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The only real question is this:

Given the low (REALLY low) morbidity/mortality burden in the young, does it make sense to give them a vaccine with possible harm* that primarily serves to protect other people, rather than the vaccine recipient him or herself?

* Yes, we know they're safe safe safe, that VAERS reports are unverified and none have panned out yet when investigated, and that people are trying to make money and/or political points stoking anti-vax fear. Still, there is always *some* possibility of harm, and we do no one any favors by ignoring that variable in the equation.

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Rev I think your question goes to the "greater good" or "public safety" issue. I don't know where the line is but if kids are low risk for bad outcomes but can carry the virus around and share it shouldn't they be vaccinated for the greater good? They are lower risk of bad outcomes from the flu as well.

How many kids will get COVID and have a bad outcome of some kind or accidentally kill someone at risk  and how many will suffer an untoward event from the vaccine. It is always about balancing the scales.

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I think if we are talking about getting herd immunity it will be essential. ~20-25% of the US is younger than 16, so if we don't vaccinate them we will never be above 75% (not sure what the actual number for herd immunity is anymore, if anyone knows). Less transmission among adolescents means less mutation. Also, Michigan is seeing more and more young people being admitted to the hospital with their continued $#!7-show, so there is reason to believe it would benefit them more now than in the past.

Every intervention has a possibility of harm - this one seems pretty low risk compared to tons of stuff we do. But let's wait and see the data they have.

That being said, it does seem like a bit of a luxury considering so many places in the world are still not vaccinating the at-risk populations at high rates.

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Kids spread Covid-19 like wildfire to adults.  Kids and especially teens DO get long hauler syndrome we are now discovering.  Chronic fatigue, taste and smell issues returning etc.  WHY in the world would you not vaccinate them if the FDA approves it?

It's like saying that kids really don't die from Varicella?  Yet, every kid is now vaccinated against chicken pox.  Why?  It sucks and shingles sucks even worse.  There is no great debate about the varicella vac?  Why is there about this one....because people are willfully ignorant and make everything political.

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Herd immunity is not a boolean (have it/don't have it), but rather a spectrum or continuum.  Transmission rates in America, case rates, fatality rates... all falling because reasonable people are getting vaccinated.  When we get Ractual to <1.0, we will start to see it die out.

What bothers me most is the aggressively ignorant responses I'm hearing when I bring vaccination up in clinic.  I mean, my approach is more like "Isn't it great that it works so well?" followed by "I've reviewed the studies and gotten my loved ones vaccinated" but all that seems to do is make the patients look at me like I've grown horns.  For the most part, I'm not seeing hesitant people who can be reassured; I'm seeing fanatics who aren't amenable to logic or persuasion, telling me that hundreds of millions of doses still make 'em experimental.

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3 hours ago, rev ronin said:

What bothers me most is the aggressively ignorant responses I'm hearing when I bring vaccination up in clinic.  I mean, my approach is more like "Isn't it great that it works so well?" followed by "I've reviewed the studies and gotten my loved ones vaccinated" but all that seems to do is make the patients look at me like I've grown horns.  For the most part, I'm not seeing hesitant people who can be reassured; I'm seeing fanatics who aren't amenable to logic or persuasion, telling me that hundreds of millions of doses still make 'em experimental.

Not enough appointment time to undo the damage done by the internet. Finally saw the "18 reasons I'm not getting vaccinated" blog post that has been going around. What an absolute piece of smacked dog crap.

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6 hours ago, rev ronin said:

What bothers me most is the aggressively ignorant responses I'm hearing when I bring vaccination up in clinic. 

 

3 hours ago, TheFatMan said:

Not enough appointment time to undo the damage done by the internet. 

 

I feel bad for the general public. I really do. A big part of the problem is that the mainstream media has become little more than shills for political parties on both sides. They no longer report facts; everything is opinion and spin. There is no credibility. The current message is that you are stupid/evil/backwards if you have concerns about the vaccine. It's arrogant and dismissive. 

Add to this the fact that the medical profession is largely populated by many of the most entitled, egotistical, condescending people in society and it is easy to see why people are pissed rather than thoughtful.

I'm dating myself, but in the Walter Cronkite days, he would have come on and said something to the effect, "The vaccine, while new, appears very effective and the reported incidence of serious side effects is small. The long term effects remain unknown, but the consensus among the medical community is that the benefits greatly outweigh the risks." Unfortunately with government and media populated with dirtbags, there will never be another Cronkite.

 

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This is natural selection at work. Smart people get the vaccine and flourish.  The rest...not so much!  Vax deniers are the modern-day neanderthals.  We are medical scientists in this forum, so we should all know better.

Denier excuses and conspiracy theorist posts to follow.

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16 minutes ago, CJAadmission said:

 

I feel bad for the general public. I really do. A big part of the problem is that the mainstream media has become little more than shills for political parties on both sides. They no longer report facts; everything is opinion and spin. There is no credibility. The current message is that you are stupid/evil/backwards if you have concerns about the vaccine. It's arrogant and dismissive. 

Granted I haven't really been paying too much attention to the news, I haven't really seen this. I know CNN regularly has Dr. Peter Hotez on whom I have much respect for. My major concern is social media where there is a fine line of choosing between "censoring" someone and preventing the spread of misinformation that could literally kill (see here: Disinformation Dozen). These people are pretty crafty and oftentimes employ the same tactics of cult leaders. It would be very difficult for anyone who is a part of news media to counteract these statements because of the distrust in the "MSM" that has already been sown by others. No matter how reasonable a message being put out by CNN, FOX, or whoever, the types of people who are fanatically opposed to these vaccines are highly unlikely to believe it as a reputable source anyway.

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7 minutes ago, LKPAC said:

This is natural selection at work. Smart people get the vaccine and flourish.  The rest...not so much!  Vax deniers are the modern-day neanderthals.  We are medical scientists in this forum, so we should all know better.

Denier excuses and conspiracy theorist posts to follow.

Not exactly. They are protected by the vaccinated for the most part. (and...most anti-vaxxers were fully immunized as children).

 

4 minutes ago, CJAadmission said:

Yeah, that's pretty much the attitude I was bemoaning in my post above. "Smart people" once took thalidomide, too.

Agree. It has little to do with intelligence. Intelligent people are susceptible to disinformation and can be manipulated just as easily as anyone. They aren't making a smart choice but I think a lot of that is driven by disinformation campaigns, which like I said, are manipulative and cult-like. 

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3 hours ago, CJAadmission said:

 

 

I feel bad for the general public. I really do. A big part of the problem is that the mainstream media has become little more than shills for political parties on both sides. They no longer report facts; everything is opinion and spin. There is no credibility. The current message is that you are stupid/evil/backwards if you have concerns about the vaccine. It's arrogant and dismissive. 

Add to this the fact that the medical profession is largely populated by many of the most entitled, egotistical, condescending people in society and it is easy to see why people are pissed rather than thoughtful.

I'm dating myself, but in the Walter Cronkite days, he would have come on and said something to the effect, "The vaccine, while new, appears very effective and the reported incidence of serious side effects is small. The long term effects remain unknown, but the consensus among the medical community is that the benefits greatly outweigh the risks." Unfortunately with government and media populated with dirtbags, there will never be another Cronkite.

 

 

It's not my responsibility to coddle some willfully ignorant vac denier.  If they are so willfully stupid to not listen to the best scientists this country has to offer, then you can feel bad for them while they are on a vent.

And for the record, Truth is not condescending.  It's just Truth.

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3 hours ago, LKPAC said:

This is natural selection at work. Smart people get the vaccine and flourish.  The rest...not so much!  Vax deniers are the modern-day neanderthals.  We are medical scientists in this forum, so we should all know better.

Denier excuses and conspiracy theorist posts to follow.

It's not just about intelligence.  Belief systems are social network contagions; lots of sociology of religion studies have found this.

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On 5/4/2021 at 11:36 AM, sas5814 said:

Rev I think your question goes to the "greater good" or "public safety" issue. I don't know where the line is but if kids are low risk for bad outcomes but can carry the virus around and share it shouldn't they be vaccinated for the greater good? They are lower risk of bad outcomes from the flu as well.

How many kids will get COVID and have a bad outcome of some kind or accidentally kill someone at risk  and how many will suffer an untoward event from the vaccine. It is always about balancing the scales.

I would like to see if there is any more recent studies than the following from last summer comparing kids influenza and covid hospitalization rates, ICU admission rates, and mortality rates and found that they are similar.

https://childrensnational.org/news-and-events/childrens-newsroom/2020/clinical-symptoms-of-covid-vs-flu

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2770250?utm_source=For_The_Media&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ftm_links&utm_term=090820

If there is no change then I think it is safe to say we would be vaccinating children for the greater good or public safety.  Though another poster made a good point regarding the unknown of long haul covid hopefully we will continue to learn about this. Given that we have a vaccine that the adults can choose to receive, it becomes more about whether our health care system can handle COVID.  I think we were at capacity but the dam did not break in many locations, though it may have in others, I need to research this more.  I have a hard time with any mandatory vaccination of young people unless there is a large health care system capacity issue or a new variant brings changes.  I have heard a pediatrician argue that teens should receive the vaccination so that there will be less of a chance of variants being created in a more vaccinated society in the US.  I wonder if this is relevant given the fact that the rest of the world may not have nearly the vaccination rates and may be creating variants.  I also wonder if a leaky vaccine could produce other variants.

 

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4 hours ago, LKPAC said:

This is natural selection at work. Smart people get the vaccine and flourish.  The rest...not so much! 

 

1 hour ago, Cideous said:

If they are so willfully stupid to not listen to the best scientists this country has to offer, then you can feel bad for them while they are on a vent.

And for the record, Truth is not condescending.  It's just Truth.

 

LOL, I'll tell the CDC to put you two in charge of their PR efforts to win over the hearts and minds of the nation. 

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An update on the media stuff. Tucker Carlson is now using "data" from VAERS to claim that the current vaccine rollout is the deadliest in history. This irresponsible rhetoric is why so many are so adamantly opposed to vaccinations, if people were still wondering. 

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52 minutes ago, TheFatMan said:

An update on the media stuff. Tucker Carlson is now using "data" from VAERS to claim that the current vaccine rollout is the deadliest in history. This irresponsible rhetoric is why so many are so adamantly opposed to vaccinations, if people were still wondering. 

But yeah...let's coddle them......

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7 hours ago, Cideous said:

But yeah...let's coddle them......

For the record, I never said we should coddle them. I said they aren't necessarily stupid, which is true. In Tucker's situation, he is either incredibly stupid or being malicious - probably the latter.

There is a HUGE difference between someone who just hasn't gotten info from the right sources and have been unfortunate to watch the wrong YouTube video or go to the wrong chiropractor and someone who is a full-blown anti-vaxxer who is completely down the rabbit hole. I do think that there are a lot of people on the fence because they haven't been given the right information and I would consider that an important time not to push them away, dismiss them, or make them feel stupid because that will only shove them further down the hole of lunacy and we'll have even more Karens running around citing the VAERS and greenmedinfo or mercola.

I don't think it is as simple as being "willfully stupid." I have family members who subscribe to the full-out quack Christiane Northrup. I was told by this person my wife would never have kids after the vaccine, its satanic, mind-control, etc, etc, etc, but after a conversation the person decided to get the vaccine (still a little hesitant but they got it and and after a few weeks I think they feel comfortable about the decision). Hopefully they never listen to or read anything from that grifting POS again, but those type of people play on your emotions so naturally they will want to listen and they will believe what they say. 

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Nice post I saw re: anti-vaxxers from Your Local Epidemiologist (Katelyn Jetelina)

A few days ago, I shared a Texas Monthly news article on Facebook. The article features a prominent anti-vaxxer, Heather Simpson, who ended up getting the COVID19 vaccine (AND who is starting to vaccinate her daughter). It’s a fascinating read.

Wellllll…guess who I had coffee with yesterday?! That’s right. Heather Simpson.

I, of course, had a million questions. Way too many for one coffee. I don’t know much about this world and we need to if we want to change the landscape. For this meeting though, I was most interested in two things from her unique perspective:

  1. Describe the problem

  2. Brainstorm solutions

Heather and I chatted away.

Describe the problem

Vaccine hesitant vs. Anti-vaxxer. Before I start, I would like to point out that there is a distinct, and important, difference between vaccine hesitant and anti-vaxxer. Vaccine hesitant, in this context, is hesitant specifically to COVID19 vaccine. This groups gets the other vaccines, but is concerned about speed (speed does not mean rushed, see my previous post here) or the new mRNA technology (see my explanation here), or a multitude of other reasons. This post is about anti-vaxxers against all vaccines, including COVID19.

From hearing her story, I realized that there is a spectrum of anti-vaxxers. There are the extreme, but there are many others less extreme. This may be obvious to some, but I certainly wasn’t aware of the specific groups, in which Heather gave creative names.

https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-43
  1. Scared. These are closest to vaccine hesitant. These people are scared, but CAN be helped with facts. We just need to get them the facts. For example, when Heather was an anti-vaxxer she was most worried about the aluminum in vaccines. Once she understood the science, though, Heather could hold the facts close to her heart. When her daughter got her first vaccine last month, Heather kept repeating those facts in her head at the doctors office. She couldn’t find a way to talk herself out of the vaccine because she had scientific based facts. Even through tears.

  2. Ex-vaxxers. This is the next group down the spectrum. This is a group of parents in which something happened with their kids (autism, ADHD). And no one has answers for them. And, worse, their physician sometimes brushes off the problem. Heather explained to me the only thing that would help this group is to offer an answer focused on data. For example, conducting more scientific studies on autism or ADHD. We need to provide an answer OTHER than vaccines.

  3. 100% natural people. She ranked this group next, which seems to be deeply rooted in religion. Basically, this group thinks “you can play God” or “God did not make a mistake with your body and your immune system.” For example, you won’t get cancer because you eat healthy. Or, your kid got a urinary tract infection because you let them have McDonalds. This group doesn’t touch anything pharmaceutical. Interestingly, influencers in this group makes a lucrative living by selling natural supplements through pyramid schemes.

  4. Light conspiracy theorists. This group is next. They are the willfully ignorant. They watched YouTube videos and can’t be pulled out. This group starts dabbling in off the wall comments, like they’re spraying “chem-trails” in the air. (I had to look up “chem-trails”. “Chemtrails, short for chemical trails, are what some call the white trails you see left behind as a plane passes overhead. Believers in the chemical aspect of chemtrails say those trails are actually clouds of chemicals used by the government or some other large scale entity for a variety of nefarious purposes from weather modification, to human population control via sterilization, to even mind control”.)

  5. Lizard people. And then, finally, we have the extreme anti-vaxxer group. They are deep in the conspiracy world. We are talking QAnon, thinking Hillary Clinton is a lizard and drinks the blood of babies. Their whole world view is altered. Heather called them “lizard people”.

How will the COVID19 vaccine change the anti-vaxx world?

It seems like the COVID19 vaccine is causing people to jump from one group to another for other vaccines. For example, she described a family who was vaccine hesitant, but still got all childhood vaccines. However, because of COVID19, they have moved from “hesitant” to “scared” group because COVID19 vaccine was “rushed” and so that must mean all vaccines have faulty processes. And now they won’t get any other vaccines.

So what can we, public health officials, do?

I’m not going to pretend that I have found the solution on how to stop a international movement. But, there were some themes that I gathered from our conversation…

  • Primary prevention: Prevent it before it ever occurs through education and scientific communication. There is a lot of work we can do here. For example, we can specifically reach people when a family comes to a healthcare providers’ office.

  • Secondary prevention: Reduce the impact that has already occurred. For me, at least, it’s helpful to know that not all anti-vaxxers are a lost cause. There is a spectrum and each group needs to be targeted in a different way.

  • Tertiary prevention: Soften the impact of anti-vaxxer movement that has lasting effects. We are never going to win the battle of misinformation, so we need to figure out a way to calm the fire. This HAS to be a conversation with social media giants (which I’m having with FB) and a conversation at dinner tables, and everything in between.

So, all this to say, I agree with the Texas Monthly article: “The movement entraps people but also that it’s possible—if much harder—for minds to change.”

Love, YLE

 

 

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