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COVID Crisis Post 63: VACCINES WORK.


As a society, we suck at preventative health.


And vaccines are a HUGE part of preventative health. But the kicker is, it is not only preventative for you, but preventative for others.


That is why vaccines are SO important. And why a discussion about them cannot be rushed, so apologies ahead of time for the length.


A repeat of my disclaimer - these are MY views on MY personal page. If you disagree with the entire premise of vaccines, then please keep those thoughts to yourself.


Please be respectful of my request.


If you are open-minded about vaccines but have questions or concerns, please ask away. Intelligent, PRODUCTIVE discourse is the goal. Any comments which I believe are only looking to stoke fear and spread misinformation about vaccines will be ignored and promptly deleted.


Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. But an anti-vaccination stance is NOT based in scientific fact, and I have done everything possible to ensure the information I post is not skewed by emotion or irrational fear.


It really is that simple.


VACCINES SAVE LIVES. End of discussion.


Regarding Western medicine:

I find that picking and choosing what one likes or dislikes from Western medicine is unsettling and agenda-driven because its convenient to pick the things that are good about it when it applies to oneself and then say things that do not apply are bad. You either trust Western medicine as a whole, or you do not.


Regarding autism:

There is NO evidence vaccines cause autism. Fact.


Just as people currently turn to conspiracy theories to have something tangible to blame to make sense of why this virus has affected their lives so dramatically, the same happened with parents of autistic children when the Wakefield study first came out. This is what makes the Wakefield study all the more reprehensible.


It is understandable that people want an explanation, but spreading misinformation does not change the reality, no matter how badly you want it.


Regarding additives:

There is NO evidence the additives in vaccines are dangerous at the doses administered. Fact.


The additives are there to either kill any remaining virus or to ensure a strong immune response when given the vaccine. The additives in vaccines are in amounts which have been determined to not be harmful to the human body.


For example, the amount of formaldehyde in vaccines, IF an ingredient, is less than what your body produces NATURALLY on its own. I mention formaldehyde because I get this thrown at me all the time from those against vaccines.


And before I hear any nonsense about not wanting to put anything in your body that could potentially be harmful, then stop drinking water. Because even water can be harmful to you in a large enough amount:


Almost ANYTHING is dangerous in too large a quantity, hence why we study what amount is safe. Again, these excuses are again rooted in fear and NOT science.


Regarding side effects:

Rare side effects from vaccines DO occur, but the prevention of disease and the detrimental effects that come along with the disease FAR outweigh the risk.


We incorporate risk-benefit analysis frequently in our everyday lives. And in this case, the analysis skews HEAVILY in the favor of benefit of vaccines.


Regarding natural immunity:

Natural immunity by contracting the disease itself is NOT always the best recourse, especially when contracting certain disease can have devastating consequences. In addition, there are many other concerns, including ADE with certain illnesses.


But what needs to be clarified is vaccines ALSO utilize natural immunity but without the same risks as contracting the disease itself. In addition, if you are okay with receiving someone elses antibodies to fight disease, I am not sure how you can be against your OWN antibodies to fight disease. Something just does not add up.


We have a good understanding regarding how long the immune response lasts with our routine vaccines. But in the case of COVID-19, we do not know at this time how effective or how long immunity lasts once the disease is contracted. Hence the dangers of an "immunity passport", which was to be used in Chile:


However, given Chile is back into shutdown mode amidst a huge surge of COVID cases once again, a smart approach rooted in science is clearly the best approach. Not a rushed one.


On a slightly unrelated note - Chile counts their dead in their "recovered" numbers for COVID-19 since they no longer can infect others. I am not shitting you.


Regarding vaccine effectiveness:

We do not see illnesses that used to ravage our population anymore BECAUSE OF VACCINES. The safety profile for those routinely recommended have been studied FOR YEARS. The arguments against them are absurd:


This is the crazy thing about preventing disease: NOT seeing the disease is evidence something works!!!


Do not be dense like those who believe COVID-19 is a hoax and overblown because people did not die in the numbers predicted. Put two and two together and realize this was due to social distancing.


And now let us apply the same logic to vaccines.


The fact many of these diseases no longer ravage humans after the advent of vaccines was an exceptional medical breakthrough.


Do not be dense and use the excuse of not needing to inject yourself with a vaccine full of dangerous chemicals - WHICH IS NOT TRUE - for diseases that no longer exist. Put two and two together and realize we do not see certain diseases anymore due to vaccines.

We have had numerous breakouts of measles due to this flawed thinking, and your choice puts many others at risk.


Herd immunity only works when a community as a whole is immune to a great enough degree, and this varies between diseases. In the case of measles, which has an Ro value of 12-18, this means 90-95% of the population must be immune to achieve herd immunity. So only a small number of people are needed to fuel an outbreak.


It is true some vaccines work better than others, but that is usually due to characteristics of the virus itself that makes it difficult to produce a highly effective vaccine.


The flu shot is constantly mentioned in terms of its efficacy, but there are multiple strains of flu. As a result, a "best guess" is made to which strains will be the predominant strains any given flu season, and some seasons the guess is worse than others.


And one strain of flu, H3N2, is more resistant to the vaccine due to its mutagenic potential, so in years where it is a predominant strain, the vaccine also may not be as effective.


Vaccines can be made via a weakened virus, inactivated or killed virus, or using parts of the virus or bacteria to stimulate an immune response. The picture posted refers to the more "traditional" approach regarding the production of vaccines, but this approach is not ideal in a number of cases.


In the case of SARS-CoV-2, much of the research for a vaccine is focused on using a novel approach: messenger RNA.


The vaccine would inject messenger RNA that encodes for a viral specific protein, like the spike protein, allowing the body's own cells to produce the protein. Once this occurred, the immune system would then form antibodies to that protein found on the viruses surface, hopefully neutralizing the viruses ability to cause infection.


If it worked, this type of vaccine should be safe, effective, and able to be rapidly produced for less cost compared to traditional vaccines.


Good stuff.


Regarding Big Pharma:

Yes, pharmaceutical companies make money by selling vaccines. They are a business so duh. But they also produce medicines that most acknowledge work, and they make money off of those too. If making money is a reason to distrust these companies, then any business for profit should not be trusted:


To claim these companies sometimes produce medicine to help the public and other times to harm the public is asinine. You either trust the FDA to regulate the safety of our medications and vaccines, or you do not. It is not a pick-and-choose scenario.


And no, Big Pharma did not pay me to make that statement 🤦🏽‍♂️.


Regarding social responsibility:

This is again a situation where "my body, my choice" does not apply. Vaccines not only protect you, they protect others. My health should not be put at risk by another's choice.


It is the equivalent of drinking and driving. It is only "my body, my choice" until you slam into someone, and either kill them, yourself, or both. If you think people should not drink and drive because it could be HARMFUL to do so, the same logic should be applied when choosing not to get vaccinated.


If a disease could only affect the person who gets it, then so be it. But that is not the case.


So if you wear a mask and social distance but STILL are against vaccines, you only care about preventing spread of disease in situations which convenience you, not because you actually care about preventing spread of disease.


Sorry people - logic is logic.


Regarding children, whose protection is of UTMOST IMPORTANCE to me:

My opinion is routine vaccinations should be mandatory with a HIGH threshold for exemptions. And once a vaccine for COVID-19 is vetted enough to be considered safe for the general population, this should also be mandatory.


Growing up in Michigan, if I was not vaccinated, I WAS NOT ALLOWED TO GO TO SCHOOL. The anti-vaccination crowd was not as loud back then, thankfully. And as a result, I never knew even one person who got a vaccine-preventable illness.


I have personally seen the detrimental effects on children whose parents refused to vaccinate their children. My first exposure was as a 3rd year medical student on my peds rotation, where a child who suffered from Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) meningitis became permanently neurologically impaired because of the mother's "choice" not to vaccinate. This result was devastating and TOTALLY PREVENTABLE.


Just as a parent cannot prevent me from giving blood to their child if they need it to preserve life - this is absolutely true - a parent should not have the right to deny their child vaccinations when they have been shown to save innumerable lives.


In summary:

I understand vaccines are a controversial topic, but the controversy is not rooted in science whatsoever. History has demonstrated their effectiveness in preventing millions of deaths, and this is the same goal trying to be achieved with a vaccine for COVID-19.


Sorry if this was a bit lengthy, but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of vaccinating your children and yourself.


PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS, PLEASE.


I just care too much about you to not be an advocate for you. Even in opposition.


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