(Editor's note: Opinion columns in The Mountaineer are strictly the view of the author and are placed in the "Opinion" section online.)
As an RN for more than 25 years, I am passionate about sharing information, questioning science, digging for answers, and insisting on true informed consent for recipients of any medical treatment to include vaccines. I am hugely concerned that full information about the COVID-19 vaccines is not being shared with the public. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) have now censored almost any post that questions these vaccines or reports of any death or serious side effect caused by the vaccines. This level of censorship has never before been seen in America and should certainly raise questions in every person as to why we are no longer allowed to debate the pros and cons of a medical treatment. Our country is beginning to resemble China, North Korea, Russia, and other countries that prohibit the sharing of information that doesn’t meet the “approval” of the government. If we give up our First Amendment right to free speech we will likely never get it back and we must question why, when someone questions the safety of the COVID vaccines, they are publicly vilified.
True informed consent MUST be provided prior to the administration of any medical treatment. This includes information on the pros, cons, and any alternatives to that treatment. This is just NOT being done with the COVID vaccines! To date, there have been more than 500 deaths and more than 10,000 adverse events reported to the government database Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). A Harvard study a few years ago estimated that only about 1% of all vaccine reactions were reported to VAERS-suggesting that the true rate of reaction is MUCH higher than is being reported. Hopefully that 1% reporting rate is not applicable to the COVID vaccines but we just don’t know at this point.
Recipients of a COVID-19 vaccine MUST understand some very important facts:
1. No COVID vaccine in use either here in Haywood County or elsewhere in the US has received FDA approval. The vaccines are still classified as experimental and allowed under Emergency Use Authorization.
2. The COVID vaccine process was so rushed that animal trials were skipped. This has never been done before. Animal trials are SO important and typically last years in order to spot vaccine reactions PRIOR to use in humans. The public are actually the guinea pigs for these vaccines.
3. Vaccine reactions can happen immediately, within a few weeks, or months to years later. Recipients of these vaccines may think they are in the clear after a few days of aches, fever, and other mild symptoms. However, it is entirely possible that the new technology in these vaccines may cause autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, insulin dependent diabetes, and other serious and possibly fatal health challenges.
4. MRna technology has never been used successfully in a vaccine before as it caused too many injuries and deaths during animal trials of previous vaccines. It would truly be amazing for researchers to magically get a viable, effective vaccine in less than a year using this technology for COVID.
5. While the vaccines have been tested on large groups of human volunteers for a short period of time prior to vaccine launch to the public, researchers have already started vaccinating the “placebo” group of volunteers with the vaccine. This ensures that no long term data will be collected comparing vaccinated versus unvaccinated subjects. Again, vaccine injuries and deaths are not always immediately apparent!
6. If a person is injured or dies from a COVID vaccine, there is NO liability on the part of the manufacturer, physician, or government. Vaccines are the ONLY product in America that carries NO liability if someone is harmed.
7. The CDC has already stated that the vaccines will NOT keep recipients for getting COVID nor will it keep vaccine recipients from spreading COVID to others!
8. According to the CDC, the COVID-19 recovery rate for individuals under the age of 70 is 99.999% and for individuals over the age of 70 is around 96%. This is without a vaccine.
9. Vitamin D, zinc, quercetin, melatonin, and other supplements have been shown to be very effective against COVID and other viruses. One study published in late 2020 in the journal Nutrients found that vitamin D insufficiency may account for almost 9 out of 10 COVID-19 deaths. This information should be shared with the public and perhaps these supplements could be provided at no cost to those who can’t afford them.
It has been clear from the start of this pandemic that certain conditions make individuals more susceptible to COVID-19 and make them more likely to have a worse outcome if they do contract the virus. Educating, empowering, and assisting the citizens of Haywood County to eat healthy, maintain a healthy weight, stop smoking or vaping, stop using illegal drugs and excess alcohol, and to exercise regularly in fresh air and sunshine can go a long way toward a more robust immune system and a stronger, healthier body. We, as medical professionals, owe it to the public to provide true informed consent. Then, if individuals decide they still want a COVID vaccine, they will be able to make that decision with accurate and complete information. We owe them no less.