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

COVID-19 vaccine facts
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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.

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

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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.

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Paper claiming COVID vaccines and myocarditis link is RETRACTED

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An anti-vaccine group run by the discredited James Lyon-Weiler tried to show that the COVID-19 vaccines are linked to myocarditis in a vain attempt to discredit them. The paper they published was just retracted. Of course.

Ironically, when the paper was published last week, I was going to write about it. However, it lasted about a week before Retraction Watch reported that the publisher retracted it. So, I’ll write about how this is a terrible article and why it got retracted (actually, the publisher isn’t being transparent, so we really don’t know).

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I got my Moderna COVID vaccine booster – my immune system is powerful

Moderna booster
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Yesterday, I got my Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. As with the first two shots, I felt nothing other than a bit of a sore arm.

Now my immune system is scientifically boosted to handle whatever SARS-CoV-2 has for me. I’m ready to kick its sorry butt for even thinking about infecting me.

Why did I get the booster?

  • Because it’s safe.
  • Because the Moderna booster protects me against COVID-19 even more.
  • Because there is evidence that the original series of shots have waning immunity.
  • Because it’s the only way to boost my immune system against the coronavirus.
  • Because I know that vaccines are more powerful than pseudoscientific supplements and quackery.
  • Because the CDC recommends it.
  • Because it was free.
  • Because I want to do the right thing for my own health and to protect others.

I don’t know if boosters will be necessary every few months or years. But this virus is so resilient and mutates so frequently, I am willing to bet we will need frequent boosters for any of the COVID-19 vaccines.

person getting vaccinated
Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

Any of you who are pregnant, obese, or immunocompromised, especially if you’re older than 50 should get the booster. Anyone with the following health conditions should get COVID-19 vaccine boosters:

  • Alcoholism
  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney, liver, or lung diseases (such as moderate or severe asthma)
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Down syndrome
  • Genetic conditions, such as sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • HIV
  • Hypertension
  • Mental health conditions such as depression or schizophrenia
  • Smokers or former smokers
  • Stroke
  • Substance abuse
  • Tuberculosis

Anyone who works in certain occupations that are at high risk of COVID-19 should get the booster shot:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Firefighters
  • Police
  • Educators, such as teachers, daycare workers, and support staff
  • US postal workers
  • Public transit workers
  • Food and agriculture workers
  • Those who work in grocery stores, corrections, or manufacturing

It’s the right thing to do.

Moderna booster
Cute kittens to make you happy before you get your booster shot. Photo by Ilse Orsel on Unsplash.
Cute puppies for dog lovers. Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

Greater incidence of neurological issues from COVID-19 than vaccines

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A new study published in a peer-reviewed journal shows that there is a greater risk of neurological complications from COVID-19 compared to vaccines. Once again, we have actual medical science data showing that the COVID-19 vaccines are much safer than the disease.

The overall safety of the COVID-19 vaccines has been established in numerous articles. After several billion doses given, there are so few safety signals, and those are generally minor and extremely rare.

This newly published article examines the risk of neurological issues between vaccinated individuals and those who contract COVID-19. And once again, we see that the COVID-19 vaccine is demonstrably safer than getting the disease.

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COVID-19 linked to type 1 diabetes – another reason for the vaccine

COVID-19 diabetes
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Well, if you need another reason to get the COVID-19 vaccine, then it should be that the disease itself may increase the risk of type 1 diabetes. Along with many other long-term health issues, some people may develop type 1 diabetes after an acute COVID-19 infection.

I want to briefly discuss this consequence of the disease because the long-term healthcare issues resulting from a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes are deeply concerning.

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Cancer prevention in 12 steps – HPV and hep B vaccines included

cancer prevention
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I have railed against pseudoscientific charlatans who claim that they have the easy way to cancer prevention. Generally, these snake oil salesmen try to convince you that they have some miraculous food, supplement, spiritual energy, and on and on, that can either kill cancer in its tracks or keep them from even growing in your body.

Of course, none of their claims are actually supported by robust science. On the other hand, real science has 12 evidence-based methods to actually prevent cancer.

But what about those memes that say that supplements prevent cancer? Nope, they don’t. And that’s been shown in study after study after study after study (yeah, I could go on for a while).

How about avoiding GMO foods because they cause cancer? Again, studies show that GMO foods have no effect on cancers. Oh, one more thing – bananas don’t have tumor necrosis factor, and the yellow fruit can’t prevent or cure cancer (but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t delicious).

Despite the absolute lack of evidence that supplements, kale, bananas, or drinking the pure waters of a glacial fed stream (which may not be an option with climate change), there are only a few things that can be done to manage your overall risk of cancer.

How to prevent cancer has been codified by the World Health Organization’s  (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) into 12 steps (no, not that debunked one) that are called the European Code Against Cancer.

Let’s look at cancer and how to prevent cancer.

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Virus treatments quackery – what not to take for flu, colds, or COVID-19

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It’s that time of year when we are bombarded by virus treatments for everything from the flu and colds to COVID-19. The quackery includes things like “immune-boosting” miracle supplements to junk that “cures” every single virus known to medical science.

This article will attempt to debunk the myths of virus treatments such as “boosting the immune system,” magical supplements, and other nonsense involved with the world of flu treatment pseudoscience.

Of course, the best way to prevent the flu or COVID-19 is to get the vaccines. And since these vaccines are free, it’s infinitely cheaper than fake, useless virus treatments.

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COVID-19 vaccine mortality risk is lower than in an unvaccinated group

COVID vaccine mortality
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The COVID-19 vaccine mortality risk has been a subject of a lot of myths and misinformation ever since the vaccines were released. Too much of the false information relies upon dumpster diving into the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) rather than good science that might show causality.

The CDC published a study in the peer-reviewed Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on 22 October 2021 which examined the risk of non-COVID mortality in a COVID-19 vaccine group compared to an unvaccinated group. So that I don’t bury the lede, the risk of death from non-COVID causes was much higher in the unvaccinated group compared to the vaccinated one.

Let’s look at the details.

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COVID-19 vaccine boosters FAQs – what you should know

COVID-19 vaccine boosters
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Following the advice of the Vaccine and Related Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), the FDA announced that COVID-19 vaccine boosters can be given to those individuals who received the Moderna and JNJ vaccines. This follows a previous announcement about the Pfizer vaccine booster shots. The FDA also stated that all eligible individuals could mix and match vaccines for their booster dose.

There is a lot of information about these boosters out there, so I thought I would take a moment to try to provide some facts and clarity about what the recommendations are about these COVID-19 vaccine boosters. Also, this is related to a US FDA set of decisions and recommendations from the CDC, so this article is going to only apply to the USA. However, don’t be surprised if the EU and other regulatory agencies across the world do the same thing.

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Basic vaccine chemistry for those who are confused by it

vaccine chemistry
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One of the problems, among many, with anti-vaccine activists, is a complete misunderstanding of the basics of vaccine chemistry. People get scared of long chemical names, or chemicals themselves, and wonder if a vaccine might be dangerous.

Setting aside the fact that vaccines undergo substantial and robust preclinical and clinical testing which has shown that the safety and effectiveness of vaccines are settled science, most of the chemicals in vaccines are not dangerous, especially from the aspect of toxicity.

The website, The Logic of Science, published an article about five simple chemistry facts. It’s a valuable article, so I wanted to utilize their list and apply it to an article about basic vaccine chemistry.

I know that this will oversimplify vaccine chemistry. But I think most of us, who focus on the overwhelming evidence that vaccines are safe and effective, know that the fundamental principles of chemistry are the basis of biomedical science which is the foundation of vaccines.

Without further ado, let’s look at basic vaccine chemistry.

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Centner Academy bans students who get the COVID vaccine for 30 days

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The expensive, privileged, anti-vaccine Miami private school, Centner Academy, has decided to ban students for 30 days after they get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine which was recently approved by the FDA for 12-year and older children. I’ve written about the Centner Academy before when they banned teachers who received the COVID-19 vaccine because of “shedding” concerns.

In April 2020, the school wrote to teachers that “we cannot allow recently vaccinated people to be near our students until more information is known.” They claim that vaccinated people could pass on the so-called harmful effects of the shot and have a “potential impact” on unvaccinated students and staff.

The school’s co-founder, Leila Centner, claims that those children (and teachers) who had received the COVID-19 vaccine can somehow shed the virus, which in turn can cause menstrual cycle irregularities, miscarriages, and sterility in other women just by being in close proximity to vaccinated people.

And just to be clear, there are no live, dead, or otherwise whole viruses in the vaccine, so the risk of shedding is approximately equal to zero. Nada, Nichts. Zilch. The probability of a COVID-19 vaccine shedding is approximately equal to the probability that I will win an Academy Award for something.

Centner wrote previously, “we cannot allow recently vaccinated people to be near our students until more information is known.” She must get this nonsense from Kelly Brogan, anti-vaccine quack, who seems to have something to do with Centner and this school.

Centner also cited debunked claims that the vaccine causes infertility based on “reports have surfaced recently of non-vaccinated people being negatively impacted by interacting with people who have been vaccinated. So, the Centner Academy bans vaccinated children (and teachers) based on debunked adverse events from nonexistent shedding. That’s a whole new level of pseudoscience.

Let’s be clear that that the scientific consensus states that this vaccine is is very effective and carries few risks.

Simply put, COVID-19 vaccine shedding does not exist, but I will spend a few moments debunking it again.

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