Guest column: Is the COVID-19 vaccine the answer
Evercore ISI pharma analyst Josh Schimmer estimates the vaccine manufacturers will enjoy as much as $100 billion in sales and $40 billion in post-tax profits as a result of the virus. For purposes of comparison, $100 billion is the total amount the federal government spent under President Kennedy at the height of the Cold War.
Author Gerald Posner has written, “Pharmaceutical companies view COVID-19 as a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity.”Is this the real reason for the unprecedented rush for a vaccine for a virus which we knew very little about just nine months ago? Are we sure the proposed vaccines will be effective or even advisable for the vast swath of the world’s population barely impacted by this virus? For example, we know children are almost never sickened by COVID-19. Do we need to vaccinate every kindergartener on the planet or even every high school or college student? We know it is the elderly and those suffering from maladies like high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or diabetes who are most likely to become seriously ill from the virus. If that is indeed the case and that individuals younger than 50 have almost a 100% recovery rate, why are we in such a sprint to vaccinate the entire population?
We know the flu kills hundreds of thousands of people in the world each year. Do we require mandatory flu shots for every individual? Of course not. A relatively small percentage of people get the flu shot and most young, healthy individuals with strong immune systems probably don’t need it. The elderly and those with compromised immune systems or respiratory issues probably should get it although it should not be mandated. How effective is the annual flu shot? No more than 50%, according to the CDC’s own figures.
We are told Pfizer’s COVID vaccine will be 95% effective. That means there would be a 5% potential rate of illness associated with it. If 300 million Americans are vaccinated, we are looking at 15 million Americans who will still possibly contract the virus. That’s an enormous number of people. And, if the mortality rate of the virus is around 0.4%, we could see as many as 60,000 more Americans die. That roughly equals the number of Americans who die annually from the flu.
Approximately 250,000 Americans have died due to COVID, although the real figure is probably much lower as there is a major difference in dying of COVID and dying with COVID. Many people have tested positive for the virus and died, but did not die because of the virus. They had other co-morbidities. In only 6% of cases was COVID listed as the cause of death on the death certificate. The fake news has told us without pause that these 250,000 deaths are unacceptable. Certainly, the death of even one person is a tragedy. However, once the 5% ineffective vaccine works its way through the general population, will the fake news tell us that 60,000 new deaths in vaccinated individuals is also unacceptable? We shall see.
Long before enough Americans receive the vaccine to enable “herd” immunity to develop, the virus will continue racing through society, regardless of mask-wearing and social distancing or lockdowns, all of which have just made matters worse by weakening our natural immune systems and preventing such “herd” immunity taking hold sooner as with other illnesses in previous years. The Orwellian-like containment policies enacted by tyrannical governors like Cuomo, Whitmer, and Newsom have only served to drive the virus temporarily underground, not quash it. Once the restrictions are lifted, the virus continues to surge which results in a new series of destructive lockdowns. It’s a vicious circle.
We also know millions of Americans will refuse to take the vaccine for a variety of reasons. Democrats may resist taking what their leaders label a “Trump vaccine” while others will object due to ethical and religious reasons involving the use of cell lines from aborted babies. Still others are naturally suspicious of government power and government medicine and many simply do not feel threatened by COVID. In addition, the vaccine’s possible side effects (including deadly anaphylaxis and Bell’s Palsy, according to one report out of the UK), which can go on for days, are almost certain to dissuade people from signing up.
Totalitarian Democrats like Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot insist the vaccine be forced on everyone. Any kind of mandatory vaccination policy introduced by the federal government would be Hitlerian and blatantly unconstitutional — if indeed the Constitution still functions in today’s America. Such a jackbooted approach to public health would undoubtedly provoke a bloody backlash among Americans already worn down and often devastated by lockdowns that have closed their businesses, churches and schools.
The COVID-19 vaccine or vaccines (as there will be several offered by different manufacturers ) are no cure-all. And, they must never be used to enforce some kind of “Great Reset” envisioned by the global elites. The better approach would have been (and still is) developing and strengthening our own natural immune systems to fight the virus, while allowing us to again interact as human beings where germs and microbes are shared between us and have been since the dawn of man, allowing our bodies to build the natural resistance to all newborn pathogens. Yes, vaccines have a place but they are just part of the solution and must remain a voluntary one at that.
Dr. James Veltmeyer is a prominent La Jolla physician. He can be reached at email@example.com and by visiting his website at drveltmeyer.com.
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