Comment on Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions by Sean Pitman.
While vaccinating children is certainly more of a gray area as compared to vaccinating adults and those with pre-existing medical conditions, there are benefits to vaccinating children that Dr. Martin Kulldorff failed to mention – such as injuries that happen even if a child doesn’t die. These injuries and longer-term problems aren’t exactly rare either – as described in my article on this topic (Link). There is also the issue of children spreading the virus to others who are more susceptible.
Even death, while relatively uncommon among children compared to older adults, is still a problem. Almost 700 children have died from COVID-19 in the US so far. While this might seem to be similar to a normal flu season where between 34-200 children die during a given year, keep in mind that these numbers are affected by flu vaccinations that are given to children every year. Flu shots are widely available to all kids, while no COVID vaccines have been authorized for children under 12. More than half of children, around 60%, get their flu shot each year. This significantly reduces the death rate for children who are vaccinated since the vast majority (~90%) of kids who die from the flu each year are unvaccinated. That means, if you compare apples to apples, the flu death rate for children would be much higher without the annual flu vaccine – which is the reason why a flu vaccine for children has been made available. Why then should we not make a COVID vaccine available for children as well?
“Among children age 1-14, COVID-19 was in the top 10 leading causes of death through August and September 2021. Among children age 5-14, COVID-19 ranked as the number 6 leading cause of death in August and September. Among children ages 1-4, COVID-19’s rank rose from number 13 to number 7 among leading causes of death in August 2021 and held there in September.” (Link)
As far as the known risks of vaccines for children, these risks are still far less than the risks of getting infected by the live virus – for every significant risk one can list.
It is for this reason that the FDA advisory panel unanimously voted, yesterday, to approve the reduced dose Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11 (Link).
Regarding Dr. Malone, I’ve read his arguments and have personally found him to be very sensational in his claims regarding COVID-19 and the mRNA vaccines – and often completely mistaken. He certainly hasn’t offered up any credible reason for his claims regarding the supposed dangers of the vaccines. He hasn’t presented any credible biological mechanism whereby an mRNA vaccine would likely cause more damage than a COVID-19 infection. Do you know of any such mechanism that hasn’t already been very carefully investigated? I don’t. And, I fail to see where Dr. Malone has come up with some such tenable argument either. For example, Dr. Malone has presented the argument that COVID-19 vaccines will make SARS-CoV-2 more dangerous due to a mechanism called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). The problem here is that this claim isn’t backed up by any evidence. The question of ADE was forefront in the minds of those working on the mRNA vaccines and the spike protein was modified specifically to avoid this risk (Link, Link). And, there simply hasn’t been any evidence of ADE since the vaccine has been given to hundreds of millions of people (Link). Clearly, Dr. Malone was mistaken here. Then you have the claim of Dr. Malone that the mRNA vaccines would create an evolutionary “arms race”, leading to the accelerated generation of vaccine-resistant COVID-19 variants. Well, this claim is based on a mistaken assumption that vaccines work in the same way antibiotics work against bacteria. This assumption simply isn’t true. Unlike the imprudent use of antibiotics, which act in a very targeted way against very specific antigens so that resistance can be gained via very minor antigen modifications, vaccines don’t enhance the production of resistant viral strains since vaccines educate the human immune system to attack a broader range of foreign antigens. The resulting effect is just the opposite of what Dr. Malone has claimed. Resistant COVID-19 strains arise at a much greater rate in areas where there is little immune resistance to the virus. Indeed, of the four existing variants of concern to date, all four emerged in 2020, long before the start of public vaccination campaigns. In particular, the Delta variant, which has been making headlines around the world, was first detected in October 2020. This observation demonstrates that halting vaccination efforts won’t stop the emergence of virus variants—after all, variants are entirely capable of emerging in the absence of vaccination. Natural immunity following infection would simply offer no significant advantage in this regard. Again, Dr. Malone got it wrong. What then, of any real concern, did he get right?
Now, if you think this is a mistaken view of Dr. Malone, and that the article I cited was an unfair “hit piece” against a very reasonable man, by all means, do explain to me why you think he’s correct in his claims against the mRNA vaccines. Explain to me the mechanism by which these mRNA vaccines are more dangerous to the body compared to an actual COVID-19 infection…
Sean Pitman Also Commented
Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
I’m just saying is that if you think that what you say on blog sites like this one doesn’t really affect people, especially when you present yourself as an MD, you’re mistaken. I know that people have been influenced against taking the mRNA vaccines by what you’ve said here in this forum. You’re not simply being neutral in what you’ve posted. You do, in fact, come across as being opposed to the mRNA vaccines – also noting that you didn’t get vaccinated yourself and chose to get infected by the live COVID-19 virus without pre-established vaccine-based immunity. You’ve also come across as being strongly against any response by me to the articles that you’ve referenced where I point out how these papers really do not actually undermine the efficacy and/or the relative safety of the mRNA vaccines. Clearly, you don’t come across as being neutral on the topic.
And, such comments have an effect on people – they really do. While that upsets me, again, it’s more important to me to allow for those who disagree with me to also post their comments rather than to only allow what I personally think is true to be posted.
Beyond this, no one is twisting your arm to post our comments here. You can post or not post as you wish. That’s entirely up to you. But, don’t expect that I won’t push back when you post comments that I think will increase the risk of those who read what you have to say…
Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
The difference between us is that I see people in the ICU, as does my brother-in-law Dr. Roger Seheult (a pulmonologist in S. Cal.). You might see the occasional person die from COVID-19, but those who work ICUs in larger medical centers see far too many people die from COVID-19 – to include young people (not just those in nursing homes). You might offer the vaccine to those whom you see, but if you present arguments to them like the ones you’ve presented here, such advice most certainly does result in increased injuries and even death. For me, that’s a big deal. You might call it “weird and overly dramatic” if you want, but for me the effort to save lives and reduce injuries is neither “weird” nor “overly dramatic”. I mean, that’s why I do what I do…
Now, you say, “The discussions that I have on blogs like this are my personal thoughts and concerns. They don’t reflect the way that I actually practice primary care medicine on a daily basis.”
That would be great if this were a private conversation, but it isn’t. It is a public conversation and your words have an impact on the hundreds who read this blog every day. I mean, in a very real sense, especially given that you include your title “MD” with your name, and often point out that you are a medical doctor when you post to this blog, you are, in fact, practicing medicine when you post public comments like you do. You cannot simply say, “I don’t actually follow my own advice that I post in blogs when I practice primary care medicine on a daily basis.” Your influence simply isn’t limited to what you do face-to-face with patients in your clinic. Your influence also extends to what you say and do in front of people outside of your daily medical practice.
Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
Well, I’m glad you go at least this far… although I still think that the kinds of arguments you present here really do put people’s lives and health at increased risk. I know you don’t agree, but that’s how I see things from my own perspective.
Now, I’m fine with you, and those who think like you, having the ability to freely share your opinions – despite how mistaken and damaging I personally think these opinions may be. That’s just the nature of living in a free society – which I think is far more important than restricting the freedom of speech.
Recent Comments by Sean Pitman
Only someone who knows the future can make such decisions without being a monster…
Pacific Union College Encouraging Homosexual Marriage?
Where did I “gloss over it”?
Review of “The Naked Emperor” by Pastor Conrad Vine
I fail to see where you have convincingly supported your claim that the GC leadership contributed to the harm of anyone’s personal religious liberties? – given that the GC leadership does not and could not override personal religious liberties in this country, nor substantively change the outcome of those who lost their jobs over various vaccine mandates. That’s just not how it works here in this country. Religious liberties are personally derived. Again, they simply are not based on a corporate or church position, but rely solely upon individual convictions – regardless of what the church may or may not say or do.
Yet, you say, “Who cares if it is written into law”? You should care. Everyone should care. It’s a very important law in this country. The idea that the organized church could have changed vaccine mandates simply isn’t true – particularly given the nature of certain types of jobs dealing with the most vulnerable in society (such as health care workers for example).
Beyond this, the GC Leadership did, in fact, write in support of personal religious convictions on this topic – and there are GC lawyers who have and continue to write personal letters in support of personal religious convictions (even if these personal convictions are at odds with the position of the church on a given topic). Just because the GC leadership also supports the advances of modern medicine doesn’t mean that the GC leadership cannot support individual convictions at the same time. Both are possible. This is not an inconsistency.
Review of “The Naked Emperor” by Pastor Conrad Vine
Thank you for this update. I really appreciate it and the courage it took to post this…
Dr. John Campbell: mRNA Vaccines Cause Lethal Encephalitis?
Dr. Roger Seheult does make some money from his YouTube Videos, but not nearly what Campbell makes. The fact of the matter is, Campbell started making much more money once he switched from presenting mainstream medical science to promoting conspiracy theories. Promoting conspiracy theories is far more profitable it seems… unfortunately.
As far as your posts, I haven’t blocked any of them thus far. I do find it interesting, however, that you don’t address any of the counterarguments forwarded by Dr. Seheult. Why do you choose to believe a retired nurse, like Campbell, over a practicing pulmonologist who was fighting on the front lines during the height of COVID-19, like Seheult?