Tagged vaccine hesitancy
Dealing with the Vaccine Hesitant and Anti-Vaccers
There is now overwhelming evidence for the safety and effectiveness of the Covid vaccine, especially now that the FDA has given full approval to the Pfizer vaccine. Yet, there is still tremendous resistance to getting vaccinated, as evidenced by the 400 people that died of Covid in Los Angeles this past week. Almost 50% of our population is still not vaccinated. The immunologists tell us it takes 80% of the population to give us so-called “herd immunity.” Herd immunity is when the virus cannot find susceptible cells in which to replicate. This not only ends the pandemic but does not allow new strains to develop. Guess where the virus finds cells in which to replicate – the unvaccinated!
DNA is a curious chain of chemicals that is the basis for life. It is a double helix chain of a long sugar molecule (deoxy ribose) that has crossbars of nucleic acids, Adenine, Thymine, Guanine, and Cytosine. The double helix uncoils and it duplicates itself. Adenine attracts and bonds with Thymine and Guanine bonds with Cytosine. In theory, the identical chain is reproduced in that fashion. But mistakes happen such as Adenine attracts Cytosine and Guanine bonds with Thymine. Alternatively, a stray gamma ray or even UV light from the sun can knock off a nucleic acid radical. Each segment of DNA that carries a code is a gene. Now a new code has been created. The code transmits what protein is manufactured. Most of the mistakes wind up on the trash heap of useless or harmful changes that could even kill the organism which is a self eliminating mechanism to get rid of bad genes. But with trillions of possibilities, once in a while the new code is a genetic jewel that helps the the organism to survive better. “Survival of the fittest” then takes over and the new organism as a better survivor is mass-produced, making an organism, be it human or virus, a winner in the dice game of life. That new trait could make a human stronger and smarter or that virus can now avoid being killed by a vaccine. Mutations happen by the huge number of replications DNA is capable of making. 99% of our DNA is “junk” but that 1% holds the roadmap of what we are. We have 3,200,000,000 basepairs so that 1% is still a lot of codeable material. Current estimates place the human gene count to around 30,000 genes that actively direct what we are. When a coding error occurs, it could void one of our working genes but it could also bring a junk segment back to life.
There are thought to be 9000 different viruses that “live” among us. Some can only make two proteins, while others can make thousands of proteins. One of those proteins made by the Covid 19 virus can make your cells produce fluid that fills the lungs so that your body is deprived of oxygen and you drown. Our immune system is very good, and a whole host of cells in our body seeks out and kills many of those viruses, but not all. Our system needs help, and that is what vaccines do. They give our defensive cells, the B-cells, and the T-cells, a blueprint of what parts of a virus are vulnerable and then make antibodies to destroy those cells.
Our knowledge of virology and immunology date back over 200 years and the science is very complex. I do trust the science because I have seen it work, and used it to treat many diseases that has given thousands of people the gift of extending their life. Few people turn their back on medical help especially when they are sick. Medicine is applied science and it has evolved over thousands of years, serving humanity well, pretty much most of the time. I do not believe that Anthony Fauci spent his lifetime becoming an expert in virology to force red-necks to get vaccinated. I do not believe that vaccines magnetize us or inject tiny microchips so the government can control us. I must admit I did test if a spoon would stick to my face. (See picture) I am afraid that a segment of humanity has defects in thinking that are just not correctable.
I do not think that we can force people to do things they do not want to do. We do live in a democratic society, and that does not allow us to force our ideas on others no matter how misguided we think they are. As Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that pop up now and then!” As bad as democracy is, it is still better than what the Taliban has in mind. China contained the Delta Virus variant in one month. It did take draconian methods, but they did it. You could get a shot in the arm. If you refused, you could take a shot in the head or similar draconian methods (I use a little literary license). Most people chose the arm. We must defend our form of government from all efforts to destroy it, even if it were a logical way to achieve a goal. The end does not justify the means. China is decidedly a poor role model. I am afraid if we want to preserve our form of life, it includes letting the anti-vaccers do as they want. But I do think there are ways we can influence many of them. All we need is 80% of the population vaccinated to get herd immunity. If you want things like a house, clothing, food, a car, a college education etc. you must find a means to pay for it or for them to accept you. You might have to prove your vaccination status! Private industry is also awakening to the need to protect their business, their bottom line, and their employees against unnecessary Covid infections. It has become eminently clear that vaccines do just that. As a consequence, vaccine passports are soon coming to your favorite movie theater, restaurant, and sporting event, regardless of what some self-appointed constitutional experts are claiming, especially since SCOTUS has already ruled on that – different virus but same issue – over 100 years ago in Jacobson v. Massachusetts (Google it). Any attempts to forge or otherwise bypass legitimate proof of vaccine has been handled very well in Hawaii by fines up to $5,000 and jail time for attempted forgery. Personal injury attorneys are also coming to realize that fortunes can be made from personal injury lawsuits claiming Covid infection due to negligence of a business or an individual, even if the vaccine magnetizes you, and allows forks, knives, and spoons to stick all over you, the most pitiful sight if you have ever seen it! Not to mention the law suites that could be generated from human impalements by knives that penetrate magnetized humans.
Vaccine Hesitancy -2.0
My previous essay was entitled Vaccine Hesitancy. I follow that essay with a similar title, Vaccine Hesitancy 2.0, because I think this is a very important issue that needs urgent attention. The fourth surge can be entirely laid at the feet of the unvaccinated, as it is only the unvaccinated that require hospitalization and are the ones that are dying. Folks, there is no one else to blame. I am puzzled by this new phenomenon, which in my half-century experience in medicine and surgery has never come up, except in a group of people called anti-vaccers, who refuse to vaccinate their children for a variety of reasons, religion, fear of autism, and just general kookiness. But to see almost half the population fear vaccination is a new phenomenon. I have heard some pretty screwball reasons for not getting vaccinated. For instance I don’t want to become sterile, or they inject microchips into you so they can control you, or Bill Gates and Anthony Fauci created the virus so they could profit from the sale of vaccines. These are among many more crazy conspiracy theories that are just off the wall. Two main demographics are afraid to get vaccinated, white Republican males and people of color. There are not many characteristics linking these two diverse groups. But both have a deep-rooted distrust of big government. I think it is that issue that fuels most of the fear of vaccination.
Past vaccinations have mostly come from medical research and have been promoted by the medical profession. This is the first time that the government has been the agency that has promoted vaccination. I have given a lot of vaccinations over the last half-century and have not seen any serious consequences. I realize that bad things can happen, but they are extremely rare, like one in a million. The purpose of vaccination is to eliminate the much more serious consequence of the diseases that they are designed to fight. Those diseases have a mortality of a lot higher than one in a million.
When I was drafted into the military during the Vietnam conflict, I was the physician in charge of the vaccination program at my Base. I did not give the shots. My nurses did that, even though most of them outranked me. I was just a Captain then, and many of them had been in the military much longer and were Majors or higher, but I was professionally higher in rank. As soon as the FDA fully approves the Covid vaccines, the military will incorporate those vaccines in their mandated panel, as the danger of having the majority of the fighting force open to this plague is an untenable risk to national security. The matter is currently under consideration and it will soon be part of the military mandatory vaccinations against Covid-19 like the 25 other vaccines that are required.
- COVID-19 (corona virus)
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Japanese encephalitis
- Meningococcal meningitis
- Pneumococcal disease
- Tick-borne encephalitis
- Yellow Fever
- Covid-19 still voluntary at this point but not for long
But in two years and thousands of doses, I did not have one serious event, including getting mine. The worst was a couple of recruits who fainted. See above for the shortlist of vaccinations that could be given depending on the deployment of the soldier. Working in emergency rooms for more time than I care to admit, I shot a lot of DPT, and DT (Diphtheria +Pertussis+ Tetanus and Diphtheria+Tetanus) vaccine into people’s arms, along with a lot of MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) and Trivalent Polio Vaccine during my days as a General Practitioner, again not one significant reaction. But a lot of kids did not get Measles, Mumps, Rubella, or Polio, all of which have serious consequences, including death, and Rubella can cause horrible heart defects, brain abnormalities, diabetes, and deafness if a pregnant mother should get it. Until Jonas Salk came up with his Polio vaccine, a lot of people got “Infantile Paralysis,” which destroyed their lives! I remember the braces that some of my schoolmates had to wear so they could walk. The “Iron Lungs” on the Polio wards at LA Couty Hospital during my Internship were a sad testament to those that did not get vaccinated.
The Covid vaccines are very safe and statically more so than all the ones I used, which have a risk ratio of 1 to 1,000,000 of serious reactions. The Johnson and Johnson, the supposedly most dangerous of the Covid vaccines, has a death risk of 1 to 3,500,000, making it three and one-half times safer than what I dished out. People please get a grip! Think and look at the evidence! It is not rocket science! The anti-vacc rhetoric is changing. More and more radio and TV personalities are promoting getting vaccinated in their message. Even Phil Valentine, a well known conservative Radio personality who is seriously ill with Covid, is pleading with his audience to go get vaccinated! Add to that Mitch McConnell (Senate Minority Leader), Steve Scalise (Minority Whip), Sean Hannity, Steve Doocy (both Fox TV hosts), every physician member of Congress on both sides of the aisle, 17 in all, except for Rand Paul who has had Covid, Kamala Harris, Karim Abdul-Jabbar, Barack and Michelle Obama, Tyler Perry, Rupert Murdoch (conservative billionaire and owner of Fox), and many more.
All four million Federal employees must now be vaccinated or be tested twice a week and wear masks. 55 professional organizations produced a joint statement to demand all workers in health and long term care should be mandated to be vaccinated including: The American Academy of Family Practice (AAFP), the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American College of Pharmacy, American College of Physicians, American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association (AMA), American Nursing Association (ANA), American Pharmacists Association, American Psychiatric Association (APA), American Society of Hematology (ASH), Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), American Hospital Association (AHA), and more! All UC schools have just announced they will mandate vaccination and most colleges and universities across the country have done the same or are on the verge of mandating vaccinations. These are some of the smarter people we have on this planet. I leave it to you to decide what that makes you? If you do not believe our doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and academics, nothing I say will change your mind. I feel sorry for you, and “MAY GOD HELP YOU!”
Even Donald Trump and Melania got their vaccination, for God’s Sake!
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