I’m taking a rare sick day today as, while I am slowly improving, I have not been able to completely shake whatever this viral horror is that’s held me captive for nearly a week now. I know it’s not Covid as I tested and I doubt it’s influenza as I haven’t had any fever to speak of. It’s probably some crud cooked up by children freely swapping germs in day care and then carried to me at either church or work as I likely was exposed a week ago Sunday or Monday given the timing of my symptoms. The plan is to go back to work tomorrow as Wednesday through Friday tend to be my lighter days so I shouldn’t over do it too much.
I was lying in bed this morning scrolling through my Twitter feed when I was side tracked down an anti Covid vaccination rabbit hole. The anti-vaccination forces are out in number again and they have a bunch of new ‘proof’ regarding the dangers of vaccines made up out of the usual whole cloth. A couple of things: Damar Hamlin did not suffer cardiac arrest due to Covid vaccination. Cardiac arrest following a significant chest blow that aligns just so with the cardiac rhythm cycle is a well known phenomenon and has been happening to athletes involved in contact sports forever. Mr. Hamlin’s issue was promptly recognized and treated and, as a healthy conditioned athlete, he’s beating the odds for cardiac arrest in the field and more power to him. Hopefully he will avoid the issues that I have seen in all of the ex-NFL players I have treated over the years: dementia secondary to chronic traumatic encephalopathy – especially common in football players and boxers. Another: Lisa Marie Presley did not die at a relatively young age due to Covid vaccination. Her cardiac arrest appears to be related to previously undiagnosed heart issues that had been thought to be GI in nature. Heart disease is often underdiagnosed in women for this reason – cardiac symptoms are attributed to the wrong source. This doesn’t only happen in women. Tommy died a year younger than Lisa Marie as his cardiac symptoms had been attributed to his underlying lung issues.
If you look at all cause mortality for young people (all deaths from all causes, whether natural, accidental, Covid related or anything else), you can start to see the real role of vaccines. Death rates were fairly stable during 2018 and 2019 and slowly started to rise during 2020 as Covid spread and vaccines were not available. Once vaccines became available to the general public in the spring of 2021, they go down again, spiking a bit in late 2021 with the delta variant which was more virulent and more likely to be fatal. It then starts to go down again throughout 2022 and is nearly back at the baseline numbers of 2019. If the vaccine were busy killing large numbers of young people, total mortality would remain up and it hasn’t.
There’s some sort of fauxcumentary making the rounds full of arresting visuals blaming the mRNA vaccines for serious blood clotting including graphic shots of clots being removed from arteries post mortem. Of course, this film fails to mention that blood clots post mortem so you’ll find something similar on any autopsy. There’s also a lot of anecdotes about so and so receiving a vaccine and dying soon after. The only way for no one to ever die after receiving a vaccine would be for the vaccine to prevent death from all causes. People die. When you vaccinate a large population, some of them will die and the reasons are generally unrelated to the vaccination. We just tend to see events linked temporally as events linked causally. It doesn’t work that way. If I received a vaccine and died the next day in a car crash, the correlation is not causation. As is the case with most anecdotal stories of vaccine death which have been politicized.
In terms of actual known risks from the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna). There is about one case of anaphylaxis for every 200,000 vaccines. This is somewhat lower than other common drugs such as antibiotics. The J and J vaccine (but not the mRNA vaccines) was linked to about one case of fatal clotting disorder for every 250,000 vaccines. As a comparison, oral birth control pills kill about 1/30,000 users from blood clots. Because of this, the J and H vaccine is no longer recommended. The mRNA vaccines were linked to myocarditis in young men (inflammation of the heart muscle). Roughly 1/10,000 young men would have this happen. I have not been able to find any reports of fatalities. The myocarditis caused by the coronavirus itself is not so benign, having killed hundreds, if not thousands (I can’t find any accurate statistics).
By getting into a car on a routine basis, my chance of dying in an auto accident in America in any given year is about 1/8,000. The risks of the vaccines are so much lower than this thing we all do without thinking that I remain flummoxed by the remaining and resurgent antivaccine movement. It’s a dangerous world. Life is risk. Vaccines aren’t one to be concerned about. Get your Covid booster.