Viewpoint: Understanding the risks

By Dick Atlee 

There has been much discussion recently about frustration with COVID vaccine delays. The desire to end what we’ve all been going through this past year is understandable. But how — and even whether — the vaccines will accomplish this is open to question. 

Whether someone should take any vaccine should be his/her decision based on uncoerced informed consent and adequate information on risks and benefits. However, the popular discussion so far is failing to adequately provide for this. 

The FDA‘s “Emergency Use Authorization” (EUA) of the vaccines is not an “approval.” As such, their use remains a medical experiment on all vaccine recipients, pending FDA approval and licensure. And that requires completion of the ongoing safety/efficacy trials. That won’t happen until October 2021/January 2023 for Pfizer and October 2022 for Moderna(Note: until then, employer vaccine mandates are either illegal or subject to lawsuits.) 

An essential requirement of an EUA is that there be “no adequate, approved and available alternatives.” There are, however, alternatives — treatment protocols that are inexpensive and effective, with decades-long safety records. Sadly, their approval and availability has been vigorously opposed by U.S. public health officials. 

These preventative and early-treatment drugs keep people alive and out of the hospital. If they were as readily available and as widely used in the U.S. as they are in other parts of the world (example: population COVID death rates in India are 10 percent of ours; in Sub-Saharan Africa, 1 percent of ours), they would render the vaccines irrelevant. 

Lists of these protocols, and links to the large number of studies evaluating their use, are available at and https://c19study.comSenate testimony last fall dealt with their successful use in the U.S. Yes, they are indeed available, for those willing to make the effort. 

The issue of whether our situation is an emergency is cloudy. The NYTimes and the World Health Organization have both raised major questions about serious false-positives in test results. The CDC’s unprecedented three changes in death-certificate protocol last spring inflated COVID death figures. Yet despite this, the CDC’s own current estimates of death rates among the infected are very low — age 0-17: 0.002 percent; 18-49: 0.05 percent; 50-64: 0.6 percent; except for 65-plus: 9 percent. 

Regarding the vaccines themselves, what concerns should we take into account? In offering this short list, I‘m relying on mainstream sources: government, science journals, media. Links to all assertions are provided in the online version. 

The vaccine trials weren’t designed to produce evidence that the vaccines prevent either asymptomatic infection by the virus or transmission of the disease. Dr. Fauci, Bill Gates, the World Health Organization and the heads of Pfizer and Moderna have all acknowledged this. The trials also couldn’t determine reduction of hospitalizations or deaths. Whether the vaccines can or will do any of this is not yet known. 

As such, thepotentially create “asymptomatic carriers,” i.e., the very people we have been warned are driving much of the pandemicSo vaccinated people must continue to wear masks (the CDC now says double masks) and do social distancing into an indefinite future. 

Ninety-five percent effective? Maybe not. That number is based on how many trial subjects in the vaccinated and control groups had symptoms and tested PCR positiveHowever, anoted by British Medical Journal editor Peter Doshi, obscured in Pfizer’s data was the fact that 20 times as many people in each of those groups were classified as “suspected” COVID but weren’t tested. Depending on how many were actual COVID cases, the efficacy may be as low as 20-30 percent. 

If this kind of incomplete immunity is actually the case, herd immunity will never happen. 

RNA viruses are inherently subject to frequent mutation, and new variants of this virus are appearing. So we are told we will need a third “booster, or even pharmaceutically-profitable annual shotsAll this would be permanently irrelevant if the effective preventatives/treatments were readily available. 

The five-page information sheet required to be given to all vaccine recipients ( a warning for people with a history of allergies, particularly to the lipids used to coat the m-RNA nanoparticles. Many people with a common allergy to one of these — polyethylene glycol — don’t know they have it. 

In Moderna’s earlier research with mice, these lipid nanoparticles ended up in tissues and organs throughout the body. The long-term effects of this inadequately-studied phenomenon — particularly autoimmune issues — won’t be known for an indeterminate with everything else about the vaccines. 

The CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System is recording a large number of injuries and deaths associated with the vaccines. The CDC denies a connection, and claims that these percentages are small. That system, however, is characterized by large-scale underreporting, and the separate BEST” system, intended for accurate monitoring of vaccine injuryisn’t expected to be ready for months. 

Everyone involved in this enterprise —manufacturers, doctors, nurses, program planners, etc. — has been freed from liability for damages under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) ActThose who are injured by the vaccines are basically on their own. Their only recourse for damages is the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program, which has very tight rules, requires hard-to-get data, has virtually no appeal, and to date has compensated less than 10 percent of applicants. 

Many may choose vaccination for a variety of often coercive reasons. But it is important to do so with a good understanding of the risk/benefit factors involved. 

Dick Atlee resides in Southwest Harbor 

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