June 30, 2021 by Donnie Yance
The mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna have been heavily promoted for ending the Covid-19 pandemic. With claims that they are ‘extraordinary’ and ‘revolutionary,’ these vaccines have occupied center stage for more than a year.
The CDC is not accounting for COVID-19 risk factors or natural immunity. It is hard to believe that the risk benefit balance favors a 15-year-old young man who has recovered from COVID-19, and who has detectable antibodies, getting two doses of an mRNA vaccine. Such an individual is accepting a non-negligible risk of myocarditis, with limited upside in terms of decreased risk of severe infection.
A recently published retrospective case series studied patients within the US Military Health System who experienced myocarditis after a COVID-19 vaccination between January and April 2021. The study found that myocarditis occurred in previously healthy military patients with similar clinical presentations following receipt of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. A total of 23 male patients presented with acute onset of marked chest pain within 4 days after receipt of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. The military administered more than 2.8 million doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in this period. While the observed number of myocarditis cases was small, the number was higher than expected among male military members after a second vaccine dose.
But wait, there are other, potentially safer and equally effective vaccines now available. When the Maryland-based biotech firm Novavax announced its latest trial results last week—with an efficacy rate of more than 90 percent even against coronavirus variants—the news barely made headlines.
I suspect we are all suffering from ‘vaccine information overload.’ But the Novavax vaccine deserves serious consideration. The approach used by Novavax was first implemented for the hepatitis B vaccine, which has been used in the U.S. since 1986. The pertussis vaccine, a standard childhood vaccine, is also made in this way. Because it is based on older, more familiar science, people who have been wary of getting the mRNA vaccines may find Novavax an acceptable and appealing alternative.