Hey there Here is my summary I’m sending around to everyone as we are getting hundreds of questions that are pretty similar. I hope this answers most of your questions.
SHORT SUMMARY: GET YOUR VACCINE , yes they have said is free to everyone.
-THE HISTORY OF VACCINATIONS & HERD IMMUNITY (PLS READ THIS)
Really good look at the timeline of diseases and the development of vaccines. In the history of terrible terrible diseases that killed millions, things like small pox, measles mumps etc there has been no single technological / medication advancement that has outperformed the success of vaccinations. Vaccinations are hands down the most effective tools at preventing getting a disease way before trying to cure/fix the consequences of the disease once it hits. Think about it for a minute. We basically don’t cure much of anything right? Diabetes, hypertension, cancer, etc etc. what do we actually cure??? We cure strep throat, bladder infections…. Hang nails… thats about it… for all the other billion diseases we pretty much “control” them but we don’t cure them. Now, that’s somewhat simplified because there have been amazing strides in curing diseases. We now, in the year 2019, got a medication that can basically cure hepatitis C but those advancements are so super rare. Look at cancer. We essentially still have no cure whatsoever EXCEPT (drum roll…) that they discovered in 2006 the treatment that helps prevent women from contracting the virus (sound familiar?) that causes all cervical cancer.. And guess what that treatment is?? If you guessed a vaccine you are correct. In the entire history of cancer, using a vaccine (Gardasil) has been the first revolutionary treatment from 2 standpoints. For one it protects the woman from even contracting the virus called HPV which causes literally all cervical cancer and secondly, and most importantly, the vaccine creates “herd immunity” in the entire community so that even unvaccinated women benefit from the hard work done by women who were vaccinated. Women who don’t have HPV wont pass it to men who then again wont pass it to other women. Less women having HPV and passing less HPV to less men who then don’t pass it to other women is called “herd immunity”. This is exactly what happens once we get enough people vaccinated with ANY immunization. You have to get the virus to such a critically low load in the community that it really can’t spread and then it goes away-just like smallpox!!!. How awesome is that??? Making your own powerful immune system create police dogs that attack nasty viruses that cause death and cancer before they ever have a chance to take hold in you. Prevent people for even getting the disease in the first place. Take a look at what the cancer society has said about the gardasil/ HPV vaccine. It’s been amazing.
Were there conspiracy theories when Gardasil came out?? Yes of course. Anytime you introduce anything new there will be uneducated people spouting around unfounded fears. The main one back then was that some parents got “inoculated” with the false belief that the gardasil vaccine would make their daughters suicidal…. Really??? Now, getting cervical cancer might make you feel suicidal but certainly not getting the vaccine. It took the better part of 10 years and I still get that question believe it or not.
IF WE SLOWLY DEVELOP HERD IMMUNITY WHY SHOULD I GET THE VACCINE AND WHY NOT WAIT TILL EVERYONE ELSE HAS DONE THE WORK, GOTTEN THEIR VACCINES AND THEN RIDE ON THEIR COAT TAILS???
Do I really need to explain that??? WE ALL need to participate. Remember that vaccines don’t always work for all people. If you are older or immune compromised then the vaccines won’t work as well in you. It’s for this reason we want everyone “around” you to also be immunized. This is called altruism. Another word for “do something that’s good for others and not just yourself”. You get your flu/covid/chicken pox/measles vaccine to prevent giving that disease to others. They in turn get the vaccine to prevent giving the diseases to you. We all take vaccines to protect the OTHERS!!!. You use your mask to protect others from your breath, they use their masks to protect YOU!!!. It’s the same thing. Vaccinating ourselves to protect the elderly and children is one of the most important things you can do in society. Many patients will tell me they don’t need to get the flu shot because they don’t get sick… again, it’s not about YOU. This is not a “YOU planet”… your job is to help protect those that can’t protect themselves. If you were trained in self defense and you saw an old lady getting mugged you would step in and help right??? You wouldn’t say “oh i don’t need to learn self defense because I never get mugged”….no, we step in to help others. That’s how we work. Or rather, that’s how we should work.
Viruses are invisible and we pass them from person to person about a week before we even feel sick. THAT’S why we need vaccinations. We are silently hugging grandma and giving those frail people these viruses a week before we even know we are sick. We don’t think much about hugging grandma because after all we “feel ok”… well, newsflash, you just killed grandma because you were infected with flu or covid or whatever and you didn’t even know it yet. You were contagious and passed it to others and didn’t even know it.
WHICH COVID VACCINE SHOULD I GET?
-it doesn’t matter which vaccine you get. DON’T perseverate on which one has higher percentage success. Those numbers are based on very very small numbers of study patients. The true efficacy will be discovered in years to come after millions have gotten the vaccine, not just a few thousand. EITHER vaccine is fine-just GET ONE!!!
-the ONLY thing that matters in the world of vaccination is that everyone GET a vaccine as quick as possible. Numbers numbers numbers, fast, fast, fast . “Herd immunity” means that once over 50% of the population has immunity the disease is less and less able to survive in the remaining population.
THE NEW STRAIN of covid.
-What about the new strain? YES, we knew ages ago that there would be new strains. That’s how viruses work. Just like the flu. Viruses change a bit over time and so far it looks like the current vaccine should be effective. It looks like 85% of the material from the 1st and the 2nd strain are common so the sincere hope is that the vaccine will work. Lesson: GET THE VACCINE asap to cut the spread at the knees.
SIDE EFFECTS OF THE COVID VACCINE??
-What are the side effects of the vaccine?? Allow me please to first ask you… what’s the side effect of NOT getting the vaccine?? So far that side effect stands at 400,000 dead bodies… I’m pretty sure whatever mild side effects of the vaccine (sore arm, feel achy and headache for a day-NO there is no microchip reading your mind or tracking your thoughts) is far less nasty than 400,000 dead people. Remember that while everyone thinks the vaccine was created quickly in the past few months that’s not actually true. The Coronavirus vaccine was already 90% built back in 2003 when MERS (also coronavirus) came out. The government pulled funding as the epidemic resolved-they figured why bother paying to complete the vaccine that we won’t use. Then the story repeated again when SARS (also corona) came out and a few years later. They kept working on this vaccine but always got funding pulled at 90% completion. Back then the government didn’t realize that they might actually need the 100% version in the future. Hindsight is 20/20 right? . So when this current pandemic came along they already had sequenced most of the vaccine and really only had to create the “recognition” site called the spike protein.
Very good documentary about this on Netflix : “Coronavirus, explained. The race for a vaccine”. Some of the foremost researchers explain exactly how this path to the vaccine developed. Excellent to watch and will help you really understand the process and dispel the crazy myth that somehow there were tons of shortcuts to get this done. I would please like to ask all of my patients to get away from any conspiracy theories. We all know that conspiracy theories are created solely on a background of fear and lack of education / knowledge. Lets please stick to science, knowledge and common sense and not allow fear to drive our decisions.
WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE WITH ANAPHYLACTIC ALLERGIES
How about anaphylaxis??? If you have anaphylaxis history to injected things like IV dye for ct scans and other medical procedures then there is more of a concern. If you have allergic reactions to stuff like food then the CDC says that’s more of something to be aware but is not a contraindication. Here is a good article from the CDC explaining this. You alone will have to make the decision to take the vaccine in the end but they do a good job of explaining.
AGE FOR THE VACCINE
What ages has the COVID-19 vaccine been approved for? Pfizer’s vaccine has been authorized for ages 16 and up. Moderna’s vaccine is currently authorized for ages 18 and up. Both companies have begun clinical trials for younger kids so stay tuned
SUMMARY: get your vaccine, get any vaccine, the first one you can get your hands on. At this time I am watching developments from the colorado department of public health and we have not heard where the general public will get the vaccine. It will probably be through vaccine centers once all the really high risk patients like nursing home patients are done. We as medical offices will probably not get the vaccine this year but who knows. Keep your eyes on the news because you will hear about vaccination centers at the same time as we do. They will probably not need “special letters” from doctors about patients that have higher needs but if it comes to that we will probably come up with those for patients as needed on an individual basis. My presumption is that it will be a mad rush when they come out and yes, you should simply get in line wherever you can to get it. I’ll happily write work excuses to those who need one to take the day off and stand in line. Getting the vaccine is MUCH more important than a day at the office.
-fyi whichever vaccine you get you must get the same one again as a booster.
Keep watching the news and let’s all jump on this as soon as we can. Don’t let up on the masks and the hand sanitizing please.
-LASTLY, many patients are asking if they are at higher risk and should get the vaccine sooner. Lung conditions, age etc etc. YES those are important and you should get immunized asap and IF we need notes to help prioritize patients pls login to my schedule and I or my PA’s will create those letters. Don’t do it yet but let’s wait and see what information we get from the health department. Probably won’t need that. Remember that it’s just as important that YOU get immunized as the young person who is spreading the virus TO YOU… I would push as hard as you can to get in line wherever that line starts. Expect a very sore arm and body aches/flu-ish symptoms the next day or so but don’t worry about that. That’s a good sign your immune system is working and that’s what tylenol and motrin are for. Those side effects are the price we have to pay to get this country open again and get our lives back. Let’s get the vaccine and take our tylenol!!!
WHERE CAN I FIND OUT WHEN THE VACCINE WILL BE AVAILABLE?
HERE is the best website to follow. Check out the phases
Phase 1 is health care workers etc
Phase 1b is 70+ folks with moderate diseases and first line workers
Phase 2 (spring sometime) age 60-70 and also younger patients who have medical issues. THIS is where some of you will get your vaccines. Ie if you have asthma, copd, diabetes, overweight etc.
Phase 3 (summer) is the rest of everyone
****** FUNNY SIDE NOTE *************
As a doctor I want you to know the side effects of this Pfizer product: anaphylaxis, sudden death, Heart attack, stroke, ventricular arrhythmias, hypotension, cerebrovascular hemorrhage, pulmonary hemorrhage, retinal hemorrhage, vision loss, hearing loss, seizures, anemia, headache, upset stomach, nose bleed, flushing, diarrhea, muscle aches, shortness of breath, fever…..
The Pfizer product I’m talking about is VIAGRA…. NO one seems to bat an eyelash over the side effects of things they put in their bodies until NOW!!!. PLEASE GET YOUR VACCINE !!!
Andreas Edrich MD