Anti-vaxers, what is it that you know that we don’t ?

32 members of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School class of 1966 held a 55th reunion by Zoom a week ago.  All 32 have been (voluntarily) vaccinated.

Among the attendees were 

l. Mike Brown — Nobel Laureate whose work led to the statins — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Stuart_Brown

2. Jerry Gardner — All American Basketball Player Kansas ’62  — https://kuathletics.com/roster/jerry-gardner/ — but far from a dumb jock — established a GastroIntestinal program at the National Institutes of Health

3. An (emeritus) professor of neurology at the University of Rochester Medical School 

4. The (emeritus) director of the radiology residency program at Yale Medical School

5. An (emeritus)  professor of medicine at Albert Einstein Medical school

6. A (retired) Rear Admiral in the US Navy

There are several more deans and professors among the 32, but you get the idea.

All classmates who spent their careers taking care of the sick (such as yours truly) were board certified in their specialties.  Some were even board examiners for certification in their specialties (such as yrs trly).

Don’t do as I do, do as I say never works.  Anyone who’s raised kids knows that.  The Penn Med class of 1966 has put its money where its mouth is.

So what is it that you know about vaccines that we don’t?  Please get vaccinated.  The new strain (B.1.1.7) is 50% more lethal and much more infectious than the original pandemic virus  [ Nature vol. 593 pp. 270 – 274 ’21 ].

Addendum 20 May:  I thought the following comment and my response were worth placing in the body of the post.

From DH :The one thing everyone in your sample has in common is old age and thus relatively high risk of death if infected with COVID. A lot of the people I argue with online are not absolute anti-vaxxers, but claim that for healthy people under 30, the risk-reward calculus favors not getting vaccinated (e.g., because the vaccines were “rushed”).

I disagree with them, but to be fair to them, your class of 1966 example is not an argument that addresses their claim.

Response:  DH — thanks for commenting: I quite agree with what you say, but there are larger issues. My sample is small but I know several antiVaxers in their 70s. The proportion of unvaccinated minorities is larger than their proportion in the population. Many of them live in multigenerational households so an infected 30 year old could kill granny. Just look at what’s going on in India.

Even worse is the fact that the newer mutations may be more virulent as well as more infectious. This has now been shown to be the case for B.1.1.7 [ Nature vol. 593 pp. 270 – 274 ’21 ]. Even if the vaccines aren’t quite as effective (in vitro) against the new strains, they still offer protection. We will inevitably continue to see new mutants. A vaccinated population is our best hope.

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Comments

  • DH  On May 19, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    The one thing everyone in your sample has in common is old age and thus relatively high risk of death if infected with COVID. A lot of the people I argue with online are not absolute anti-vaxxers, but claim that for healthy people under 30, the risk-reward calculus favors not getting vaccinated (e.g., because the vaccines were “rushed”).

    I disagree with them, but to be fair to them, your class of 1966 example is not an argument that addresses their claim.

    • luysii  On May 19, 2021 at 6:43 pm

      DH — thanks for commenting.

      I quite agree with what you say, but there are larger issues. My sample is small but I know several antiVaxers in their 70s. The proportion of unvaccinated minorities is larger than their proportion in the population. Many of them live in multigenerational households so an infected 30 year old could kill granny. Just look at what’s going on in India.

      Even worse is the fact that the newer mutations may be more virulent as well as more infectious. This has now been shown to be the case for B.1.1.7 [ Nature vol. 593 pp. 270 – 274 ’21 ]. Even if the vaccines aren’t quite as effective (in vitro) against the new strains, they still offer protection. We will inevitably continue to see new mutants. A vaccinated population is our best hope.

      • DH  On May 20, 2021 at 8:47 am

        I agree. Unfortunately, I’m not one of the people you need to convince.

  • John Wayne  On May 21, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    While chatting with a group of friends few months ago an acquaintance (healthy, mid 20’s) asked me why he should get vaccinated. I thought for a moment and said, “Can we agree that, if you live a normal life, you will get Covid over the next five years?” He nodded. “Then there are three reasons:

    1. The chances of death in your age group is below 1 in 1000. The vaccine is at least one thousand times safer than that (1:million) so it makes sense to get it. As you get older it becomes an even better bet to get vaccinated.

    2. There are a lot of nonfatal comorbidities associated with getting Covid. ‘Long Covid,’ ‘Covid brain,’ and damaged lung function to name a few. The vaccine will largely protect against these.

    3. The herd immunity reasons which don’t need to be belabored here.

    So, 2 of the 3 reasons to do it are self-involved. Each person owes it to themselves to get vaccinated. Unless I misread his body language he looked convinced.

  • Hallo B  On June 18, 2021 at 5:58 am

    What about this..?
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8051011/

  • theasdgamer  On July 17, 2021 at 11:10 am

    What’s the covid vaccine death count so far? 9,000 deaths in VAERS? 50,000 unaccounted for suspicious deaths in young people?

    Covid vaccine death rate at between 60 and 300 per million compared with 1 per million average for other vaccines?

    Isn’t this at least _slightly_ concerning to you?

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