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To Jab or Not to Jab That is the Question

Well, the vaccines have arrived, and with it the push to vaccinate everyone. Never had covid? Better get vaccinated. Had a bad covid infection? Better get vaccinated. Tested positive but didn’t get sick? Better get vaccinated. Immunocompromised? Pregnant? Able to get pregnant? Better get vaccinated. New strains are coming…get ready for more vaccinations. All three currently available vaccines have been thoroughly tested and reviewed. They all appear very safe and effective. Of course, some people have a strong reaction to the vaccines but that’s true of many previous vaccines.

Vials containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine sit on a table in preparation for vaccinations at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Jan. 4, 2021. As part of the DoD strategy for prioritizing, distributing, and administering the COVID-19 vaccine, those providing direct medical care and emergency services will be prioritized to receive the vaccine at units based in Japan, including Kadena AB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Anna Nolte)

There does not appear to be a relationship between having a reaction and having protection from Covid-19. Whether the shot bothers you or not doesn’t seem to make a difference in terms of protection. It’s all good in the hood.

So why shouldn’t absolutely everyone get the vaccine and we can get this whole ugly pandemic behind us? The supposition is we must get a high vaccination rate to achieve herd immunity. The WHO website says you must vaccinate 95% of people to have herd immunity to protect against measles. You must vaccinate 80% of people to have herd immunity to polio. We currently don’t know how many people you have to vaccinate to achieve herd immunity to Covid-19 but it will probably be in that range of 80% or above.

Again, the vaccines appear very safe and very effective so why am I proposing that it would be nothing less than scientifically disastrous if everyone is vaccinated. That’s right…there is a very very strong rationale to NOT vaccinate everyone. To vaccinate everyone violates very basic tenets of science and scientific experimentation.

Absolutely no one familiar with science will deny that any real experiment MUST have a control group. Without a control group, you have no basis to understand interventions. This has been true since the beginning of experimentation. Without control groups, you have no way of knowing whether any intervention, be it a drug, a procedure or a vaccine is really effective and safe. Even the WHO, the CDC, and the federal government completely agree with this. That’s why every single study of the vaccine’s safety and efficacy had these control groups.

Say what you want about President Trump but he did indeed facilitate the fastest development of a vaccine in the history of science. A term from the great Star Trek series…” warp speed” was used to describe the process. I personally have faith and confidence that the process was thoroughly vetted and all safety concerns were addressed. There were, as mentioned, controls on all the vaccine trials so what’s my beef? Absolutely none of the vaccine trials have LONG TERM controls. And we absolutely have to have long-term controls. It remains vital to the scientific process. Without long-term controls, we have no way whatsoever to assess the long-term or distant effects of the vaccine. Like it or not, politically correct or not, the need for long-term controls is a scientific necessity.

It’s an unfortunate fact that prior coronavirus vaccine research was halted not because the viruses didn’t provide a good immune response in the animals tested but because those animals when later exposed to the virus got worse instead of better…so the vaccine instead of protecting the animals actually made their immune systems react overly aggressive when they were next exposed to that virus. It wasn’t for lack of money. It wasn’t for lack of trying. It was because of this viral potentiation that prior coronavirus vaccine research was giving up. None of the currently available vaccines had trials that extended beyond a year. So we really have no way whatsoever of knowing about the long-term side effects of the vaccine. I’m not saying in any way shape or form that the vaccine causes infertility, but we have absolutely no information on this and therefore we have to have controls that are people that aren’t vaccinated. It does not appear right now that the vaccine causes viral potentiation in humans but again we’ve only been at this a few months. Without controls, there is no way whatsoever to know whether some side effect or condition down the road is due to prior vaccination or some new virus or Chinese intervention or global warming, or some new toxic agent. We have to have short-term controls and we have to have long-term controls and that means that it is, in fact, absolutely vital that we have people that do not receive the vaccine. If the government said we’re going to withhold the vaccine from 10 to 15% of the population to achieve this scientific goal, people would be outraged. But when people volunteer not to get the vaccine, they’re considered anti-scientific.

Not so.

Many of my friends think the vaccine will be mandatory for travel or to gain admission to concerts and events. I think they are probably right but who really knows? We will find out together pretty soon. Until then…Get Well and Stay Well.

Dr. Barry