947 to protect patients from medical experimentation stating as its first declaration that “the voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential” (4). It is because I am informed, that I do not voluntarily consent to these injections.
Despite only 3.6% of Alberta physicians continuing to avoid these shots (per CPSA internal survey), I appreciate that council remains concerned that an “unvaccinated” physician might spread SARS-CoV-2, resulting in possible patient harm and lawsuits to the CPSA. However, by forcing compliance based on the current data, you would be stepping on the bedrock principles of medical ethics – especially patient autonomy. The willingness to trample individual legal and moral rights in the name of perceived communal benefits, is not justified by the current medical science and will cause predictable and unpredictable harms.