Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

Happy Darwin and Lincoln Day 2021


Where would we be without these two revolutionary thinkers? Both Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born on the same day – February 12, 1809.

We are in a pandemic, which is starting to look much less ominous, in large part, due to the genetic modification of mRNA (messenger RiboNucleic Acid), which was completely unknown to Darwin and Lincoln. So why bring it up?

This is going to be more about Darwin, than Lincoln, but both are just introductions to the topic of genetics. Darwin’s explanation of the way evolution works, along with the repeatedly overlooked Gregor Mendel’s explanation of the way inheritance works, led to the field of genetics. Genetics allowed scientists to take the genome of SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome – CoronaVirus – 2 [the first SARS was in 2003 – 2004]), provided by researchers in China, and design a safe and effective vaccine in 2 days.

Only two days? It must be cheap. Right?

Moderna, the company that created one of these vaccines, has been working on mRNA vaccines for a decade, so there is much more than two days that went into the creation of this vaccine. Pfizer/BioNTech makes the other mRNA vaccine.

It is important to understand the speed, because the virus (SARS-CoV-2) appears to be mutating to variants that might not be protected against by the current vaccines. Both vaccines are currently used under EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), but both vaccines should be able to receive regular approval from the FDA in the next few months. Once the vaccines have full approval, modifications for variants should be similar to approval for influenza variants, which happen every year, because influenza also mutates frequently. This does not mean that the vaccines will be less safe, because the process of protecting the body is what requires approval and we already have evidence from millions of vaccinated people that this process is safe and effective.

There have been tens of millions of vaccinations and the most serious adverse event has been anaphylaxis (a treatable allergic reaction that can rarely cause a fatal drop in blood pressure and/or a fatal airway obstruction). There is good research on about 6 million of the first people vaccinated, showing that the rate of anaphylaxis is 11.1 cases per million doses for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and 2.5 cases per millions doses for the Moderna vaccine.

Everybody who developed anaphylaxis appears to have been discharged to home, following treatment for anaphylaxis, so there do not appear to have been any cases of long term adverse effects from any of these vaccinations. For comparison, the disease, COVID-19 (COronaVIrus Disease first identified in 2019) has a fatality rate of somewhere around 1%, which is millions of times more deadly than a vaccine that is not deadly. If you are worried that the vaccine is deadly, the disease is millions of times worse.

Maybe you are not worried about death, but about living with side effects. Then the case for getting vaccinated is even stronger. About 15% of people who get COVID-19 have significant and long term complications. Again, this is millions of times more of a problem with infection than with vaccination.

Allergic Reactions Including Anaphylaxis After Receipt of the First Dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine — United States, December 14–23, 2020

Allergic Reactions Including Anaphylaxis After Receipt of the First Dose of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine — United States, December 21, 2020–January 10, 2021

The second shot is reported to cause flu like symptoms (fever, muscle aches, et cetera) beginning about half a day after the vaccination, but treatable with ibuprofen. Plan on not doing anything the day after your second vaccination shot. This is also reported to be much worse in younger people, than in older people, so an 80 year old may not have any side effects, while the healthy 30 year old may feel miserable that night or the next day.

This should not be a difficult decision. These vaccines are safe – especially when compared to the infection they protect against. These vaccines are both over 90% effective at preventing illness (development of symptoms).

While anti-vaxers, anti-maskers, and other conspiracy theorists have been trying to discourage vaccination, there are a few things to consider:

Vaccines save millions of lives every year. Most of those are the lives of children. If the anti-vaxers get their way, millions more children will die every year.

Vaccines are probably the safest and the most effective medical intervention available.

Why do anti-vaxers claim that vaccines are not safe? Why do anti-vaxers claim that vaccines don’t work? There is no research supporting their claims.

At anti-vax events, the sale of dangerous chemicals to “treat” autism is common. These chemicals are not approved by the FDA for this purpose. These “treatments” are dangerous scams. Why are anti-vaxers so comfortable with poisoning children?

Anti-vaxers failed to stop worldwide vaccination against smallpox. The success of vaccines means we no longer vaccinate our children against smallpox. Success for vaccines is eradicating disease, so that vaccines are not needed. They put themselves out of business.

Success for anti-vaxers is a lot of dead children, a lot more disabled children, a lot of disabled adults, and a lot of dead adults – COVID-19 does produce a lot of dead/disabled adults.