Sep. 16, 2021

vaccines for who?

   Here's a question for those in the healthcare field or any others with inquiring minds : How are vaccines made and then administered, and why? Historically, vaccines were made from a killed or attenuated virus or bacterium. In the case of the new mRNA technology, they use neither, opting for a mimicry of a single spike protein rather than the entire protein compliment of a whole virus. Common sense would suggest that a complete protein model would provide a better immunologic response than a single protein mimic. Just like shooting a shotshell from a shotgun at a clay target moving through the air is more likley to be successful than trying to hit the target with the single bullet of a .22 caliber rifle, so is the complete package of proteins associated with a killed virus more likely to activate a strong immune response compared to a single protein. Sure, you might get lucky and hit the target with that single bullet, or a particular virus with a single particular spike protein, but you also have a better chance of missing, especially if anything changes. What exactly is the inoculation comprised of ?  It's a very small amount of the antigen ( the thing the antibody reacts to) which in this case is a virus or small piece of a virus. The micro dose is used so the patient does not develop a full blown case of whatever it is they are trying to prevent in the future by "priming" the immune system. By producing a subclinical case the immune system should be able to identify and respond to any future exposure. An actual infection has already initiated a full-blown ( and often very symptomatic ) response so more, and and actually better "informed" antibodies, are produced in preparation for a future possible exposure.  So again, common sense would suggest that actual infection by a live virus would produce a better, more robust response to the entire virus proteins than any micro dose in the form of a vaccine produced using a killed, attenuated or merely a single protein of a virus. Who were vaccines orignally designed to protect ? The answer, of course, was to protect the most vulnerable from a particular pathogen that might kill those in a particular at risk group. For a disease like smallpox, it was of concern for the working class (soldiers ) of a developing society. For other illnesses like chickenpox, measles, whooping cough, or even polio, it was the young people. These two groups are the future of any society. In what group is the current virus most likely to cause a serious illness ?The elderly and the infirmed. If we are being totally honest, neither of those groups is necessary for the survival of a society or for it to function. All vaccines, mask mandates, isolation dictums should have been, and still should be, directed at the group most affected, not the population in general, especially when the overall survival rate is so high with no treatment at all. How can that statement be made ? By simply comparing ongoing case and death rates that show little change unless early intervention is initiated, with the ongoing deaths which are still primarily in the older and already sick populations. Herd immunity would have been reached long ago with that approach.

    Why is there so much concern about vaccines ? Most are not worried about conventional, targeted vaccines, only about the newer, still unproven over time, inoculations using mRNA technology. The distrust comes from the flip-flopping on policy directives using the excuse that "things change over time" while telling the public "we've been preparing for this and studying these things for decades". Denial and refusal to recognize or even consider issues like successful early outpatient treatments used around the world and the lack of any advice other than "get the shot" further fan the flames of discord. Simple steps like improving ones health with diet and exercise or how to improve the quality of the immune system with things like vitamin D3 ( especially since about 80% of the US population is D-deficient ), vitamin C, and the most important, adequate zinc intake, the mineral that actually kills or stops replication of a virus, is seldom mentioned or discussed by organized, corporate medicine.  Likewise, any mention of off-label use of drugs like Ivermectin or Hydroxychloroquine are met with derisive comments touting studies that said they don't work. What isn't shared is that those studies were done using the medicines in isolated form rather than in a recommended cocktail of drugs used elsewhere with success, or the 'studies' used toxic doses. One also is not likely to read that some of those studies showing failure were later retracted. A 'study' is certainly flawed if it doesn't even use the "cocktail" proposed for successful treatment. One might ask if a 'whiskey sour' is a whiskey sour without the whiskey!

   We are also hearing that "because of the un-vaccinated, all the ERs and ICUs are full" . The wording is always done in such a way as to avoid saying what kind of patient is filling those units. Many are there with Covid, some because of Covid, but many others are there for cardiac problems, strokes, diabetic ketoacidosis, cancer, pneumonia, RSV and of course trauma. During the summer months, anyone that has worked at a level 1 or 2 trauma center can attest to the fact that they are historically full and diverting patients at these times. It's easier to blame it on the unvaccinated than to expand on the facts or tell the whole truth. 

    While concern remains with all of us regarding covid and the various response options, simple research helps remove some of the 'smoke and mirrors' that seem so prevalent in this polarizing and politicized topic. One can compare the year-long case/death rates in the US with a vaccination rate of around 55% with a country like Israel with a vaccination rate of about 95%. After looking at the up/down cycles and case spikes of both countries and seeing that similarity, look at the rates from mid summer until mid september 2021, when the above vaccination rates were reached. Note that BOTH countries began an upswing in late August of similar magnitude.....but wait, one country is almost toatlly vaccinated so how could that be? Maybe those vaccines aren't quite as effective, long lasting and certainly aren't better than a natural infection. If this simple comparison was a "contolled study", the end result would be a statement that there is no difference or advantage or protection from the virus whether vaccinated or not.  

   There's little doubt that healthy people, both young and even older without co-morbidities, that exercise , eat right, and follow normal precautions of any flu season are reluctant to volunteer for a study on unproven mRNA technology.  In the same respect, the very young, with their large and very active Thymus glands that mature copious numbers of T-cells, should have little to fear from a virus that loses it's vigor when killer T's are on the prowl. Too bad that adults don't have that same, robust T-cell response since their Thymus glands begin phasing out and finally dissappear around age 45, replaced by maturing (then aging!) B-cell immunity utilizing the immunglobulins. These are the same immunglobulins one finds in the monoclonal antibodies that are being discussed so much these days. We can only hope that a healthy adult immune system , one that can be strengthened with adjuncts like certain vitamins, will learn quick enough via infection or vaccine, how to overcome an invading virus.

   What are the answers we need? To start with, being totally honest and upfront, answering concerns and questions with something other than "because the CDC says so" or "studies in journals (those journals sponsored by drug companies) state this is so". We need sound, common sense reasoning, not the oft repeated rhetoric of a biased ivory-tower expert. People want things they can do do now to help improve the odds like diet, exercise, supplements and adjuncts used around the world. No one complains and many copy the efforts of athletes that improve their performance in this way, yet if a similar approach is made for a "health crisis", it's considered heresy. That, my friends, is the height of hypocrisy.