An international survey of a health-aware, ‘Control Group’ that includes over 300,000 people who have chosen to avoid COVID-19 vaccination, shows participants place minimal burden on health systems through their strong reliance on natural immunity, self-care and the use of natural health supplements to help prevent or even treat COVID-19. Yet this group faces unfounded discrimination, job losses and mental health issues intensified by its marginalisation by mainstream society.
The survey of participants in the ‘Control Group’ includes a sub-group from the over 305,000 participants from more than 175 countries who have joined the citizen-led project and opted to not receive COVID-19 vaccines. The findings just uploaded to the preprint server ResearchGate, show that during the 5-month survey period (September 2021 through to February 2022 inclusive), participants suffered low rates of severe COVID-19 disease, were infrequently hospitalised, and used natural health products extensively both for prevention and for treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19.
Data from these first five months of the Control Group survey were analysed and interpreted by an independent, international team led by Robert Verkerk PhD, a multi-disciplinary scientist and the founder, executive and scientific director of the non-profit Alliance for Natural Health International. Co-authors included three practicing doctors, Dr Naseeba Kathrada from South Africa, Dr Christof Plothe from Germany and Dr Katarina Lindley from the USA. The authors came together to assess the survey data through their collaboration in recent months with the World Council for Health, a non-profit, global coalition of health-focused organizations and civil society groups.
The survey findings were based on a sub-cohort of approximately 18,500 Control Group participants who had completed questionnaires on a monthly basis over the first five months of the survey. Among the wide-ranging data collected, the survey captured reasons why participants avoided vaccines, with distrust of governments and pharmaceutical companies as well as concerns over adverse reactions from insufficiently tested vaccines being high on the list.
Participants reported extensive mental health problems that may have been compounded by the stigmatisation and discrimination facing those who shunned COVID-19 vaccines. It also found that women, despite being unvaccinated for COVID-19, suffered menstrual and bleeding abnormalities that may have been associated with viral exposure, shedding, spike protein exposure or pandemic-related behavioural changes. Those who never wore masks reported the lowest levels of COVID-19 disease.
Given the participants are self-selected and have self-reported, the survey findings need to be interpreted with care when comparing them with national statistics or studies based on randomly selected populations.
The UK-based Control Group project was established in mid-2021 as a citizen-led cooperative that aims to evaluate long-term health outcomes among the COVID-19 vaccine-free as well as linking its members to country support networks and online community groups.
The full survey report can be downloaded from ResearchGate here.