I want to add a couple more things to my last blog about being afraid to get the Covid-19 vaccine. I’ve learned some more from scientists I’ve seen on TV, or read in news columns. I also contacted a friend who does drug research for a rare disease.
- One reason the vaccines seemed rushed is that the research was FULLY FUNDED from the beginning. Let’s say you’re doing research on Ebola or HIV (which does not yet have a vaccine). You need funding to do your research. Government grants are available, but they’re small as are other sources of funding. Just applying for the funding can take a year AFTER you believe you may have discovered something. Governments fund lots of undertakings which never pan out. With Covid-19, because researchers were already working on vaccines for coronaviruses in general, the governments of various countries mega-funded the research right away. In the USA this program was called “Operation Warp Speed” and involved 2 BILLION dollars into research. Other countries did the same thing.
- Secondly, Operation Warp Speed and similar programs in other countries decided to remove all the red tape and bureacracy that normally holds up vaccine research. Nobody put someone’s idea or preliminary research on the bottom of a pile to be reviewed in a couple of months when some committee met. Everything was streamlined for Covid-19 vaccines.
- One thing that was NOT rushed was the proper studies done on the vaccines themselves. First, they’re studied in animals. Then they give some very brave people the vaccine to see what if any reaction or side effects they might have. Next they adjust the dose or doses accordingly. This is a double-blind study meaning that half the people get plain saline instead of a vaccine and no one, not even the researchers, know who gets the real thing. These studies look at safety of the vaccine. A few thousand people took part in this stage of the study. Finally, in the USA, Pfizer and Moderna did a study of 30,00 people (also double-blind) to test for its efficacy or effectiveness. In that study which took about 6 months, 100% of the people who got the real vaccine did not get sick enough with Covid to be hospitalized and no one died.
- Be aware that with Astra Zeneca or Johnson and Johnson, there is a 1 in 250,000 chance of a dangerous blood clot and low platelet count. Read up on the symptoms. If you get any of those symptoms go to a hospital immediately and insist on being scanned for blood clots. There is treatment for them and no one has to die. Also don’t forget, as I mentioned last week, the chances of getting the exact same blood clot if you are hospitalized with Covid-19 is one in FIVE.
Please get vaccinated as soon as you can! The vaccines are really safe, 200 million people have already been vaccinated, and you’ll be doing yourself AND OTHERS a huge service.