I’m not saying that vaccines are risk-free. All vaccines, …

Comment on Scott Ritsema, Dr. Lela Lewis, Pastor Wyatt Allen an Dr. Peter McCullough on COVID-19 Vaccines by Sean Pitman.

I’m not saying that vaccines are risk-free. All vaccines, including the vaccines against COVID-19, come with certain risks. However, while real, serious risks are apparently quite rare – based on the abundant data that we have in hand so far. They are nothing at all like the risks claimed by Dr. McCullough where he claims that more than 50,000 people have been killed by these vaccines. That’s just not true at all. This claim cannot be supported by the VAERS data by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, this is exactly what Dr. McCullough is doing – as well as throwing in scary anecdotal unsubstantiated stories about breastfeeding babies of vaccinated mothers dying, women becoming infertile, lending credibility to the work of RFK, Jr., etc. No good scientist does that sort of thing. He just ruins his own credibility by doing such things.

But what about the risk of myocarditis? Sure, that does seem to be a true risk based on the data and the number of cases above background levels – especially for young people for some reason. Again, however, this risk is very rare – only 323 cases of heart inflammation have been verified in people who received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine out of millions of people vaccinated so far. The cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been seen mostly in teens and young adults between 12 and 39 years old — mostly after the second vaccine dose. Most people who have experienced this side effect have recovered from symptoms and are doing well, according to data presented Wednesday at a public meeting of the CDC’s vaccine advisory committee. Of the 323 cases, 295 were discharged from the hospital, nine remained hospitalized as of last week and 14 were not hospitalized at all. Outcome data was missing for five of the cases. No deaths have been associated with this side effect. In addition, we know that myocarditis and pericarditis are much more common if you get COVID-19 (up to a third of young people who get COVID-19 end up with myocarditis), and the risks to the heart from COVID-19 infection can be more severe.

The risk of thrombocytopenia (ITP) is also a real risk (especially for young women getting one of the DNA vaccines). However, yet again, this risk is very rare. Still, I would recommend getting the mRNA vaccines to reduce this risk even further. Also, as with the other risks involved here, the risks for thrombocytopenia/ITP is much much higher for those getting infected by the COVID-19 virus itself. You have to consider the true odds of a particular risk. While the vaccines are not entirely risk-free, they most certainly are much much less risky than playing Russian Roulette with the actual viral infection when it comes to the very same type of injury. Even if a person doesn’t die after getting infected by COVID-19, the long-term risks are pretty high and are significant. Many end up with long-term damages to their bodies that may not ever completely heal. One of my close medical colleagues is currently suffering long-term neuropathy that is gradually getting worse over time since he was sickened by COVID-19. He may eventually have to stop practicing because of this problem. Another of my staff workers, a woman in her 40s who was otherwise healthy, has long-term lung and heart damage because of COVID-19. Her heart stopped and she had to be resuscitated before making it to the hospital. She was in the MICU for two weeks and has been on long-term sick leave for months now. She had to have a pacemaker placed because of the damage to her heart and she still has breathing issues as well (has to use oxygen at home). She will never be the same. Several of the members of my church also have long-term injuries from COVID-19. On the other hand, very very few of those who have been fully vaccinated have any such long-term problems. The comparison isn’t remotely close – not at all! And, this isn’t even mentioning the dozen friends of my own family that have been killed by COVID-19.

As far as the WSJ article you reference citing the concerns of Drs. Risch and Ladapo, this article is fairly benign relatively speaking, and mostly accurate. I would say that it is a bit overdone, but not too bad. Dr. Risch does have a history, however, of significantly overstating the risks for vaccines. Back in April he made this claim:

“What clinicians are telling me is more than half of the new COVID cases that they’re seeing to treat is people who’ve been vaccinated. They’ve estimated 60% of new patients they’ve been treating have been people who’ve been vaccinated.”

The problem is that Risch’s claim, which was anecdotal, did not line up with what the actual data showed about COVID-19 cases among those who have been vaccinated. Back in April (2021) the CDC reported that more than 87 million people in the country had been fully vaccinated. Out of that number, just 7,157 breakthrough cases, or cases in which a person gets sick with a disease after vaccination, were reported. That’s a tiny fraction of what Risch claimed was going on.

Dr. Ladapo, on the other hand, says that, “It’s true that serious adverse effects appear to be uncommon, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.” (Link) His main concern is that the public doesn’t know what to believe since the media isn’t being entirely honest about the risks of vaccines – despite their relative rarity. This results in people doubting everything that they are being told by the media and by the government, which, in turn, results in many not getting vaccinated – especially those who are most vulnerable to risks of COVID-19 infection.

In any case, my main point here is that using VAERS like Dr. McCullough is using VAERS is malpractice. The VAERS data simply cannot be used as he is using it. It’s primary purpose is to detect patters that are above and beyond the usual background levels in large populations. That’s what it’s used for.

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Scott Ritsema, Dr. Lela Lewis, Pastor Wyatt Allen an Dr. Peter McCullough on COVID-19 Vaccines
As I pointed out in my article, there was initial hope that IVM and HCQ would be helpful to treat COVID-19 infections if given early. Well, this has now been scientifically tested with double-blinded placebo-controlled trials. And, unfortunately, no significant benefit was detectable – despite early treatment. That’s the reality of the situation and it doesn’t matter how many anecdotal stories you might have heard. Such stories simply don’t trump the actual science here. The same is true when it comes to all the “stories” one might have heard about the dangers of the mRNA vaccines. None of these stories actually trump the abundant science that is available that shows them to be very effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths as well as being much MUCH safer than getting a COVID-19 infection – especially for someone in your age category.

Scott Ritsema, Dr. Lela Lewis, Pastor Wyatt Allen an Dr. Peter McCullough on COVID-19 Vaccines
A healthy 37yo man has about a ~0.3% risk of dying once infected by COVID-19 (including the Delta Variant). That may not sound like much, but those odds are pretty high, actually, and that’s not even considering the substantially higher risk of long-term injury from a COVID-19 infection (up to 25%). And, odds are, that eventually, you will get infected. So, it would be worth it to try to get some protection, which the mRNA vaccines do offer.

Sure, as you point out, the effectiveness of the mRNA vaccines against infection decreases over time. However, what’s really important is that the effectiveness of the mRNA vaccines against hospitalization/death remains high. Here are the latest details:

According to a report from Israel’s Health Ministry (July 20, 2021), Pfizer’s general effectiveness at preventing infections decreased as the time before exposure increased: efficacy was 79% for those who received their second dose in April, 69% for March, 44% for February, and 16% for people who were fully-vaccinated back in January – with an overall average of 42%. The average is higher for Moderna (76%) since Moderna uses more than triple the dose of mRNA compared to Pfizer (Link). The prevalence of the Delta Variant is greater than 93% in Israel now, which suggests that Pfizer’s efficacy here largely reflects effectiveness against the Delta Variant.

More importantly, regardless of the time between vaccination and exposure to any variant, the Pfizer vaccine has proven to be over 95% effective at preventing severe disease leading to hospitalization or death. The same is true for Moderna (Link).

But what about the risks of the mRNA vaccines? Well, for someone your age with good health, serious risks are very rare. Your risk of dying from an mRNA vaccine is similar to one’s risk of getting killed by lightning. It happens, but it’s very rare. It’s far Far more likely to get seriously injured or die via COVID-19. Also, as an added bonus, the mRNA vaccines continue to reduce the transmission of the virus. So, odds that you would make someone else sick, without realizing it, are reduced (Link).

Overall, then, I would strongly recommend betting in favor of getting fully vaccinated with either Pfizer or Moderna.

Scott Ritsema, Dr. Lela Lewis, Pastor Wyatt Allen an Dr. Peter McCullough on COVID-19 Vaccines
Scott Ritsema is the one who claimed to always strive to be “balanced” in discussions – not me. I don’t care if he is or if he isn’t. I’m surely not, nor have I ever claimed to be (when it comes to an unbiased presentation of both sides of a position). I just pointed out that Scott isn’t actually doing what he claimed to “always” do. He’s just as biased as I am. And, that’s Ok – except for his claim that he isn’t doing what he’s actually doing…

At least I present the best arguments for the “other side”, as clearly and completely as possible (given reference to the full video in this case) before I present my own reasons as to why I think the best opposing arguments are mistaken – point by point. At least, in this way, I do offer “both sides” for consideration – even though my own personal bias is quite clear.

Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

Why Vaccinate Kids Against COVID-19?
Although rare, it is thought that the production of the spike protein, from cells translating the mRNA vaccine, can trigger the same inflammatory cascade as a COVID-19 infection, resulting in these neurotrophic effects such as seizures (Link, Link). In children, seizures following various kinds of vaccinations may be related to the development of fevers (Link). Such febrile seizures do not end up affecting a child’s development or behavior (Link). It may also be that certain individuals are more prone to this side effect.

It is also interesting to note here that seizures may be the first and main manifestation of COVID-19 in children. “Seizures may occur even in children with no history of epilepsy and in the absence of fever or severe COVID-19 illness, necessitating a ‘high index’ of suspicion for the virus to make an early diagnosis and allow for appropriate infection control measures… Among 175 children diagnosed with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection in the emergency department over 10 months in 2020, 11 (6%) presented with seizures. Studies in adults with COVID-19 have reported seizures in 0% to 2% of cases, the investigators note. The 11 children with seizures (seven boys) ranged in age from 6 months to 17 years (median age, 11.5 years). All of them had seizures as the presenting sign of infection and none had severe COVID-19 requiring ventilatory or hemodynamic support. Six of the 11 children presented with fever.(Link).

Why Vaccinate Kids Against COVID-19?
That’s kinda of a grey area since, for most people (~80%), naturally-derived immunity (i.e., due to a previous infection by COVID-19) produces a good level of immunity against future infections that is often better than that produced via vaccination. The only caveat is that vaccine-derived immunity appears to be more consistent for a greater percentage of people. On top of this, children already have a much lower risk for serious infections to begin with. So, to be honest, in your situation, it’s very hard to say if vaccinations for your children would offer a significant advantage when it comes to protecting them or others around them. I just can’t point to any good evidence that clearly shows that it would – at least in the short term. Perhaps, after a year or so, since it seems as though immunity to COVID-19 wanes over time, it might be helpful to get at least one Pfizer shot as a “booster”?

Dr. Peter McCullough’s COVID-19 and Anti-Vaccine Theories
Fetal cell lines, originally produced decades ago, were used in the testing of the mRNA vaccines – as they were in the testing of Tylenol, Motrin, Robitussin, Aspirin, Sudafed, Tums, Lidocaine, and a host of other modern medications that most people use on a semiregular basis (Link).

Are mRNA Vaccines for COVID-19 helpful or harmful?
Just because the effectiveness of vaccines may wane over time doesn’t mean that they aren’t working. They are working, very well. The vast majority of those who are being hospitalized right now with severe COVID-19 infections are the unvaccinated – by a ratio of more than 10:1 over the vaccinated.

Here’s an explanation from Shane Crotty, Ph.D. (Immune system and vaccine scientist. Professor, La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI), a non-profit research institute): Link

Why Vaccinate Kids Against COVID-19?
What questions have I not answered? You asked about boosters for children, and I answered that question as best as I know how at this point in time. Again, I don’t know for sure, but I am hopeful that boosters might not be needed for children since I believe that we might be nearing the end of the COVID-19 pandemic – that we might soon be reaching “herd immunity”.

As far as “not caring”, you’re mistaken. I have two young sons (10 and 12 years old). So, I do care very much as to the correct decision as to what to do for my own two boys here. And yes, my oldest son has had his first Pfizer vaccine two weeks ago… without any ill effects except for a mildly sore arm for a couple of days.