If the American Society of Nephrology put forth a consensus statement having to do with the kidneys (for sake of argument, maybe something like “people with diabetes or other risk developing chronic kidney disease should use ACE-inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers”) there would be people who for various reasons would oppose that statement. The vast majority of thinking people however would listen to the opinion of the kidney experts on how to take care of their kidneys.
If the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology put forth a consensus statementregarding prenatal care (for sake of argument, maybe something having to do with folic acid supplementation, or ultrasounds and amniocentesis and such - heaven knows this is not my specialty) who in their right mind would challenge their expertise?
And yet we live in an unprecedented time where anybody with access to the Internet is suddenly an expert in infectious disease, immunology and epidemiology and can shout down the consensus statement of ACTUAL *experts.
[Are you really going to follow the advice of individuals who took a six-month correspondence course in functional medicine and “treated” 15 healthy outpatients with common sense health maintenance advice (plus or minus frank malpractice involving Ivermectin) proclaiming themselves as experts and “Frontline Doctors?” What about the intensivists who treat 15 critically ill patients on ventilators per day? What about every major academic medical institution in the U.S., including the Mayo, Stanford, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, you name it…?]
By now, everyone in America has heard the main arguments for getting vaccinated (against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID19). Basically they boil down to individual and community reasons:
- At an individual level, it’s far safer to be vaccinated than to catch COVID19.
- At the community level, herd immunity is the only way we’re going to be able to end the pandemic, AND protect the vulnerable.
This month I want to focus on the flipside; arguments against getting vaccinated. And in full disclosure, I intend to discredit those arguments.
Argument 1: “The vaccine isn’t safe.” (There are variations of this argument but basically it boils down to concerns about personal safety.)
It depends on your definition I suppose. SEATBELTS ARE NOT SAFE EITHER. There are hundreds or thousands of injuries per year caused by seatbelts, very well documented in the medical literature.
Argument 1a: (It was rushed and not properly tested.)
I’m not going to get into the process in 2020; really what it boils down to is trust in a system that has served us well for half a century or longer - trust in experts who are accountable, with levels of transparency in their work that are greater than any time in history owing to technology. Let’s just talk about 2021. By last month over 2 billion doses had already been given over a period of 6 months. There has never been a bigger test population, and we’ve had plenty of time now to discern any major concerns.
Argument 1b: (There are adverse events associated with receiving the vaccine.)
Yes that is true. But they are orders of magnitude more rare than adverse effects of contracting COVID19. And they are not statistically any different than any other vaccine in common use over the past few decades.
Argument 1c: There may be delayed hypersensitivity or autoimmune reactions elicited by the vaccine.
We see hypersensitivity and (presumed) autoimmune reactions all the time from natural viral infections including GUILLAIN-BARRÉ SYNDROME, CARDIOMYOPATHY, and many other life-threatening complications.
And as far as reactions to medications that have been sorely tested and clinical use for decades? You better believe it. Drug associated lupus for example comprises 6-12 % of all lupus cases.
Argument 1x: (Any number of conspiracy theories about its contents)
Let’s just focus on one fact here: the volume of the injection is between 0.3-0.5 mL depending on the manufacturer, same as any other vaccine basically. Or in other words, just about the same as an oral capsule or tablet.
Now, the average American takes 4 prescription drugs per day, and I’m going to guess on the conservative side 1 or 2 supplements (which by the way have not undergone clinical trials and rigorous FDA screening…)So let’s compare the volume of exposure to eachover 30 days:
over 30 days
Pills and supplements :
90mL over 30 days
Oh, one other thing; we’re talking maybe 1.5mL over a year with the vaccine. 1080mL for pills over that same time period. Think about that. Not to mention the amount of “food” we put in our bodies over that same time period that we have absolutely no idea where it came from or really what it contains.
Argument 2: “The vaccine isn’t effective.”
Bottom line is that the overwhelming global evidence is that the vaccine reduces the severity of infection. CDC data compiled from hospitals across fourteen states showed that the vast majority of hospitalizations and serious complications occur in those who have not been vaccinated (or who got the vaccine less than 2 weeks prior to admission.) Results from many countries are showing the exact same thing.
*Some of the American organizations advising that everyone be vaccinated:
American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
American Academy of Nursing
American Academy of Ophthalmology
American Academy of PAs (AAPA)
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
American Association of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
American Association of Clinical Endocrinology
American Association of Neuroscience Nurses
American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP)
American College of Physicians (ACP)
American College of Preventive Medicine
American College of Surgeons (ACS)
American Medical Association (AMA)
American Nursing Association (ANA)
American Pharmacist Association (APhA)
American Psychiatric Association (APA)
American Public Health Association (APHA)
American Society for Clinical Pathology
American Society for Hematology (ASH)
American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)
American Society of Nephrology
American Thoracic Society
Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
Association of Rehabilitation Nurses
Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)
National Association for Home Care & Hospice
National Association of Indian Nurses of America
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)
National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA)
National League for Nursing
National Medical Association
National Pharmaceutical Association (NPhA)
Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS)
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA)
Society of Hospital Medicine