To Vaccinate or not Vaccinate: That is the Question

To Vaccinate or not Vaccinate: That is the Question

Should I vaccinate against the current CoronaVirus (SARS CoV2)?  That is my most frequently asked question in the last few weeks.  It is easy for me to answer.  It may be difficult to hear.  Can we have a discussion or a critical look at m-RNA coronavirus vaccines dispassionately?  Without being labeled an anti-vaxxer?  Without the hype or invoking conspiracy theories.  That is the critical question.

I have often stated there is good science, there is bad science and there is science denial.  There is a lot of happy talk today from notable “authorities” or “experts.”

So let me give you some very critical bullet points.  After which you can decide for yourself.  Ideally, I would like you to make this decision based on the facts and not out of fear.  However, we know there is a concerted effort to convince you all that vaccination is not only medically necessary but a patriotic duty.  I see this as happy talk propaganda – newly formulated groupthink.

  • This is not a classic vaccine.  It is an entirely new technology.  They are injecting m-RNA fragments into your system whereby your cells are instructed to manufacture coronavirus antigenic spikes. Then your (intact) cellular immunity hopefully reacts by producing protective antibodies.  What could go wrong?
  • Operation Warp Speed is a Rush-to-Market biological without adequate phase 3 trials
  • This is the first product Moderna has ever produced.  They have no track record
  • All these “vaccines” are not FDA “approved.”  They are FDA “authorized” (EUA or Emergency Use Authorization).  They will eventually need to reapply to the FDA for final approval.  If you have ever asked whether a drug or nutritional is “FDA approved” then consider this.
  • Be concerned about the stability of the Pfizer vaccine distributed and stored at -70º and secondarily of the Moderna product.
  • There is a real concern being voiced about a delayed hyper-immune response. Anyone with an autoimmune condition beware.
  • The companies did not prove the vaccines competently prevent disease or death.  Only to mitigate symptoms.   Otherwise, why do they insist that you still wear a mask — even after vaccination?
  • The 95% effectiveness rate is bogus.   It is not 95%.  More statistical chicanery
  • No pandemic has ever been cured with a vaccine.   Only after the disease is endemic is it eventually “cured.”    i.e. smallpox
  • And just organizationally, how is this going to work?  They gave all of the pharmaceutical companies blanket immunity against all liability.  So they derive all the profits without any risk.  But they never set up the necessary infrastructure.  Large-scale vaccination centers, trained nurses, technicians, backup physicians for any “vaccine reactions.”  There was no command or implementation structure.
  • When we were kids we all eventually took the Sabin vaccine.  Not the Salk vaccine.  It was very simple.  Tiny pink sugar cubes.  We all marched in lines.  This is far more complex.

Now I think the most critical oft-quoted “fact” is 95% effectiveness.  I often emphasize the difference between relative and absolute risk reduction.  So let me quote from a BMJ opinion section in November 2020:

In the United States, all eyes are on Pfizer and Moderna. The top line efficacy results from their experimental covid-19 vaccine trials are astounding at first glance. Pfizer says it recorded 170 covid-19 cases (in 44,000 volunteers), with a remarkable split: 162 in the placebo group versus 8 in the vaccine group. Meanwhile Moderna says 95 of 30,000 volunteers in its ongoing trial got covid-19: 90 on placebo versus 5 receiving the vaccine, leading both companies to claim around 95% efficacy.

Let’s put this in perspective. First, a relative risk reduction is being reported, not absolute risk reduction, which appears to be less than 1%. Second, these results refer to the trials’ primary endpoint of covid-19 of essentially any severity, and importantly not the vaccine’s ability to save lives, nor the ability to prevent infection, nor the efficacy in important subgroups (e.g. frail elderly).

[my emphasis added]

Once again, this is a triumph of marketing, not science.

Even Stephane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna, has said the Coronavirus is never going away. It will remain endemic.   And it will mutate.

Mr. Bancel’s remark echoes warnings from public health officials and infectious disease experts that COVID-19 will become an endemic disease, according to CNBC. As Becker’s reported previously, an analysis published Jan. 12 in Science said that once COVID-19 becomes endemic, it may be no more virulent than the common cold.

Given all of the above, I find it quite disquieting that we are on the verge of mandating vaccination in all hospital personnel, nursing facilities, air travel and more.  While masking, social isolation and fitful lockdowns continue indefinitely.

So the answer to my initial question is do I recommend vaccination?  No.  I have written previously on the ineffectiveness of flu vaccination.  I do not recommend these vaccines at this time.  This is an individual choice to be taken only if you feel more reassured or comfortable.

Be filled with knowledge not fear.

 

Philip Lee Miller, MD

Carmel, California.

January 2021

 

 

10 thoughts on “To Vaccinate or not Vaccinate: That is the Question

  1. I’m going to be required to be vaccinated for work very soon. Do you still feel that the J&J vaccine is the best among the 3?

  2. This is the most highly undesirable effect of a mass vaccination program. To secure a “travel certificate.” Even worse, to continue working in a hospital or large corporate concern. Or to maintain your teaching credential. In the long-term, I do not consider this good public policy.

  3. Do not be swayed by public opinion, peer pressure or “effectiveness” rate. Make your own personal decision based on risk-benefit. Are you really at risk? All of these statistical analyses are flawed as I have carefully delineated in my blog. As I have noted here, I would lean toward the J&J vaccine for a number of reasons. A true vaccine. One time dose. Less stringent temperature storage and handling requirements. And a solid marketing partnership with Merck.

  4. As I say, this is a personal decision. This is hopefully based on a true understanding of risk-benefit. If I had to make one recommendation it would be the J&J vaccine. This is a true vaccine based on traditional biological concepts. It is a one time dose with very little limitation of temperature storage. Do not be swayed by “effectiveness” comparisons.

  5. Interesting that the motivation for people getting vaccinated is in many, many cases for sake of bureaucracy or as a means to an end e.g. being able to travel. Not so many people electing to be vaccinated for actual health. Bias sample on my behalf.

  6. Your recent email suggests you may feel more positively about the new J&J vaccine. But the reports are that this is even less effective than the other two. I expect to be pressured to get vaccinated for my job, which traditionally involves travel. In that case, is J&J the less risky of the three?

  7. Hey Dr. Miller, given that the J&J version is an actual vaccine and not mRNA based, do you think this is a better option at this point in time? Thanks!

  8. Thank you for your validation of my position NOT to get the experimental biological agent. The pressure from others to get it can be overwhelming and at times, causes me to question my conviction. I will continue to rise above it and hold onto the facts, the truths and march forward.

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