I Stand as an Ally to the Vaccine Holdouts

 

I’m vaccinated but I don’t ask, as have many vaccinated Facebook users, that you “respect my decision.” Vaccinated people like me get plenty of respect already, thanks: from public health officials, the political class, employers, and the media, just to name a few. No, the lay of the cultural landscape makes it abundantly clear that it’s not the vaccinated but the unvaccinated who aren’t getting enough respect.

At the end of the day, each individual must make a cost-benefit analysis based on a constellation of variables such as age, health, pregnancy, family history, science, and, yes, anecdotes from sources you trust. Different people will come to different conclusions and behave accordingly. This is how it should be – must be – in a free society.

People question the vaccines for a whole host of reasons, some of them legitimate in my view, others not. I don’t think the vaccines’ image for being safe and efficacious – again, justified in my view – is burnished by shaming those who question them, those who take a wait-and-see approach, or decide to avoid them altogether. This is to say nothing of mandating them.

What are those Americans who’ve lived through codified racial discrimination to make of now being denied access to much of public life, from restaurants and grocery stores to college classrooms and even their jobs – all by virtue of their vaccination status? As a libertarian, I believe non-monopolistic firms should be permitted to decide who may enter their premises. That makes me a radical on this issue. But viewpoint discrimination imposed by the government with its monopoly on force? That’s a hard “No.”

The fundamental public health question is “What’s our metric for determining when we may return to the status quo ante?” The sensible answer to me is: when a safe, effective vaccine has become publicly available to anyone and everyone who wishes to receive it.

Too many people – especially our culture’s tastemakers and those in positions of power – seem more interested in maintaining the “new normal” by vilifying the approximately 30% of Americans who have chosen thus far to opt out. The whole point of the vaccines – other than saving lives – is that they allow us to base public health policy on the vaccinated. But that was the old hotness. The new hotness is that we must continue wearing masks, social distancing, contact tracing, testing, and limiting the size of gatherings until both Anthony Fauci and Michelle Wallensky (whose agency just deemed cruise ships too risky for ex-smokers) gives us the green light.

In the meantime, those of us who are vaccinated should resist the divisive urge to pile on those who don’t share our fully-vaccinated status and instead stand as an ally to that denigrated minority of holdouts who pose no health threat to us.

Published in Healthcare
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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    This is precisely my condition, and my attitude. I didn’t get vaccinated because of anything anyone said (and despite everything that dullard Fauci said) I got vaccinated to make my mom happy, and if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. She was an RN for over forty years, and was worried about me. This is not a woman, by the way, with an inflated sense of the competence of doctors. I’ve gotten the impression over the years that she thinks that in some cases “MD” might just stand for mon Dieu.

    • #1
  2. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    I don’t know if this is parody or not.  I choose not to get the vaccine, and anyone who berates my decision, goes “Tsk tsk”, or makes a snarky remark clearly does not respect my decision.  I’ve made the same decision about other vaccines: pneumonia, shingles, annual flu, et al.  If I get sick, and even die, it’s all on me . . .

    • #2
  3. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    It looks as if the thing vaccination does is ensure a mild case of Covid if you contract Covid while during the effective phase of vaccination.  That is beneficial, because apparently, once you do get Covid – whether a mild case or a severe one – you seem to have permanent immunization. 

    I got Covid last December, before the vaccine became available. (For me it was a mild case.) That is the main reason I have not gotten vaccinated. The science is showing getting vaccinated after having covid offers no meaningful additional protection from it. You already are immune. 

    I advise people who are otherwise healthy to get vaccinated for covid, and then not sweat it when you do finally get it. The mild case that results provides permanent immunization thereafter. At the same time, if you know you had it, getting immunized is really an exercise in – well – superstition. You might as well wear garlic around your neck. It offers the same protection. 

    • #3
  4. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    It looks as if the thing vaccination does is ensure a mild case of Covid if you contract Covid while during the effective phase of vaccination. That is beneficial, because apparently, once you do get Covid – whether a mild case or a severe one – you seem to have permanent immunization.

    I got Covid last December, before the vaccine became available. (For me it was a mild case.) That is the main reason I have not gotten vaccinated. The science is showing getting vaccinated after having covid offers no meaningful additional protection from it. You already are immune.

    I advise people who are otherwise healthy to get vaccinated for covid, and then not sweat it when you do finally get it. The mild case that results provides permanent immunization thereafter. At the same time, if you know you had it, getting immunized is really an exercise in – well – superstition. You might as well wear garlic around your neck. It offers the same protection.

    I don’t know. I had it in January and got vaccinated in April. Does it help? No idea. Based on what I know, it shouldn’t hurt. 

    • #4
  5. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    David Deeble: Different people will come to different conclusions and behave accordingly. This is how it should be – must be – in a free society.

    It surprises me that you think we live in a free society.

    • #5
  6. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    It looks as if the thing vaccination does is ensure a mild case of Covid if you contract Covid while during the effective phase of vaccination. That is beneficial, because apparently, once you do get Covid – whether a mild case or a severe one – you seem to have permanent immunization.

    I got Covid last December, before the vaccine became available. (For me it was a mild case.) That is the main reason I have not gotten vaccinated. The science is showing getting vaccinated after having covid offers no meaningful additional protection from it. You already are immune.

    I advise people who are otherwise healthy to get vaccinated for covid, and then not sweat it when you do finally get it. The mild case that results provides permanent immunization thereafter. At the same time, if you know you had it, getting immunized is really an exercise in – well – superstition. You might as well wear garlic around your neck. It offers the same protection.

    I don’t know. I had it in January and got vaccinated in April. Does it help? No idea. Based on what I know, it shouldn’t hurt.

    There is still the possibility that vaccinated people might suffer an “immune system storm” after a future exposure to SOME OTHER corona virus, and such “storms” can even be fatal.  That doesn’t seem to be an issue for people who have had covid and developed natural immunity.

    • #6
  7. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Percival (View Comment):
    she thinks that in some cases “MD” might just stand for mon Dieu.

    No, it stands for Minor Deity… 

    • #7
  8. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    Thank you, David.   Thirty percent is a lot of people, and some of them are health-care providers. There is now concern that the nursing shortage will worsen considerably.   If one good thing comes out of this, it may be that we will be able to be successful in gaining control over personal medical decisions. Not holding my breath, though.

    • #8
  9. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    • #9
  10. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    You can get reinfected with Covid. In a year those of us who have had it may be vulnerable. It’s most likely not going to be worse than the first time unless the mutants increase lethality.

    Most people who succumb to influenza have probably had it before and, more than likely, had developed other health problems that made them more vulnerable. It will be the same with Covid.

    The worst part of this has been the absolute lack of candor and the pushing of narratives that are absurdly false. For example, it has become increasingly clear that obesity is a major player in fatalities. Yet, in this age of “body positivity” you’re not really allowed to point this out. You’re totally permitted to mock the unvaccinated but don’t you dare “fat shame.” Nor are you permitted to show the absurdity of locking people in their homes instead of encouraging them to exercise and lose weight.

    One is also excoriated for pointing out the less than stellar record of the FDA in their drug approval process. Yelling at the hesitant that the vaccines now have full approval is, I guess, effective if one is totally oblivious to the history of drug recalls. In the last 20 years manufacturers and the FDA have recalled over a dozen drugs due to problems that never manifested themselves in trials. Do the names Vioxx and Zantac ring a bell? There is no data that the vaccines are safe in the long term for a drug that didn’t exist a year ago.

     

     

    • #10
  11. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    EJHill (View Comment):
    Do the names Vioxx and Zantac ring a bell?

    As I heard it, the problem with Zantac was not the drug itself, but that it had been contaminated by other materials, particularly in supplies from China.

    Like what I remember that the problem with the Johnson & Johnson talcum powder wasn’t really the talc, but that it had been contaminated with asbestos.

    • #11
  12. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    The same government that is importing Tuberculosis, Mumps, Scabies, even POLIO for God’s sake through our southern border — no questions asked — is as usual flexing on decent law-abiding Americans.

    I’m vaccinated so that I am allowed see my wife and son overseas from time to time.  Just the same, I am implacably opposed to the mandates being handed down by the government.

    Mandate on this, chumps.

    • #12
  13. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Studies continue to show that those who’ve had COVID have better immunity than those who were only vaxxed, and that imunity includes immunity against variants. There is no need for those who’ve had COVID to take the shot, and I am tired of being treated as a pariah because I earned my immunity the hard way.

    • #13
  14. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    EJHill (View Comment):

    You can get reinfected with Covid. In a year those of us who have had it may be vulnerable. It’s most likely not going to be worse than the first time unless the mutants increase lethality.

    Most people who succumb to influenza have probably had it before and, more than likely, had developed other health problems that made them more vulnerable. It will be the same with Covid.

    The worst part of this has been the absolute lack of candor and the pushing of narratives that are absurdly false. For example, it has become increasingly clear that obesity is a major player in fatalities. Yet, in this age of “body positivity” you’re not really allowed to point this out. You’re totally permitted to mock the unvaccinated but don’t you dare “fat shame.” Nor are you permitted to show the absurdity of locking people in their homes instead of encouraging them to exercise and lose weight.

    One is also excoriated for pointing out the less than stellar record of the FDA in their drug approval process. Yelling at the hesitant that the vaccines now have full approval is, I guess, effective if one is totally oblivious to the history of drug recalls. In the last 20 years manufacturers and the FDA have recalled over a dozen drugs due to problems that never manifested themselves in trials. Do the names Vioxx and Zantac ring a bell? There is no data that the vaccines are safe in the long term for a drug that didn’t exist a year ago.

     

     

    Vioxx is a great drug.  It could raise BP in some people, which we knew from the studies.

    But I’ve had people get out of wheelchairs & walk on that stuff.  It’s like God’s gift to ibuprofen.  Incredible stuff.  I can treat the BP if I need to.  But holy cats did that work for arthritis, inflammation, & pain.

    Great drug.  Banning that was a mistake.

    When they withdrew the drug, the reps went out to get the samples from the doctors’ offices.  They got only a very small fraction, because the doctors stole them, to take themselves.

    You can still buy it in most countries, but not here.  Thank you, FDA.

    Although if memory serves, the company withdrew it pre-emptively.  But fear of the FDA can be nearly as costly as the FDA itself. 

    Big loss.

    • #14
  15. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    One is also excoriated for pointing out the less than stellar record of the FDA in their drug approval process…In the last 20 years manufacturers and the FDA have recalled over a dozen drugs due to problems that never manifested themselves in trials. Do the names Vioxx and Zantac ring a bell? There is no data that the vaccines are safe in the long term for a drug that didn’t exist a year ago.

     

     

    Vioxx is a great drug. It could raise BP in some people, which we knew from the studies.

    But I’ve had people get out of wheelchairs & walk on that stuff. It’s like God’s gift to ibuprofen. Incredible stuff. I can treat the BP if I need to. But holy cats did that work for arthritis, inflammation, & pain.

    Great drug. Banning that was a mistake.

    When they withdrew the drug, the reps went out to get the samples from the doctors’ offices. They got only a very small fraction, because the doctors stole them, to take themselves.

    You can still buy it in most countries, but not here. Thank you, FDA.

    Although if memory serves, the company withdrew it pre-emptively. But fear of the FDA can be nearly as costly as the FDA itself.

    Big loss.

    All that you say is true, but you forgot that Merck was facing lawsuits for acute MI’s allegedly induced by the drug.  What a crock.  As if you could take some arthritic coot with a BMI of 40 and an HDL of 15 who smokes two packs a day, and blame his AMI on using an effective anti-inflammatory.

    Vioxx was one of three turn-of-the century arthritis drugs which had splendid clinical results but suffered business reversals.  I developed really bad hand arthritis in 1999.  I was a surgeon then and an oboist.  Not a good combination with arthritis of the hands.  After six months I discovered Vioxx. Like you say, it was a miracle out of Exodus.  Used it over the dawn of the new millenium.

    On a weekday in September 2002, I was almost home from the office, had just turned onto my street, when I heard on the radio that Vioxx was being withdrawn.  I turned right around, drove back to the office, emptied my samples closet of Vioxx, and stole all the samples from my tenant’s closet.  I used that good stuff for more than a year.  Nothing worked on arthritis like Vioxx.  Nothing. 

    So I went on Bextra.  Bextra was almost as good.  But Pfizer had to pull Bextra in 2005 for the sin of promoting off-label use.

    So I went to Celebrex.  Meh.  Not every drug works for every patient.

    Vioxx, Bextra and Celebrex.  Three great drugs for arthritis.  Only one, Celebrex, survived the culture wars and it was the least effective of the three for this patient.

    • #15
  16. David Deeble Member
    David Deeble
    @DavidDeeble

    Sandy (View Comment):

    Thank you, David. Thirty percent is a lot of people, and some of them are health-care providers. There is now concern that the nursing shortage will worsen considerably. If one good thing comes out of this, it may be that we will be able to be successful in gaining control over personal medical decisions. Not holding my breath, though.

    Yeah, my understanding is that the percentage of healthcare workers who have chosen to get vaccinated is only marginally higher than the general population, and they’re in a better position that the rest of us to make an informed decision.

    • #16
  17. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    EJHill (View Comment):

    You can get reinfected with Covid. In a year those of us who have had it may be vulnerable. It’s most likely not going to be worse than the first time unless the mutants increase lethality.

    Most people who succumb to influenza have probably had it before and, more than likely, had developed other health problems that made them more vulnerable. It will be the same with Covid.

    The worst part of this has been the absolute lack of candor and the pushing of narratives that are absurdly false. For example, it has become increasingly clear that obesity is a major player in fatalities. Yet, in this age of “body positivity” you’re not really allowed to point this out. You’re totally permitted to mock the unvaccinated but don’t you dare “fat shame.” Nor are you permitted to show the absurdity of locking people in their homes instead of encouraging them to exercise and lose weight.

    One is also excoriated for pointing out the less than stellar record of the FDA in their drug approval process. Yelling at the hesitant that the vaccines now have full approval is, I guess, effective if one is totally oblivious to the history of drug recalls. In the last 20 years manufacturers and the FDA have recalled over a dozen drugs due to problems that never manifested themselves in trials. Do the names Vioxx and Zantac ring a bell? There is no data that the vaccines are safe in the long term for a drug that didn’t exist a year ago.

    Put me in the camp of “Vioxx was safe in the first place.”

    All medications come with some risk. Sometimes you look at trade offs. I know people who were desperate to keep taking biox because it gave them a better quality of life even if they had a slightly elevated risk of something else going wrong. This is much like harmones and a postmeanapausel woman.  There is some elevated risk of certain cancers where is your risk goes from something like one and a 1000 to 2 in 1000.  That’s double in your chance of cancer by the way. Double. Of course the follow you say is that it doubles your chance of cancer and you don’t actually give the numbers it sounds pretty scary. Of course women not taking those hormones have bone density loss and other elevated risks.

    Trade offs.

    • #17
  18. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    she thinks that in some cases “MD” might just stand for mon Dieu.

    No, it stands for Minor Deity…

    I thought it stood for Mucho Debt (medical school ain’t cheap) . . .

    • #18
  19. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle
    @MattBartle

    If I remember my Beverly Hillbillies correctly, it’s “Mister Doctor.”

     

    • #19
  20. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Re: Vioxx

    Either way it doesn’t particularly speak well of the regulatory process, does it?

    • #20
  21. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    Of course you have a right to refuse medical care- but always keep in mind Trotsky’s famous quote:

    “Everyone has the right to be stupid on occasion, but Comrade Macdonald abuses the privilege.”

    Don’t be comrade Macdonald….be judicious in your refusals.

    ps- For many years I assumed he was talking about the British labor leader(Ramsey) but it actually was a NY writer/critic Dwight Macdonald.

    • #21
  22. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    So this is just plain wrong. People with Ebola and Measles do get quarantined. During the Ebola scare a few years back, close contacts of infected people were to be in quarantine. 

    I am not making any point for the treatment of people not vaccinated for COVID, just pointing out that the above is not accurate.  

    • #22
  23. Dbroussa Coolidge
    Dbroussa
    @Dbroussa

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    It looks as if the thing vaccination does is ensure a mild case of Covid if you contract Covid while during the effective phase of vaccination. That is beneficial, because apparently, once you do get Covid – whether a mild case or a severe one – you seem to have permanent immunization.

    Operative word is seem to.  There isn’t good data on that at this time.  Its likely to confer full immunity to the current form for some period of time, and a limited immunity to variants for some period of time.  How well that will work remains to be seen.  Coronaviruses have been tricky in the past.  The mRNA vaccines have done a wonderful job and portend a real sea change in how we can quickly create vaccines for diseases, but, that also still has issues.

     

    • #23