First things first:
I'm not anti-vax. I've voluntarily received flu and tetanus vaccines as an adult, and am happy I got all my immunizations as a kid, to protect me from measles, etc.
I don't think the vaccine has Bill Gates sterilization 5G microchips or anything ridiculous like that.
I don't think there's any nefarious intent behind the vaccine (though I can't blame blacks for being skeptical).
I believe that COVID-19 is real and dangerous, and have been wearing a mask and socially isolating, even when others mock me for it.
I understand the vaccines have been tested on thousands of people with only minimal short-term side effects.
I understand that the vaccines have been shown to be effective at preventing COVID-19 infection.
For older or otherwise at-risk people, I believe that the risks of COVID-19 outweigh any potential risks of the vaccine.
However, I am still nervous about getting an RNA vaccine, and nervous about my not-at-risk friends and family getting them. Various concerns:
mRNA vaccines have not previously been approved for human use, or even farm animal use.
Of the limited mRNA vaccine human trials in the past, all were rejected because "the side-effects of mRNA insertion were too serious".
This vaccine transfects cells and causes their cellular machinery to produce new proteins, which has not been done in vaccines before. Conventional vaccines just put dead viral particles outside cells to train the immune system.
Some treatments that have been proven "safe and effective" by the FDA were later recalled after the appearance of adverse effects that were not detected in Phase III trials.
The mRNA vaccine has not even been proven safe and effective yet, or completed Phase III trials. It was instead granted an emergency use authorization, and the people receiving the vaccine right now are the Phase III trial (they are the guinea pigs)
Lack of observed side effects in the short term doesn't prove that there are no long-term side effects.
The CDC says this vaccine is safe, but the CDC also initially recommended not wearing masks, and said they are not effective, which I thought was ridiculous at the time, and my skepticism has since been vindicated.
My personal experience with engineering is that products that are rushed into production always have bugs, despite testing as thoroughly as possible before production. The longer a product is in development, the more likely any problems will be identified.
Donald Trump (who I despise) rushed this vaccine into production, in part by threatening to fire people unless the FDA quickly approved it for emergency use, which is a stupid and irresponsible way to make policy.
The inner workings of the cell are immensely complicated, we are learning new things all the time, and there are many subtle interactions we don't fully understand yet. (Completely random Google search example published a few days ago.)
One of the things that makes COVID-19 especially harmful is that its spike proteins cause cells to merge together into syncytia, in a process that is "not well understood", and causes long-lasting damage, unlike other viruses.
The mRNA vaccine instructs the cell to produce these same spike proteins.
I've heard people say "mRNA can't affect the DNA of the cell!" as if this rules out any potential problems.
But most of them aren't qualified to make that determination.
I wonder if this is only true in the simplified high-school biology understanding of the cell, and might not be true if there are components of unrelated retroviruses in the cell at the same time, or other unforeseen interactions like that.
Even if this is true (which it probably is) I don't see why this alone would rule out any long-term effects of introducing foreign mRNA into cells.
Previous attempts at making vaccines for SARS-CoV resulted in antibody-dependent enhancement or other immune system disorders, where vaccinated animals got sicker than usual when re-exposed to the virus. This happened through a different mechanism than the ADE in Dengue, etc. Will the vaccine make future COVID variants more deadly?
1 out of 3 NJ doctors polled in November did not plan to get the vaccine because of potential side effects.
A relative my age recently got the vaccine and died within hours, of unknown causes. I know this is likely just a coincidence, but I think I can be forgiven for this causing an increase in my skepticism.
When friends and family express excitement about getting the vaccine soon, I keep my mouth shut and don't say anything negative, because I don't want to cause undue fear, but please convince me that my concern is baseless and that we aren't all going to regret this in a few years when unexpected side effects start appearing. References to virologists and people who have a very good understanding of the cell would be especially convincing. (Input from people who are convinced that it's safe, yet don't have the qualifications to make that call, will only reaffirm my skepticism.)
Last edited: 18-Jul-21 10:26 PM