Should people still get COVID vaccines despite reports of adverse events?


Fact Box

  • The CDC is still studying how COVID-19 vaccines affect the spread of the disease, saying that people who are fully vaccinated must still take precautions like “wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces—in public places until we know more.”
  • A recent Monmouth University poll about the COVID pandemic indicated that one in four Americans “remain unwilling to get the shot.”
  • Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Boula released comments on April 1st relating that “people will 'likely' need a third booster dose of COVID-19 vaccines within 12 months and could need annual shots.” 
  • In the first month of COVID vaccine rollout, of the nearly 7,000 adverse events reported, 79% came from women. 

Mandy (No)

Even a relatively small amount of reported adverse reactions should stop anyone from getting a COVID vaccine because not all reactions/side effects are discoverable in short clinical trials. It takes years to develop a vaccine earning FDA approval, and clinical trials can't account for all environmental factors or types of people. No COVID vaccine has final FDA approval; the shots were granted Emergency Use Authorization, which has a lesser standard for issuance.  

Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson have stated their trials are 'ongoing' and could produce more 'possible side effects.' This means we are all in their trials. There is no incentive for manufacturers to correctly monitor or attribute latent side effects to their vaccines, as they cannot be sued for defective or dangerous vaccines. Some auto-immune, lung disease, or cancerous side effects aren't felt until months/years following vaccination. In 2010, Harvard found 1% of vaccine adverse reactions were correctly reported to VAERs by doctors. If that statistic holds today, then the 2,200 reported deaths from COVID vaccines would translate to over 200,000 deaths.   

Further, the WHO warned that no COVID vaccine is designed to prevent the contraction/spreading of COVID, only to lessen symptoms. Dr. Fauci reinforced that, saying, 'We do not know if the vaccines that prevent clinical disease also prevent infection.' The vaccines might even be contributing to asymptomatic spreading. Mounting evidence shows fully vaccinated people still catch COVID. Additionally, vaccine-induced side effects might outweigh the risk of natural/wild COVID infection, with a 99% survival rate for the least vulnerable. 

With so much unknown around coronavirus vaccines, including the newer mRNA technology (called an 'operating system'), how could these hurdles be overcome in nine short months? Answer: They weren't. 

Andrew (Yes)

Claims that COVID-19 vaccines are not safe due to the speed with which they were created and tested are factually inaccurate. Vaccines often take longer to develop, but this is more due to a lack of financial support (profit motive) and sample infections than due to a need for a slower pace out of an abundance of caution. COVID vaccines were developed at warp speed thanks to unprecedented governmental support and a massive number of infections.

Though the current COVID-19 vaccines have proven trustworthy, no medicine is 100% safe, and it is important to think about the larger context. While a statistically minute amount of people may experience reactions, tens of thousands of people will not die as a result of widespread vaccination efforts. The currently paused J&J vaccine has had only six reported cases of clotting out of 7.4 million doses given. The odds of developing this side effect are less than one in a million. As a final safety backstop, the CDC has three nationally coordinated systems monitoring vaccines for adverse side effects: the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), and the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA).

We must continue to vaccinate ourselves because we are in a race against viral mutations. All viruses mutate, and the possibility for a more deadly or drug-resistant variation to occur increases the longer unchecked spread is allowed.

Vaccines protect those around us, including the most vulnerable. Individuals may disregard their own risk of contracting coronavirus, but we all have a duty to receive the vaccine and protect others. Not receiving a vaccine is tantamount to allowing multiple needless deaths.

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