Vaccine Mandates, Alaska, & Catholic Ethics — Adventist Voices Podcast

In this episode of Adventist Voices, I talk with bioethicist Mark Carr about the social responsibility of vaccines, his spiritual connection to Alaska, and what it’s like working for a Catholic healthcare system as an Adventist.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11481
1 Like

Thank you for your words of reason and practical experience in the workplace. We need more voices like yours to counteract rumor, paranoia, and outright lies.

2 Likes

this vaccine subject seems to be replete with rumour, paranoia, and outright lies, much more than anything else i’ve seen…when will it ever end…MSNBC reported earlier that vaccine immunity is 5 times stronger than natural immunity, a fact that’s in bitter dispute…but I’m noticing that other outlets are reporting the same thing:

for sure this finding is going to strengthen the mandate towards vaccinations, especially since kids now are eligible…

2 Likes

It is unfortunate that some people muddy the waters making any serious discussion impossible, because most of the dialog concerning this topic revolves around undoing (some) of the misinformation they spew. But as someone who is pro-vaccine, and has been double vaxxed, I would still like to keep an open mind when I can. But at the same time I am a lay person. I do not posses the skills to unravel all the information being presenter to us. Therefore I would like to share a study I came across and maybe those who are better equipped can take a quick peek, and maybe share a few thoughts.

This comes from “National Center for Biotechnology Information.” A short read: (This is not an anti-vaccine study)

Increases in COVID-19 are unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2947 counties in the United States

Vaccines currently are the primary mitigation strategy to combat COVID-19 around the world. For instance, the narrative related to the ongoing surge of new cases in the United States (US) is argued to be driven by areas with low vaccination rates [1]. A similar narrative also has been observed in countries, such as Germany and the United Kingdom [2]. At the same time, Israel that was hailed for its swift and high rates of vaccination has also seen a substantial resurgence in COVID-19 cases [3]. We investigate the relationship between the percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases across 68 countries and across 2947 counties in the US.

Go to:

Methods

We used COVID-19 data provided by the Our World in Data for cross-country analysis, available as of September 3, 2021 (Supplementary Table 1) [4]. We included 68 countries that met the following criteria: had second dose vaccine data available; had COVID-19 case data available; had population data available; and the last update of data was within 3 days prior to or on September 3, 2021. For the 7 days preceding September 3, 2021 we computed the COVID-19 cases per 1 million people for each country as well as the percentage of population that is fully vaccinated.

For the county-level analysis in the US, we utilized the White House COVID-19 Team data [5], available as of September 2, 2021 (Supplementary Table 2). We excluded counties that did not report fully vaccinated population percentage data yielding 2947 counties for the analysis. We computed the number and percentages of counties that experienced an increase in COVID-19 cases by levels of the percentage of people fully vaccinated in each county. The percentage increase in COVID-19 cases was calculated based on the difference in cases from the last 7 days and the 7 days preceding them. For example, Los Angeles county in California had 18,171 cases in the last 7 days (August 26 to September 1) and 31,616 cases in the previous 7 days (August 19–25), so this county did not experience an increase of cases in our dataset. We provide a dashboard of the metrics used in this analysis that is updated automatically as new data is made available by the White House COVID-19 Team (https://tiny.cc/USDashboard).

Go to:

Findings

At the country-level, there appears to be no discernable relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases in the last 7 days (Fig. 1). In fact, the trend line suggests a marginally positive association such that countries with higher percentage of population fully vaccinated have higher COVID-19 cases per 1 million people. Notably, Israel with over 60% of their population fully vaccinated had the highest COVID-19 cases per 1 million people in the last 7 days. The lack of a meaningful association between percentage population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases is further exemplified, for instance, by comparison of Iceland and Portugal. Both countries have over 75% of their population fully vaccinated and have more COVID-19 cases per 1 million people than countries such as Vietnam and South Africa that have around 10% of their population fully vaccinated.

Across the US counties too, the median new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the last 7 days is largely similar across the categories of percent population fully vaccinated (Fig. 2). Notably there is also substantial county variation in new COVID-19 cases within categories of percentage population fully vaccinated. There also appears to be no significant signaling of COVID-19 cases decreasing with higher percentages of population fully vaccinated (Fig. 3).

Of the top 5 counties that have the highest percentage of population fully vaccinated (99.9–84.3%), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies 4 of them as “High” Transmission counties. Chattahoochee (Georgia), McKinley (New Mexico), and Arecibo (Puerto Rico) counties have above 90% of their population fully vaccinated with all three being classified as “High” transmission. Conversely, of the 57 counties that have been classified as “low” transmission counties by the CDC, 26.3% (15) have percentage of population fully vaccinated below 20%.

Since full immunity from the vaccine is believed to take about 2 weeks after the second dose, we conducted sensitivity analyses by using a 1-month lag on the percentage population fully vaccinated for countries and US counties. The above findings of no discernable association between COVID-19 cases and levels of fully vaccinated was also observed when we considered a 1-month lag on the levels of fully vaccinated (Supplementary Figure 1, Supplementary Figure 2).

We should note that the COVID-19 case data is of confirmed cases, which is a function of both supply (e.g., variation in testing capacities or reporting practices) and demand-side (e.g., variation in people’s decision on when to get tested) factors.

Go to:

Interpretation

The sole reliance on vaccination as a primary strategy to mitigate COVID-19 and its adverse consequences needs to be re-examined, especially considering the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant and the likelihood of future variants. Other pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions may need to be put in place alongside increasing vaccination rates. Such course correction, especially with regards to the policy narrative, becomes paramount with emerging scientific evidence on real world effectiveness of the vaccines.

For instance, in a report released from the Ministry of Health in Israel, the effectiveness of 2 doses of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) vaccine against preventing COVID-19 infection was reported to be 39% [6], substantially lower than the trial efficacy of 96% [7]. It is also emerging that immunity derived from the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may not be as strong as immunity acquired through recovery from the COVID-19 virus [8]. A substantial decline in immunity from mRNA vaccines 6-months post immunization has also been reported [9]. Even though vaccinations offers protection to individuals against severe hospitalization and death, the CDC reported an increase from 0.01 to 9% and 0 to 15.1% (between January to May 2021) in the rates of hospitalizations and deaths, respectively, amongst the fully vaccinated [10].

In summary, even as efforts should be made to encourage populations to get vaccinated it should be done so with humility and respect. Stigmatizing populations can do more harm than good. Importantly, other non-pharmacological prevention efforts (e.g., the importance of basic public health hygiene with regards to maintaining safe distance or handwashing, promoting better frequent and cheaper forms of testing) needs to be renewed in order to strike the balance of learning to live with COVID-19 in the same manner we continue to live a 100 years later with various seasonal alterations of the 1918 Influenza virus.

Go to:

Supplementary Information

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Edit:

To requote: “In summary, even as efforts should be made to encourage populations to get vaccinated it should be done so with humility and respect. Stigmatizing populations can do more harm than good.”

This study, and especially the above requote, has been very helpful to me, to be more compassionate towards my brothers and sisters who do not want to take the vaccine.

I feel as though some of us on the pro side, almost can’t wait for the day when those on the anti side are forced to take the vaccine. What have we become.

1 Like

interesting read, Tony…have you come across any discussion about the types of vaccines used when correlating vaccination rates with infections…here’s a study of a comparison between Bahrain and Qatar, which has similar vaccination rates, but very different infection rates:

apparently Bahrain uses BIBP, an attenuated viral vaccine, whereas Qatar uses the mRNA vaccines…

another consideration appears to be complacency: some places seem to be placing too great a reliance on vaccines as their only line of defence against infection…this has certainly been Alberta’s story, but we are not alone:

but regardless, there apparently are still areas that show an inverse correlation between vaccination rates and infection:

putting it all together, perhaps the best strategy is vaccination coupled with prudence and caution…

2 Likes

Thanks for sharing Jeremy.

Yes as that study I posted seems to suggest. Slowly but surely we’ll get there. And we may (hopefully) have good news for those who do not want the vaccine via a needle. This is from the Queensland govt. website here in Australia: (Aug. 26, 2021)

COVID-19 vaccine patch poised to make a clinical impact

Vaccinating millions of people during a pandemic isn’t a cheap and easy task when you need to cold-store vaccines and set up squads of trained people to administer them.

The race is on to find alternatives and deliver vaccines faster.

A few years ago, Queensland developed a needle-free patch (or nanopatch) that revolutionises syringe and needle technology.

Now a University of Queensland scientist is exploring the potential of a patch coated in a COVID vaccine developed in the USA (Hexapro vaccine).

UQ’s Dr David Muller was awarded a $300,000 Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship last year to see if the nanopatch could be used for COVID-19 vaccine delivery.

It is still being tested but looks promising.

Dr Muller has demonstrated the patch can neutralise COVID in animals. The next step is clinical testing in human volunteers.

To date, 17.5 million doses of COVID-19 have been administered in Australia.

At our current pace of about 1.8 million doses a week, it will take until 2022 to fully vaccinate Australia’s adult population. We need to vaccinate children and roll out booster shots as well.

The COVID vaccine patch could be a game-changer, particularly for vaccine-hesitant people.

The small, vaccine-coated patch (about 9 mm in diameter) is covered in over a thousand microprotrusions that are painless when they prick the skin.

They produce a better response than a needle, because they penetrate the skin (which is rich in immune cells) rather than the muscle. They also don’t need as much vaccine to be effective, and they can be self-administered.

Dr Muller has shown the COVID vaccine patch is stable for at least 30 days at 25 degrees Celsius and one week at 40 degrees.

This means it doesn’t need refrigeration so it is easy to store and transport and will be great for hard-to-reach regions.

Clinical success and acceptance by regulatory authorities could lead to mass production of the COVID patch.

Nanopatch technology is being commercialised by Brisbane-based Vaxxas as a needle-free alternative for all kinds of vaccines. Vaxxas hopes to start manufacturing their needle-free vaccine technology in 2022.

If this research goes well, then even I will end up using this method. Do it yourself, no needles. Yes thanks.

1 Like

very interesting indeed…

1 Like

Do you ever know what “toxins” are ? Are you aware what you get to avoid tetany intoxication when having been critically injured ,and in touch with soil ?

In my opinion, you lack the basic informations about infectuous diseases, the agents and the therapies .

Oh yes, only “symptoms” - that sounds so “wholehealthminded” .

I always , yet rather seldom have appllied a Tetanol - Tetagam - injection by the surgeon as a booster- just about “toxines”.

So, Spike Protein isn’t toxic, and there’s no research that points to the fact that spike protein alone is enough to cause damage associated with Covid? Just trying to clarify.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41375-021-01332-z

This topic was automatically closed after 7 days. New replies are no longer allowed.