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Over at Fresh Lens, we recently sat down with an immunologist to go over what the science says about vaccinations and the pandemic.
In this post, I want to summarize my personal thoughts on the subject, partly building on the conversation in that podcast.
I wanted to put together the most concise list I can of the ways in which Canada’s COVID policies are illogical. But first a word from my lawyer: “Hirad is not a doctor and does not play one on the internet. The material in this blog post is presented for informational and educational purposes only. Talk to your medical professional before making any medical decisions.”
Here we go:
Our goal should be driving toward a world where we can go back to living our lives, with COVID in the background, not disrupting things.
We’re trying to vaccinate as much of the population as possible, using shots that are known to be ineffective toward that goal. That’s not to say mRNA shots don’t work. They do… for a while. They’re not “vaccines” the way we’re used to understanding them. We hoped they were, but we know they’re not.
They’re shots. A mere 3–4 months after getting them, you’re just as likely to get the virus and pass it on as an unvaccinated person. Contrast this with vaccines we’ve used in the past, based on other technologies, where this number is measured in decades.
They do stop severe disease. It’s unclear for how long.
It’s also clear that additional shots have ever decreasing efficacy. Given the non-zero risk from the vaccines (more on that below), it’s a foolish strategy to keep giving people more and more of a potentially-harmful substance that will confer less and less protection, when the protection it does confer is so short-term.
Lack of acknowledgement of natural immunity
Natural immunity is much stronger and longer lasting than vaccine-induced immunity. Yet, we’re trying to force everyone to get vaccinated regardless of previous infection.
The risk from vaccines is non-zero. Forcing those with natural immunity to get the shots is undoubtedly an unethical policy that exposes the recoverees to unnecessary harm with no or little upside.
Lack of risk stratification
The risk from this virus grows exponentially with age. Children are basically immune (yes, there are always exceptions, like anything else).
So what’s the rationale for giving children a drug that has only been authorized for emergency use for a disease that they’re not at risk of and where the drug does not stop them from catching and trasmitting it?
I’ve yet to see an explanation of this.
Pretense of safety
Given that we’re in a global pandemic, we should throw whatever we can at the problem – if it solves the problem. With the mRNA vaccines, we now know it doesn’t solve the problem, it merely kicks the can down the road.
We’ve never used this technology in the past. We don’t understand its long term impact. Millions of people got the Moderna jab before multiple jurisdictions decided to stop using it because of risks of various heart inflammation conditions.
So is it unreasonable if some people are hesitant, specially given that the immunity conferred is temporary and said hesitant individual may determine that their risk from the virus is not so high?
Then we come back to the question of transmission: “but the virus is infectious and this individual can get others sick”.
I repeat: These shots reduce infection and transmission only moderately and very temporarily. What exactly are we gaining here by this infringement on bodily autonomy? What is the social good conferred? The promise of one is not supported by the evidence.
Population level risk
In addition to the risk that an individual may suffer, I am concerned about the long term impact of these shots at a societal level. Unlike traditional vaccines, which train the immune system to recognize the entirety of a virus, mRNA shots train it on one small segment, the “spike protein”.
It’s only a matter of time before mutations in this small area lead to a variant that can escape immunity. It seems this may have happened with Omicron, and it was entirely predictable. (This is another reason why natural immunity is superior).
We’d be lucky if such a variant also comes with milder severity. Otherwise, our mRNA shots are only prolonging the pandemic.
I can hear the protests: “but what will you have us do in the midst of this pandemic!?”
First, do no harm.
As Dr. Kalyan said, diversify the portfolio of responses. We need a traditional vaccine – a whole inactivated virus. It’s being worked on and we need to accelerate it.
Focus vaccination on those in high-risk age groups and those with co-morbidities.
Let children (and those at low risk) get COVID. They’ll have much better immunity, possibly for the rest of their lives.
Increase the god damn hospital capacities. Instead of spending money on vaccinating children, pay to attract more doctors and nurses and build more facilities. The reason why we need to work so hard to “flatten the curve” is because our hospital system never had any slack to begin with. We’ll have future waves of COVID and probably other natural disasters. Let’s make sure we have a couple of extra beds.