Random Thoughts – Randocity!

Should I get vaccinated for COVID-19?

Posted in advice, COVID-19, virus by commorancy on December 10, 2020

This is a very good question, but the answer may not be as simple as you think. Let’s explore.

COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 is clearly the news of the year. It is a virus with an approximate 6% mortality rate for at-risk individuals. What that means is that for every 100 people infected, around 6 people will die from contracting it. That’s a 94% survival rate. While 6% seems low, it’s high when considering the number of people infected so far. By comparison, let’s consider that the Flu’s mortality rate is about 0.1 percent. To see one death to Influenza would take 1000 infections.

Let’s consider that there are around 330 million people in the United States. We’ll go with this number for calculations, but the population of the United States may now be closer to 350 million people as of 2020. Let’s consider that 2% of 330 million is 6.6 million deaths and 6% is 19.8 million deaths. If the range of mortality swings from 2% to 6%, that’s somewhere more than 6 million and less than 20 million dead due to COVID-19 if the majority of the United States population becomes infected. That’s a lot of dead people… way more than from Influenza and colds combined.

COVID-19 was identified by China on December 31st, 2019 to the World Health Organization. However, the virus may have been in circulation as early as mid-November 2019. This means that the virus could have been circulating the globe since late November 2019.

Statistics

As of this article, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of nearly 290,000 people in the United States. Compared against the reported number of infections of 15.5 million, that’s an approximate 1.9% mortality rate. That may seem lower than the 6% high, but that’s partly because hospitals have had time to reduce the mortality rate under their care. It’s also that during the summer into fall, those who tested positive were younger adults whose survival rate is much higher than older adults and those at risk.

Unfortunately, the Spring statistics when the virus first appeared showed the mortality rate much closer to that 6% number than it is today. There are many reasons for this change, but suffice it to say that survival of the virus isn’t going up specifically. It’s that the age (and survival rate) of those infected during the summer have skewed the numbers of dead in a lower direction. Though, medical workers have also had some time to help work through better treatment options which may have had some impact on survival in some cases, including the use of Remdesivir. The only way to know the true mortality rate is for the virus to spread through the entire population of the U.S. before we can really know the survivability statistics.

Vaccination

One other way to alter the survivability is by developing a vaccine that can help our susceptible and fragile human bodies build up immunity to this virus before exposure. To that end, pharmaceutical companies are hard at work fast tracking human vaccines that have been tested (albeit with limited trials) for their effectiveness.

Unfortunately, fast tracking a drug through the United States system is fraught with peril. Most drugs go through years of many clinical trials and FDA approval processes before being allowed to be sold within the United States. This is the way the FDA works. Years of clinical trials ensures that each drug’s side effects are mostly documented and known. Fast tracking a vaccine through the system means that while the efficacy of the drug may be somewhat proven, the long term side effects have not at all been tested. Long term testing of side effects cannot happen when a drug maker has a few months to formulate a product and a few weeks to test it.

Side Effects

What all of this means is that these vaccines may have unintended side effects that could appear weeks, months or even years later. In fact, these long term effects could lead to cancer or any number of other deadly diseases or medical conditions. These vaccines are simply untested and unknown how far or deep these unintended side effects may go.

Sure, it’s great that a rushed vaccine may (or may not) produce an immunity to COVID-19 (we’ll come to this point in another section below), but at the cost of what future medical reality? Do you really want to be the first to jump out of a sinking boat into another sinking boat simply because it looks like it isn’t?

This isn’t saying the COVID-19 vaccines aren’t effective. They may very well be. But, we also don’t know what else may come to those who cannot wait. If you take the vaccine and then a month later develop a nerve disorder, then what? The damage has already been done. You can’t un-vaccinate yourself. Once you take the vaccine, it’s a done deal. The cards fall where they may. If that means that you become debilitated by a separate disease, then you’re stuck with that choice for the rest of your life.

Waiting Game

What I’m stating is that this is a game of wait and see. What I mean is that we’ve waited this long for a vaccine, we can wait a little longer. Being the first person to have that needle stuck in your arm may mean future health problems. We simply don’t know what’s in store with this vaccine.

What I’m advocating is waiting to see how the early adopters fare. Let them be the guinea pigs to inject themselves. Let those early adopters jeopardize their health first. When you’re buying an Apple product, the 1.0 version is always literally the worst version to buy. It’s never ready to go day one. The same exists for this vaccine.

Can it get worse?

After all of the above, it can still get worse. Considering that the vaccines for COVID-19 currently being formulated are explicitly designed to trigger an immune system response, there’s always a danger. First, it could trigger the wrong response in the body. The below documentary describes a clinical trial for an immuno-mucking drug which ultimately led to a Cytokine Storm in almost every trial participant, which in-turn nearly killed every participant in the trial. If the trial had been performed in any place other than in a very large hospital under hospital auspices, the trial may have been lethal.

Second, consider that when taking this vaccine, you’re likely to leave that medical facility the very same day without any further monitoring. You’re going to head home or back to work or out shopping immediately. If your body spirals into a cytokine storm half an hour after taking the vaccine, it could be fatal before you ever reach a hospital. You won’t be at a hospital for them to notice and treat you. Even then, hospital staff aren’t likely to determine that it’s a cytokine storm reaction. Instead, they’re likely to admit you under the guise of COVID-19 and then treat you as if you have COVID-19… that even assumes that with the overcrowding of hospitals to COVID-19, that you can even be admitted and treated. If the hospital misdiagnoses the cytokine storm, it could be fatal. Even respected journals have published theories discussing cytokine storms as a possible outcome from a COVID-19 infection. In fact, it is supposed that many of the deaths from COVID-19 may, in fact, be because of a cytokine storm.

If an adverse reaction occurs after taking a COVID-19 vaccine, the hospitals may not have any beds to treat you. Yet a third reason why it may not be a great idea to take the vaccine during this hospital overcrowding situation. Considering the unknowns surrounding these vaccines, it may be medically wise to consider all options, including waiting to take the vaccine until a time when hospitals are far less crowded.

You don’t want to be first in-line and then end up in the hospital hours later clinging to life because your body’s immune response has overreacted to the vaccine and your organs are shutting down.

Realities, Theories and Promises

It’s always wise to consider all options before you jump into anything that requires poking a needle into your arm. Anything that is something you haven’t taken before is always a risk. These vaccines are particularly at risk because not only were they rushed to market, not only were they not fully clinically trialed, not only does this vaccine muck with immune system responses, not only does it claim efficacy, it may not even work as promised and may have unknown side effects.

The theories surrounding the method of action for these vaccines is that these vaccines are designed to elicit the same immuno-response as COVID-19 in the body. That’s the theory (and the promise). If the formulations are off, if the quality control is suspect, if the manufacturer can’t replicate the vaccine properly, if the vaccine is improperly stored, it can lead to all sorts of complications. This is the reason it’s important to consider all options before being stuck with a needle.

You don’t want to find out that your body rejects the vaccine and now you’re in a life or death struggle. But, that’s an immediate response. What about long term responses? We simply don’t know what those are. The vaccine companies and doctors are espousing exactly how “safe” these vaccines are, but they’re speaking out of turn. In reality, they have no idea how safe or effective these vaccines actually are.

Even if the best case is that the vaccine does exactly what it claims (and there’s a chance it won’t on at least some percentage of the population), it may turn out that the vaccine’s effects only lasts for 3 or 4 months. That’s effectively the same as wearing SPF in the sun where you have to reapply it every 30 minutes. Yes, SPF works, but at the cost of constantly reapplying it. Same for this vaccine. Unless a vaccine lasts for years, it’s not really a vaccine. It’s a drug. If you’re required to re-administer this “drug” every 2 months, that’s not really a useful product. Worse, you’ll end up exposing yourself to this drug every 2 months which increases the risk of short and long term side effects with each dose.

We simply don’t know how long this “vaccine” lasts. Taking this shot every 60 days is really not an option. I’m sure the pharmaceutical companies would love this for money making purposes, but heading to the doctor’s office for constant shots is not an option.

As a result of the rapid testing, there’s no way to know just how long the antibodies will last in the body. We could also find that in just a few months, a new strain of COVID-19 has taken hold, invalidating this “vaccine”. It’s impossible to know much about the effectiveness of this vaccine.

Risks vs Reward

Yet, CNN and other so-called “health correspondents” vigorously advocate the use of the vaccine and completely downplay all of the above concerns.

The risk with this vaccine is that it does nothing to stem the tide of COVID-19 deaths. That taking it was all for naught. We can certainly go through the charade of an ineffective vaccine, but what may come out of it is, at best, little. At worst, even more death.

We have to weigh which is more problematic, COVID-19 or the vaccine itself. I’m sure the pharmaceutical companies have formulated this vaccine with the best of intentions. We know how that proverb goes…

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

that and Murphy’s Law

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong

Rushing to produce anything medical is fraught with unknown consequences. It is these exact unknown consequences that may very well lead us down the road to hell.

Way Down The List?

If you’re way down the list of vaccine recipients, consider yourself lucky. Those who are most at risk will be the ones who will test both Murphy’s Law and this proverb. The difficulty is that it is the front line medical workers and those most at risk earmarked for the first batches of the vaccine.

If the vaccine has consequences which are as yet unknown, complications for our front line workers could turn our hospital systems into ghost towns. If even 10% of the medical workers die as a result of unknown consequences from being vaccinated, that will leave our hospital systems unable to cope with the the mounting COVID-19 illnesses, let alone those who are ill strictly from the vaccines (see next section for more details).

These vaccines are very much an unknown risk. COVID-19 is a risk, but it is known. Which risk is better? I’ll have to let you decide. If you feel the risks of taking the vaccine are being overinflated here, then by all means go have a poke. If you’re cautious about your own body, then you may want to wait until others have jabbed themselves first. Never in the history of never has a vaccine been produced this rapidly. We just can’t know what we don’t know. Only after a first batch of vaccines have been widely disseminated and administered with few ill effects will I personally feel more confident about these vaccine risks.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the vaccine’s efficacy will fare as well as its safety record, however. The vaccine might prove to be safe and not at all risky, but how well (or long) that it is able to fend off COVID-19 has not yet been determined. For the efficacy, we will have to wait at least several months to determine.

Front Line Medical Workers and Vaccination

[Updated: 12/16/2020] Here’s a point that’s highly concerning and I thought needed more detailed discussion. Since the powers that be have decided that the front line medical workers will be the first in line to get the Pfizer vaccine, this could set the United States up for a huge future medical system failure. I can’t sugar coat this next part at all. Should an unknown medical condition rear its ugly head a month after these vaccines have been administered and incapacitate or kill many of these front line medical workers, that could leave our hospitals in a huge problematic state. As I said above, even a 10% reduction in the front line medical workers could devastate our hospital system so much so that they can no longer function.

It’s not like medical schools are ready to graduate 10% more medical students into the system who are “ready to go”. If such a problem grows way beyond 10%, then it’ll become an epic disaster. Any unforeseen problem with these vaccines could quite literally decapitate our hospital system leaving not only a disaster in this vaccine, but thousands of people without the medical care they need just as COVID-19 is ramping up to be the worst medical disaster in recent history.

Basically, if we think COVID-19 is bad now, such a vaccine failure could decimate the United States’s ability to medically handle this escalating pandemic. With such a vaccine failure, it’ll be almost impossible to foresee how much worse it will get with the loss of 10% of our front line medical workers. Let’s not even discuss the devastating blow to investors that will be laid bare on Wall Street. Considering that politicians also want to be first in line, such a vaccine failure could devastate our election and Capital Hill.

Note that the above is not intended to predict anything. In fact, these are suppositions… what if scenarios. We may find that the vaccine is perfectly safe and entirely efficacious. However, considering how rushed-to-market these vaccines are, such a vaccine failure is not at all out of the realm of possibility. In fact, simply because this failure possibility exists, I have to grit my teeth every time I see some random medical doctor on CNN or Fox News or any other news program espousing just how safe and efficacious these vaccines allegedly are. Worse, these alleged “medical professionals” completely downplay the above possibility. Even news networks which have been extremely biased towards specific politicians have completely ignored this possibility.

If I had been in charge over who gets the first vaccine doses, I would not dose every front line medical professional. Instead, I would temper that decision by giving it only to a critically short list. Any hospital professionals who are not directly in contact with COVID-19 patients should wait until we know if the vaccine has any unforeseen consequences. Dosing every front line medical worker could accidentally leave not only hospitals in the lurch, but other critical front line industries severely short on staff, like pharmacies, grocery stores and other critical industry workers.

If we think COVID-19 is bad today, a vaccine failure could take COVID-19 to a whole new level of survival… way beyond the devastation that we presently face today.

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7 Responses

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  1. Bill said, on July 2, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    “Remember, though, the vaccine doesn’t prevent virus spread.”
    — I think it does help prevent the spread, though, of course, not 100% of the time:

    Mounting evidence suggests COVID vaccines do reduce transmission. How does this work? | Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

    Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccines Are Very Effective, Report Says – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
    “The new study, by researchers at the C.D.C., suggested that since infections were so rare, transmission was likely rare, too.”

    Like

    • commorancy said, on July 3, 2021 at 12:58 pm

      Let me start by saying that these ‘rarity’ statements by so-called professionals are mostly anecdotal, not actually studied… even though they claim that it is. Even then, studies can be skewed to show whatever outcome they want by limiting the test criteria. This is why it’s important to have multiple studies from independent sources. On the one hand, these so-called science professionals always dismiss anecdotal evidence when it pertains to things they don’t like.

      When it comes to the vaccines, however, they embrace this anecdotal evidence like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. I vehemently dislike this double-standard by so-called medical science experts.

      Let’s understand that “rare” could mean 1 in 2, 1 in 5, 1 in 1,000 or 1 in 1,000,000. There is no documentation determining exactly what ‘rare’ actually means. For this reason, trust around these statements should be scrutinized with intense skepticism.

      Worse, no one is objectively long-term studying or documenting just how “rare” these events actually are. They can claim rarity in statements, but until they have actual studied scientific proof documenting the actual rarity, it’s just rhetoric…. rhetoric (or propaganda) designed to get people to take the vaccine. This kind of propaganda undermines the usefulness of the vaccine itself and feeds into vaccine hesitancy. People are smart enough to see through all of this and understand this aspect of this rhetoric, but may not be able to put it into these exact words.

      This behooves scientific professionals to actually embark on studying exactly what “rare” really, provably means.

      This virus is easily and readily transmissible. We know this. Anyone who is infected and contagious can transmit it. You already admitted that the vaccine doesn’t prevent infection or contagion. Just how long the contagious period lasts is a matter of debate, again because it hasn’t been studied (vaccinated or unvaccinated).

      Worse, while statistics are still being posted by the CDC on COVID deaths, it doesn’t seem that these death statistics are yet including COVID deaths for those who have taken the vaccine… which is a questionable move. As a vaccine manufacturer, you would think the manufacturer would want to tout exactly how many COVID deaths are being reported of those people who have taken the vaccine. If the vaccine is as effective as medical professionals claim, then this should be reflected in the hospital death rates. Again, another vaccine selling point which is being ignored. Yet, this statistic should be easily determined.

      What about long term consequences? Again, unmentioned. Because the vaccine was trialed so quickly, there was no time to determine long term effects of the vaccine… like what might happen 5, 10 or 20 years from now. Does this vaccine increase the likelihood of certain types of cancers, heart, lung or brain conditions? We don’t know. It wasn’t studied.

      Effectively, this vaccine is being clinically trialed on the world’s population as I write this. With any other type of drug, this would be a strict no-no. With the COVID vaccine, these restrictions have been dropped in favor of releasing it as fast as possible, leaving the vaccine firmly in the territory of experimental drugs. We simply don’t know what we don’t know, but we’re learning slowly… such as heart inflammation, thrombosis, brain conditions, shortness of breath and even cytokine storm (which, if not caught early enough can result in death).

      Circling back around, the contagious period was never really even studied properly in unvaccinated people. How can these so-called professionals state rarity levels of the vaccinated when they don’t even have a baseline with someone who is unvaccinated?

      Sure, there’s a lot of misinformation around the vaccines out there, but some of that misinformation is coming directly from the so-called professionals and even the CDC itself…. simply to push the “get vaccinated” agenda.

      I’m not saying that vaccines don’t prevent severe symptoms. What I am saying is that other than that specific positive benefit, everything else around transmission rates is entirely speculative…. speculative in a way as to be actually pointless and require an abundance of caution. We won’t really know exactly how speculative it is until we reach November, when the case rates, again, increase dramatically… regardless of those who are vaccinated. Then, these so-called professionals will be scratching their heads while the hospitals are again filling up. At that point, then what? Close down the economy again, try to push more vaccines… *shrug*?

      If the vaccines begin to fail at what they were intended to succeed at doing, where are we? We have no contingency plan. Oh, and all of this ‘rarity’ propaganda is strictly to placate the state governors to allow them to lift mask mandates, open up their economies in full and pretend as if COVID never happened.

      Thanks for your comment, Bill.

      Like

    • commorancy said, on July 3, 2021 at 1:59 pm

      I’ll write this comment up separately for this quote “since infections were so rare, transmission was likely rare, too”.

      This statement is anecdotal evidence. The CDC postulates via extrapolation that “because infections are rare, that transmission is equally as rare.” It also means that the CDC studied infections, not transmission rates.

      The difficulty with this statement’s logic is that it’s impossible to actually make this statement. Let’s understand the mechanism of infection for a virus. It first begins propagating in the nasal cavities and throat. Once it begins propagating and once it reaches a critical mass, that’s when contagion begins and only then will the immune system wake up. However, the person may not yet be considered ‘infected’ and the immune system may yet have taken any action.

      Just to be clear, the period from the time the person acquires the virus to the time the person begins showing symptoms is called the ‘incubation period’. This period for COVID has been documented to range from 2 to 14 days. For those who have taken the vaccine, this incubation period isn’t likely to be significantly reduced. Meaning, there is likely to be a period of time between 2 and 14 days where the person remains symptom free and may very well be contagious.

      Infection is when a person begins showing symptoms. Because COVID-19 has a very long symptom free period, contagion could last for days with the host unaware while the immune system ignores it. This means that the immune response might not actually begin tackling the virus even while the nasal passages are expelling virus into the environment. A cough or sneeze might expel the virus. However, once the immune system wakes up to the invader, it will be able to tackle it in short order due to the vaccine having taught the immune system about this invader. Once the immune system begins its attack, the virus will be under control fairly quickly, but probably not any quicker than 24 hours. This means the person could remain fully contagious up to when the immune system begins its assault and at least partially contagious up to 24 hours after that.

      This all means is that the virus may be fully transmissible during the symptom free period, up to a point where the person might notice a runny nose or an itchy throat. After about 24 hours, the person might begin feeling much better, which means the immune system is clearing out the virus and at that point, the person might be partially or no longer contagious.

      The body’s immune system doesn’t work lightning fast. It takes a while for the immune system to go to work and get its work done. This is why it takes several days to feel better once a cold or flu begins to subside. It is this slow ramping of the immune system that can leave a person contagious until the immune system has had enough time to kill the virus load enough to halt contagion.

      Like

      • Bill said, on July 7, 2021 at 8:37 pm

        You stated that the COVID vaccine does not prevent the spread of the virus as though that were a fact. What is the proof of that? You are speculating about why the vaccine might not reduce transmission, but that does not make it a fact. There is certainly some evidence that the vaccine does reduce transmission, though it is beyond my paygrade to say whether it is strong enough for it to be considered proven.

        “while statistics are still being posted by the CDC on COVID deaths, it doesn’t seem that these death statistics are yet including COVID deaths ”

        I thought the plan was for them to switch to tracking only hospitalizations and deaths when it came to breakthrough cases–is that not why they are doing? (personally, I think they should continue tracking all cases).

        CDC:
        “As of May 1, 2021, CDC transitioned from monitoring all reported vaccine breakthrough cases to focus on identifying and investigating only hospitalized or fatal cases due to any cause. This shift will help maximize the quality of the data collected on cases of greatest clinical and public health importance.”
        https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/health-departments/breakthrough-cases.html

        Like

        • commorancy said, on July 11, 2021 at 4:48 am

          Hi Bill,

          Little is fact with the vaccines… yet. And that’s most of the problem with the vaccines. The testing period was so limited that there was no way to establish all treatment avenues available for the vaccine’s efficacy. In other words, there wasn’t enough research time to determine exactly what it treats and what it doesn’t treat… other than the very specific and limited criteria examined during the clinical trials.

          However, the vaccine wasn’t designed (keyword) to prevent transmission. That wasn’t a primary design goal of the vaccine. Its primary design goal was to teach the body’s immune system how to combat the virus once infected, thus hopefully reducing the symptoms to a less lethal, more tolerable level. That was the vaccine’s primary design goal… to save lives. That’s how messenger RNA vaccines work.

          With that goal in mind, that logically means the person must become infected for the immune system to begin its attack on the virus. Because there’s always (yes, ALWAYS) a lag from the time the virus infects the host to the time the immune system begins its attack, logically that lag time establishes the contagious period. It’s called the incubation period of the virus and that this incubation period exists for viruses IS a fact.

          Here’s an infographic that may help you understand this better:

          How long that contagious period lasts and how much virus is expelled during the contagious period for someone who has been vaccinated has not been established. There is no ‘fact’ at this juncture because there have been no tests to even determine this fact, one way or another. However, having no data doesn’t mean that it’s not a problem.

          Saying that the vaccine prevents transmission is more reckless than saying that it doesn’t. Were medical scientists to state that it can’t prevent transmission, we can take the necessary precautions. Saying that the vaccine does prevent transmission when this information has not been determined sets society up for more danger, not less. Such statements are reckless and dangerous, particularly when no studies have been specifically made determining transmission levels of those vaccinated during the incubation period.

          As for breakthrough cases, these happen for a different reason, but yes, these can also be a source of transmission. Breakthrough cases have to do with the virus working around the vaccination protection. It is uncertain why or how this virus is able to ‘break through’ the protection in these cases, which can lead to more severe illness. However, the fact that breakthrough cases even exist is worrisome, but not for the same reasons as how transmittable the virus is for anyone who is vaccinated and infected.

          Like

          • commorancy said, on July 11, 2021 at 6:56 am

            With all of the above said, herein lies the rub in all of this. Vaccinated people are more likely to go out without masks and to ignore social distancing because they have been told by the CDC that it’s safe to do so. Considering that the incubation period still exists, that a contagious / infectious period likely also exists in the vaccinated and because the virus symptoms may be drastically reduced or, in some cases, eliminated by the vaccine, dropping all of the precautions puts everyone at risk… yes, even the vaccinated. Dropping the precautions also encourages virus transmission, risking the growth of a vaccine resistant variant/strain.

            Like

  2. commorancy said, on December 13, 2020 at 3:35 am

    As this article has predicted, we are just beginning to see some of the negative affects of the Pfizer’s vaccine. Here’s the first of them:

    https://www.pharmacist.com/article/two-uk-suffer-allergic-reaction-pfizers-covid-19-vaccine

    Apparently, Pfizer’s clinical trial excluded participants who had severe allergies. As a result, people with severe allergies may have a severe reaction to taking the COVID-19 vaccine. While the incidence is claimed to be “rare” and “low”, that may simply be a downplaying tactic. Be warned that if you have had severe reactions to bee stings or other insect bites, you may be in for a severe reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine.

    Worse, those “doctors” on CNN are still saying that even if you have had a severe reaction to medications in the past, you should still take COVID-19 and let the hospital sort out the reaction. Yeah, that’s a problem. If you typically carry an EpiPen, you should carry it with you if you decide to take the vaccine. This issue may be the first from rushing this “vaccine” to market, but I guarantee you that it won’t be the last.

    Like


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