The Astrazeneca Vaccine Controversy Highlights Ongoing Neglect of Thalidomide Lessons

Thalidomide, a sedative developed in the 1950s, was found to cause severe birth defects in babies whose mothers had taken the drug. The tragedy led to the formation of regulatory agencies, such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which monitor the safety of drugs and approve them for use in the UK market.

Prior to the establishment of regulatory agencies, drugs could be sold without proper testing or approval. However, with the introduction of the Medicines Act in 1968, drugs needed to be licensed and undergo rigorous testing before being introduced to the market. The AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine went through an accelerated approval process and was deemed safe for emergency use.

The Yellow Card reporting scheme was also introduced in response to the thalidomide tragedy. This scheme allows healthcare professionals and the public to report suspected side effects or adverse reactions associated with medicines, vaccines, herbal remedies, and medical devices. The information gathered through this scheme helps regulatory authorities monitor the safety of medicines and take appropriate actions to protect the public.

The reported side effects and deaths associated with vaccines could be compared to the Swine Flu vaccination program in 1976. The AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine had a higher number of reported deaths per 100,000 patients injected compared to the Swine Flu vaccine, raising questions about why it was not withdrawn earlier.

Will AstraZeneca will continue to deny the side effects of its vaccine or plead ignorance?

Sir Derrick Dunlop, who established the Committee on Safety of Drugs, would certainly have been very disappointed that we still haven’t fully learned the lessons from thalidomide.

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By Kate Stephenson
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Sandra Smith
Sandra Smith
4 days ago

I remember that debacle. Clearly the adults back the didn’t learn either (I was about Jr High age at the time), but is sure stuck with me!

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