With Irreverence Towards All – A monthly column on the musings and rants from a Bay Area Indian American about all that ails, affects, or matters to desis here and across these fine United States. Many will disagree, and sometimes aggressively.
For this month, I felt compelled to pick up where I left off in last month’s post about Covid vaccinations. I’m not alone in being mad at those who are allowing the delta variant of Covid-19 to gain hold. What is obviously a pandemic of the unvaccinated now, can very easily draw in all those who have been responsible about masking and vaccinations. Let’s double down on addressing the need for vaccinations.
After my rant appeared in this column on July 13, I noted reactions in the Comments section of that article and heard from some folks personally. I think it is important to take a look at some of the thoughts expressed – to expose the hypocrisy and ignorance of those still taking a negative stance.
Alternate remedies – It is absolutely crazy that some folks are pushing discredited, debunked, and even nonsensical ideas as alternatives to getting vaccinated.
If one has been infected with symptomatic Covid-19, should they be treated with Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)? The answer is NO.
Does steam/vapor treatment work against a Covid-19 infection? NO (although I could agree that it is generally beneficial to do this on a regular basis).
I am relieved that no one has approached me with the benefits of cow’s urine or dung therapy!
Young people don’t need to get vaccinated – WRONG! There are at least 3 good reasons for them to get vaccinated.
(a) They can be asymptomatic carriers infecting unsuspecting vulnerable folks.
(b) They can become “long haulers” – a study this year found that 30% of people who had Covid-19 still had symptoms up to nine months after infection and there are many who continue to suffer longer.
(c) They are themselves at risk of serious illness. Yes, this is true. More and more younger people are showing up in hospitals because of Covid. Even if there was some merit in this assertion at one time, it no longer is valid with the emergence of new variants. As is being pointed out by medical experts and community leaders alike – get yourself vaccinated to protect those too young to receive vaccinations themselves. This is the responsible thing to do – for our children, if for no one else.
Not Fully approved by FDA – What does this mean? And how is this different from an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?
According to William Schaffner, M.D., medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and professor of medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, “Full approval or licensure of a vaccine means that the Food and Drug Administration has reviewed reams of data regarding the effectiveness of the vaccine, its safety and many issues related to its manufacturing.” According to him, “The difference between an EUA and full licensure is just a matter of degree.” He has also been on the record saying, “Every vaccine has side effects, but they will be evident in the first 3 months.”
Along the same lines, Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health says that any adverse side effects from the vaccine “show up within the first two weeks, and certainly by the first two months.”
The vaccines authorized in the US have been around the greater part of a year, and most if not all data needed for the “full approval” is likely in. At this stage in the game, it is far riskier to eschew the vaccine than to get it.
The technology behind the vaccine – Some have expressed misgivings about the nature of the vaccine. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA-based – the first of their kind intended for mass use. It is fair for some to be hesitant about trying something new.
I have two things to say to you –
(a) The technology was not just something thought up when the pandemic hit us – research has been going on literally for decades.
(b) These mRNA vaccines do not introduce any foreign organism – dead or alive – into your body. Instead, it tricks your own immune system into building the firewall against the virus should you encounter it; for those worried about their DNA, rest assured, they do not affect or interact with our DNA in any way.
Religious groups – A comment in response to my last article mentioned that people listen to religious leaders. Although I am not big on organized religion, I do agree with this individual and think this could be one area where religious leaders and organizations can help. In fact, I know of a Gurdwara in Tracy, CA that has been organizing vaccinations! That’s demonstrating responsibility in a public health matter.
If you cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons, then hopefully the rest of us can keep you protected. All of you who are undecided, remember that your indecision can have a hugely adverse impact on whether we can end this pandemic. There is a real danger that the more opportunity we give this virus to thrive and mutate, the less effective existing vaccinations might prove.
Let’s not be health Luddites about it. Let’s not be egotistical about it. Let’s not be selfish about it. Let’s do the responsible thing for our own…and others. As prominent members of the American experience, let’s demonstrate some leadership here.
Darpan is a Bay Area artiste with a background in technology and finance. He shares his unfiltered views on a broad range of topics. He agrees to be restrained only by editorial diktat.