Covid-19 – Should we be more afraid of early treatments than of vaccines?

The fight against Covid-19 could usefully rely on a variety of actions: on “social” measures, such as barrier gestures, well-targeted grouping restrictions, on vaccines, but also on a medical approach involving preventive treatment for those at risk, and early treatment for anyone positive for SARS-CoV2, with or without symptoms.

However, since March 2020, the authorities seem to neglect these latter dimensions, even when scientific studies are increasing to indicate the effectiveness of various molecules against Covid-19, their limits, and their possible side effects.

For example, to date, 50 scientific studies were carried out on vitamin D in the context of the coronavirus. They clearly indicate that vitamin D deficiency is a worsening factor of Covid-19, likely to lead patients to severe forms. And, although we know that the French population is largely deficient (and that the deficiencies increase with age), no campaign has been carried out to encourage the French to have their possible vitamin D deficiencies screened.

Fortunately, many doctors give this advice to their patient, and prescribe supplementation if necessary.

Likewise, early treatments based on well-known and repositioned molecules are ignored, even opposed by the authorities and their communication to the public and doctors, even when dozens of scientific studies indicate their effectiveness in the face of Covid-19.

We have already discussed some of these molecules and the scientific studies that test them, but we will recall here some of the possible early treatments, whose risks are perfectly identified, and therefore avoidable when a doctor prescribes them.

– This is the case with ivermectin. A fifty scientific studies have been published. They are unanimous on its beneficial effects, especially in prophylaxis and early treatment. In addition, epidemiological studies have confirmed its effects: States which choose to administer it to patients have a better outcome than their neighbors.

The example of Chiapas illustrates this dramatically. It is the only state in Mexico to have disobeyed the directives of the Mexican central government (which, like in France, maintains that there is no treatment for Covd-19, and disapproves of any treatment.) Chiapas has therefore chosen, on the contrary, from carry out an active medical campaign from July: hundreds of medical teams went door to door to detect positive people and provide them with a treatment kit, including various drugs (ivermectin, azithromycin, oseltamivir, paracetamol, calcium … )

While Chiapas had been affected by Covid-19 since March in the same way as other Mexican states, with mortality similar to the Mexican average, the mortality curve gradually became more distinct from July. , to become almost flat (fig.1).

Admittedly, this result alone does not provide proof of the efficacy of ivermectin or the drug cocktail distributed by Chiapas. But it provides an additional clue, corroborating the dozens of scientific studies indicating an effectiveness of ivermectin associated with azithromycin. For more details and graphics on Mexico, we can refer to graphic work by Juan Chamie. And for examples other than Mexico, we can read (in English) his epidemiological study on ivermectin, hosted by the FLCCC.

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However, the French authorities seem unaware that several states officially recommend ivermectin, and apparently do not seek to delve into the question. Experts intervene even in the media to warn: according to them, even if it works, we should avoid giving the treatment “because we do not know the mechanism “, or because the studies with the spectacular results were not carried out in double blind …

– This is also the case for azithromycin. It is not taken into consideration by the French authorities, but it is prescribed by many doctors in France, who observe that their patients recover more than when they did not prescribe anything. The French authorities have not conducted a study on azithromycin, despite requests from doctors. But fortunately, and despite pressure from the Order of Physicians or the High Authority of Health, many doctors continue to prescribe this molecule when they deem it necessary. This is evidenced, for example, by the increase in prescriptions for azithromycin, noted by Dr Maudrux on his blog. Also testifies Claude Escarguel, spokesperson for the collective of doctors “Azithro … of hospitalizations“.

– This is also the case for hydroxychloroquine, in particular combined with azithromycin and zinc, which has been studied in early treatment with around thirty scientific studies, also unanimous on its beneficial effects. The studies seem to indicate a limit: hydroxychloroquine is not clearly effective in late treatment. In addition to scientific studies, the innumerable testimonies on its effectiveness in early treatment agree, that they come from EHPAD coordinating doctors, for example, city doctors, or patients.

– Other safe treatments, already studied by scientific teams, also seem to be possible.

But faced with all these early treatments, the official discourse comes down to “this has not been studied enough, so do not take risks“.

Today, however, the talk about vaccines is quite different: “You have to trust“, we repeat tirelessly. And if confidence is not enough, some, such as the Prime Minister, are considering restricting the freedoms of those who would not be vaccinated.

However, vaccines have not been studied any more than the various early treatments mentioned above, far from it: the only studies have been carried out by laboratory-producers, and have only been partially published. Scientific voices are already raising doubts about the sincerity of Pfizer’s study on its vaccine1, or on the risk of side effects that cannot be observed in three months2 nor on a sample of a few tens of thousands of people3.

If the aim of the authorities is to protect the health of the population, they should probably be more coherent. Since they present as reasonable the idea of ​​administering to tens of millions of French people a vaccine, certainly innovative and based on a brilliant idea, but scientifically and clinically very little evaluated, they should undoubtedly stop designating as “inconsiderate “the risks associated with molecules known to doctors for decades, which scientific studies show effective. These molecules could also only be administered to a few hundred thousand people (frail people or people who test positive) as early or preventive treatment. With risks identified, better controlled, and incurred by a hundred or a thousand times fewer people, how can we continue to present them as more worrying?

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The choice in how to protect and treat themselves should rest with citizens, patients and physicians, depending on the scientific information available, rather than obeying political decisions whose scientific basis is not clearly known. People reluctant to the vaccine could usefully seek preventive treatment with one of the preventive treatments if they wish; positive people could receive early treatment appropriate to their condition from their doctor, and if they cured this way (even if it was a placebo effect!), it would benefit everyone.

And in general, the authorities should encourage the French to consult a doctor as soon as they test positive, or even if they have a doubt about their state of health or a concern about the epidemic, rather than inciting positive people to wait at home in anxiety with paracetamol, until their health changes to one side or the other.

Many physicians, in accordance with their training and l‘article 11 of the Medical Code of Ethics, follow scientific advances published by specialized journals, and are able to know if they can offer a scientifically evaluated treatment, and this according to each patient.

Of doctors’ groups are also protesting against the restrictions and interference generated by the French authorities in medical practice.

The taking of general, authoritarian and non-personalized medical decisions, by the same political authorities who lied about masks, tests etc., is in any case not a method likely to build confidence or promote taking treatments useful for individual and collective protection against the epidemic.

1Read what Peter Doshi, associate editor au British Medical Journal, written on January 4 : Study data, which was not released when the results were announced by Pfizer but later by the FDA, raises questions

2Risk of infertility in women, due to the fact that the effect sought by the mRNA vaccine is to elicit immune defenses against the Spike protein of SARS-CoV2; or, like the notes Dr Maudrux, there is a risk that the defenses thus aroused also attack syncytin, a protein similar to the Spike protein, but essential for the formation of the placenta.

3 See the explanations by molecular geneticist Christian Vélot on the risk of viral recombination. There is a remote chance that a patient is the site of a recombination between an RNA virus and the RNA injected with the vaccine, giving rise to the birth of a new, unknown, and potentially contagious virus. But if you vaccinate hundreds of millions of people, the likelihood of it happening to one person becomes real; and one person would be enough to spread an unknown new virus.

The Club is the free expression space for Mediapart subscribers. Its contents do not engage the editorial staff.

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