Dr. Anthony Fauci may be pressing for “as many people as possible” to get vaccinated — Bill Gates may be on a “quest to vaccinate the world,” as The New York Times put it in a headline.
But American citizens should know: The side effects from the coming COVID-19 vaccines are proving pretty freaking substantial.
Here’s what Sandra Fryhofer, a doctor aligned with the American Medical Association, told a gathering of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine advisers just this week, as reported by Newsweek, which cited CNBC: “We really need to make patients aware that this is not going to be a walk in the park. They are going to know they had a vaccine. They are probably not going to feel wonderful. But they’ve got to come back for that second dose.”
You had me at “not a walk in the park.”
You lost me at “come back for that second dose.”
After the first Moderna dose, 2.7 percent of test subjects reported as a “severe” side effect feeling substantial pain at the injection site. Then the second dose came and 9.7 percent reported fatigue; 8.9 percent reported muscle aches and pains; 5.2 percent reported joint pain; 4.5 percent reported headaches; and 4.1 percent reported — again — pain at the injection site.
That’s the clinic-speak.
The patients themselves put it better: “I started shaking. I had cold and hot rushes. … I was sitting by the phone all night long thinking, ‘Should I call 911?’ Nobody prepared me for the severity of this,” said Luke Hutchison, 43, to Science magazine about his shot.
Should I call 911?
That doesn’t exactly scream “get vaccinated.”
Another subject, Ian Haydon, told Science magazine in its “Fever, aches from Pfizer, Moderna jabs aren’t dangerous but may be intense for some” report, that he experienced chills along with “headache, muscle ache, fatigue, nausea” so bad he went to urgent care. His adverse reactions dimmed about 24 hours after his shot, but not before he vomited and fainted.
These are valid health risks that ought not be downplayed, ignored or dismissed. No matter what the so-called experts tell us.
“What we do need is we need to get as many people as possible vaccinated, and that’s why we want to be very transparent for people,” Fauci said on “Face the Nation” just a few days ago.
“I think that there will be enough people who jump in early on, that people see even more evidence of the safety, and that over time, we will get to that 70% plus level that we need in order to stop the spread of the disease,” Gates said on CNN, also a few days ago.
Isn’t that nice. But taking the shot now, rather than years from now, when more is known about the permanence of the already-substantial immediate side effects, is to serve, simply put, as a guinea pig. And for what?
“One North Carolina woman in the Moderna study who is in her 50s said she didn’t experience a fever but suffered a bad migraine that left her drained for a day and unable to focus,” CNBC reported.
“I know from experience myself that the symptoms can be bad,” said virologist Sam Diaz-Munoz, who participated in a trial, ABC 10 reported. “I just want people to be prepared and not freak out that we rushed into this and this is not known.”
Well, of course the drugmakers rushed into this — it takes years to discern the full effects and side effects and efficacy of a vaccine.
And here’s another thing to consider: The “shots won’t protect everyone,” the Tampa Bay Times wrote.
“Even is a vaccine proves 90% effective, the rate Pfizer touted for its product, 1 in 10 recipients would still be vulnerable,” The Tampa Bay Times went on.
What a gambler’s rush.
For the rest of us? Not so much.
But this is why personal choice is so crucial. Governments, businesses, public service sectors, schools, medical bureaucrats, even household doctors — none have the right to order Americans to take this vaccine.
Meanwhile, the vaccine should not, must not, be used as a bargaining tool for Americans to resume normal activities, either.
American citizens are not guinea pigs. Neither are they sheep. And on COVID-19, on a COVID-19 vaccine, freedom and personal choice must always prevail — even if it gets Bill Gates’ goat.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.