Internationally-acclaimed doctor and former presidential candidate Fernando Nobre has spoken out against Portugal’s decision to vaccinate children over the ages of 12 – warning that authorities are unlikely to stop there (click here).
“They are already announcing vaccines for the ages of 6-12, then from 2-5. Then what? Will it be intrauterine (ie foetus’ being injected while still in the womb)”.
Guaranteeing that none of his children or his granddaughter will ever receive a Covid vaccination, Dr Nobre labelled the political decision-making that has promoted the policy in under-18s as ‘unbelievable’.
It is no secret that governments have taken the lead in deciding to vaccinate children: experts remain deeply divided.
Correio da Manhã today describes an opinion by the Council of Ethics of the Portuguese General Medical Council (Ordem dos Médicos) that insists not enough is known about the consequences of the vaccines on bodies that have not yet completely formed to make the decision to vaccinate 12-15 year olds.
This opinion has never been ‘made public’ (for good reason, clearly: it was not accepted). But it exists – as do many professional positions within the Ordem dos Médicos that were never given much in the way of press coverage (click here and here).
Yesterday, SIC television news dedicated a section of its evening news bulletin to the declarations of Fernando Nobre, saying the Ordem was opening a disciplinary complaint against him. This is not true.
Miguel Guimarães, president of the doctors’ official entity, confirmed today that not only is there no disciplinary proceeding, there has not even been one ‘complaint’ over the content of Dr Nobre’s speech (given at a rally outside parliament over the weekend).
Fernando Nobre has, since the start of the pandemic, been an advocate for the alternative narrative. He does not believe Covid-19 to be the ‘terrifying scourge’ it has been made out to be, nor does he take results of PCR tests seriously (saying they give a 93% to 97% rate of false positives).
But the fact that Dr Nobre is such a reference in his field – he is the founder of Portuguese NGO AMI (Assistência Médica Internacional); he has worked all over the world, in the context of all kinds of ‘plagues’, including Ebola – makes it difficult to brand him a ‘crackpot negationist’ (although media sources seem to do their best: his speech outside parliament was only reported in the erroneous context that it was prompting disciplinary proceedings to be led by the official entity representing his profession).
Another aspect of this story is the seemingly habitual blocking of ‘alternative opinions’ unless they can be shown up to be somehow potentially criminal, or unhinged.
Correio da Manhã breaks out from this approach today, carrying a front page story on Portuguese mother Paula Fatri ‘in hiding’ with her 12 year old daughter Vera because they fear the child’s father will ‘insist’ on having the child vaccinated against Covid-19.
The paper does not label the mother a negationist. It gives Paula Fatri ample space to explain that she is usually pro-vaccine: Vera has had all the vaccines within the national vaccination programme, just not this one “because there are many doubts on the adverse effects in the medium- to long-term of these vaccines, scientific studies of which are manifestly insufficient”, says her mother, adding that “there is no doctor to guarantee or sign below that everything will go well… for this reason I have the obligation to protect my daughter”.
Vera too has told CM that she does not want to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
The decision now will be left to a judge. The case has been heard by the Commission for the Protection of Minors and the next step is for it to reach a courtroom.
In the meantime mother and daughter are ‘on the run’ from Vera’s father as they believe he would force his daughter to be vaccinated if she went to stay with him (as had been programmed during the month of August).
It is a dramatic cameo in a maelstrom of conflicting news, views and opinions. Paula Fatri admits she risks losing custody of her child as a result of her actions.
“I have no idea what the judge will decide, but I want to believe that (he or she) will bear Vera’s wishes in mind”, she tells CM.
Mrs Fatri’s lawyer João Pedro César Machado has pointed out that as vaccinations against Covid-19 are not obligatory (indeed, no vaccinations are obligatory in Portugal) “the judge will have no alternative but to decide in favour of the mother and child”.