Since the rollout of COVID vaccines began four months ago, people have started reporting a new source of friction within immediate and extended families: disagreement, sometimes fierce, about whether or not to get one of the experimental injections.
AARP, the advocacy and service organization focused on the 50-plus age group, calls COVID-19 vaccines “the hottest conversation topic of the year,” suggesting family conversations about the vaccines have the potential to be “emotionally charged,” “frustrating” and “hurtful.”
To date, 28.6% of U.S. adults have been fully vaccinated. But recent polls suggest those pushing for voluntary population-wide COVID vaccination may soon exhaust the “low-hanging fruit.”
Surveys conducted in March by Kaiser Family Foundation and Monmouth University show at least 20% to 25% of Americans remain resolutely uninterested in getting the shots — even in the face of family pressure.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to three experimental vaccines — those developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) through its subsidiary Janssen.
Under the extraordinary liability shield granted by the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, these vaccine makers enjoy full indemnity against liability for injuries or deaths occurring from COVID vaccines.
The U.S. government is far from a disinterested party in vaccine development. For example, Moderna’s research and development partner is the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci. Moderna benefited from $2.5 billion in federal government funding when developing its vaccine technology, and the company shares joint ownership of royalty-generating vaccine patents with NIAID and National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists — prompting Public Citizen to rename Moderna’s COVID vaccine “the NIH vaccine.”
The abrupt April 13 decision by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to halt use of the viral-vectored Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine has just highlighted the reasonableness of these concerns.
Only six weeks earlier, an FDA committee had unanimously voted to recommend the vaccine’s emergency use, with committee member (and New England Journal of Medicine editor-in-chief) Dr. Eric Rubin describing the vote as “a relatively easy call.” Rubin said J&J’s product “clearly gets way over the bar” in terms of safety and effectiveness.
Now, FDA and CDC are citing six cases of potentially dangerous blood clots in J&J vaccine recipients as justification for their pause, though they leave unmentioned the fact (noted instead by The New York Times) that one of the cases proved fatal. J&J has since acknowledged two additional cases, bringing the total to eight.
Dr. Paul Offit confidently promised the public in late February that one J&J dose “will keep you out of the hospital, keep you out of the intensive care unit and keep you out of the morgue.”
Offit is a poor prophet: the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) shows (as of Apr. 1) 54 deaths and 161 hospitalizations following receipt of the J&J injection, with some vaccinated individuals even being hospitalized for COVID-19.
For all three COVID vaccines, the CDC acknowledges 3,005 deaths (Dec. 14 – April 12); previously, it took 13 years (Aug. 1, 2007 – Nov. 30, 2020) for an equivalent number of deaths to be reported to VAERS.
Overall, tens of thousands of adverse events have been reported to VAERS following COVID vaccination. These and other emerging data illustrate why COVID vaccination remains such a “hot topic” within families.
Over the past year, citizens’ trust in the nation’s public health agencies — and particularly the CDC — has plummeted.
Surveys by RAND Corp. in 2020 show a 10% May-to-October decline in the perceived trustworthiness of CDC across all racial/ethnic groups, prompting the think tank to recommend punting to other “trusted messengers” until the CDC can achieve “some perception rehabilitation.”
The CDC apparently agrees. On a webpage titled “How to talk about COVID-19 vaccines with friends and family,” the agency concedes that because “COVID-19 vaccines are new … it’s normal to [sic] for people to have questions about them.”
But the agency then deputizes those who embrace COVID vaccines as (there’s that phrase again) its “trusted messengers.”
The CDC’s clear instructions to its vaccine envoys are that they have a duty to “steer” family conversations and convert their benighted relatives away from thralldom to supposed “misinformation” and toward “a commitment to get vaccinated.”
Organizations like AARP have been only slightly more subtle in their counsel. While letting readers know that it’s okay to “agree to disagree,” AARP advises vaccinated individuals — in an “open and vulnerable” manner — to tell their non-vaccinated relatives: “I would be really sad if you don’t get vaccinated and can’t come inside my house.”
Having a real-world family discussion
What would a family discussion look like if, instead of simply caving to propaganda or tired and unproven “safe and effective” mantras, the conversation were “steered” by thoughtful family members willing to ask questions, scrutinize data and note the opinions of dissenting experts?
Honest discussions of this type would probably delve into topics such as the following:
- All three U.S.-authorized vaccines are highly experimental, deploying never-before-approved technologies that represent a major departure from past vaccines and medicines. Moderna disquietingly refers to its messenger RNA (mRNA) technology platform as an “operating system,” stating that its synthetic mRNA — designed to fake out the immune system — has a “software-like quality.”
- Contrary to popular belief, the vaccine clinical trials were not designed to assess whether the shots prevent transmission. As WebMD puts it, “research has yet to confirm that vaccinated people are not contagious.” This is why health officials continue to give the vaccinated “counterintuitive” (and scientifically unsupported) instructions to wear masks, social distance (“6 feet or more”) and “steer clear of crowds.”
- Vaccinated individuals typically expect the vaccine to prevent them from getting sick. Though COVID vaccines make no promises on this front, only claiming to minimize symptom severity, the launch of the vaccination campaign has undermined even this modest ambition. Significant numbers of the vaccinated are getting diagnosed with COVID-19 — and some are experiencing fatal consequences — within days of injection. Recent research also suggests that vaccinated individuals are at increased risk of breakthrough infections with COVID “variants.”
- Both mRNA vaccines (Pfizer’s and Moderna’s) contain polyethylene glycol (PEG), and J&J’s vaccine contains polysorbate 80 — structurally similar ingredients associated with hypersensitivity reactions and anaphylaxis. A number of licensed vaccines include polysorbate 80 — all of which document anaphylaxis in their package inserts. Although the unlicensed mRNA COVID injections are the first vaccines in widespread use to feature PEG, an estimated 72% of the population has developed anti-PEG antibodies due to the presence of PEG in other drugs and products. Drug developers have discovered that not only do anti-PEG antibodies increase risks for severe allergic reactions, but they make PEG-containing drugs less effective.
- The viral vector that forms the backbone of the J&J vaccine is grown in a continuous (“immortalized”) human embryonic cell line (PER.C6) derived from the abortion of a healthy 18-week-old fetus. FDA officials have acknowledged for more than two decades that such cell lines are a “major safety concern.”
- All three experimental COVID vaccines share an unprecedented aim — to shuttle genetic instructions into the cells and force the cells to make coronavirus spike protein. Scientists have warned about the genie-out-of-the-bottle ramifications of this approach, including the possibility of permanent alterations to genomic DNA and the potential for a tsunami of microvascular injuries (inflammation and small blood clots) to key organs such as the brain, heart, liver and kidneys.
- Leading Biden administration advisors have known for decades that VAERS and other vaccine surveillance tools do a poor job of tracking adverse events. A thorough analysis of VAERS by Harvard consultants to the federal government estimated that VAERS captures “fewer than 1%” of vaccine adverse events.
Pfizer’s EUA allows for administration of the company’s COVID vaccine to 16- and 17-year-olds. But Pfizer is seeking FDA permission to extend its EUA downward to 12- to 15-year-olds, and it is conducting trials in little ones as young as six months old.
While public health leaders tell parents to “vaccinate the young to protect the old,” Children’s Health Defense maintains that it is unethical to expect children to shoulder 100% of the increasingly evident risks of COVID vaccination in exchange for zero benefit, as COVID itself poses almost no risk to children.
Parents should also keep in mind that vaccine-related injuries, disabilities and deaths can have potentially devastating financial impacts on families, including impacts on family time, resources and wealth.
Individuals injured by a COVID vaccine have only one year to file a compensation claim with the federal government’s Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP), an underfunded and little-known administrative program that, according to USA Today, “rarely sides with consumers.”
As Children’s Health Defense President Mary Holland explains:
“You have to pay your own lawyer. There’s no hearing. If you lose, there’s no appeal. Everything is on paper, nothing in-person, no witnesses, no experts. [. . .] At best, what we know historically is that this program has compensated under 8% of all petitions.”
Former investment advisor Catherine Austin Fitts, publisher of the Solari Report, encourages families to communicate about and prepare for the family-wide financial impact of adverse events (if any) resulting from COVID vaccines, and, to this end, has developed a downloadable “Family Financial Disclosure Form for COVID-19 Injections.”
As Austin Fitts points out, costs are likely to reach into the millions when the injured party is a child. A World Health Organization study estimated lifetime costs of caring for an autistic child to be as high as $2.4 million. Some parents of severely vaccine-injured children believe the cost is closer to $5 million.
In addition to COVID vaccines’ potentially negative reverberations at the family level, the vaccines’ aggressive marketing also has societal implications. For example, a recent survey indicates that more than half of Americans (53%) have bought into the idea of so-called “vaccine passports.”
Author and tech company CEO Naomi Wolf warns that implementation of such “passports” would mean “literally the end of human liberty in the West” — ushering in a “two-tiered society” that gives the technocrats who control the information “the power to turn off your life, or to turn on your life, to let you engage in society or be marginalized.”
Before people relentlessly pressure their relatives to get an experimental COVID injection, they would do well to think about the kind of world in which they want children to grow up.