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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

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THE COVID VACCINE IS COMING AND ALL ADULTS SHOULD GET IT

Jan 06, 2021

We will be receiving the vaccine at our practice in the next several months and will be vaccinating people by risk groups established by the CDC.

It seems that a good portion of the American population is not enthusiastic about receiving the vaccine. This phenomenon has been labeled “vaccine hesitancy” (as many as 40% of the population in recent polls are hesitant to receive the vaccine). However, unless 80 percent or more of the population is immunized the virus will continue to spread widely.

Vaccine hesitancy has been present for decades. The World Health Organization has declared vaccine hesitancy as one of the top 10 threats to global health. Unfortunately, this hesitancy has been particularly prominent with the COVID vaccine. Vaccine hesitancy stems from several root causes.

Misinformation

Many people have been influenced by a tide of misinformation through social media. Research has shown that misinformation becomes especially common during times of stress. And this pandemic is causing unprecedented widespread stress and fear and the tide of misinformation circulating has been enormous.

Confusing guidelines

Unfortunately, a series of early missteps by government agencies served to strengthen this mistrust. This mistrust also has been reinforced by conflicting recommendations by authorities.

Distrust of the medical establishment due to past histories of abuse of certain populations (largely minorities)

But I would like to provide you with some truths.

In general, vaccine development has been credited stopping 3 previous epidemics: measles, polio and small pox and saving the lives of 2-3 million children a year worldwide.

The early confusing guidelines were part of a general panic and lack of definitive information regarding this novel virus. After time as more data is gathered a greater understanding of the natural history, transmission and biologic effects has been used to modify guidelines regularly.

The vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) is 95 % effective at preventing COVID.

Although the mistrust of minorities of the medical profession may be well deserved it is also a fact that minorities are disproportionately represented among COVID victims and therefore is a population in the greatest need of the protection conferred by the vaccine.

The side effect profile is excellent with the major serious rare side effect being a major allergic reaction that can be countered by epinephrine. Statistics for last week: 1.1 million vaccine given 4 allergic reaction- all recovered. 90,000 deaths in same time frame.

The rapidity of the development of this vaccine has made some people skeptical of its safety. Usually vaccines take 10 years in development. The fastest vaccine previously developed was the measles vaccine which was developed over 4 years. But the rapidity of development is due to remarkable science and remarkable resources. Dr Fauci says “The process by which this vaccine was developed was a standard process that was rapid because of exquisite scientific advances.” The usual viral development protocols were all performed. The rapidity of the development has partly to do with using a technique (mRNA injection) that has been in development for over 30 years and the fact the enormous, unprecedented resources have be given to this effort: 150 research labs, over 100 private companies and 34 billion dollars.

Some untruths:

COVID-19 is a hoax-There have been over 350,000 deaths due to this virus so far. Just speak to anyone who has had it or has lost a loved one to it. I am young and healthy and if I get it I won’t have a serious case-in the first 5 months of the epidemic 34,000 people under the age of 45 in the US died of COVID. In addition, young people are one of the many carriers of the virus to older people who die at a much higher rate.

This virus kills and maims.  We have no hope of eliminating it other than through widespread vaccination.