Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Are You Going To Get The Booster?

 One of the most viewed blog posts I have written this year asked the following question.

"Are You Going To Get The Vaccine"? I wrote it it mid-January just as the Covid vaccination effort was getting underway.

One of the things I wrote in that blog post has proven to very accurate.

The biggest misconception I see in people regarding the vaccine is that they believe it will prevent them from being infected with Covid, or if loved ones are vaccinated it will prevent the transmission of the virus to them. This would seem to be an obvious assumption and a primary reason to get the vaccine.

Incredibly, there is no evidence that any of the Covid vaccines will prevent transmission of the virus.

That was not a difficult statement to make. All you needed to do was to review the findings and data in the clinical trials of the vaccines.

Nevertheless, the FDA gave all of the vaccines Emergency Use Authorization based on the assertion that they would prevent  Covid-19 disease.

This is a direct excerpt from the EUA for the Moderna vaccine.


At the time, I was of the belief that a lot of questions about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines would be answered over the next 6-12 months.

As with any medical intervention, I pointed out that the decision you should make on whether to get the vaccine involved weighing your risk from the disease, the risk from the intervention and the benefit to you of the treatment or vaccine.

I pointed out that there was much that nobody knew about the vaccines and their benefits.

I concluded this way.

The only thing I know for sure is that the media and the "experts" have painted the most negative and dangerous narrative they could involving Covid-19. They are also portraying the vaccines in the most positive light they can.

Neither narrative should be trusted. The risks of Covid to most people is a much smaller than most are led to believe. At the same time, the benefits of the vaccine are much less and there also can be real risks attached to these vaccines that should not be overlooked.

The truth undoubtedly lies somewhere in the middle but it is next to impossible for the average person to decipher what it is. 

My advice to anybody is to do as much research as you can. Don't take anything you are told at face value. Make sure you understand the risks and benefits of the vaccines. 

If you do that you will be in a much better position to make an informed decision on whether you should get the vaccine.

The Biden administration stated last month they were going to urge everyone who is already fully vaccinated to get a booster shot six months after their second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna jabs. 

That would appear to be an admission that the vaccines were not as effective as originally promised.

You should know that the Boosters are exactly the same vaccine formula that was originally given. It has not been modified to be more effective against the Delta or other variants.

Remember as well that as recently as the end of the July Joe Biden said this to the American people.

"You're not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations."

Earlier in July Dr. Anthony Fauci said this.

The Biden administration had planned to start the Booster program this week.

This seems to be based largely on data from Israel that shows that the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine wanes considerably over time.

However, an FDA Advisory Plan threw a wrench into Biden's plan on Friday of last week by voting overwhelmingly (16-2) against generally recommending the Boosters for those below the age of 65.

They voted to recommend an Emergency Use Authorization for the limited use of Boosters for those age 65+ and those at "high risk of severe Covid". It will be interesting to see how the latter recommendation is interpreted.

Theoretically, it could encompass almost anyone. Who is going to police who shows up to get the shot and stop someone? That is even more true as this is being done under an EUA which means the pharmacist, doctor and anyone associated with the Booster shot bears no liability. 

We may also see employers like hospitals and schools try to mandate the Boosters by arguing that their employees are at "high risk of severe Covid" and it has been "authorized" by the FDA. Who is going to stop them from doing that?

The more limited FDA decision may have been influenced by the fact that the two lead vaccine experts at the FDA announced they were leaving the agency shortly after Biden announced they were implementing the Booster program.

Source: https://news.yahoo.com/vaccine-leaders-resign-pfizer-booster-142824241.html

...senior officials have told multiple reporters that it is largely in part to what is being perceived as the White House getting ahead of and putting pressure on the entity to approve not just the vaccine boosters, but also other parts of the vaccine approval process, and also shifting the focus away from the FDA, which is largely in charge of this, to the CDC and the CDC's advisory panel.

Two weeks ago these officials went public in co-authoring an article with a number of other WHO scientists in arguing against a broad roll-out of Boosters.


An international group of scientists, including top leaders at the World Health Organization and two departing Food and Drug Administration officials, said in a paper published Monday that booster doses of coronavirus vaccines are not yet needed for the general public.

Writing in the medical journal The Lancet, the scientists argue that current evidence shows fully vaccinated individuals remain highly protected against severe COVID-19, and make the case that additional doses would be better used in people who remain unvaccinated.

I thought Joe Biden told us that he was always going to follow THE SCIENCE?

This brings us back to the question at hand.

Are You Going To Get The Booster?

It also puts us back to the same place we were last January.

Do the possible benefits of the vaccine outweigh any risks?

At this point, it is clear that the benefits of the vaccine are not as great as they were promoted to be in January. 

I think you also have to consider why a Booster shot is necessary within a year of receiving a vaccine? When have you ever heard of needing a vaccine booster so soon? The tetanus vaccine is one in which a Booster is recommended. However, that is generally done 10 YEARS after the original shot.

Have the risks of taking an additional Booster shot been properly studied and understood?

The FDA Advisory Panel clearly had some doubts.

Let's look at that issue in more detail.

How many people did Pfizer include in the Booster clinical trial?

306 between 18 and 55 years of age.

Only 12 between the ages of 65 and 85 were in the trial.

None under the age of 18.

How much comfort does that provide?

This is an excerpt from the FDA Briefing Document on application for the licensure of the Pfizer Booster.

Source: https://www.fda.gov/media/152176/download

Note that they did not include anyone under 18 in the clinical trial of the Boosters despite numerous reports of myocarditis in young men who had two doses of the vaccine.

It is unclear the extent to which the following slide that was presented at the FDA panel influenced the final decision to not approve of the Boosters.

It shows the VAERS data (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting) for 2011-2021.

Source: https://twitter.com/justin_hart/status/1438946504664780802/photo/1

The argument can be made that the inordinate number of adverse events this year is due to the fact that there have been lot more vaccine doses given in 2021 due to the Covid vaccines. However, in a normal year, there are still a lot of vaccines administered---childhood vaccines (287 million doses per year), flu (180 million doses given in typical year), tetanus, pneumonia, HPV, etc. 

I also personally know of a lot of friends who had adverse events with the Covid vaccines that required medical care in which no VAERS report was made suggesting that the numbers are underreported.

Do you think there should be more people asking "What is going on?" considering this data?

I will be interested in seeing what the Booster uptake is going to be for those eligible.

First and foremost, what are we going to see from health care workers if they are considered at "high risk"?

They were offered the vaccines first so they will be the first to qualify for the booster.

Based on the Biden edict, they are already facing loss of their jobs unless fully vaccinated with two doses.

Many have to be wondering whether this will ever end?

How long will it be that you will not be considered fully vaccinated if you only have two doses? Are you going to need three doses to meet the requirement? Four? Five? Six? 

Israel has already stated that you are not considered fully vaccinated unless you have the Booster.

35% of Israel's population has now taken the Pfizer Booster since it was introduced in that country on July 31.

This is the trajectory of confirmed cases in Israel over the same time frame as the chart above (July 1, 2021-September 22, 2021).

Cases actually peaked higher in this wave than during any previous surge as you can see in this chart that begins in February, 2020.

Deaths have not reached the same levels as during the last year's Winter wave in Israel suggesting that the vaccines are providing that important protection. However, deaths are still double what they were at the same time last year when no one was vaccinated.

Right along with the healthcare workers we will see those in nursing homes offered the Booster.

I would expect that uptake to be pretty high based on the high percentage that took the first two doses and their risk factor due to age.

However, does having only 12 people in the clinical trial for this age group give anyone pause if this is your mother or father?

If you have any doubts about how strong a correlation there is involving the risk of Covid being higher  the older you are I suggest you scan the chart below.

It shows the numbers of all Covid deaths by age from January 1, 2020 to September 11, 2021 and the percent that those deaths represent as a % of the total population of that age in the United States.

Source: https://twitter.com/kerpen/status/1439965673426403328/photo/1

One interesting factoid in this data is that more people have died with Covid who are age 75 or older than ALL of those aged 75 and younger. 

If you look at the data you also see that there have been less than 500 deaths associated with Covid in those under age 18 since the beginning of the pandemic. To put that number in context, deaths from other causes for this age group is 127x this number. In other words, there are 127 other things that parents should be worried about with their children beyond Covid.

I have several friends I know who have either been infected with Covid, or had an adverse reaction, after getting the vaccine.

I have asked them whether they would get the Booster.

Without exception they all told me very quickly that they would not.

I would expect that the uptake on the Booster will largely depend on the personal experience that people have had with the original doses.

If they have fared well, they will get the Booster.

If they have not, they will likely not bet on it again.

Nothing has changed in my advice.

Do as much research as you can. Don't take anything you are told at face value. Make sure you understand the risks and benefits of the Boosters. There is a lot more information about all of the vaccines since January so factor that into your decision.

If you do that you will be in a much better position to make an informed decision on whether you should get the Booster when (and if) it is made available to you.

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