We are a group of doctors, dentists, pharmacists, vets and scientists who are concerned about the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine to the general population, along with the implication from the Medical Council of New Zealand and the Dental Council of New Zealand of incompetence if we do not fully support the COVID-19 vaccination program, or indeed get vaccinated ourselves.


Our group published an open letter to the New Zealand government expressing our concerns here. Copies of this letter were sent to the MCNZ (Medical Council of New Zealand), DCNZ (Dental Council of New Zealand), RNZCGP (Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners) and the NZMA (New Zealand Medical Association).

Our summarised concerns are:

  1. The rollout of the vaccine to the general public despite the fact that clinical trials are still being undertaken. As such the following are unknown:
  • Effectiveness at preventing the individual from contracting COVID-19
  • Effectiveness at preventing the spread of COVID-19
  • Effectiveness of mitigating the clinical illness in those who do contract COVID-19
  • The adverse events profile
  1. The legality of prescribing and administering a medication which is only provisionally approved. Once the New Zealand government was found to be in breach of the Medicines Act, it hastily changed the law without consultation
  2. The unknowns of this intervention in assessing and discussing the risks and benefits when counselling patients
  3. The use of lay vaccinators who would not be competent to undertake informed consent procedures with individuals

In response to our open letter the MCNZ and DCNZ has stated that it expects all doctors and dentists to be vaccinated unless medically contraindicated.  Further it stated that there was no place for anti-vaccination messaging.

The RNZCGP has not replied. The NZMA has replied stating that it agreed with the MCNZ guidance statement, going on to state that “in this instance the science, and our responsibilities are clear”.

COVID-19 and Vaccine Risk

This has been an interesting time in medicine with over one hundred thousand (often confusing and contradictory) papers published We are all humans, so bias can never be excluded.  However we have linked to a number of papers which point to a narrative different to that of the mainstream:

  1. The efficacy and risks of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are still being tested.
  2. The relative risk reduction of the Pfizer vaccine in reducing COVID-19 symptoms may only be 19%.
  3. The number needed to vaccinate to prevent one more case (not clearly defined) of COVID-19 with the Pfizer vaccine has been estimated at 117 and could be as high as 217.
  4. Adverse events to vaccines are notoriously under-reported. However, databases in the US and Europe indicate a troubling level of adverse events, well above any other vaccines. Severe systemic events may be as high as 5-10%.
  5. The infection fatality rate of COVID-19 has recently been estimated to be 0.15% which is similar to that of a severe Influenza season.
  6. Many treatments are now known to be effective against COVID-19, including:
  7. Several protocols have been suggested for use as prevention and treatment, including early treatment and treatment in the critical care setting:
  8. This does not take into account preventative measures (our bread and butter) such as:

For an in-depth exploration of risk vs benefit see this fully referenced post from Doctors for Covid Ethics.

Consequences, Risk and What We Can Do

It would appear that the MCNZ and DCNZ are stating that we need to be vaccinated.  It is also implying that providing a different view to the “safe and effective” narrative may be considered “anti-vaccination”. It is not known how deciding to not personally take up the COVID-19 vaccination and providing balanced information to patients will be regarded. We have sought clarification regarding these issues from the MCNZ.

As such, at least 50 of us have joined together to protect the right to decline a medical intervention.  This right is paramount in the Nuremburg code.  Furthermore, not only do we have an ethical duty to ensure the same right applies to our patients, but we are also sworn to “First Do No Harm”.

A large number of similar groups of doctors, professionals and citizens have been formed overseas to lobby and indict governments and authorities.  Many individuals also have stood up and risked censure. These include:

We are not alone.  The narrative is starting to shift.  The public is becoming aware of the attempted censoring of scientific debate and silencing of those who do not “toe the line”.  While we each have our role to play, as individuals we cannot remain silent as we would not be able to hold our heads high when asked by patients and public where we stood during the COVID-19 period.

We stand for the human rights, as outlined particularly in the Nuremberg code and the UNESCO Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, of ourselves, our families, our patients and the general public.