COVID vaccines are becoming available, and since about 40% of people have said in surveys that they’re not going to take the vaccine, I’m being asked by patients my opinion and whether or not I will take the vaccine.
There are several vaccines available at this time. The first two vaccines to be made available to the public, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, as well as the Biontech vaccine, are formulated using a new messenger RNA technology (mRNA). Instead of using the dead virus, they use the mRNA inside the virus, not the whole virus itself. The RNA from the coronavirus induces the body’s immune system to make an antibody to the protein spike on the coronavirus. This is new technology, and being synthetic allows the vaccines to be made much quicker. This has never been done before. The studies on mammals, then humans, are no older than 5 months at the most and we’re told are from 90 – 95% effective in producing the therapeutic levels of antibodies, but only after a second injection is given.
Like many vaccines, a second or even third booster vaccine, in some cases, must be given because the first shot doesn’t produce a level of antibody that cannot be overwhelmed by the offending virus. So boosters are given to reach this level. Some years ago one of my assistants required a 4th booster of Hepatitis B vaccine to reach the therapeutic level. Three is usually necessary for this particular vaccine.
Anyway, it’s no secret that we are all breaking new ground and marching into uncharted territory with respect to outcomes and adverse events occurring from any of these vaccines. The FAQ section on vaccines at the CDC website even admits to this, as well as informing the public that no one knows how long the antibodies produced by the vaccine will last, or what the adverse events may be, or even whether the vaccine will be successful in clearing the pandemic. The antibodies may last longer than three months, or maybe three years or longer. We’re all going to find out as we move along.
The vaccines that I do not intend to take, since there are safe and ethical alternatives, are from Astra-Zeneca, Oxford, and Johnson and Johnson. These vaccines are made from the fetal cell lines of a 14-week old Caucasian male (that is, an aborted baby). This is on Astra-Zeneca’s abstract to the FDA and can be found on the Internet. With respect to Astra-Zeneca’s vaccine, they’ve informed the FDA in their abstract that they “urgently seek an Artificial Intelligence (AI) software tool to process the expected high volume of Covid-19 vaccine Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) and ensure that no details from the ADRs’ reaction text are missed.” In other words, Astra-Zeneca expects the reporting of adverse events to be at a level that existing algorithms in current software will not be able to handle the various and sundry adverse events that they foresee. Now of course this is Astra-Zeneca’s vaccine, which was not made by mRNA methods.
Refusing to take vaccines made from aborted babies is my personal view, as long as there is an alternative (Pfizer, Moderna). It may be that in the future, because of the decades of research using aborted babies, that no vaccine will be untainted by the use of fetal cell lines. But as long as there is an alternative, I intend to use them.
Something else to consider in the making of this historic vaccine is that the health status of those to whom the vaccine was given in the trials were of good health. The primary aim of the vaccine development was to determine if the human immune system could generate an antibody from this new technology. We don’t know how many volunteers in the trials had multiple medical problems, autoimmune diseases, heart, lung, or kidney disease. As a result we don’t how know how the vaccine will affect these individuals going forward as there is not enough burden of evidence from the trials to raise the confidence level for these folks.
If after the masses have received the vaccines over 3-6 months, and there develops no significant side-effects, and the safety among the masses has been assured, will I then be taking it. From what I can gather at physician websites, from survey results, about 50% of doctors plan to take it immediately, 40% are going to wait, and about 10% say they’re not taking it.
The current death rate from this coronavirus is about 2.2%. If the side-effects or adverse events are realized at some higher percent then each person will have to determine their acceptable risk and make their decision accordingly. Since this virus is proving to do well in hot or cold weather, it may be that only until everyone either contracts the virus, or receives the vaccine, will the pandemic then subside. My understanding of pandemics from history says this probably won’t happen until the end of next summer at the earliest.