Should I get there COVID VaccinationJanuary 10, 2021
Is the COVID Vaccine Safe for Me?
Should I get the vaccine shot to COVID? Answer: Unequivocal yes. Why?
That's what I've been asked to write about this week so here is the evidence and the summary that I've found. I believe what we are talking about is "risk", "rate" and "side effects". It's all a matter of relative numbers. How much risk do you want to take on? What risk are you willing to live with? Which is riskier, the virus, or the vaccine?
There are many websites you can find that give you Q and A about the risks and benefits of the vaccine. I can't examine all of those and I would advise you to peruse those if you want more details. I'm just covering some cogent answers.
As best I can tell, I've found evidence that the rate of the vaccine's complications is about 0.2% meaning 2 in a thousand vaccinations have an immediate immune reaction. That is usually something in the form of hives and trouble breathing, and almost always in someone who has those symptoms frequently and who carry Epi-pens to deal with that. Their immune systems are already ramped up and they are ready to fire off. That rate is roughly 10 times the rate of influenza vaccination complications. So, the vaccine isn't risk-free, but to date, no one has died from it.
What is the risk of the virus? Oh, my. Far, far worse than most influenza. It is at least 10 times worse in causing death and much, much worse in long term complications. We are finding that roughly 20% of folks have measurable damage to their cardiovascular system 10 months later. Now, we have evidence that damage to the brain sets you up for Alzheimer's and increases your risks for that. In 1918, the influenza that emerged was a new virus and folks that were naive to it succumbed very rapidly. Now, with vaccination of huge numbers of people, we are able to build up libraries of antibodies in the population and when new, virulent strains emerge, enough folks have other influenza antibodies that we don't have enough folks with naive immune systems for the new strain to infect. Influenza has been, by and large, tamed and controlled with vaccination.
We are all naive to COVID-19. There is likely a small overlap with over Carona viruses that likely have some overlap with the "common cold" and folks who have had those colds probably have some immune protection because of that.
How about Guillain-Barre? You are asked about that every time you get a flu shot so it makes you feel fear about it. Did you know that the rate of Guillian Barre is as great with the flu itself as it is with the vaccination? Check out the CDC website data on that. Yes, it is likely you get GB just by being exposed to the virus, whether it be in vaccine form or the flu itself. The difference being is that once you have had the vaccine, you have an immune response to it. But you can also get Guillain-Barre from COVID.
Conclusion: This topic should be closed and shut. It is time to close the risk of our population from COVID. The reason to get the vaccination is to protect you, your loved ones, and your community. It is a numbers game and the data shows simply and clearly that you, your family, and your community all benefit by getting vaccination. We are all at risk, to some degree, until we are all vaccinated. You cannot find good, scientific evidence to support your not being vaccinated. If you could, I would love to hear from you. You cannot point to your not getting vaccinated and you are thereby having no problems as proof. You have just been lucky.
1. Should I get vaccinated? Answer: Yes
2. Is flu worse than COVID? Answer: Once in a great while, yes (Example: 1918) but this has been tamed with vaccination.
3. Am I at risk of having Guillain-Barre from COVID vaccination? Answer: Yes, but much lower risk than death from COVID. Again, the numbers tilt in your favor of being vaccinated.
4. Are there long-term complications from the COVID-19 vaccination? Answer: Not that we have seen and we have no scientific evidence yet to support it. The vaccines were developed in a very rapid fashion so we don't have "long-term" to support. Stay tuned. Again, as things stand, the risk-benefit of death exceeds what we see in long-term complications.
5. But I hate shots. Is it safe for me to be frightened of those? Answer: Ah, that may be what drives your fear, your hope that your risk is small enough that you don't have to have the inconvenience of that little pain.