Thursday, September 2, 2021

Copy of my email about COVID vaccinations.

This is a copy of an email I sent to a friend regarding COVID vaccinations.
My close friend,

I think that this issue is incredibly important.  What we do not only affect ourselves, but it affects other people.

It seems to me to be unfair to frame the argument in terms of people's motives.  Terms like "Big Pharma" imply something sinister.  "Big Pharma" might be a good thing.  It depends upon the net effect of their actions, and even if some of it is negative, it doesn't mean that the vaccines are unsafe or bad.  Likewise, calling people liars and claiming that they have motivations for pushing vaccines.  Their motivations could be good.   Even if some motivations are bad, which I think is rare in this case, there are more important questions to ask.

Once someone frames the argument in these terms, it is nearly impossible to have a rational discussion.

In regard to the safety of the vaccines, there are only a few questions that matter...

1.  Do the vaccines have adverse reactions?  If so, how frequent and how bad?
2.  Is the risk of catching COVID and having severe illness greater than the risk from the vaccines?

The answers to these questions are ...

1.  Yes.  Minor reactions are common.  Severe reactions are rare.  Death is even more rare, like 1 out of 50 million.  (Even if this figure were low by a factor of 10, it wouldn't change the equation much.)  Not all reactions are directly attributable to the vaccine.  Some people could have been too late and gotten COVID or had other underlying health issues, which is common.

2.  Yes, by orders of magnitude.  The situation that we are currently in makes it likely that the vast majority of unvaccinated people are going to catch the Delta variant.  So people should weigh the risk of disease and the many severe complications that can result from it against the risk of the vaccines. 

There is a third question here that you brought up which is the most relevant to your situation.  Should recovered patients get vaccinated?   Based on the information that I have already shared, there is some evidence that they should.  According to one source, prior infection is only about 80% effective in preventing reinfection.  Another source says that you are relatively safe for about a year.  However, you might want to reevaluate your situation a few months from now.

We are all trying to make the best decisions we can based on the information available to us.  Fear is a powerful motivator that can distort people's judgment.  I go to great effort to depend on reliable sources and to verify the information available to me.  I also try to stay up to date as new information comes out.  If we were to find out that the mRNA vaccines are inherently unsafe, I would jump on that bandwagon.  If that happened, I would hope for new treatments or better vaccines.  However, right now the best information we have is that the cumulative risk of the disease is far worse than the cumulative risk of the vaccines.  

Best wishes,

John Coffey

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