Sunday, March 14, 2021

Vaccination Panic

I am seeing a lot of antivaxxers sending around stuff that is seriously problematic.   Yes, the method,  using messenger RNA, is new.  There have been a number of adverse reactions and some deaths.  And yes, vaccination will allow us to get on with normal lives.  Even CDC thinks so. 

I have a number of friends and relatives who have had one or both shots.  First shot has been sore arm for a day or two (like other vaccines).  The second shot is a day or two of fatigue and fever. 

One person I know had a stroke two days later.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  She was not old, nor was she particularly young.  In my stroke support group is a 29 year old triathlete.  I find coincidence a plausible explanation. 

On the other hand, while several family and friends have had pretty mild cases of COVID19, some have been hospitalized.  One will be on oxygen for the rest of his life.  I have two comorbidities that put me at high risk if I get it.  The risk of vaccination is less than the risk of COVID. 

Is it real?  A friend is a nurse back East. He has lost more patients to COVID-19 in these last few months than all the rest of his career.

My wife and I are scheduled for Mar. 18. I am going to try and get in sooner.  If both of us are miserable at the same time, we will have to rely on the dogs to help us through it.  That seems a questionable support system.  Getting your face licked is no substitute for a meal.
Antivaxxers are another form of conspiracy theory.  WE have knowledge that makes us special and oh so clever compared to you ignorant sheep.  Over the years I have found conspiracy sorts to be smart people with less than awesome educations who are consequently lower on the socioeconomic ladder than they they think they deserve, and with their generally higher intelligence, they are right.  But this leads to a belief that people at the top are very smart and up to elaborate conspiracies, when in fact the elite of Western Civilization are not all that smart,  just privileged.  If you have ever worked with a group of coworkers trying to decide where to have lunch, try to imagine a bunch of egomaniacs trying to conspire against us.  In the age of photocopies it was impossible to keep secrets.  In the age of email,  no conspiracy would last two hours.

Just to upset the antivaxxer conspiracy crowd, I want a "I've been chipped" button!


  1. Me and the missus are scheduled for this Wednesday.

  2. I was just allowed to register in Texas today: they say a few weeks for an appointment

  3. In the age of photocopies it was impossible to keep secrets. In the age of email, no conspiracy would last two hours.

    My first thought after reading this was, "does Cramer think that Epstein killed himself?" It turns out you have too much good sense to believe that:

    "Epstein Succeeds on 2nd Suicide Attempt. Yeah, right."

    So conspiracies apparently can still survive quite a long time.

    (I'm not endorsing the vaccine-related conspiracy theories, which I've seen no good reason to believe apart from the general untrustworthiness of government and industry officials.)

  4. Got my 2nd shot of Moderna this past Thursday. Am 72 with a bad heart and several other major health problems. So far all I've really experienced is a sense of tiredness with occasional headaches and joint pain. Frankly, no big deal. Get the shot.


  6. They don't need a chip, that's what the Smartphones are for.
    Who you know, what you say, what you buy, where you buy it, what room you sleep in, and probably what side of the bed.
    All those, "Government will steal your 401(k) emails, they don't have to do anything sneaky, just raise your taxes.
    We've voluntarily let grocery stores monetize our lives, with those discount tags on our key chains, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and all the rest are just extending the line out further.

  7. The most obvious problem with this vaccine is that there is NO history of its utility. Or safety. It's one thing to buy the first year of production of a complex system like an automobile, and be their beta tester. Your body? Only time I would be willing is if I was dying of some malady that they had an experimental fix for. That sort of situation makes sense. Not in this case. There is NO history of testing like normal drugs/vaccines. YOU are the beta tester, and gambling with a value you really don't want to be hazarding. It's so chancy, the .govs are willing to give them a free hand, with NO liability if things go sideways, with no time limit on that. I don't currently see an upside, except for those who want to travel, and want to bypass the time limits on that.

    Is the number of people that have died as a result of these shots normal for a vaccine? Don't know, but there does seem to be an effort to hide them to some extent. To many uncontrolled variables in this mess. I don't trust the .gov at this point, regarding anything to do with the WuFlu, since there has been too much BS from them since it all started. Way too much from Fauci and his crowd.

    1. I am seeing coverage of deaths and averse reactions. Relative to the number of vaccinations, it does not seem high. If I gt COVID, it is likely to be miserable even if not fatal.

  8. Is the risk of vaccination less than the risk of COVID?

    The immediate risk of the COVID vaccines are known - the latest VAERS data from 12/04/2020 through 03/08/2021 shows 1637 deaths out of 92 million doses (0.0018%) and 59 million people (0.0028%). The long term risk of the COVID vaccines are unknown.

    As a comparison, VAERS reports only 24 deaths from the flu vaccine out of 189.4M doses in 2020. That is 27.75 deaths per million for the COVID vaccine verses a mere 0.13 deaths per million for the flu vaccine. That makes the COVID vaccine over 200x more deadly than the flu vaccine.

    The risk of death from COVID varies widely by age group. Among children (<18) there have been only 208 deaths with COVID as of March 3, 2021. The total population of children (<18) was 74.2 million according to the 2010 US Census. If all of these children were to be vaccinated (and 0.0028% holds for children, hardly a certainty), we would expect to see 0.0028% * 74.2M = 2078 deaths. Certainly, more children may yet die from COVID, but probably not 2078.

    COVID Deaths by Age (As of March 3, 2021)
    0-17 208
    18-29 1764
    30-39 5198
    40-49 13,997
    50-64 72,840
    65-74 107,213
    75-84 155,175
    85+ 155,175
    Total 494,235

    So, it depends. You need to calculate the risk given your own age (and health conditions). At any rate, the COVID vaccines are far riskier than other comparable vaccines. That alone is cause to be concerned, no conspiracy required.

    1. For kids, it may not make sense. For someone 64 with my health history, it is almost certainly lower risk to get vaccinated.

    2. Except that your logic is faulty. Your risk should include risk to everyone you might infect, and everyone who they might infect, and so on. Add that up. Healthy people who only get a covid cough might just be killing hundreds of other people. It's kind of like randomly shooting out into society and claiming you have low risk because you're standing behind the gun.

    3. And yet Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J are now all running COVID vaccine trials in children, including infants. That doesn't sit right with me. Not at all. And it certainly makes me question their motives.

      Regardless, I hope it goes well for you. Please do let us know.

    4. Jeff: Correct. It reduces risk for me and others.

      Unknown: WHO is saying all deaths after vaccination are typical for the age group. 1637 deaths out of 92 million, especially because the elderly and those with high risk conditions could be about right. shows 723.6 deaths/100,000 people in 2019. That's 1.78/100,000 assuming that every shot went into one person (which makes the actual death rate/100,000 people lower than the average death rate). A breakdown by age might well match WHO's claim.

    5. @Jeff "Except that your logic is faulty."

      No, nothing has changed. Those infected with contagious diseases should stay out of public. (Yes, there are asymptomatic carriers, but this is rare.) Curious, have you ever gone out in public with a cold or a flu? If so, do you apologize for all of the people you put at risk?

    6. “That's 1.78/100,000 assuming that every shot went into one person”

      Why would you assume that? We know that it was 92 million doses and 59 million people. Additionally, we know that only 33 million people received both doses. If anything, 0.0028% is too low. First, deaths are a lagging factor in the data, particularly given the several week long delay between the two doses. Second, it is well known that VAERS, being a voluntary system, suffers from an underreporting of events including deaths.

      “723.6 deaths/100,000 people in 2019”
      “which makes the actual death rate/100,000 people lower than the average death rate”

      It’s apples and oranges. That is the (age-adjusted) death rate from ALL causes per YEAR. We expect people to die from a whole variety of causes over the course of a year. We do not expect them to die from a handful of causes shortly after receiving a particular injection.

      “WHO is saying all deaths after vaccination are typical for the age group.”

      I’ll buy that the 24 deaths from the flu vaccine were coincidental or idiosyncratic. I don’t buy that for the COVID vaccines. (The flu vaccine is also primarily administered to health care workers and the older and/or compromised.)

      Regardless, my point still stands on the long term risks. We simply do not know. There is a reason we don’t run phase II clinical trials on the population at large. And that goes doubly so for children.

  9. I want an "I've been chipped" sticker!

    But I've noticed that whenever I walk near a radio, it chirps in morse code. Hmmm. Only since the second shot, which I got almost 4 weeks ago.

    Seriously.... I'm 3 weeks past my second Pfizer shot. I cannot tell you how good that feels - lower anxiety, more freedom. I had one day of some aches, fairly bad about 24 hours from the second shot. No big deal. My wife had even less than that.

    BTW, the mRNA technology is new, but only sorta. After all, the way your cells make proteins is by creating mRNA matching DNA segments, which then goes to the ribosomes where it puts proteins together. The mRNA vaccine just puts the RNA in there directly, when the cell absorbs the nanoparticles containing the mRNA>

    The Johnson and Johnson vaccine also uses mRNA. But it does it differently, by using its DNA to generate the mRNA. That vaccine uses a modified adenovirus as the carrier.

    Neither of us had anything but a sore bump from the first dose.