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OPINION: Should I get the shot or not?

by Randy Moll | June 8, 2021 at 8:46 a.m.

"Unclean! Unclean! Stay back at least 6 feet [or should that be 300 feet]! I'm not vaccinated!"

Hearing the rhetoric lately and seeing all the pressure put on people to take the shot(s) and "make everybody safe," perhaps similar words will be required of those unvaccinated for covid-19. I worry a bit, too, about employers, schools, service providers and destinations requiring proof of vaccination and saying the vaccines are safe and then demanding waivers of liability if anybody gets sick or dies from the vaccines.

In spite of the fact that government agencies and big media companies are saying the vaccines are safe and effective, I've been digging a little deeper and reading the findings reported in medical journals and research papers and I'm a bit shocked that people are so freely rolling up their sleeves for covid-19 vaccines. I can't begin to cite them all here but I'll give you a sampling of what I've learned.

The vaccines are not as safe as we are being led to believe. An unacceptable number of people have died from the covid vaccines and many have had debilitating side effects, including heart attacks, strokes and other blood clot issues. I can't help but believe that, were it not for the politics involved in the vaccination movement, all the covid vaccines would have been halted until more testing could be done and full FDA approval achieved.

If you believe the covid-19 vaccine is safe, perhaps you should visit the OpenVAERS website. According to the website, "VAERS is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System put in place in 1990. It is a voluntary reporting system that has been estimated to account for only 1% of vaccine injuries. OpenVAERS is built from the HHS [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] data available for download at vaers.hhs.gov."

If you visit https://www.openvaers.com/covid-data, you will see that people reporting adverse effects from the covid-19 vaccines through May 28 include 5,165 deaths, 17,619 hospitalizations, 39,121 urgent care visits, 51,133 office visits, 1,342 anaphylaxis, 1,565 Bell's palsy, 5,317 life-threatening, 1,892 heart attacks, 756 myocarditis/pericarditis, 1,392 thrombocytopenia/low platelet, 571 miscarriages, 13,574 severe allergic reactions, 3,994 disabled. And, if only about 1 percent of these adverse effects are reported to VAERS, the real numbers are much, much higher. I'll let you do the math, but we could be talking about deaths in the range of tens or hundreds of thousands if all were reported. Yet, I've never heard even the minimum figures reported on the evening news.

And, just to give you an example of some of the thousands of reports you may read on VAERS, one reports a 36-year-old non-pregnant female received her second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on April 29. On April 30, she had blood clots in her lung and leg, dizziness, weakness and headache and was later admitted to the hospital for what was considered a life-threatening illness.

I invite you to read more -- the reports of illness and death are there for the public to view.

And, to make it more personal, I know people who have suffered side effects of the vaccine. One, with no previous health issues, passed out in traffic after receiving the vaccine and is now undergoing tests on her heart. I've also read of similar cases reported on OpenVAERS.

Are the vaccines effective? We've all heard the percentages -- from 60 percent all the way up to 95 percent -- but none claim to be 100 percent effective (and vaccines, in general, are not 100 percent effective). What that means is that being vaccinated is no guarantee that a person cannot contract covid-19.

And, what's also alarming are the mixed reports on how long the vaccines provide some level of immunity. The truth is that we probably won't know until large numbers of vaccinated individuals contract covid-19, or escape it when others do. I've read medical reports claiming immunity from 6 to 9 months or perhaps as long as 3 years.

In April, Pfizer and BioNTech said their vaccines remain effective for at least half a year after the second dose. Moderna reported a similar known duration in "The New England Journal of Medicine" on April 6.

Another concern is that the vaccines were developed for the original strain of covid-19 and the most common infections now are different strains, leading to the question of effectiveness against variations. Annual or semi-annual covid vaccines are being suggested as the future norm, according to Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel.

Having had covid-19 at least once, I've wondered whether I need a vaccine in order to have immunity. I've heard the claims that those who have had covid-19 will have even better protection if they get the shots, but the closest I can find to any research supporting that claim is expressed in terms of "hoping" that getting the vaccine will serve to further strengthen one's immunity to the disease. Again, it's probably too early to really know.

In most cases, natural immunity is better. I had the measles as a child and have never gotten them again. The same is true of chickenpox, though there is always the possibility of shingles. I've been vaccinated against smallpox, as were most in my generation, and had no ill side effects that I can remember. My wife almost died from the smallpox vaccine. Now, with the disease limited and isolated, they don't vaccinate because of the deaths and illnesses caused by the vaccine.

The reports I've read indicate that those who have had and recovered from covid-19 may actually have greater immunity to covid-19 than those who have been vaccinated. A January 26 report from the National Institutes for Health summarizes its findings like this: "The immune systems of more than 95% of people who recovered from COVID-19 had durable memories of the virus up to eight months after infection. The results provide hope that people receiving SARS-CoV-2 vaccines will develop similar lasting immune memories after vaccination." -- https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/lasting-immunity-found-after-recovery-covid-19

In the article, it states of those who have had and recovered from covid-19: "The researchers found durable immune responses in the majority of people studied. Antibodies against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, which the virus uses to get inside cells, were found in 98% of participants one month after symptom onset. As seen in previous studies, the number of antibodies ranged widely between individuals. But, promisingly, their levels remained fairly stable over time, declining only modestly at 6 to 8 months after infection."

So, according to the research, having had covid-19 probably means I'm as safe or even safer to be around than those who have not had it and just got the shots. Hence, I do not shout, "Unclean," when out in public.

I could go on but trust this should be enough to let you know there is another side of the story, and I encourage you to do your own research before rolling up your sleeve.

I won't tell people whether they should or should not take the vaccine, but I don't see the need to take it myself since I have, according to current research, immunity equal to or better than those who just got the shot(s). I plan to continue my research and may have a change of heart when we really know the dangers and long-term effects and effectiveness of the vaccines -- perhaps when and if they are fully FDA approved and are not just being administered under Emergency Use Authorization.

Randy Moll is the managing editor of the Westside Eagle Observer and may be contacted at [email protected]/com. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

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