This is a special edition of What Christians Should Know because this article is something that is not exclusive to believers; the information that follows is something that people should know in general. I speak today not only as a Christian, but also as a medical doctor who has been in practice for the past 15 years. And, as someone who has worked on the front lines during the era of COVID-19 in New York since the start, I have treated and had face-to-face contact with thousands of patients who either had a confirmed COVID infection or had concerning symptoms. Consequently, I know from first-hand experience what the coronavirus can do and how it can catastrophically destroy lives. I therefore do not speak from a speculative position, nor do I do so flippantly, without a consideration of real people in real life. In fact, it is because I have an earnest consideration for life that I am speaking on this subject today. Ephesians 4:15 exhorts members of Christ’s church to speak the truth in love. Hence, because my conscience is held captive by the truth, if I held back said truth, I would be hating my neighbors with silence.
The single point that I would urge you to consider today is this: to wait and not get the coronavirus vaccine. Why do I make that recommendation? Because the so-called prevention may be more dangerous than the disease.
In what follows, I will provide five reasons for this recommendation. My original list was fifteen reasons long, but my aim here is for brevity and precision. I will attempt to make the medical explanations as plain and understandable as possible. The purpose of what follows is to make sure that people are adequately educated so that whatever decision you decide to make, you do it as a patient who has informed consent. That is not consent based on fear, emotion, coercion or peer pressure. It is consent made by a person who is free to decide with all the facts available in front of them. After all, consent without information isn’t consent at all. Ultimately, the decision of what you choose to do with your body is yours.
The last introductory remark I will make is that when I refer to the coronavirus vaccine, I am specifically referring to two vaccines, the first being the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. This is the vaccine that Great Britain has already begun using in an inoculation campaign. And, as of this writing, in the United States, Pfizer has already applied to the FDA for emergency use authorization for this vaccine. It is anticipated that in America, the first group of people will begin receiving this vaccine by the end of 2020 or soon after the start of 2021. The second vaccine I will also refer to is being developed by Moderna, a company that has also applied to the FDA for emergency use. Although the vaccines from both companies are not exactly the same, there are similar reasons not to receive either one.
So let’s get started.
Why Not to Get the COVID Vaccine, Reason #1: The vaccine doesn’t do what you may think it does
On November 18th, 2020, the New York Times published an article titled, “New Pfizer Results: Coronavirus Vaccine Is Safe and 95% Effective.” Now, when you read a headline like that, most people may feel compelled to get vaccinated as soon as possible, considering that it works 95% of the time. But the question one should ask is, “The vaccine is 95% effective in doing what?” The vaccine doesn’t do what you think it does. It is not 95% effective in making you immune; it is not 95% effective in preventing you from getting COVID; it is not 95% effective in preventing you from spreading COVID to others; it is not 95% effective in preventing you from being hospitalized for COVID; and it is not 95% effective in preventing you from dying from COVID. So, what is the vaccine 95% effective in doing? The answer is in reducing the symptoms of mild disease. So, for example, reducing a moderate cough and runny nose for 3-4 days to a mild cough and runny nose for 1-2 days.
When the average person hears the word “vaccine,” they think about something that prevents them either from getting really sick and dying or from getting other people sick. The proposed COVID vaccines fail on both counts. In fact, eight out of ten people who contract COVID will have only mild symptoms and tend to recover without treatment. Which then begs the question: if almost all people with mild symptoms will recover anyway, then what’s the point of a vaccine that only reduces mild symptoms yet doesn’t prevent the disease itself?
If you acquire most of your medical information from the mainstream media, you may be led to equate the coronavirus vaccine with the safety and security of immunity; you may think the COVID vaccine is “just like getting a flu shot.” That would be a dangerous and false assumption. The COVID vaccine is nothing like the flu shot, and as I will explain a little bit later, to even call it a vaccine is a stretch. So, to summarize, based on the available data, even with the COVID vaccine, you can still get the virus, you can still give it to other people and you can still die from COVID. The point is that the vaccine doesn’t do what you think it does.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “Well, then, how can the pharmaceutical companies boast about 95% effectiveness when that doesn’t mean what most people think it means?” That’s an excellent question, and quite frankly, drug companies can take advantage of people’s fear and ignorance by deliberately obscuring the truth. The fact is, if you were to examine the details of both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s clinical protocols, the truth is right there, staring you in the face. But most people don’t read clinical protocols, and even if they did, they wouldn’t know how to read them. And what most people also don’t know is that the clinical trials of both Pfizer and Moderna were never designed to see if the vaccines kept people from dying or if they interrupted transmission of the virus. They were never designed that way because, in a rush to bring a vaccine to market, they were never required to (more on that later). These clinical protocols were designed to tackle easy problems without addressing the difficult ones that really matter.
Peter Doshi is the associate editor of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and assistant professor of pharmaceutical health services research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. He recently wrote in the BMJ:
The world has bet the farm on vaccines as the solution to the pandemic, but the trials are not focused on answering the questions many might assume they are.
The knowledge you must be equipped with here is that based on the available data, the novel vaccines will neither be a protective shield for you nor will they protect those closest to you. The vaccines are not a man-made instrument of salvation. They won’t let you get back to life the way it was. What they may do—for some—is impart a false sense of security.
Here, then, is a question that you must now contemplate: “If the vaccine does not protect me from getting COVID, dying from it or infecting loved ones, then why should I take it? What benefits do I seek to secure from it?” Still, it would be one thing if the vaccine only failed to impart a benefit. The next thing to consider is that the vaccine may actually confer injury.
Why Not to Get the COVID Vaccine, Reason #2: The vaccine may do what you don’t think it does
What the COVID vaccine may do is cause more harm than good. In my opinion, this is the ultimate reason why anyone should wait and see before getting inoculated. So, how could the COVID vaccine harm someone and not help them?
The first reason why the vaccine may do what you don’t think it does is that the COVID vaccine isn’t technically a vaccine. What do I mean by that? The CDC defines a vaccine as “A product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease.” But what we have already established is that what Pfizer and Moderna are developing has not been proven to produce immunity. Meaning what? That the so-called COVID vaccines are not technically vaccines. And not only that, what the drug companies and healthcare providers are going to inject into patients is radically different from every other type of commonly administered vaccine. You see, up to now, vaccination has meant injecting a biological agent—such as in a dead virus or weakened bacteria. Once these “germs” are inside the body, your immune system identifies these “invaders” and creates a response against it. Ideally, your body “remembers” who these invaders are and what they look like, so if they come back, your body quickly mounts an immune response and wipes the invaders out.
That was a brief summary of how your immune system works and conventional vaccines depend on your natural immune system to “identify,” “fight” and “remember.” Now, is the conventional way how the COVID vaccine works? No. It relies on a new way of interacting with your body’s internal machinery so that instead of allowing your immune system to “figure it out and fight,” the COVID vaccine instead gives your cells new marching orders and tells them what to do.
This is the second reason why the vaccine may do what you don’t think it does: because it uses a brand-new technology that is unproven and has not been rigorously tested on a large scale in humans. The COVID vaccines do not contain a dead or weakened virus; instead, they work by using messenger RNA (or mRNA). In plain English, mRNA is a synthetic product that “hacks” your cells’ programming through genetic modification. So, in theory, how the COVID vaccine is supposed to work is that it instructs your cells to make proteins, and then your body forms antibodies to those proteins. Purportedly, those antibodies are made against parts of the coronavirus, which inhibits it.
Certainly, a synthetic mRNA product could do many things, both positive and negative. But the brutal reality is that we simply don’t know what will happen until we move out of a lab and controlled experimental conditions and into the real world. Some reasonable questions to ask about a mRNA vaccine are: “What are the side effects and adverse reactions?” “What are the short-term and long-term consequences?” “Will I need a COVID vaccine every year, and what are the long-term consequences of being injected with synthetic genetic material?” These questions are very important to consider because in essence, by taking the COVID vaccine, you become a genetically modified organism.
This leads me to my third reason for why the vaccine may do what you don’t think it does. That is, the vaccine works very well to produce adverse side effects. We already know that 100% of those individuals who were injected with two doses (100 mcg) of Moderna’s (see Figure 1) mRNA vaccine experienced side effects. In Pfizer’s trial, half of the people aged 18-55 experienced adverse side effects. The practical take-home point here is that the COVID vaccine may give you many of the symptoms of COVID.
The fourth reason why the vaccine may do what you don’t think it does is that at least one recent study has provided compelling evidence that the mRNA coronavirus vaccines may actually make you sicker. Meaning, vaccine then virus equals very sick, versus no vaccine and then virus equals not so bad. The way this works is by a process called ADE, or antibody-dependent enhancement. What exactly does that mean? In a nutshell, it means that, rather than boosting your immunity against COVID, the vaccine actually boosts the virus’s ability to make you sick.
The fifth reason why the vaccine may do what you don’t think it does is that attempts to make a coronavirus vaccine in the past have failed because the medicine ended up being more dangerous than the disease. The medical community identified the family of coronaviruses decades ago, and examples of other types of coronaviruses are SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-associated coronavirus) and MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus). What people may not know is that in the early 2000s, there was a race to develop a SARS vaccine after multiple outbreaks in Asia. Why did those vaccines never see the light of day? Because the subjects who received the vaccine ended up getting sicker compared to those who did not receive the vaccine. Could the new COVID-19 vaccine do the same thing? It’s possible, and one reason why history exists is so that we can learn from it.
The point of all of this is that, based on clinical trials, not only has the COVID vaccine failed to do what most people think it will, it may also succeed in doing what people don’t think it will do: putting them in more danger and causing them to become sicker if they do actually get the virus.
Dr. Mike Yeadon is Pfizer’s former Vice President and Chief Scientist for Allergy and Respiratory Disease. He recently said:
There is absolutely no need for vaccines to extinguish the pandemic … You do not vaccinate people who aren’t at risk from a disease. You also don’t set about planning to vaccinate millions of fit and healthy people with a vaccine that hasn’t been extensively tested on human subjects.
Dr. Yeadon’s final sentence is the most revealing: that the safety of the proposed COVID vaccines is questionable because of a lack of testing. And without extensive testing, no one can be sure what the negative side effects of the vaccines are until many people get it and we observe what happens to these individuals over time. Again, nothing beats testing a vaccine in real life, outside of experimental conditions. You see, in the vaccine trials, tens of thousands of people may have been enrolled in the studies, but when the drug manufacturers produced figures to boast that “the vaccine worked,” those figures were based on what happened in fewer than three hundred people (those who developed symptomatic infections). You don’t need to be a scientist to figure out that what may work for 200-300 people will not necessarily work in three hundred million or 7.5 billion. To suggest otherwise would be the height of madness. To inoculate billions of people based on a tiny fragment of clinical volunteers not only lacks statistical power, it is also irresponsible, immoral, and hatred in disguise. Mass immunizations of people with the COVID vaccine would essentially equate to the largest medical experiment ever conducted in the history of the human race. The most demeaning part of this horrid trial is that the people who innocently consent to receive the vaccine don’t even know they are being experimented on; they may be sadly unaware that they are receiving an untested synthetic agent that is being tested on them.
I am no prophet, and of course, all of the information presented thus far could be proven false when reality tested (and I hope it is). Hence, there is a point in reality testing (generally speaking) and in people being very cautious about what they are actually allowing others to inject into their bodies. “I’ll wait … you go first” is seemingly the wisest course of action.
Why Not to Get the COVID Vaccine, Reason #3: The entire process was rushed and “haste makes waste”
Normally, vaccines take a decade to make. When they are “hurried,” they still take more than five years. What Operation Warp Speed did is compress the development time for the COVID vaccines into a few months. How did they do this? Basically by bypassing the conventional way of developing a vaccine. Drug companies were allowed to begin producing vaccine candidates before they were demonstrated to be safe. This is obviously dangerous, because even the Department of Health and Human Services admits that what OWS did was allow for the “manufacturing of the vaccine at industrial scale well before the demonstration of vaccine efficacy and safety.”
Even when vaccines go through the normal approval process, that still does not mean they are proven to be safe, and they are vulnerable to being discontinued. This explains why there have been 66 formally tested and approved vaccines in the United States that have been discontinued for a variety of safety issues. So here, then, is the question: If taking 10 years to make a vaccine is not foolproof and can still allow for the approval of something that causes more harm than good, do you think a rushed COVID vaccine, that has only existed for a couple of months, would be proven more safe or less safe compared to one for which more time was allowed? If using the normal safety protocols can allow for the approval of something harmful, what happens when protocols are softened because of an acute health threat?
Certainly, there are some who will place their faith in the regulatory bodies whose job it is to make sure that the vaccine that we take is safe. For example, one could cite the recent FDA staff evaluation report that says the Pfizer vaccine is safe. What many individuals may not realize is that both Pfizer and Moderna have applied to the FDA for vaccine approval under the EUA or Emergency Use Authorization. Why does application under the EUA matter? Because doing it this way lowers the bar for approval, meaning there is less scrutiny applied to how well a vaccine works and how much harm it can cause. EUA only requires that the therapy in question may be effective, and that the potential benefits outweigh the risks. This is the ultimate catch-22: we don’t know what the potential risks are because of a lack of vigorous testing.
You might ask, “We’re in the middle of a pandemic. Things are far from normal, and therefore, doing things the ‘normal’ way won’t work to address a health emergency. Yes, there are risks involved in a vaccine, but even if corners are cut, isn’t somebody responsible? Won’t the drug companies be held accountable if they did something unscrupulous?” And the answer is: actually, no.
Why Not to Get the COVID Vaccine, Reason #4: Drug companies can do harm without liability
Vaccine manufacturers already had protection for the health damage that vaccines cause as a function of the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. But even more than that, the PREP Act (Public Health and Readiness Act) was passed in the spring of 2020, in the midst of the hysteria of a novel virus. What the PREP Act did is codify into law that COVID vaccine manufacturers would be exempt from liability even if their vaccine harms patients. So we now have a situation where a drug company can rush an unproven, inadequately tested vaccine and bear no accountability or legal responsibility for that vaccine at all. That is terribly frightening.
This brings me to my last reason.
Why Not to Get the COVID Vaccine, Reason #5: There is serious hesitancy amongst the healthcare providers who will be giving the vaccine
Vaccine hesitancy amongst healthcare workers is very real and very high because many in the healthcare field are rightfully concerned that it’s way too early to accept a vaccine before it’s been widely administered and proven to be safe. In simple terms, what I’m saying is this: don’t think that doctors and nurses are in agreement about giving the COVID vaccine. Many are highly skeptical and reluctant to give it. As evidence, consider that the President of the American Medical Association, Dr. Susan Bailey, said in a recent video that the number of doctors who expressed hesitancy about giving the COVID vaccine was “unprecedented.” Even more, researchers at UCLA conducted one study showing that two out of three healthcare workers in the Los Angeles area intend to delay vaccination because of safety concerns. In another study conducted by SHG, in the United States, less than half of physicians were confident in the safety of the COVID vaccines, and nearly half of the doctors felt uncomfortable giving the vaccine once it becomes available. In the group for which I work, the bulk of our practice involves treating people who have COVID and testing people who want to know if they have it. The point is that if there was a benefit to a vaccine, we would benefit the most. Certainly, my own experience is not normative, but what do most of the providers that I have spoken to say? That they are not going to get the vaccine right away; they’re going to wait. Why? Because they can’t trust it, and because it is too early to tell whether it will work and if it’s safe.
When it comes time for you to decide, you should sit down with your personal physician and ask them what their personal take on the vaccine is. And if they are hesitant to take it for themselves, that is the perfect opportunity to ask them why. You may be surprised that many doctors—especially those who are part of large groups or hospital networks—follow protocols that determine how they practice medicine. Consequently, many will simply “go with the flow” even if they won’t get the vaccine for themselves. This, of course, begs the question: if the “medicine” is not good enough for the doctor, then why is it good enough for the patient?
I am certainly not going to take the vaccine, even though as a front-line healthcare worker, I will be offered it first. Furthermore, in the next few weeks to months, I will be in a position to give a COVID vaccine to hundreds of people every day. Yet right now, in light of everything that I have explained thus far, I cannot in good moral conscience give the COVID vaccine to anyone. That would violate my oath to “do no harm.” There are just too many potential adverse outcomes that can possibly manifest. The logic that I use for that decision is simple: knowing what I know, if I am not confident that the vaccine is safe, then why would I give it to one of my patients? If I did, that would be acting against conscience. While I have already encouraged patients not to enroll themselves in a de facto human experiment, I also intend not to be a part of the machine that facilitates immoral experimentation on people in the name of public health. I recently had a lengthy discussion with a high-ranking individual in a large healthcare organization. I basically said, “I will not give the vaccine—it’s immoral.” Their response was essentially scoffing. Indeed, there may be situations in the future where doctors are penalized because of their refusal to experiment on humans. Suffering is merely the cost one pays for standing firm in the truth.
I will close by addressing some common objections to the arguments made in today’s episode. The reality is, over the past few weeks, when I have had the conversation about vaccination versus no vaccination with other healthcare providers, the objections boil down to the following three.
Objection #1: “You’re hurting people, not helping them.”
This objection is directed toward healthcare providers. It basically says, “If you advise people not to get the vaccine, you’re hurting them, not helping.” There is an underlying assumption here that a patient would be at a disadvantage without a vaccine. This objection is usually presented in a way similar to this: “So, if John Doe comes into your office and just wants to protect his family because he has already lost loved ones to COVID, would you deny him a COVID vaccine?”
The answer is, I want John Doe to live a healthy and prosperous life. I want John Doe to be around for his loved ones without deficit. That’s exactly the reason why I am not going to experiment on him and inject him with the COVID vaccine. And if John Doe is already healthy, why tinker? Certainly, I am just one physician, so I cannot force anyone to do anything. Although I may decline to vaccinate a patient, that patient is still free to make their own choice and, if they so desire, be vaccinated by another provider. Just as patients are free to choose, so are healthcare providers.
Objection #2: “Something is better than nothing.”
This objection is more of an assertion than an argument. That is, “something works better than nothing” is only valid depending on what that “something” is. Let us all not forget that for those under 70 years of age, the survival rate of COVID is greater than 99% (and for those older than 70, it’s greater than 94%). The point is that without a vaccine, an overwhelming majority of people survive even if they do get COVID. Hence, why use something experimental if doing nothing favors life for most individuals? And, let us all not forget that the “something” of the COVID vaccine may very well mean something harmful, not something beneficial.
Objection #3: “Not vaccinating is the minority view.”
The validity of an argument is not related to the number of people who make that argument. It is related to the truth of the argument. And, in some cases, the minority opinions of today become the ironclad truths of tomorrow. Everyone ought to be careful to keep the end in mind and consider that years from now, many may look back and say, “In the height of the COVID fervor, we should have paused, taken a step back and considered all the facts available to us.”
Furthermore, as of early December 2020, there are roughly 16 million people who have tested positive for COVID. 16 million is, of course, a minority of Americans. However, if we ever find ourselves in a situation where a majority of Americans (150 million +) do get the COVID vaccine, then we will be looking at a situation where far more Americans get the vaccine than have actually gotten the wild virus. Truly, people do not wait in line to get COVID, but they will wait in line to get the coronavirus vaccine. Accordingly, the far more relevant issue is to wait and see how valid the majority view is as it is tested in real life over time.
In the beginning, I said the single point that I would urge you to consider today is this: to wait and not get the coronavirus vaccine. Why? Because the so-called prevention may be more dangerous than the disease. Now, at the end, whatever it is that you do, I urge you to choose wisely.
Dr. C. H. E. Sadaphal