I do sympathize with those who don’t understand how the …

Comment on Dr. Walter Veith and the anti-vaccine arguments of Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche by Sean Pitman.

I do sympathize with those who don’t understand how the modern mRNA vaccines work to teach the immune system how to fight against COVID-19. The appeal to “natural remedies” is also very strong within Adventist culture, in particular. However, information as to how these vaccines work and their amazing effectiveness and relative safety is available for those who care to educate themselves. Also, while various natural remedies (such as hot/cold fomentations and good healthy living) are quite helpful indeed, they just aren’t helpful enough when it comes to saving the most lives. So, do it all. Live as healthfully as possible, use those natural remedies that have long proven themselves to be effective, and take the vaccines. This will give you and those around you the most protection against injury and death during this pandemic.

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Dr. Walter Veith and the anti-vaccine arguments of Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche
Natural immunity is great! In fact, natural immunity alone prevents approximately 10% of the population from becoming ill from all of the variants of COVID-19. The problem is that for a great many people, especially people older than 50, natural immunity just isn’t enough to prevent serious sickness and even death. The claim that the mRNA vaccines make people “more susceptible” simply isn’t true. While one can still get infected after vaccination, mRNA vaccines have clearly proven their ability to dramatically reduce the risks of serious illness from infection with a dramatic reduction in the rate or percentage of those who are vaccinated being hospitalized or dying (compared to those who are not vaccinated). Also, those who are vaccinated suffer much less severe long-term effects from infection.

In short, the overall risks of getting infected by COVID-19 are significantly greater, regarding any type of serious risk, as compared to getting vaccinated with the mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 – and these benefits of vaccination become greater and greater with age since natural immunity naturally declines with age.

Dr. Walter Veith and the anti-vaccine arguments of Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche
I’ve very glad that you survived! Keep spreading the message. Some will listen and more lives will be saved.

Dr. Walter Veith and the anti-vaccine arguments of Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche

Have you seen slides of blood taken from a healthy person verses blood taken from a person who has taken the vaccine? It is astounding. It completely changes the molecular structure of the blood cells. That is scary stuff.

That’s is scary! Funny though, that I’ve never come across this as a hematopathologist. Have you seen this? – where mRNA vaccines “change the molecular structure of blood cells” so that they look different than normal under the microscope? I mean, I look at blood smears all the time as part of my job and I’ve never seen any such thing. Why do you think this could possibly be? Can you explain the biochemical mechanism to me? Otherwise, I have to conclude, based on my own education and personal experience, that whoever told you this is either outright lying to you or they have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. The mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 (i.e., Pfizer or Moderna) do not change the genetics of cells or their “molecular structure”.

As far as Veith presenting both sides of this particular conversation regarding COVID-19 and the mRNA vaccines, that’s not true either. He’s just not being even-handed here. Of course, I’m not being even-handed either. I clearly have a bias in that I am strongly in favor of the vaccines as a very effective and safe way of enhancing one’s ability to fight off the COVID-19 virus without serious harm being done to the body.

As far as encouraging people to eat better and live according to the Adventist Health Message, I have done this many times – in this forum. I’ve studied healthful living and nutrition extensively and I’m a big fan of the Adventist Health Message in particular. I was one of the very first to promote various Adventist Health principles and the use of Vitamin D to fight COVID-19 before the vaccines were available. And, I do indeed believe that if put into practice that it could save many lives as well during this pandemic. However, it just isn’t enough for many people. Many good Adventist friends of mine, who were otherwise very healthy and living according to the Adventist Health Message, have been killed by COVID-19 – despite their excellent health prior to their infections. These were generally older (older than 65 years of age). However, I’ve also had many young and very healthy Adventist friends of mine (vegan, athletic, ect) also get seriously sick and end up in the MICUs of hospitals for weeks at a time with blood clots throughout their bodies, some ending up with permanent life-long injuries to their bodies. So, while the Adventist Health Message is great and wonderful and all that, it is best to do it all. It is best to live according to the Adventist Health Message AND to take the mRNA vaccines as well. This offers a person the very best advantages when it comes to most effectively fighting off the COVID-19 virus with all of its variants.

The same thing happened in Mrs. White’s day. Despite having the Adventist Health Message, she approved of her own son and her own staff getting the vaccine against smallpox – and there is good evidence that she was also vaccinated against smallpox herself. Why? Because, although a very good start, sometimes the human body needs an extra boost beyond a “good diet and exercise” to most effectively fight against various diseases. Mrs. White also approved of the use of quinine to fight malaria for missionaries working in malaria-stricken regions of the world. She approved of blood transfusions to save lives and even radiation therapies to treat tumors. She simply wasn’t opposed to the more reasonable advances of medical science in her own day.

Again, while a “pill or a shot” is usually not the best place to start (since healthful living can remove the need for the vast majority of pills and shots), there are indeed times when a pill or a shot can give the human body the best chance at survival and health in a given situation – where diet and healthful living a lone simply aren’t enough.

Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

Dr. Aseem Malhotra: From Pro-Vax to Anti-Vax
Freedom of choice and being opposed to vaccines are two different issues. The fact is that Dr. Malhotra is strongly opposed to the mRNA vaccines against COVID-19, claiming that they are far more harmful than beneficial. That clearly makes him anti-vax. He’s not just arguing for personal freedom here, he’s directly arguing against the vaccine itself as being dangerous since he claims that it caused his own father’s heart attack. The problem is that the weight of scientific evidence doesn’t support Malhotra’s anti-vax claims.

Now, I’m happy to support your personal freedom to believe and do whatever you want to believe and do – as long as it does not substantially increase the risk of those around you. However, when it comes to spreading falsehoods and outright lies against the mRNA vaccines, I’m going to speak out against that and call it what it is – sensational nonsense being spread by those who are opposed to vaccines based on nothing more substantive than personal emotions. That’s just not a good basis for determining “standard of care” for medical practice.

Dr. Aseem Malhotra: From Pro-Vax to Anti-Vax
The strong anti-vaxx stance of many Adventists has been a big surprise to me as well! I just don’t get it. We’re supposed to be strong supporters of good cutting-edge advances in medical science…

Dr. Aseem Malhotra: From Pro-Vax to Anti-Vax
I think it’s even less common than that. However, when my boys were vaccinated, we did have the techs pull back on the syringe both times (Link). Myocarditis occurs about twice after every 100,000 injections. On top of that, research shows it’s typically mild and resolves quickly (Link).

Dr. Aseem Malhotra: From Pro-Vax to Anti-Vax
Maybe rarely…

Natural vs. Vaccine-derived Immunity
Toby Rogers is a political economist who is also strongly anti-vax. He is not a medical scientist or physician.

In any case, this particular article, by Rogers, distorts the data regarding vaccines and the position of Dr. Peter Aaby – who is a strong supporter of vaccines in general (although, when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, he seems to favor the adenovirus-based vaccines, such as Johnson and Johnson, AstraZeneca/Oxford or the one produced by China’s CanSino Biologics, over the mRNA-based vaccines – since the adenovirus-based vaccines may have more benefit on reducing “overall mortality – Link). Note, however, that this study found that of the 31 deaths that occured in mRNA-vaccinated individuals, only two were from COVID-19. The rest were due to other causes. For the adenovirus-vaccinated group, two of the 16 deaths were from COVID-19. It’s very difficult, then, to determine a clear relationship here between the different types of vaccines and deaths not related to COVID-19.

“The study isn’t about the effectiveness of mRNA vaccines against COVID,” said Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health and Security. “The study is aimed to determine if COVID vaccines have non-specific mortality impacts that extend beyond the incontrovertible mortality benefit they confer with COVID-19. Certain vaccines have effects that extend beyond the target infection and decrease mortality from other causes (e.g. measles vaccine).”

Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, also said the question of the paper isn’t about COVID-19, but whether the vaccines had a beneficial effect on other causes of mortality. The research reinforced that both types of vaccines significantly prevented COVID-19 deaths, “which is not surprising as both types of vaccines generate cellular immunity against SARS-CoV-2, protecting us against severe disease.”

“However, to be fair,” Gandhi said, “the number of non-COVID and COVID deaths were rare in all of the pooled analyses and the causes of non-COVID deaths not well adjudicated, so this analysis needs to be taken as preliminary and hypothesis generating at best.”


What’s interesting here is that studies have shown that the “all cause” mortality rate is also reduced for those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 – to include those who’ve been vaccinated via the mRNA-based vaccines (Link).

Anyway, here’s a more balanced view of Dr. Aaby’s position on vaccines (Link). Note also that Dr. Aaby supported the vaccines against COVID-19 for adults (Link), but not necessarily for children since children have significantly reduced risk (compared to adults) for COVID-19 infections (Link). Dr. Aaby did publish some interesting results, however, suggesting that the polio vaccine, as well as the BCG and MMR vaccines, may also reduce childhood risk from COVID-19 as well (Link, Link).

“We would not be surprised if MMR could provide some protection against severe COVID-19,” said researcher Peter Aaby, of Bandim Health Project in Guinea-Bissau and Research Centre for Vitamins and Vaccines (CVIVA), Statens Serum Institut, a governmental public health and research institution under the Danish Ministry of Health in Copenhagen, Denmark and a pioneer in the field. “Together with my partner Dr. Christine Stabell Benn, we’ve been reporting on mortality reductions from live-attenuated vaccines such as polio, BCG and measles vaccine/MMR for multiple decades now, and arguing for optimized vaccine schedules. With the COVID-19 crisis adding urgency, it’s good to see the potential of non-specific immune effects being taken seriously.” (Link)

Overall, I do find Dr. Aaby’s main concern to be well-supported that vaccines may produce unforseen beneficial as well as detrimental side effects. In the case of COVID-19, however, it was very clear to me that the potential unknown risks were clearly outweighed when compared to the known risks of getting infected by COVID-19 as well as the very clear known benefits of being vaccinated – particularly for adults over the age of 50 and those with various medical conditions that put them at great risk. Even healthy children seemed to be far more at risk from a live COVID-19 infection than from the vaccines – particularly regarding long-term effects. Of course, this was all before the current less severe Omicron variant took over and the predominant variant worldwide. At this current point in time, vaccines against COVID-19 don’t seem to me to have as significant of an advantage compared to earlier on in the pandemic.

Hope this helps,