I would like to respond to the guests ’opinion titled“ Vaccine Passports Would Trigger Hell, ”in the Sunday, May 16th newspaper. The opinion was written by Lynn Barton, a member of the Child Health Advocacy Council, a group that questions the legitimacy of vaccination as a strategy for public health.
The opinion piece uses a well-known tactic during this devastating pandemic, to dredge up obscure or dated “studies” and “experts” and give them legitimacy to justify a predetermined opinion. This is not how science works. Those who are really looking for the truth start with a question (e.g., “how can we reduce COVID disease?”) And examine all the data to determine the most likely answer. Then we continue to study it to see if the facts remain valid. Child health advocacy seems to start with a belief and then look for data to support that belief.
Here are some facts:
Vaccines have rarely been a big money factor for the pharmaceutical industry. You give them once, twice, or at most every year, unlike chronic illness medications in which you make lifelong sales. The establishment of a review board, VAERS, to receive all possible adverse effects of vaccines, was a way to avoid the liability of manufacturers, while providing a means to examine the safety of the ongoing vaccine and adequate patient compensation. By no means am I a Pharma apologist, but we need them to create safe and effective vaccines and the creation of VAERS was one way to achieve this.
Current vaccines against COVID-19 were not rushed. They represent a war-like effort to achieve a safe and effective vaccine for the public in time to save lives. In an unprecedented move, the federal government risked the financial risk of some manufacturers by paying them to recruit tens of thousands of volunteers into well-blind, well-structured studies, while supporting the creation of a manufacturing and delivery infrastructure. of vaccines. What a bet! No vaccine manufacturer would take the risk of building a factory to make a product before it proved effective, and that’s what they did, with federal support. The vaccines were extraordinarily safe and effective and we reduced the time from conception to arm shots to less than a year. No corners were cut!
It is true that vaccines carry risk. However, we compare the known risks of vaccination (extremely reduced as determined by legitimate epidemiologists working in respected public health institutions) with the risks of COVID-19 disease. You are much more likely to die or have a continuing disability from a complication of the disease than from the vaccine. As we learn more about vaccine safety, we are also learning more about COVID disease, true mortality, as well as the long-term consequences (long COVID) for some people. 586,000 deaths from COVID in the U.S. alone and 3.38 million deaths worldwide, and the numbers are rising.
Who will you trust to fix all this? I don’t know of any public health officials who are working to deceive people, trying to improve their ego or exercise power over others, while informing the public about what we know about COVID. I see professionals working long hours for the last 15 months trying to protect their communities and save lives. These are, for the most part, compassionate, questioning, and scientifically trained public servants who want to do well, sometimes spoil messages, but always seek the truth.
Listen to the public health professionals who are by your side and who are in the best position to analyze information about COVID. We say:
The disease is real and serious.
It is highly contagious even for those without symptoms.
The vaccine has been well studied and is safe and very effective.
Vaccination is the best way to protect ourselves and get back to our way of life.
No one is trying to take away his rights. We are freedom-loving Americans like you.
Jim Shames, MD, is a Jackson County health officer. He wrote it as a private citizen, not in his official function or as a county representative.