COVID-19 vaccine facts and myths – UPDATED info about the new vaccines

COVID-19 vaccine facts
  •  
  •  
  • 4
  •  
  • 1
  • 23
  •  
  •  
  •  
    28
    Shares

There are so many myths about the COVID-19 vaccine, I wanted to post some facts about the new vaccines which we can use for debunking purposes. I used to think that the HPV vaccine brought the most hatred and misinformation from the anti-vaccine world, but it’s clear that the new COVID-19 vaccines are their new targets.

This article will only focus on the five vaccines that I believe will eventually receive FDA or European Medicines Agency (EMA) approval – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ Janssen), and Novavax vaccines. I remain unconvinced that any vaccine made in China or the Russian Sputnik V vaccine will ever get approved by countries with robust drug regulatory agencies. However, if they are, I will certainly add them to a future iteration of this list.

I’m going to make this in a basic chart form for ease of use. I will link to supporting evidence wherever relevant.

Continue reading “COVID-19 vaccine facts and myths – UPDATED info about the new vaccines”

HPV vaccine myth debunking – all the science facts fit to print

  •  
  •  
  • 2
  •  
  •  
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
    5
    Shares

I’ve written nearly 200 articles on the HPV vaccine, debunking one myth after another. Despite the new COVID-19 vaccines being a recent target of various anti-vaccine myths and tropes, it has nothing on the FUD disinformation propaganda pushed against the HPV vaccine.

Like I did with the COVID-19 vaccines, I wanted to create easy-to-use charts for those of you who need a quick reference to debunk the nonsense out there.

Continue reading “HPV vaccine myth debunking – all the science facts fit to print”

Vaccine informed consent – is it in tension with school mandates?

vaccine informed consent
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
    3
    Shares

This article about vaccine informed consent was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about the social and legal policies of vaccination. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease. She is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group on Ethics and Policy.

Several people have asked me whether having school mandates is in tension with the idea of vaccine informed consent. The answer is no. While school mandates have some effect on parental autonomy, the doctrine of informed consent should not be conflated with autonomy.

For a somewhat different reason, imposing sanctions on those who do not vaccinate is also not a violation of informed consent.

Continue reading “Vaccine informed consent – is it in tension with school mandates?”

Don’t fall for the Nirvana fallacy – COVID vaccines are safe and effective

glass blur government health
  •  
  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
    4
    Shares

I bet you’ve read that the new COVID-19 vaccines are not 100% perfect, so employing the Nirvana fallacy, must be avoided. That’s just not how one should look at medical data – whether examining vaccine safety and effectiveness or the usefulness of chemotherapy in treating cancer.

No medical procedure is perfectly safe or perfectly effective. Physicians and scientists never make those kinds of claims. In evidence-based medicine, benefits are weighed against risks based upon peer-reviewed published data.

I always like to say that when a physician reduces a fracture of the arm or leg, there is a small, but statistically significant chance of dying from something like a clot forming that goes to the heart or lungs. However, if you don’t reduce the fracture, there is a might higher chance of dying or permanent disability. Yet, I doubt that anyone would refuse the procedure despite the inherent risk.

Unfortunately, the bad math of the anti-vaccine world means that any risk that is not absolute 0% is rounded up to 100%, and vaccine effectiveness that is not absolutely 100% is rounded down to 0%. Yet, I’m sure if they had a broken arm, they would have the fracture reduced immediately.

This article is going to take a look at the Nirvana fallacy and how it relates to the acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Continue reading “Don’t fall for the Nirvana fallacy – COVID vaccines are safe and effective”

COVID vaccine effectiveness against Delta variant –

pexels-photo-6074971.jpeg
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
    3
    Shares

During the 17 September 2021 FDA vaccine expert committee meeting, the COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness against the Delta variant was reviewed. I want to assess some of the results so that we have a better understanding of how the vaccines are working against the Delta variant.

I have read all kinds of comments and reports about the COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness against the Delta variant, but it will be good to see what data was presented to the top vaccine experts in the country. Let’s take a peek at the data.

Continue reading “COVID vaccine effectiveness against Delta variant –”

Is natural immunity from COVID better than vaccines? Not really.

natural immunity COVID
  •  
  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
    4
    Shares

Another non-peer-reviewed preprint article about natural immunity versus vaccines for COVID-19 is being used as the “gotcha” moment for the anti-vaxxers. And on the surface, the article might be interesting, but it’s being misused. What a shocker.

I’m going to do a quick review of the article, then remind everyone why vaccinations are ALWAYS better than natural immunity. Outcomes from diseases that are prevented by the vaccine must be weighed against the safety and effectiveness of that vaccine. This is a necessary risk-benefit analysis that is required by every procedure or pharmaceutical in evidence-based medicine. And, this is the point that is missed by those pushing this new preprint.

Continue reading “Is natural immunity from COVID better than vaccines? Not really.”

Nicki Minaj, COVID-19 vaccines don’t cause swollen testicles or impotence

people holding small clear glass bottles
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
    3
    Shares

I don’t know what it is about vaccines and fear of infertility, but now rapper Nicki Minaj has stepped into the COVID-19 vaccine “discussion.” And like every claim that, in some magical way, vaccines have an effect on fertility, she’s wrong.

Worse yet, Nicki Minaj knows as much about vaccines as my cat, yet she gets to use her platform on social media to spread her misinformation. That’s the battle for the hearts and minds of people in these vaccines discussions is so difficult – maybe 10,000 people will read this article in which I debunk the “COVID-19 vaccine causes infertility” myth for the 10th time. But millions will see her social media posts.

So, here I go again, I’m going to tell you again that vaccines, specifically the ones for COVID-19, are not going to cause infertility in men or women. Sigh. And the thought that I have to write a debunking of something from Nicki Minaj is surreal.

Continue reading “Nicki Minaj, COVID-19 vaccines don’t cause swollen testicles or impotence”

Anti-vaxxers misuse VAERS against COVID-19 vaccines – bad science

COVID-19 vaccines VAERS
  •  
  •  
  • 2
  •  
  •  
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
    5
    Shares

Recently, a poorly written pre-print article uses VAERS “data” to show that the COVID-19 vaccines cause myocarditis in children 12-17 years old. Although we do have some data that the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines may be linked to myocarditis in some age groups.

I, and many others, have frequently criticized the use of VAERS, and I will do it again in this article, so just hang on. It cannot be used for anything by gross observations, and it certainly cannot be used as the basis for an article that condemns a vaccine.

So, let’s once again go down the rabbit hole of misusing VAERS to evaluate the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.

Continue reading “Anti-vaxxers misuse VAERS against COVID-19 vaccines – bad science”

Zombie apocalypse epidemiology, vaccines, treatment – peer-reviewed research

man in black and white striped dress shirt
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
    3
    Shares

Yes, there is peer-reviewed research on the epidemiology of the zombie apocalypse. And in real medical journals like the BMJ. No, this is not a joke.

Zombies are known as biters, cold bodies, creepers, dead ones, floaters, geeks, lamebrains, lurkers, monsters, roamers, rotters, skin eaters, and walkers, according to the historical TV show The Walking Dead. Other historical documents have called them Zeds, Zs, Zekes, and ghouls.

The scientific consensus about the zombie apocalypse is that a true zombie must meet three criteria (for an exception, see Note 1):

  • It is a reanimated human corpse,
  • it is relentlessly aggressive, and
  • it is biologically infected and can pass that infection to healthy humans.

Recently, a researcher on the science of zombies, Professor Tara C Smith, Ph.D. (see Notes 2 and 3 ), professor of biostatistics at Kent State University, published a review article on zombie epidemiology in BMJ, which examines the history, epidemiology, prevention, and treatment of zombie infections. Prof. Smith is no slouch in the field of peer-reviewed zombie apocalypse research – she has written another one that teaches mathematical modeling of the zombie apocalypse.

In case you don’t know of her, Professor Smith is a solid pro-vaccine researcher with an impressive list of published articles. It’s ironic that Smith publishes real science about the zombie apocalypse in respected journals, whereas anti-vaxxers can’t publish their “research” in anything but predatory journals.

But let’s stick with the zombie apocalypse, because if there’s anything that makes it feel like we’re in a dystopian future with zombies, it’s the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Continue reading “Zombie apocalypse epidemiology, vaccines, treatment – peer-reviewed research”

NVICP compensation and autoimmune syndromes – vaccine court review

brown wooden gavel on brown wooden table
  •  
  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
    4
    Shares

This article about NVICP compensation and autoimmune syndromes was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about the social and legal policies of vaccination. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease. She is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group on Ethics and Policy.

This post examines the treatment by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) of the second of two claims (see first one here) heard from those claiming vaccines cause more injuries than acknowledged in recent days. This article will focus on NVICP compensation and autoimmune syndromes.

The Special Master’s decisions – as many decisions in NVICP are – are long, complex, and examine the evidence closely and in detail. They address factual debates, expert disagreements specific to the case, and expert disagreements on the science.

This post won’t cover them – that’s not my goal. All I will address are the Special Master’s conclusion about two hypotheses raised by those who believe vaccines injured their child (and also promoted by anti-vaccine organizations).

Continue reading “NVICP compensation and autoimmune syndromes – vaccine court review”

Vaccine mandates for those with previous COVID infection – policy debate

people woman government health
  •  
  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
    4
    Shares

This article about vaccine mandates for anyone with a previous COVID-19 infection was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about the social and legal policies of vaccination. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease. She is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group on Ethics and Policy.

In this post, I set out the debates around allowing those with a previous COVID-19 infection to be exempt from U.S. vaccine mandates. 

A quick reminder– the virus is SARS-CoV-2, while the infection with the virus causes the disease, COVID-19 (or just COVID). 

The policy takeaway point is that while, in my view, the choice to allow those with a previous COVID infection an exemption from vaccine mandates can be reasonable, the choice not to allow an exemption also has very good policy reasons behind it.

Since it is a valid policy choice, mandates without such an exemption cannot, in my view, be legally challenged. Those wanting their institution to exempt them because of natural immunity need to convince their institution to do so, and if the institution refuses, do not have viable legal recourse. Under our current law – rightly – in uncertainty, the policymakers have the flexibility to choose the option they think is safer.

I am not a scientist, and I think this is an area of substantial scientific uncertainty. But I have to start by setting out some background, and I will try to summarize what I think we do and do not know.

I will add that my thoughts on this have developed. When I came into this topic, I thought a previous infection should be grounds for exemption. Now, I think there’s an argument both ways, and in fact, the argument against an exemption for the previously infected is stronger – though an institution would still be on solid grounds if it chose to give one, for policy reasons.   

Continue reading “Vaccine mandates for those with previous COVID infection – policy debate”

Physicians are warned to not spread COVID vaccine falsehoods

COVID-19 vaccine falsehoods
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
    3
    Shares

American medical boards continue to support the sanctioning of physicians who are spreading COVID-19 vaccine falsehoods. I wish this weren’t necessary, but too many physicians are pushing all kinds of misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccines.

I’m not one to dwell in some utopia where I expect every physician is an expert in science, but there seems to be more falsehoods being pushed about the COVID-19 vaccine than I’ve seen with other vaccines. And all that has done is lead the USA to nearly 700,000 deaths from the disease. I can’t actually put my mind around that number, but every physician should be fighting to end this pandemic, and it starts with vaccines.

Continue reading “Physicians are warned to not spread COVID vaccine falsehoods”