Like most of us, you are probably longing for a return to normal.
Getting everybody vaccinated is supposed to be the way back, but the official word is "not yet," even if you have gotten your shot. Continue wearing your mask and keeping your distance.
The Biden administration has announced a $1.5 billion taxpayer-funded advertising campaign – for a product that is free to the user because it was already bought and paid for by the taxpayer. The reason is "vaccine hesitancy" – some people don't want the shots, including up to half of medical workers. And there is a push to require a "green pass" like in Israel – proof of vaccination, at first to take an international flight, later to work, shop, go to a concert, etc.
There are a few facts that you should know before getting in line:
- The products are not FDA approved. They have an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). By law, such products cannot be mandatory, and you should have to sign a detailed informed consent before receiving it.
- The products are not vaccines in the usual sense – the dictionary definition had to be changed to call them that. They are experimental biologic agents, a form of gene therapy.
- Public health authorities state that none of the 1,637 post-vaccine deaths reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) as of March 8 are provably caused by a COVID vaccine. But the deaths cluster in the first few days (see graphic below) instead of being evenly distributed, and the rate is many times higher than for other vaccines.
- It is too soon to evaluate long-term adverse effects, such as autoimmune diseases, cancer, birth defects, impairment of fertility, or antibody-enhanced disease from later virus infection.
- Deaths in the vaccinated population may be higher than if they had gotten the disease. Analysts in Israel calculate that in the five-week mass immunization period, 40 times more elderly people and 260 times more younger people died than the disease would have killed during that period.
- In German nursing homes there were many times more deaths in the two months after the vaccination campaign started than in the entire prior year (see graphic).
- Manufacturers are immune from product liability. Argentina and Brazil haven't gotten Pfizer product because they have so far declined to pledge sovereign assets such as military bases to indemnify Pfizer in the event of harm.
At this point, there are many questions and many unknowns. For further information see:
- Patients' Guide to Home-based COVID Treatment
- U.S. Pandemic Response, spring 2021
- Protective measures, Doctors for Disaster Preparedness Newsletter, September 2020