STUART REVERCOMB: Why All The Vaccine Judgement?

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A Few Simple Statistics:

– Out of 333,378,983 people in the United States (on Sept. 23 2021) an estimated 677,086* have died with Covid-19. (CDC) This means presently the average American citizen has a 99.8% chance of NOT dying from Covid-19. (*Note: this number represents those who died with the virus – not necessarily because of the virus.)

– The total number of hospitalizations from Jan 1 2020 to Sept 23 2021 with Covid-19 is 2,920,532. This means that presently the average American citizen has a 99.1% chance of NOT being hospitalized by Covid-19.

A Few Additional Facts:

– Up until two weeks ago the use of all three Covid-19 vaccines in the United States had been done on an “Emergency” basis. One (Pfizer) was granted FDA approval in less than 5 months after formal submission. This has NEVER been done.

Until 2020 vaccine development had always required a long and thorough process, often lasting 10-15 years and involving a combination of public and private involvement. The Exploratory Stage alone normally lasts 2-4 years. This stage is then followed by FIVE additional research stages typically taking 8-11 years. (Pre-Clinical Stage / IND Application / Phase I Vaccine Trials / Phase II Vaccine Trials and Phase III Vaccine Trials.) These stages are then followed up with rigorous post approval testing and statistical follow-up.

An Interesting Political Corollary:

– 41% of registered Democrats believe that OVER 50% of all individuals that catch Covid-19 require hospitalization. (Brookings Institute / Franklin Templeton Gallup Study)

– 45% of registered Republicans believe that 3% of all individuals that catch Covid-19 require hospitalization.

Based on the above CDC’s numbers roughly 6% of Covid-19 patients require hospitalization.

Regardless of which party (i.e. “news-watcher group”) has a better sense of that particular statistic, the radically different understandings point to a very troubling dichotomy that seems to explain the wildly different perspectives that Americans have relative to their willingness (or lack thereof) to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in its present form.

There are generally two pools of people:

One – that looks at the above data and has very few questions.

They are of a mindset that says, “even though the vaccines are being used under what is termed “emergency approval” the government and media all seem to indicate that these vaccines are “safe” and besides, millions of other people are receiving them so why wouldn’t I?” If one happens to be towards the end of one’s life this makes even more sense as those age 65 and up account for 83% of all covid deaths in the U.S. Others, who know or suspect they may have a complicating underlying condition, likewise might wisely choose to err in this direction.

And . . .

One – that looks at the above data and can’t help but ask a few questions:

Why would I take a vaccine that has not been approved by the normal science / medical process when I face an infinitesimal likelihood (particularly if I am under the age of 65) of ever being hospitalized much less dying from the disease? Furthermore, since the CDC has determined that fully vaccinated individuals can also spread the virus, why would I concern myself if I am taking the same precautionary steps (hand washing / mask wearing where appropriate) that they are to mitigate the spread?

If, based on the lack of what was heretofore a required scientific and medical process, I choose to not take my chances with the vaccine (but rather with the virus given the above statistics) why would another U.S. citizen question my right to do so? Given the data and the different sets of circumstances unique to each individual, shouldn’t we all respect one another’s health choices?

Furthermore, if the vaccine works (as it is said to) then those who choose to get vaccinated should have no worry about being in someone else’s presence who has made the choice not to based on their analysis of the data and/or lack thereof. So why all the coercion and judgement?

A wise man once said, “It’s a free country . . .”

Another one clearly added sometime later . . . “until it’s not.”

Stuart Revercomb

– Stuart Revercomb

One additional statistic I came across in researching this column: among the nation’s 50 largest hospitals, the percentage of vaccinated health care workers is just 33% compared to roughly 55% of the U.S. population (Web MD/CDC). Why would that be? If you’re under 65 and have no reason to believe you have an underlying health condition, it’s perhaps a number worth considering as you make your own choice and hopefully respect the one’s made by others.