Once and for all: Are the Covid-19 vaccines safe or unsafe? Effective or a temporary fix? Some underhanded conspiracy?
To summarize the view from here: I’ve put my name in for the Pfizer vaccine (when it’s available again; everyone is currently out of it), but I’m not sure I’m going to end up getting it.
That’s known as a cop-out.
It’s also known as a wait-and-see approach.
Frankly, the effects of covid — especially the chronic or “long-haul” ones — can be unnerving. There are folks who, months after initial infection — and after only slight symptoms — suddenly turn up in ICUs. Of these, according to one doctor who treats many covid patients, one in eight is a fatality.
It’s an insidious virus far more potent than flu that can attack the brain, heart, nervous system, and especially the lungs. Another doctor said those who get covid and have bad coughs often exhibit lungs as bad as or worse than those of a smoker — months after infection.
Everyone can quibble over how bad covid is. The vast majority of people survive it, some experiencing virtually nothing, or similar to a head cold. The death count in the U.S. is currently 406,000, out of a reported 24.5 million infected (726,000 in Canada). While that sounds daunting, it’s a death rate of one in sixty. (Look it up: that’s 1.666666666667 percent.)
And many deaths attributed to covid were caused, for the main part, by those underlying issues, particularly diabetes, heart problems, cancer, and kidney problems, with covid present at the time of death or making the conditions worse but not the lone actor.
That’s one perspective. On the other side are those who are fit and in fine health with no underlying conditions but are quickly zapped — among the fatalities. These are increasing.
One can quibble back and forth, but the bottom line is hospitalizations. Why are many hospitals full, if hardly anyone is succumbing to this? How many ICU beds are available in your area? (Find the answer here.)
One can also point out the people who may have died from covid but are not listed as such because they weren’t tested or the tests were false negatives.
We know two such cases (neither of whom were all that old: early fifties and seventies).
Here today, gone next thing we knew (one a hairdresser in a shop that eschewed masks).
Two years ago this month, our entire family took ill with a “flu” bug while in Niagara Falls. The kids recovered quickly. We did not. It lingered for weeks, and our physician prescribed steroids (which I decided not to use). Although my own symptoms were not so bad (I am not overweight, and exercise, often vigorously, every day), within a couple months, I was experiencing sudden shortness of breath and then atrial fibrillation, which continues to this day.
This raises another question: Has Covid-19 been around longer than they think?
A treatment, versus just vaccinations, is the true solution. A bit of good news here: “A drug developed by Eli Lilly and Company dramatically reduced the risk of developing symptomatic Covid-19 among nursing home residents, the company found,” reports a newspaper today.
But back to vaccinations: In general, we’re opposed to them, believing, as we do, that in the past, certain inoculations have caused autism and other ailments (asthma, epilepsy, peanut allergies) that now are rampant. We know a couple from church whose son was fine until he was vaccinated. He immediately showed severe mental disability and is now in a special home for the developmentally disabled. He never snapped out of it. There are two children in our neighborhood who seem to have it, and hundreds of thousands around the West (about one in 54 kids).
I have a brother who died (1/22/2017) of glioblastoma, which is a horrible brain cancer. Many believe polio vaccines cultured during the 1950s in monkey tissue, which harbor a virus that causes cancer, can be responsible. The most intense years of contamination were those during which he would have received that vaccination.
While it’s easy to jump to conclusions, especially dark conspiracies (some of which may have more than a kernel of truth, while others are real stretches), it is always good to weigh both sides before taking a frenzied leap.
Both Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI have been vaccinated for covid, and Francis, along with a number of bishops (including Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston), believe it’s not only okay to get one, but a moral prerogative to do so (theoretically helping to stem the spread).
The Church itself formally takes no such position, leaving it up to our personal soul-searching.
I want nothing to do with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was cultured in a stem-cell line derived from the kidney cells of an aborted baby in the 1970s. The other two have their moral question marks but to a far lesser extent.
Can there be side effects?
Take a look at the video clips below of alleged such aftereffects in two women. Frightening stuff. In California, the Moderna vaccine was temporarily suspended due to ill effects from one batch. (Again, check out videos at end of this commentary.)
Moreover, some fear taking the vaccination could enhance the reaction to the actual coronavirus when one becomes infected, or that the new mutations will render vaccines impotent. That’s the big concern right now: the many variants rising on all sides (especially from South Africa and Britain).
“Covid‐19 vaccines designed to elicit neutralizing antibodies may sensitize vaccine recipients to more severe disease than if they were not vaccinated,” notes an article in the National Library of Medicine. “Vaccines for SARS, MERS and RSV have never been approved, and the data generated in the development and testing of these vaccines suggest a serious mechanistic concern.”
But once again, perspective: thus far the death rate associated with such reactions is minuscule, considering the 16.5 million given the vaccine. And virtually every medication has side effects, even aspirin. Witness the pharmaceutical commercials on television that list dozens of potential ill effects while showing those who take the medication joyfully traipsing about in a paradisiacal setting.
We know another person who had a reaction to a standard medication years ago who had the same kind of extreme nervous reaction you see below. Seizures for a day or two.
That wasn’t from a vaccine but Phenergan, a common medication used for nausea and post-operative sedation.
It happens. With covid, the vaccines have been rushed out due to the covid emergency, with the human population serving as the guinea pigs. A nephew of ours who’s a kidney specialist is not yet taking the vaccine because he sees it as just that: right now in a test phase — a large experiment. Many other doctors, however, are getting it. And so are nurses.
Does the fact that two of the vaccines use genetic material — mRNA — give us pause?
Very much so. This makes it even more an experiment. There is a creepiness. Does it really alter anything essential in the human genome? It’s a possibility, but no one (including those doctors who blaze across Youtube in viral videos) has shown that yet. Is it even really a vaccine? Or a genetic treatment?
We have been writing (and mainly warning) about vaccines for many years. The issue was among our very first “special reports.” The bottom line, to repeat what we always do: God and only God — His Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of life — knows the intricacies of your unique body and what you should or should not do.
It’s not a cop-out. For in our muddled, conspiracy-driven times, only through prayer comes clarity. Only through prayer, after reviewing both sides, come final answers.