He is right, some even decide not to be vaccinated because they have a theory which involves distrust based on money being made from producing, handling and administering the vaccines. I can even add to his database: A very obscure company which specialises in monitoring the conditions (temperature, container pressure, all sorts), location, etc. of shipments is way ahead in a very small niche activity/market. It was pretty much the only one capable of keeping really good track of the vaccine shipments. They of course balloned in size overnight, their value skyrocketed together with their profile - and they ensured Pfizer’s shipments reached the user point entirely intact 99.8% of the time.

Shocking success, obscene even (only a small start-up outfit in a small country with no international big business connections) but my wife and I are nevertheless “triple” vaccinated. We really don’t accept or reject anything much simply because someone has made money somewhere along the line.

Dr.Clare is far from being the only conspiracy theorist and/or anti-vaxer as even TPN Letters demonstrate. But the justification is rather unsettling for its darkly conspiratorial tone.

The assertion that masks don’t work because viruses are microscopically small and therefore can pass through them is a worrying statement from a medical doctor. Most of us realise that we do not express from our orifices individual airborne viruses but huge numbers of them within moisture droplets and other vector material. Yes, even some of the aerosol matter gets through the masks but there is a sufficient number of reputable studies around which conclude that not only do masks help but they do so quite significantly. It is entirely wrong to assert that every reputable scientific establishment is of the opposite opinion. But what everybody should do is use masks of a suitable quality - and, yes, they are not a 100% protection nor (to my knowledge) has anyone ever suggested they are any more than the vaccines. There is a reason why these things have been in obligatory use for a very long time in surgical theatres.

The reference, in support for the CT/A-V argument, to Danish and other groups asking for sensible voices to be heard over less sensible ones is perhaps indicative of how the discussion on that side of things relies on misleading people. The groups in question most certainly have not called for the vaccines, or masks to be avoided. Quite the contrary, I rather think they would be somewhat upset if they were aware of their activities/calls being used in this way, even though it is just in a letter in the TPN. Yes, the CTs/A-Vs are everywhere.

The old style and extremely uncomfortable hepatits vaccine (gamma globulin) has a rediculously short useful efficacy, yet, when I declined not to have it (together with my wife our 9 and 2 year old sons) among a course of immunisation in preparation for a stint in Africa, the doctor gave me a lecture on my irresponsibility. We spent a couple of years there without getting hepatitis, malaria (we also dispensed with the notoriously fickle anti-malarials) or anything worse than a cold. That the efficacy of Covid vaccines drops to 2% within a couple of months is a gross misrepresentation. Both these illnesses are more easily avoidable than Covid.

The need for two doses of the main Covid vaccines (A-Z, Moderna, Pfizer) at fixed intervals (which recommendation the UK then to decided to ignore to achieve their success) was always clear. The drop is much less severe as going down to as little as a 2% residual. A third dose and possibly annual or more frequent thereafter may turn out to be necessary to react to the challenges posed by variants.

I would like to see the full verified version of the story of the vaccine manufacturers’ staff being advised against being vaccinated. For some reason my nostrils tell me they detect the scent of mendacity in the form at least of twisted misrepresentation, maybe worse.

That there are misguided people in this world is regrettable (probably inevitable) but worse their capacity to do damage through presenting their views as the truth above everything else is very real. This is possibly more true now than ever hitherto due to the amplification available these days (social media in particular). That there is a major international conspiracy afoot, if there is one somewhere involving government, business and whatever else, does not plausibly apply to the fight against Covid. A lot of lives have already been lost due in part to an inablity to prevent the catastrophy and in part due to ineptitude (the UK possibly being the most spectacular example). In among that there have been conspicuous successes (but dismissed by those who compare poorly) - a complicated failure is not and likely never was inevitable. Now it would be particularly galling if, when the means to set a different course are taking shape, nonconformism, obstructionism, self-aggrandisement or whatever were to propel the statistics to new heights.

Karl Mooney, By email