Ron DeSantis has supported a lawsuit against the manufacturers of the two mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV2 for potential damages to the citizens of Florida. This lawsuit has brought out many charges against the vaccines, their manufacturers and the government agencies, especially the CDC, who recommend their administration.
Months ago I wrote about the basic facts of vaccinology and that post remains available on substack.com. Let me be frank about my beliefs, which are based on what is published and I have learned in a 40+ year career:
I think that modern vaccines have saved more lives than all the new revolutionary surgical techniques, organ transplantation and new pharmaceutical products combined. Infectious diseases like small pox, measles, polio, diphtheria and pneumococcus killed millions of people per year in the pre-vaccination era. They were the scourge of the medical profession. To be fair, other therapeutic breakthroughs during the era of vaccination have also reduced the morbidity and mortality of infectious diseases. At present, COVID, HIV, ebola, respiratory syncytial virus and malaria continue to kill millions of people and remain elusive despite the efforts of vaccine developers.
The subtleties of human immunology are well beyond the understanding of the typical American lay person. Nonetheless, many lay people cling to their personal beliefs.
There is no clinical evidence that the plethora of vaccinations which are available and given to the majority of young people in the Western world have overwhelmed the human immune system leading to the theoretical ravages of auto-immune diseases or opportunistic infections that have free access to weakened immunity.
Vaccine manufacturers over the last three decades have NOT made unethical profits due to the broad embrace of preventive strategies over much of the world. In fact, the low profit margin has discouraged the investment of funds in vaccine production and research efforts. Most entrepreneurs have invested in other parts of the pharmaceutical industry. The invocation of a pharmaceutical-industrial-medical complex is a conspiracy theory with little evidence in the everyday lives of the vast majority of medical caregivers.
The diversity of viruses, their unique characteristics and their ability to mutate continue to frustrate scientists who seek to find safe and effective vaccines. Active research continues across the world to find, test and improve vaccines for many infectious agents.
A fair reading of the history of vaccinology acknowledges that there have been misadventures with real human costs as various vaccines were developed and tested. The vast majority of complications from tested and approved vaccines occur in the first six weeks after administration.
Prevention is almost always cheaper and more effective than treatment of infectious illnesses.
Here is what I believe is true about the two mRNA vaccines approved and widely disseminated against SARS-CoV2.
The accelerated development of these vaccines was facilitated by minimizing the bureaucratic steps entrenched in the federal bureaucratic mechanisms of drug development. The actual clinical testing in initial trials did NOT compromise the need for large numbers of subjects in a randomized controlled experimental design or its designation of appropriate therapeutic targets and adverse reactions.
Initial published studies in late 2020 demonstrated that the short-term record of the two mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) was encouraging with prevention of infection and transmission of infection for the alpha variant of SARS-CoV2. Safety data was also encouraging and transparent.
The vaccines were developed with care and diligence by research and clinical scientists, none of whom made a personal fortune based on this work.
What has changed over time is THE VIRUS. It has mutated into variants of several kinds. Sadly, our establishment leaders have not adapted their explanations and recommendations to the variants. The actual calculation of risks and benefits should have shifted. The young, including children and most adults, accrue less benefit from vaccination and from boosters because they are at less risk of serious disease. Nonetheless, our experts continue to recommend boosters for all segments of our population without explanation or providing explanation. We now know in detail of the rare but serious complications in some sectors of our population with the vaccine and boosters. The classic paradigm is myocarditis in young men, which might well be an indication for caution, postponement, extended time between shots and/or use of non-mRNA based vaccines.
It is not clear that the vaccine manufacturers are responsible for hyping the current vaccines and boosters. Critics have unfairly conflated pharmaceutical company income with profits without apology. Income does not take into account the costs of manufacture, the cost of clinical trials, the ongoing research and overhead. The value of Pfizer stock has NOT exploded on the stock market. What do investors know that the hyperbolic critics do not know?
The elderly and immunocompromised remain at risk for serious disease, even with the less virulent omicron variants. Boosters seem important for this portion of our population AND that portion of the younger and healthier people who have regular interactions with their vulnerable friends and family members.
There has been an under-emphasis on the immunological benefits of natural immunity from the very beginning. No employee, no student and no member of the armed services should be penalized, ostracized or expelled, if naturally immune, because of refusal of vaccinations or boosters.
We are now seeing the ill effects of concerns about the mRNA vaccines influencing the decisions of American citizens and parents with respect to other vaccines. This year, we have a virulent influenza viral epidemic, a good match by the annual influenza vaccine and a decrease in the rate of vaccination! We are now reaping the effects with more serious illnesses and deaths than in recent years. There is evidence that the rate of “routine vaccination” for our infants and young children has fallen below recent standards.
I am concerned that the public statements and actions of the State of Florida are not likely to lead to any improvement in the health or understanding of the American people. It smells of political gamesmanship to me.
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I agree with many of your points, especially how the virus has mutated so that vaccination is minimally efficacious in newer Omicron strains, and on the importance of natural immunity after having experienced infection with Covid.
I am most concerned with the increasing reports of serious side effects following these vaccines, particularly in young people between 20 and 50 years of age. The data from Great Britain is particularly disturbing to me. The risk-benefit ratio's appear significantly increased for younger people in our population, especially children. We all know that the children were minimally affected by this virus, and this continues to be the case.But are there long term effects on the myocardium in currently asymptomatic kids and teenagers?
I feel that further analysis of adverse effects must be at the forefront of investigation in US(and globally) before blindly advising parents to vaccinate children with a potentially life-altering/ limiting vaccine.Drs Peter McCullough and Aseem Malhotra are speaking out regarding these issues.I find their analyses credible and very concerning. I think Governor DeSantis and his Surgeon General are attempting to get to the truth in this conundrum.I pray they do.