This isn't "Call of Duty" where you get another life when the other dude fills you full of lead or blows you up. When you go around the wrong corner, and bad things happen, you don't get to go back and try the other corridor.
Yes, I know, you live in an Instagram world. Everything you do is about peer groups, social media and oh look at me, how pretty I am.
I know what you probably think of me too. I raised a daughter on my own and about at your age we butted heads. Bigtime. I was told I ruined her life more than once, and maybe I did.
Or maybe I saved it.
We'll never know, because I didn't let her walk down that road. It might have been ok and a wonderful additional memory. There also might have been a fatal car wreck, a drug OD or some other similar and really nasty, early demise down that road too. Or even worse, perhaps: Permanent, life-altering disability.
There is a young lady in my orbit close to my daughter's age who was very nearly killed in a horrible car wreck. She's ok, but that's due to pure luck. She should have been dead and spent a long time with a plate in her skull and learning to be herself again. We're the best in the world when it comes to trauma; if you get in a really nasty car accident or are shot there's nowhere in the world I'd rather have it happen than right here in America.
At basically everything else, when it comes to medicine, we suck. We have repeatedly approved drugs that are later proved dangerous and even kill people, having to be pulled off the market. Vioxx is just one example; it killed 1.5% of those who took it, about 60,000 in America, by doubling your risk of a heart attack. The drug went through full FDA approval and it was five years before the FDA forced its "voluntary" withdrawal. This sort of thing happens for many reasons; sometimes there is corruption and too much money involved, sometimes people are sloppy and sometimes the bad side effects just don't show up until later. It is for this reason that anything "new" when it comes to medicine is always -- I repeat always -- dangerous.
Risk is unavoidable in life. Part of growing up is learning that, along with calibrating the risks of different choices. If you get in a car driven by someone who has been drinking you probably won't die, but you're a lot more likely to die, maybe 100 times or more likely, than if the driver isn't drunk. If you smoke cigarettes you almost-certainly won't die right away and you might not die from smoking them at all; my Aunt Marguerite was born in 1906 and chain-smoked her entire life. She lived to nearly 100; renal (kidney) failure and Type II diabetes finally got her, both from ridiculous old age and it was mere months from her being up and about, doing her own thing, to being dead when the time came. The cigarettes never gave her lung cancer but basing your decision to smoke on her outcome is dumb.
Now let's talk about underlying facts.
Most young people -- healthy people under the age of 30 -- have no symptoms of significance associated with getting infected with Covid-19. They either get a mild head cold that could be mistaken for anything else or no symptoms at all. Obviously, if you don't know you are sick or think it's allergies, asthma or whatever because you never run a fever or really are significantly ill you have no reason to get tested, no reason to believe you had it, and no doctor sees you. You do not show up in the data but you did indeed have Covid-19. Some young people get what seems like a flu and very, very few get really sick or die.
If you had Covid, whether you were tested positive or not, you are presumably protected. The science is that the minimum protection is about 84%. This is a minimum number because not everyone who got it and seroconverted silently was known. This study was among health-care workers who obviously have very high risk as they're around actively sick people all the time, and they were tested regularly so many "silent" infections were caught, where yours probably wouldn't have been. Further a recent study funded by Fauci's NIH showed that most people pick up memory of the infection in their bone marrow (incidentally, getting people to volunteer for that had to be quite a trick; the operation to get the marrow to test is quite painful, which is why the size was very small) which means that protection from at least moderate disease is likely to last decades if not your entire remaining life.
In short there is no science that says you should take the shot if you've already Covid. There are plenty of people saying that but they cannot point to any scientific study that shows you actually lose protection from prior infection any faster than you do from the shots themselves. This is why someone who had the measles does not take a measles shot; you're presumably protected by fighting off the infection.
But what if you haven't had Covid-19?
What do you decide if you're in that 0-25 age group and someone is trying to demand you get the jab, or all your friends are doing it?
Isn't the first question to be asked "how dangerous is it if I say no and get infected, assuming I haven't been already?"
It should be.
Let's look at NYC because unlike many places they publish the data and have since this outbreak began. In addition it's a huge city so the data quality is very good, almost 8.5 million people live there. About 21% are under 18, or 1.8 million. There's about another half-million in the 18-24 group. And it was an absolute screaming disaster for Covid-19 deaths, as we were all told and saw both early on and in the winter.
So how many of your age group, among that 2.3 million from birth to age 24, and who were healthy, have died of Covid?
I'm not kidding. Six. Or about one for every 500,000 healthy children and young adults. To put some perspective on this that risk is almost identical to the risk of being struck by lightning. In other words if you're healthy, in that group of people and scared you're nuts and whoever told you to be scared is lying to you on purpose to scare you. While it is true that young, healthy people can die from Covid-19 the risk that you will is very-nearly zero.
This is not my data and it's not made up -- it's official from the NYC coroner's office -- the people who investigate each and every death that occurs in the city. There is no monster under the bed and anyone who has told you otherwise is lying to you.
But what if you're sort of sick? Well, then the odds are a little worse. There are 49 poor souls in the birth to age 24 group in NYC who had some sort of serious underlying illness -- and when they got Covid they died. That's about 1 in 50,000. To put a comparison on this you're roughly ten times more likely to be killed in a car crash. These people with an underlying illness are typically those few, but statistically significant, poor kids who get leukemia, some other sort of cancer or have another rare but very serious condition. Yes, Covid killed them about 10x as often as it killed everyone else in your age group, which, if you know anyone who had leukemia, should not be a surprise. I had a nephew that suffered with it, we thought he beat it and then it came back a few years later and killed him. That sucked.
So what are the odds of the shot? We don't know.
What we do know is that a very serious side effect, inflammation of the heart (myocarditis), is happening at a rate that suggests it is at least ten times more likely to get you than Covid will kill you if you have a serious illness. If you're young and don't have a serious illness then the risk of myocarditis is over 100 times greater. The data from the EU shows approximately the same risk -- about 1 in 5,000 young people who get the shots develop this condition.
The CDC and others are attempting to claim that this is "not out of the ordinary" in that about 20 out of 100,000 (that's 1/5,000) people in your age group get this condition every year. That's true. What's dangerously false is that in your age group at large they are spread through the entire year where all these reactions are happening right after the shot is given, typically 3-4 days after the second one. It ought to be obvious that when they all happen at once that's not an accident and is connected to what you did.
We have no idea how many of those victims of that condition will fully recover. While it is reasonable to expect most of them will some may not and the damage may be permanent. This is a condition that does kill young people or force them to have a heart transplant and, if there is no suitable donor heart and you need one, you will die. If you do need and get a transplant you are looking at millions of dollars in medical care and anti-rejection drugs for the rest of your life. If you get hit by this condition you may not know for several years if you're truly ok or not.
Note that the so-called "trial" in younger people (down to age 12) that was just run and reported in the media only had about 1,500 kids in it. Since this bad reaction appears to get young people about 1 in 5,000 times it probably would not have gotten anyone in the trial but that does not mean it's safe since the trial was not large enough to know. Again, we have data in larger groups of millions out of both the EU and the United States that say this is a real possibility.
To be fair Covid-19 may cause myocarditis as well. Early scary reports on this possibility, however, have not proved up but some cases have been reported, and whether they've done permanent damage isn't known for those people either; it's too early. It's important to note that the flu also causes this condition; depending on the strain somewhere from a bit less than 1% to about 3.5% of people who get the flu develop it; those who have run a fear campaign about heart trouble linked to Covid for the last year did so fully-aware of that and tried to scare you by implying that it was unique to Covid, which is a bald lie.
The flu vaccine, from all the scientific literature, does not cause this disease while the Covid shots certainly appear to.
Remember: You're not guaranteed to get Covid, and you might have already had it without knowing it in which case whatever that risk was, you already have taken it.
Whether you previously had Covid or not you are guaranteed to take the risk from the shots as soon as you accept them.
There are many other potential side effects. Most of them, it is true, are relatively mild and you hear about them all the time -- feeling a bit under the weather, a brief fever, a sore arm. None of those are of much concern.
The most-serious indications of trouble we know of and can document at this point are related to blood clotting -- this is never mild and not always immediately obvious to the victim either. In many cases the only indication you'll get is a headache, but headache can come from ordinary fever too, so having one doesn't mean you got hit. Blood clots can cause heart attacks, blindness and strokes among other things, all of them bad, and frequently wind up with you having to take medication for life. Most people who get a stroke do not fully recover; there is almost-always some permanent injury. Whatever life you are planning in front of you, if any of those events happen it is likely to change your life in ways you cannot imagine, none of them good. We have no accurate way to estimate that risk over time as although we know it happens in a few people immediately, some of which have been in the papers and media, whether it's a one-time risk and then gone or whether it can lurk and then get you a year down the road is not known and won't be for years. There have been multiple reports in the media of people who have clearly died from this condition as well including a known-healthy middle-age physician in Florida. Neither I or anyone else can give you an honest guess on this risk, nor whether it is higher or lower in young people .vs. those who are older and, potentially, sicker. The CDC disclaims a connection between these events and the shots; whether you believe them or not is up to you.
There are multiple other concerns but we do not have any way to know how likely they are, since all take years to show up. Some of the absolute worst possibilities are autoimmune problems such as Lupus, a damnable disease that strikes people without apparent warning. For men the highest risk is from 15-44 and for women from 20-39; the disorder is much more common in women than men. In addition most men tend to get Lupus around age 65 where most women get it between 20-25 years of age. Autoimmune conditions are no joke; if you get hit by one whatever you thought you were going to do before with your life will almost-certainly not be the case.
The reason we usually take 10 years or more to qualify a vaccine is found in the long-term effects like this which nobody can predict until that time has passed. It is entirely possible that none of these things will happen but we do not know and if you take the shot today you are the one who is going to find out. There is a scientific paper out with more than a half-dozen potential concerns, none of which have been eliminated simply because it takes years to do so. Anyone who tells you that these risks don't exist is lying for that reason, just as I cannot tell you that they will happen. Nobody can give you an honest assessment of the odds no matter their level of expertise. In ten years medical experts will be able to give you an assessment of these risks you can believe. Today nobody can do so -- period.
Chicken Pox, which you likely did get a shot for if you were born after the early 1990s, is about as dangerous to children as is Covid-19. I got chicken pox the old-fashioned way as there was no vaccine. The problem, as with Covid-19, is that when you get old the risk goes up a lot -- as an adult you're roughly 25 times more likely to be killed by Chicken Pox as if you are a child. It took nearly 20 years from the time the vaccine was invented until we had enough data to be sure it was safe and start giving it to kids for exactly this reason; if we had done so and gotten it wrong we could have easily seriously harmed millions of children who were, in fact, better off just getting the Chicken Pox.
The varicella (Chicken Pox) vaccine was approved and my daughter was given it, along with the other ordinary childhood vaccines for measles, diphtheria and more. Why? Because they were proved safe over ten to twenty years each before they were recommended and approved, and thus we know what both the immediate and longer-term safety risks are. Those risk are acceptable compared with the risks of serious harm or death if you get the disease. But measles is much more dangerous than Covid-19; it kills 1 or 2 per 1,000 people who get it and sends about a quarter of all who get it to the hospital. Diphtheria kills 5-10% of the people who get that. Mumps frequently causes permanent sterility if you have reached puberty before you get it, and so on.
Covid-19 is at least 100 times less dangerous than these diseases in a healthy young person and for that reason alone the vaccine should be 100 times safer than the measles shot for you to take it. The data is that it is not; it is in fact more dangerous than the other shots you were given as a child -- and that's without counting the risks we have no way to put numbers on now and won't for years.
One final point: There is a common chestnut that is half-true and used to mislead: If you get the shot you're less-likely to kill your grandmother, your teacher or some other random person.
Here is why that claim is based on facts but unproved as it is not controlled for those things that may in fact make it more likely for you to give someone else the virus. As such it's propaganda and without actual scientific basis. Specifically:
- It is true that you are significantly less-likely to get Covid-19 symptomatically -- that is, physically sick -- if you're vaccinated. That rate of risk reduction looks very good, somewhere around 90% give or take a bit depending on which vaccine you get.
- However, asymptomatic infection reduction is not known because none of the trials and none of the current testing is being done without symptoms in vaccinated people. In other words during the trials they deliberately did not test those who had the shots unless they got notably sick, where in the population at large if you were near someone in a school who had it you got a swab stuffed up your nose and, if "positive" you were told to stay home even if you had no symptoms but you were still called a "case." There is data in the original trials that strongly suggests that these asymptomatic cases were not caught at all and were common. We do not know because we did not look and are not testing those who got the shots on a systematic basis today to see whether or not they're being silently infected; you have to get sick to be counted where this is not true if you haven't been vaccinated.
- Current data over the last few months confirms that indeed symptomatic cases are materially less, across a much larger population, if you get vaccinated. The current results appear to be somewhere around an 80-90% reduction of symptomatic cases in Israel, which has a very large percentage of their population that took the shots. That sounds awesome and is, for you, if you're at high risk. But the problem with not knowing you're infected is that if you get infected and don't know you have it then you're much more-likely to hug someone, be around them, etc.
- There is additionally other data which suggest that the risk of transmitting the virus, if you get it and are vaccinated, is reduced by about half; that is, you emit less virus. The data on this is far less-convincing so far simply because there hasn't been enough time to study this well, but that's what the data appears to show. The problem is that a greater percentage of the infections will be asymptomatic, they are intentionally not being tested for and thus will not be known to the person who has it. How much greater of a percentage of the time does someone thus emit the virus without knowing they have it and does this cancel out the benefit to the population at large? We don't know.
- Finally virtually all of the yelling over the last year about masks, distancing and similar has been due to the mistaken belief that this virus is often transmitted by people without symptoms and that it is transmitted by drops that can be filtered by a mask. There is no science behind that claim, only computer models. The best science we have is that the virus is actually in extremely fine particles that will go through virtually any mask, it is also in feces (so flushing a toilet or even farting could spread it) but that asymptomatic transmission if you are not in close, personal contact with someone (e.g. in a small room for an hour) is quite rare; perhaps 5-10% of the risk you would take with someone who is feeling ill simply because you don't emit nearly as much. Nonetheless the possibility of transmitting the virus to someone without knowing you're sick must be considered and even if you are immune the science is that you could potentially get and transmit the virus without knowing it.
So Granny, whether you get vaccinated or not, has to rely on her immunity, not yours. That you have a reduced risk of getting mildly sick, which is all that was ever likely to happen to you, really doesn't help her much if you get the virus and don't know you have it because while a 50% reduction in transmission sounds like a lot it could be the exact opposite if you think you're safe when you're not and thus do more-dangerous things that could give it to others.
Anyone who personally believes they want or need protection from being infected has to take the jab and accept the risk themselves; your doing so has little or no impact on the other person's risk.
The same is true for everyone else -- your teacher, your mother, your father and anyone else you know that is elderly or has serious health concerns. But, like you, if they've had Covid, and a lot of people have over the last year, there is again no science that says they will get any further benefit from the shots.
For those who are at high risk and have not had Covid the apparent risk of getting a very serious reaction at 1 in 5,000 immediately, and an unknown risk of serious medical trouble five years down the line, are still probably good odds. That's 0.02% plus whatever the unknown risk is which is much less than the risk of someone who is old and has a bunch of things wrong with them medically dying if they get sick. The published data is that for an elderly, ill person about 5% of the time the virus will kill them without treatment. Even if they use early treatment, which our doctors and hospitals often claim doesn't exist (that's false; if you have a couple hours click here and listen to a long interview with an expert on the matter), and that cuts the risk by 50-90% of going to the hospital and dying the shot is still probably a good risk because even an 80% reduction from early treatment leaves them with a 1% chance of being killed by the virus but the odds are 0.02% from the shot. This is especially true for people older than their mid 70s as average life expectancy is about in that range and as such being concerned about something that might get them in five years as opposed to something that might get them right now is crazy.
But for a young person who has 50 or more years into the future that they expect to be here on this rock five years is a very short time and therefore the risk of those unknowns cannot be ignored.
Make your decision, but do it on an informed basis that applies to you.
Not because your friends are doing it, or because someone on the TV or social media told you to -- no matter who they are.
Remember: Those very same people on the TV and social media told you that there was nothing we could do to treat this disease until you were literally choking to death. That has been known, all the way back to April of 2020, to be a lie. 500,000 Americans are dead in part because of that lie. Whether those lies were told for money or for politics, and some of both is almost-certainly involved, does not matter to the people who are dead.
In addition they're still at it today. Post this article on Facebook and they'll kill your account because it presents truthful information and does not advocate that you take the shot. In other words only propaganda which by definition is designed to mislead either by outright lying or leaving out things you should know about on purpose is permitted when it comes to these shots on their platform. Because this article advocates nothing but instead presents information and "best guess" odds, along with government-published facts on the risk of the virus itself, Facebook and others deem it "against community standards" because you might choose a course of action other than what they want you to do.
Finally, if you think you can speed things up when it comes to medicine and it'll be ok, that is, we don't really need to take the time, read this article. It's about thalidomide, a drug that appeared safe, but was largely blocked in the US because an inspector at the FDA didn't have sufficient safety data, which takes time to obtain. She was right; the drug caused horrible birth defects if taken by pregnant women and it is this legacy, which screwed a huge number of children in Europe in particular, that is why it typically takes between 8 - 12 years to approve drugs and should.
You cannot speed this process up without taking serious risks and, if you ignore those risks horrible things can and sometimes do happen.
Again: If you take these shots before that time has passed and the data is known you are the lab rat and will have no choice but to live with whatever those consequence may be, whether for good or bad.
If you, in your sole judgement, believe the risk of getting Covid (and you have not already had it) is greater than the risk of the shot then obviously you should take the shot. That is the only question you should consider -- not whether your friends are doing it or whether someone is bribing you, whether with lottery entries of whatever else they may cook up.