What’s the scoop on the new COVID vaccines?
Dr. Andrew Fleming, an infectious disease doctor here in NYC, recently came on my Causes or Cures podcast to discuss the new vaccines. He has done research on antibody responses to COVID-19 and knows the specifics of the vaccine trials.
Listen, I get people being anxious about the new COVID vaccines. The mRNA vaccines are a new classification of vaccines altogether, and people are concerned with how fast they came to market and side effects. I have concerns too. It’s normal to be concerned. The CDC will actively monitor the rollout of the vaccines and update contraindications and side effects as they are reported. That said, the vaccines had a very high effectiveness rating and safety profile in the randomized controlled trials that involved thousands of participants, so we shouldn’t ignore that either. Everyone wants to get back to our pre-pandemic lives, and vaccines may be the tool to get us there. Otherwise, I fear a future of on-and-off-again lockdowns to maintain our limited healthcare capacity, especially ICU beds, and no one wants that. No one at all. I personally cannot wait to hear some of my favorite bands in person again or to see a Broadway play.
Some people are most concerned about side effects from the new COVID vaccines. I understand that. I am concerned about the potential for something called antibody-dependent enhacement. What’s that? Something I read about…something that derailed past attempts to create a vaccine for a a coronavirus. COVID is a type of coronavirus. Is antibody-dependent enhacement something I should be concerned about? What “exactly” is it? That’s something I asked Dr. Fleming in the podcast.
Most people who are not high risk will recover from COVID. That’s true. However, some people infected with COVID have been shown to get long-term side effects from the virus itself. This includes all age groups. There are folks who are concerned about vaccine side effects but are not concerned at all about side effects from COVID. That’s a type of thinking I don’t understand. For example, the systemic clotting and attack on blood vessels is particularly concerning with COVID. There are cases of people recovering from COVID and then experiencing lung issues, brain fog, strokes or bleeds, and some people speculate it’s due to the damage caused to their blood vessels. On a personal note, I KNOW it’s possible to have long-term side effects from a virus. When I was in medical school in my mid-twenties, I came down with a mysterious viral pneumonia. I even had to get oxygen in an ambulance at one point. While I recovered, I developed asthma. Though I’ve discovered ways to manage asthma ( mostly alternative ones, for the record), I still have asthma today. So here’s the deal: At the end of the day, personal choice in healthcare is invaluable. You need to do your own risk/benefit assessment using FACTUAL information and do what’s right for you and your family.
In addition to the mRNA vaccines approved by the FDA for emergency use, there are new ones ( non mRNA ones) currently undergoing clinical trials. I asked Dr. Fleming about those, too. I also asked about adjuvants and why they’re even used in vaccines, how long he suspects immunity to last and how long he thinks we will have to wear face masks. The thing with the new vaccines is that we cannot count on them to slow the spread of COVID-19. Right now, they are shown to prevent serious infections of COVID-19. Some people will get no symptoms, but the propensity for spread is still there, which is why face masks will still be recommended. I know a lot of people will hate to hear that, but when you’re dealing with a new airborne virus that spreads fast, you have to utilize all the tools available to stop it.
I invite you guys to listen to my conversation on the new COVID vaccines with Dr. Fleming. You can listen here. Causes or Cures is also available on Apple and Spotify.
Other blogs that might interest you: