Who do we believe and what risks are we willing to take?
COVID-19 has unhinged our lives in countless ways.
To some relief is a vaccine. Millions await it with impatience, anxious to put the virus behind them.
Others are refusing the vaccine.
The middle ground is holding off, waiting to see how others are affected.
For those who trust and follow the healthcare system’s directives it is an obvious choice.
“I can’t wait until it’s available to me, because I trust the science and I’d rather take the slim risk of an adverse reaction to that of taking a much bigger risk of deadly complications that may occur if I get COVID-19,” said one person on a local social media survey.
This outlook prevails among those who are on board with the vaccine. For others it is not that easy.
Concerned about serious irreversible side effects fueled by bad experiences and mistrust of a system that misled them on several occasions, they wish to abstain.
“Nope, not enough info or testing done yet for me. I’m not a lab rat and my son isn’t either. Let me add that a couple of years back we both got the flu shot. A day later we were sickest we’ve ever been in our lives. We’ll never get another flu shot,” said one online objector.
“Absolutely not! It is not even FDA approved. My family and I are not government experiments,” said another.
Others expressed concern that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved either of the two vaccines now available in North America. According to the FDA website, both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have only been authorized for emergency use.
Three others are awaiting emergency authorization.
There is a lot of uncertainty as to how long the immunity lasts and if an immunized person can still spread the virus.
Everyone wants immunity. How to achieve it in a safe and effective way is the question.
The fly in the ointment for some is fear of serious delayed, long term or permanent side effects.
According to Dr. Sandeep Soni, infectious disease specialist for Palomar Hospital, speaking on the KOTC North County Roundtable, the side effects are minimal. At the time of the interview over 90% of physicians and 70% of all nurses and doctors combined had been vaccinated at Palomar.
Side effects observed were soreness at the injection site much like after a tetanus shot, chills, fatigue, muscle pain and fevers that can go as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit that will last 48 hours at the most. In some cases there was a rash.
In his interview, Soni said there was one case of Bell’s Palsy which is a neurological condition that weakens facial muscles making one side of the face droop. There was some uncertainty as to whether it was vaccine related. The medical staff was monitoring this one individual.
These are short term side effects.
The dynamics of the disease and the vaccine program are constantly evolving.
Some traditional and holistic doctors fear long-term problems.
They base it in part on reports found on the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is a United States program for vaccine safety. The database is co-managed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA.
VAERS collects information about possible harmful side effects that occur after administration of vaccines to ascertain whether the risk–benefit ratio is high enough to justify continued use of any particular vaccine.
Holistic practitioners have treated children and adults who have suffered significant damage directly after one or more vaccines.
Andrew Wakefield, a scientist, medical doctor and advocate for parents who claim their children were damaged or died as the result of vaccines, worries about long-term irreversible impairments.
He is part of a chorus of doctors and scientists claiming that COVID-19 mRna vaccine is not a vaccine but “gene therapy” and comes with a lot of risk.
According to him the gene manipulation process in Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines elicit an autoimmune response with possible future unknown consequences.
“Genetic engineering has never been tested in human beings before. If it causes problems years down after giving it to billions of people, it is too late. You can’t stop it. You can’t reverse it. It is like Jurassic Park about to escape the island,” said Wakefield in an online interview.
According to Wakefield, when scientists tried genetic engineering, changing one gene they found a domino effect on other genes They had to abandon that kind of project because they did not expect such a complex cascade of cellular events ending in alarming results.
Dr. Jim Schultz, MD, chief medical officer of neighborhood healthcare in Escondido and past president of the San Diego County Medical Society, believes the vaccine is safe and urges everyone to get it.
“The messenger RNA vaccine is very simple, elegant and super safe,” he said. “It will immediately save hundreds of thousands of lives.” He dismisses the concerns that it will alter DNA or have risky cellular ramifications. According to Schultz, the process stimulates and stores cell memory of the virus which, when encountered, sets up an immune defense protecting a person from COIVD -19 without any negative side effects and without any harmful genetic mutations. His views are shared by much of the mainstream healthcare community.
The Defender, Children’s Health Defense News and Views lists hundreds of deaths throughout the world allegedly linked to the vaccine and thousands of serious and life threatening or life altering adverse reactions.
Two cases in particular have drawn a lot of interest, namely the death of Dr. Gregory Michael, a Miami obstetrician and enthusiastic COVID-19 vaccine supporter, and Hank Aaron, beloved sports hero. Both died after having received the vaccine. The circumstances of Aaron’s death are yet to be determined.
Michael died of a hemorrhagic stroke after receiving the Pfizer vaccine.
In the Defender article, his wife said she is convinced that it is linked to the vaccine, claiming he was physically healthy, rarely drank alcohol, did not smoke, exercised regularly and was physically fit with no known comorbidities.
Pfizer dismissed the allegation, reasoning, “There has been no recorded safety signals identified in trials from vaccinations so far.”
Dr. Jerry Spivak, a blood disorder expert at Johns Hopkins University was quoted in the New York Times as saying there is medical certainty that the vaccine was related to the stroke.
The Defender article argues that Pfizer would not have likely seen this side effect during under-enrolled clinical trials that were fast tracked and rushed to market.
According to their findings, this type of reaction, although rare, does occur and is consistently reported with several other traditional vaccines.
There is speculation as to why?
Dr. Raymond Rickards of Rickards Precision Chiropractic and Wellness and author of “Sick Dad, Healthy Son”speculates that it may be a case of injecting foreign substances into the blood stream.
Typically, according to him, viruses enter through the nose and mouth where the immune system amounts a normal line of defense. Bypassing that process by an injection may confuse the immune system.
In a research paper written by Doctors Yuichiro J Suzuki and Sergiy G Gychka, the authors concluded that the spike protein in the vaccine might trigger “cell signaling events” that can promote a life-threatening disease called Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.
“This protein may also affect the cells of systemic and coronary vasculatures, eliciting other cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease, systemic hypertension, and stroke,” they wrote, suggesting further study.
Michael’s death from a hemorrhagic stroke does give pause to this argument.
Wakefield and others maintain that there is so much to understand about the complexity of the body and immune system and how it operates. They believe that too many steps including thorough long-term testing have been left out in devising the mRna vaccine. In their view this is terribly risky given all that could go wrong down the line.
Wakefield, a gastroenterologist found a correlation between the gut also known as the micro biome, the immune system and the nervous system. Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, MIT PHD in biological Engineering and expert in precision and personalized medicine concurs.
Ayyadurai, invited to speak at the Prestige Lecture National Science Foundation on his New Modern Theory of the Immune System, is pioneering an updated model of the immune system. He argues that vaccination programs are based on an outdated model established in 1915. He proposes a more holistic integrative and individualized approach toward immunization that takes into consideration the entire human being and their environment. His proposed model suggests a better outcome minimizing negative side effects.
Ayyadurai has designed vitamin protocols for COVID-19 that he maintains are sufficient and avoid the risks associated with the vaccine.
Escondido chiropractor, Dr. Angela Aberg, DC has been in practice for over 30 years. She has made it her mission to investigate vaccine safety. She quotes numerous scientific studies relating to vaccine damage and recalls.
Along with many of her colleagues, Aberg maintains that strengthening the immune system with a healthy lifestyle and regular chiropractic adjustments are essential.
According to Aberg, stress restricts immune function. Regular adjustments reduce stress on the nervous system, which in turn enhances immune function.
Schultz believes a healthy lifestyle helps but is not enough. He doubts whether most people can afford or are able to maintain a beneficial health regime, especially when constrained by economics.
Most insurance plans do not cover holistic care. This also creates an economic burden to adopting alternative healthcare.
Schultz sees that with some diseases such as COVID-19 the only defense is a vaccine. COVID-19 is a “novel” virus which means it is new to our immune system, requiring assistance.
Another doctor who did not want to be quoted explained that we all carry hundreds of viruses within us. It is through exposure to the virus that we build immunity.
“We live under an illusion that we can have a protective bubble around us that the virus can’t get through,” she said. “Viruses are part of the natural environment and like bacteria, they’re unavoidable.”
Vaccines essentially are a method based upon this concept of exposing people to the virus in a harmless way.
But viruses mutate and the constant rapid production of vaccines to keep up can be the challenge.
Doctors of Homeopathy have also rallied to determine specific homeopathic remedies best suited to combat this disease.
According to the North American Society of Homeopaths (NASH) homeopathy is a federally recognized form of medicine backed by thousands of research studies, papers and clinical trials. Homeopathic remedies enhance and harness the immune system’s power to heal. Somewhat aligned with Ayyadurai’s premise, homeopathy treats each person as an individual based on their unique reaction to any one disease.
“Homeopathy for COVID-19” is an online article demonstrating how Homeopathy has proven to be effective during epidemics.
According to this article, in India, homeopathy is well known and practiced throughout by medical doctors. In the province of Kerala, 4.5 million people have been given a homeopathic remedy as a prophylaxis against COVID-19; reporting that out of a population of 35 million only 19 deaths were reported as a result.
Dr. Cheryl Thompson, MD, regional Medical Director of Neighborhood Healthcare in Escondido and Dr. Schultz are alarmed by the serious impact this disease has had on human life.
Schultz recalls a young healthy woman contracting COVID-19. It left her with damaged kidneys to where she will now have to live with dialysis for the rest of her life.
Both doctors see the misery and suffering of people in their clinic that serves a low- income demographic. For them, the COVID-19 vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel.
When asked about the possible serious side effects Schultz responded that inevitably there will be side effects but that they are negligible and rare and are outweighed by the severity of the virus itself. Similar side effects in great numbers are something he would consider vaccine-related. But he does not see that. Based on his observations there is nothing to fear in getting the vaccine and everything to fear in not getting it. “This is a potentially deadly disease for which we have no known cure,” said Schultz.
He ascertains that this vaccine is a godsend.
When pressed to respond to those who resist the vaccine, Thompson related it to our desire to control outcomes in our lives.
According to her there are no guarantees in life, and we can only do the best we can with current knowledge.
Perhaps Nancy Endress, a retired pediatric nurse, was most eloquent when she said that ultimately it all comes down to risk assessment and faith.
“What and whom do you believe and what risk are you willing to take?” she said.
COVID vaccine: yes or no?
Who do we believe and what risks are we willing to take?