There’s Not Enough Reliable Information to Know Whether to Get a COVID Booster
Back in 2020, I THINK I had COVID:
Last year, during the summer, I got sick. I was functional, could still work and even lift weights, but I had a dry cough, my resting heartbeat went up 16 beats per minute, my blood oxygen level dropped down to the 88-92 level for the first time in my life, and I became winded walking short distances. Even after I got over it, it took me a month or so to get my cardio back, and during that period, a large blood clot developed in my left leg. That’s called deep vein thrombosis, it’s potentially fatal and it’s associated with COVID-19. So, was it COVID? According to the test I took at the tail end of my sickness, no it was not. I then took an antibody test about a month later and once again; it came up negative.
Did I have COVID and come up negative for it? Given the quality of tests we’re all taking, that’s entirely possible. Still, I couldn’t be sure. When the COVID shots became available, that became relevant because if I was sure I had COVID, I would have likely passed on the COVID vaccine. After letting millions of other people be guinea pigs and not seeing a lot of aberrant results, I chose to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the end of May. I liked the fact that there was only one shot and the only side-effect from it was a bit of a sore arm that night. Although I was aware there appeared to be very rare potential side-effects and that at some point, probably a few years out, I’d need to take a booster, I thought it was well worth those minimal risks to dramatically limit the odds that I’d become seriously ill or die with COVID.
At the time, it all seemed like the right call, but that being said, everything seems much less clear today than it was then.
For one thing, instead of perhaps needing a booster in 2023 or 2024, the CDC is recommending that we take one now. Israel’s seriously discussing a 4th shot at this point. It looks very likely that the government will be recommending and perhaps even trying to force people to take a booster or two. It’s also entirely possible that yearly boosters could continue far into the future because contrary to what we were told early on, herd immunity doesn’t appear to be in the cards.
Given how new these vaccines are, that seems like a very big risk. It certainly isn’t being portrayed that way, but historically, a lot of vaccines have had some significant issues when they were first rolled out. For example, from the book, You Bet Your Life: From Blood Transfusions to Mass Vaccination, the Long and Risky History of Medical Innovation:
Americans making these decisions can’t have been comforted by the past. As has been true for virtually every vaccine ever made, the first vaccines aren’t always the best, safest, and last. For example, a live, weakened polio vaccine introduced in 1963 was replaced by an inactivated polio vaccine in 2000, when it became clear that the former actually caused polio in eight to ten US children every year. The first measles vaccine in 1963—which caused a high rate of fever and rash—was replaced by a safer, better vaccine in 1968. Another measles vaccine, which was also introduced in 1963, was taken off the market when it was found to actually increase the risk of pneumonia. The first rubella (German measles) vaccine in 1969, which caused arthritis in small joints like fingers and wrists, was replaced by a safer vaccine in 1979. The Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine in 1985, a bacterial vaccine that wasn’t particularly effective in young children, was replaced by a far more effective one in 1987. And the first shingles vaccine in 2011, designed to prevent one of the most debilitatingly painful diseases, was replaced by a much better one in 2017.
Incidentally, that outstanding book is not anti-medicine, anti-science, or trying to make the case that any of the vaccines it talks about are bad things. What it is hammering home is that medical advances can often be a messier process than we might expect. Mistakes are made and there are consequences.
Speaking of which, remember that I noted earlier that I took the Johnson & Johnson vaccine? Well, here’s an interesting story that’s currently breaking in the mainstream media:
U.S. drug regulators this week formally strengthened a warning to Americans regarding a severe condition linked to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. Blood clots and low blood platelet levels, known as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), are now listed as a contraindication, or a medical reason for somebody not to get the shot. ...A study in November found J&J vaccine recipients had a higher risk of blood clots when compared to recipients of the other two shots.
That is of particular interest to me seeing as how I had a blood clot last year and yes, low blood platelet levels. Did I have any problems with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that I took last year? No. But, would I have taken a different vaccine if this story had been reported then? Yes, absolutely. It sure would have been nice to have that piece of information when it mattered, which was before I was vaccinated.
That brings us to claims that the vaccines are doing much more harm than is being reported by the mainstream media. For example, consider these articles from Alex Berenson. The first concerns the death rate in Germany:
During the second half of November Germany - the largest country in Europe - had a death rate almost 25% above normal, compared to 17% above normal in the first half of the month.
These extra deaths are mostly NOT from Covid.
For all of November, Germany reported almost 15,000 extra deaths. Excess deaths were almost normal in the spring and early summer; they have sharply risen since then.
Germany’s mass vaccination campaign for most adults began late. On May 1, only 8 percent of German adults were fully vaccinated. On September 1, 61 percent were.
Is anyone even going to start asking questions, or are the public health authorities just too scared of what the answers might be?
Heart problems potentially caused by the vaccines are another issue that seems to be reported outside of MSM approved sources:
Bad news about the dangers that mRNA vaccines may pose to the heart and blood vessels keeps coming.
A new study of 566 patients who received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines shows that signs of cardiovascular damage soared following the shots. The risk of heart attacks or other severe coronary problems more than doubled months after the vaccines were administered, based on changes in markers of inflammation and other cell damage.
Patients had a 1 in 4 risk for severe problems after the vaccines, compared to 1 in 9 before.
Now, you might say, “Didn’t Twitter ban that guy? I don’t know if I trust Alex Berenson.” However, that’s exactly the issue. It shouldn’t be about whether you trust Alex Berenson or, for example, my friend Justin Hart who also comes at COVID with an approach that’s skeptical about much of the official data we’re getting. It shouldn’t even be about whether you trust Fauci, the CDC, or the WHO (that’s a big “no” from me on all of them). It should be about the open and honest exchange of information. It should be about going where the evidence leads you. In fact, without that open and honest exchange of information, without that ability for scientists to take a position that conflicts with the official narrative without penalty, you may have pure politics at worst or “informed opinion” at best, but you don’t have science.
There have certainly been scientists involved in formulating our approach to the coronavirus in America, but there’s nothing scientific about the way we’ve approached the pandemic. What has basically happened is relatively small numbers of politically connected scientists have drawn conclusions, and then collaborated with politicians and the media to tell the public what they think they should know, as opposed to just telling them the truth. Then, anyone who questions the government line is censored, suppressed, maligned, or labeled a conspiracy theorist for questioning the official narrative. Only days ago, Twitter was saying that it was impermissible to note that people who had been vaccinated could spread the virus. This is also in their terms of service.
* False or misleading information that misrepresents the protective effect of vaccines, to make claims contrary to health authorities. Claims that misrepresent research or statistical findings pertaining to the severity of the disease, prevalence of the virus, or effectiveness of widely accepted preventative measures, treatments, or vaccines.
Of course, even the CDC admits that fully vaccinated people can get and spread COVID, and saying that people can’t “make claims contrary to health authorities” is Orwellian, especially since the “health authorities” have been wrong many times since the pandemic started. Just to name a few examples, how’d “15 days to slow the spread” work out? Remember when they were telling us all we needed to do to crush the pandemic was wear masks? How about what constitutes “fully vaccinated?” If we’re “fully vaccinated,” why do we need boosters? We could go on and on and on with this, but you get the idea.
We’re hearing arrogant scientists with poor track records telling us what they think we need to hear instead of just the truth, politicians are making decisions about the pandemic to appeal to their base, and we’re watching the media censor alternative views. All that being said, if I were eighty years old and in the most at-risk group for COVID, I’d go ahead and bite the bullet despite all the questions I still have, but my unfortunate conclusion right now is that there just isn’t enough reliable information for the rest of us to make an informed decision about boosters.