Friday, May 3, 2024

Separating Fact From Fiction: NYT Article Today About COVID Vaccine Efficacy VS. Known Legitimate Side Effects to Date


There's an interesting article today in the New York Times, today, written by a journalist who interviewed dozens of reputable people who have experienced substantial side effects.

Key takeaways?

1)  There genuinely are more side effects reported than were experienced in the clinical trial - *HOWEVER* - this is not unusual, and even typical, for ANY medication or vaccine in the real world versus a controlled trial.  


2) There are more allergies to the ingredients than anticipated.  


3) The worst side effects appear to be mostly stemming from contaminated batches sent out from one particular pharmaceutical company (which was NOT Pfizer, Moderna, or AZ). 


4) Despite these side effects, the risk of experiencing adverse events is still considered small, and the efficacy of the COVID vaccines has proven an overwhelming success at curbing COVID - in other words, the benefits still far outweigh the risks.

This graph is a year old, and the CDC hasn't come out with the one for this year yet, but here's the proof from the CDC tracker: 

Also, it's worth a mention that there's a growing number of legitimate side effects - and then there are new symptoms that people attribute to the vaccine that are not, and in fact, related to other illnesses when investigated. 

Having said that, the medical community shouldn't be gaslighting anyone who is experiencing a new symptom, because the truth is, we still don't know what the long-term effects are, just like we don't know the long-term effects of the new immune-mediated "biologics" for autoimmune diseases and cancer, and everyone's body chemistry is different - BUT - neither should we be jumping to conclusions when experiencing a new symptom that it's automatically related to the vaccine. 

For example, I hear things like my maintenance man saying "My dad had no heart disease, there's no history of it in my family, he had no prior heart disease, but he had a heart attack and died. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it's a duck." 

I just give my condolences and focused on the loss of his father, rather than argue about the vaccines, of course.

But this is what I'm actually thinking to myself:

"A platypus looks like a furry sort of duck, but it isn't - and unlike a duck, has a poisonous bite." 
"Also, the sun doesn't revolve around the earth, just because it 'looks that way'."  
"Genetics isn't the only cause of heart disease - poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, and other comorbidities like diabetes are also major contributors to heart disease." 
"Many people hadn't been to a doctor in years, ignored prior warning signs, and/or ate badly, smoked, drank, etc.  As humans, we always want something else to blame.  It's human nature, but not very scientific." 

Now - I am NOT Not saying that I trust big pharma completely, or any corporation, for that matter - they're greedy af.

However, being that Job #1 is typing interviews between Big Pharma and key-opinion leaders and insurance companies (private and public) before new drugs and vaccines are launched, I honestly believe they did the best they could on this one, and here's the only reason why I suspended my skepticism on the type of claims pharma usually makes:  

Because their own lives were at stake with COVID, just like ours, the entire world was literally waiting and watching this one, and they were among the first to get the vaccine, themselves.

Also, can I just say that I find it odd that the same people who vote to protect the taxes of big corporations and the wealthiest 1%, ignore their influence on politicians, and listen to their anti-climate-change nonsense, are the same ones making up conspiracy theories about  pharmaceutical corporations and vaccines?

So you don't trust their vaccines, but you're A-OK with them paying less taxes, charging an arm and a leg for things (that don't cost THAT much to make) without restriction, and polluting our environment?

That makes zero sense.

(Conversely, as I said, the only reason I suspended my skepticism of the kind of claims Big Pharma makes is because their own lives were on the line with COVID, too, the world was watching this one, and they were among the first to get vaccinated themselves.)

And I'm also not saying a vaccine couldn't have been a factor, but if so, it's would be more likely that it's one of many  - as of yet, we don't know and we shouldn't automatically dismiss the idea - but neither should we automatically blame the vaccine for new symptoms. More information and study would be required.

And personal experience is no substitute for science, I know, but my husband and I have experienced no side effects at all, and neither has anyone we know.

We also have known exactly 0 vaccinated people to die after contracting COVID, but have known several unvaccinated people to die from COVID.

Also, I have never gotten COVID, despite the fact that the vaccine never promised to prevent getting COVID, only mitigate the symptoms (but I also wore masks and bleached everything down, every day). 

But the proof is not just in science, but the fact that we can all go out again, with or without masks, to do everything we used to do - and that is all due to those vaccines. 

Both of these things can be true - there is a small risk (yes, still small) that you could potentially experience adverse effects AND the vaccine is effective at saving your life from COVID. 

So in the end, I view it a bit like cancer treatment, it's a risks-versus -benefits choice - risking the side effects may be worth it to save your life overall? 

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