Welcome to episode 444 of The Whole View! This week, Stacy and Sarah finish up answering questions regarding Covid-19 Vaccine Myths in hopes of clarifying any unclear areas and provide the information needed to make an informed decision for yourself.
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The Whole View, Episode 444: Covid-19 Vaccine Myths and FAQ Part 4
Welcome back to episode 444 of the Whole View! This is the surprise second part of last week’s Covid-19 FAQ and Myth show, which turned into a mammoth episode.
You haven’t yet listened to can find the first part of the show here.
Stacy reminds listeners that she and Sarah are not medical professionals and consult your primary care doctor before making any decisions.
Myths Surrounding Enhanced Infection
First, Sarah has one more frequently asked question to cover before she gets into the real big myths. (2:04)
There has been a lot of misinformation circulating within the scientific community regarding the mRNA vaccine and the whether or not the possibility of “enhanced infection” is possible.
Hematopoietic cells originate in the bone marrow and are responsible for replenishing all types of blood cells for our entire lives.
As a result, they are very important cells in combating infection and are very plugged in to the immune system.
Sarah explains how stem cells work in the body to support and control our immune system and fight off illness.
She also adds that there is zero evidence of any vaccine, including the mRNA vaccine, jeopardizing these cells.
Just in case, Sarah runs through a hypothetical of what it would look like if these claims were possible.
Pfizer tracked 21 different types of severe infections. And they found no statistical difference between the vaccine and placebo group within 2 months of the second shot.
In Moderna, there were 521 infections or infestations (of any kind) post-vaccine and 621 post-placebo (which is no statistical difference as well).
Finally, Sarah goes over a handful of cases found in both the test and placebo group and the situations surrounding those patients to put perspective into why they might have occurred.
In Episode 425, Sarah and Stacy talked about the antibody-enhanced infection in Dengue Fever cases. (8:19)
Sarah gives a brief recap of how this antibody-enhancement works.
It’s important to point out that SARS-CoV-2 (as well as other coronaviruses) have not been shown to have the ability to infect macrophages.
Sarah adds that if this were a real medical concern, it would be the same for all vaccines across the board, not just mRNA vaccines.
This misconception grew from cell cultures reacting during the early vaccine research for SARS (not SARS-CoV-2 aka Covid-19).
While it is a Covid-19 vaccine myth, it did grow from a small grain of truth that we’ve since learned from because these experiments showed researchers needed to adjust the target.
Sarah reminds listeners that building upon past scientific discoveries is what we owe to these vaccines’ speedy development.
Sarah recommends this paper for more information on the history of coronavirus vaccines.
If ADE is possible with Covid, we’ll see it with natural infection first, which we have not yet seen.
She shares that scaring people with these myths, not looking at early research study as something to grow from, and using it to spread misinformation upsets her.
We are over 2.3 million deaths globally and over 470k in the USA from Covid-19.
Doing Your Own Research Is Important!
In part 2, Sarah explained that the risk of developing some of these vaccine-induced injuries is 1 in a million. However, no one wants to be that one person.
That’s why it’s so important to know your own health, potential risk factors, work with your doctor to use all the information available.
That way, you make a choice that works better for you as an individual. And building herd immunity in the low-risk populous will protect those who aren’t well enough to get the vaccine themselves.
Sarah adds that with the way research works, there is the possibility that future data may change the landscape of this vaccine. And that’s why research and education is so important.
Corporate Myths And Theories
Sarah mentions many of the “questions” she received regarding this topic weren’t earnest questions from typical readers looking for information. But rather, people looking to stir up trouble. (21:20)
She wants to include them in this show because listeners may have family members or friends who have heard them. And she wants to arm listeners with facts.
Stacy adds that if it comes from genuine ignorance and you’re looking to educate yourself, there is nothing wrong with asking these types of questions!
However, when others leave inflammatory comments around these topics, she’s noticed how obvious it can be that they didn’t listen to the show beforehand.
They’re just not interested in truth- they are only interested in their own opinion. In those cases, it’s not your responsibility to engage with them if you don’t want to for the sake of your own sanity.
If they’re interested in knowing more, they will do their research. If not- it’s not your job to fix other people.
Covid-19 Vaccine Myths: For-Profit Argument
Sarah reminds listeners that it’s not in a company’s best interest for their products to hurt their customers. It’s not a good business model. (25:05)
Also, most of these vaccines are industry-academic partnerships. And the base science tends to be academic (source).
The studies themselves are peer-reviewed (meaning by third-party researchers in the same field), and the FDA review process is independent of scientists.
This means there has been a TON of non-biassed eyeballs on this data.
While money may be made to some degree, all of the research done on these vaccines was done by academics (not businesses).
Covid-19 Vaccine Myths: mRNA vs. DNA
Sarah takes a minute to underline that RNA is not the same thing as DNA (27:21).
She and Stacy went in-depth in Part 1 about what role RNA plays in the body and how it does not enter the cell’s nucleus (where the DNA is housed).
That’s what makes mRNA technology so cool! Stacy adds how glad she is just to be aware of the “line” it won’t cross. There’s a whole nuclear envelope acting as a barrier.
Covid-19 Vaccine Myths: Traces of Controversial Tissue Cells
Sarah explains that neither the Pfizer nor the Moderna vaccine uses cell lines in this form or from this origin any stage of design, development, or production of these vaccines. (29:06)
She also explains what “immortalized” means, where these cells come from, and the roles (and have played) in scientific research.
There are hundreds of different types of these cells- not just the controversial source commonly associated with them.
Sarah adds the ethics in place now are different than the ethics of the 60s and 70s when this first started.
And no sample would ever be taken unless consent was given first. Some of the COVID-19 vaccines currently being studied in clinical trials have used these “historical” cell lines.
But the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are not one of them.
Sarah provides a list of potential vaccines to look closer into before getting if this is an issue you feel strongly about.
There is a great effort in medical research to be ethically uncontroversial, and these cloned cells are only used if alternative ones cannot be.
Covid-19 Vaccine Myths: Hidden Foreign Bodies
Sarah looked into the needles’ diameter used with the coronavirus vaccines and how small something would need to be injected into the skin. (37:24)
Anything small enough to hide in a needle would not be able to be read from something as far away as outer space.
Sarah goes through how big these foreign objects would need to be to transmit various distances.
Basically, with the way currents move and physics laws, it’s an impossible technology and would burn out pretty quickly.
Covid-19 Vaccine Myths: Bribing Dr. Sarah’s
Sarah has received comments regarding her integrity regarding these topics and whether she’s been bought off. (41:03)
The answer to that is no. Stacy adds that both she and Sarah genuinely care about the health of their listeners. They’ve dedicated their careers to health and wellness.
She adds how thankful she is for the “big brain” audience she and Sarah have and the mutual interest in facts and science.
Sarah has applied the same rigorous research to this show as she does every other show.
All she and Stacy aim to do is help people expand their knowledge base to make everyday decisions without guilt, pressure, or lack of understanding challenges.
Everything they do is present science in the most balanced way possible.
Sarah adds that she’s a scientist. She’s a nerd. All she’s really interested in is the facts.
Roll-Out Priorities & Challenges
The rate at which the vaccine can be produced is the reason behind roll-out priority for who gets the vaccine. (47:20)
Basically, they haven’t made enough vaccines yet for everyone to get one and focus on people who need it the most while they ramp up production.
Priorities are healthcare professionals and the people who are more likely to get a severe disease and die.
There are different ways to define these populations, and some states are doing it differently. Here are the Phases the CDC recommends:
- 1a – healthcare personnel, long-term care facility residents
- 1b – frontline essential workers, persons aged 75+
- 1c – persons aged 65-74, persons aged 16-64 with high-risk conditions, essential workers not recommended in Phase 1b
- 2 – everybody else
There have been racial inequities in vaccine distribution which is very upsetting to Sarah because the Black community is 1.4X more likely to get Covid and 2.5X more likely to die from Covid.
She attributes this to the compounding of different things, including systemic racism and the prevalence of that community in frontline positions.
Less than half of the states keep track of demographic data for vaccine distribution, but we know so far that there are big inequities in distribution (source).
This is a problem that public health officials need to solve. And there are some really good ideas being considered- like mobile sites, door-to-door.
You can donate to advocacy agencies to help and not participate in vaccine tourism!
Who Should Wait to Get a Vaccine?
Children 15 and younger because clinical trials for that age group have not been approved yet.
Pregnant/lactating women, immunocompromised individuals, anyone on immune-suppressing drugs (even prednisone), and people with multiple severe/anaphylactic allergies should all talk to their doctor.
Anyone with a known allergy to PEG (found in some other vaccines, medications, and laxatives) should also wait.
It’s also not recommended for the terminally ill or all elderly.
Sarah also explains a bit about why some governments throughout the world are holding back and why.
She attributes this to trying to get the best out of a limited number of vaccines.
Sarah takes another listener question on whether taking Advil or Tylenol after being vaccinated impacts how well it works. (58:25)
She explains that something like Advil is anti-inflammatory will suppress some of the immune response, which is counterproductive to the goal.
She adds that this is actually true for all vaccines!
Instead, you should do the same thing as if you were recovering from a cold or flu: rest, fluids, and nutrient-density focus.
It’s also noteworthy that adults don’t take very many 2-shot vaccinations.
DTap booster every 10 years and maybe annual flu vaccine are both 1-shots.
The flu-like symptoms come from the second shot (which we’re not used to getting). And it’s important to rest and recover!
Further Citations & Scientific Literature
Summary of mRNA vaccine technology
Covid Immunity, relevance to all vaccines in development
Stacy thanks any and all listeners for hanging with them through everything! (1:03:01)
She invites anyone who hasn’t already joined their Patreon family to consider doing so.
Patreon listeners get bonus content on what Sarah and Stacy really feel about these topics.
Also, Stacy encourages anyone willing to leave a review about the Whole View to do so.
Due to vaccines being such a sensitive topic, your review would help balance negative ones left by those who disagree but don’t bother listening to the show.
Thank you so much for listening. Be safe. Be healthy. And we will see you next week!