COVID-19 Vaccination Fact and Fiction

Social media chatter tells one story, statistics tell another.

We saw Dave Emanuel’s Facebook post and thought it made a number of excellent points. We contacted Dave and asked him to expand the information for publication in Georgia News Daily. Below is the expanded version.

From the research I’ve done, the COVID-19 vaccination does not prevent you from being infected; it was never intended to do so. In fact, it is virtually impossible for a vaccine to stop the corona virus from entering your body. By design, vaccines provide your immune system with a tool to create antibodies that fight infection.

COVID vaccines use a relatively new technique known as messenger RNA (m-RNA). Older vaccine technology used a weakened or modified form of the infectious material it was designed to protect against. Both conventional and m-RNA vaccines are designed to induce your body’s immune system to produce anti-bodies to fight a specific type of infection.

COVID-19 m-RNA vaccines send a “message” to the cells of your body to make a spike protein (like the one that is on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19). The creation of the spike protein triggers an immune response which provides protection from getting seriously ill from a COVID-19 infection. Specifically, when the spike protein appears on a cell’s surface, the immune system recognizes that it doesn’t belong there and begins building antibodies to remove it. Consequently, the vaccine’s purpose is obviously to prevent you from contracting the virus, but to give your body’s immune system a tool to fight an infection and its effects.

Natural immunity does the same thing- it doesn’t prevent infection, it fights against the effects of infection. As for getting vaccinated if you have already had a COVID infection, there are pro and con arguments. The most common “con” argument is, “If I have already been infected, my immune system has developed the antibodies to fight COVID. Why do I need to be vaccinated?”

That’s a good question, and for some people, the answer is, “I don’t need to be vaccinated because I’ve developed natural immunity.” While refusing to get vaccinated is is certainly their right, it is arguable the wrong decision because the length of time that natural immunity remains effective at fighting infection it is still largely unknown. And it varies from person to person. Another “con” argument is, “I don’t know what’s in the vaccine”. True. But those same people don’t know what’s in the food they ate, in the beverage they drank, in the pain reliever they took or in 99% of the other things they have consumed.

The “pro” argument for getting vaccinated after you’ve developed natural immunity is that the vaccine provides a second line of defense against reinfection. A good analogy is attempting to extinguish a fire. If you had both a water hose and a fire extinguisher available, why wouldn’t choose the option to use both, rather than just one? Wouldn’t you want to use every available tool to put the fire out?

There’s a lot of chatter about breakthrough infections- people who have been vaccinated but have been infected by the delta variant. As vaccination doesn’t prevent you from catching the virus, but provides a tool for your immune system to fight it, that makes sense. And as more people are vaccinated, more breakthrough infections are likely to occur. But statistics will continue to show much lower hospitalization and death rates among people who have been vaccinated. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, from January 1, 2021 to August 24, 2021, 6722 unvaccinated and 168 vaccinated people have died from COVID-19. Of note is that a significant statistic seems to be missing. That is the existence of underlying factors in vaccinated people who have been hospitalized or have died.

My personal experience is that I contracted COVID-19 in December of 2020 and the only symptom was a loss of sens of smell for about a month. In February and March of 2021, I received the Pfizer vaccination and aside from a slight soreness at the injection site, have had no ill effects. The vast majority of people I know have been vaccinated, some with Pfizer, some with Moderna and some with Johnson & Johnson shots. None of these people have had any side effects other than soreness and feeling tired for a day or two after receiving the injections.

These comments are not intended to promote vaccination, but to provide some thoughts for consideration. Ultimately, every person should make his or her own decision- based on consultation with a trusted medical professional and proper research, (a lot of statistical data exists) not the whim of the day, whether found on social media or from Flip-Flop Fauci or a government web site.