Dr. Justin Pollack, ND
We all owe a debt of gratitude to the scientists, study volunteers, and millions of individuals who have stepped up to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. Because of this unprecedented collaboration and rapid response, our world is opening up to commerce and normalcy. That said, there is solid evidence emerging to back the view that vaccination is not the only answer. As a doctor and professor of science, as an individual who is up-to-date on many vaccinations for international travel and medical volunteering, I am also a strong proponent of medical choice when it comes to any person's health care decision, including the COVID-19 vaccine. Here is a small sample of peer-reviewed science to discourage vaccine mandates.
1. There are many avenues to immunity.
Established science gives us many avenues to immunity. Our immune systems have innate non-specific immunity, such as mounting a fever to cook and inactivate viruses inside our cells and accelerate our immune system's response to infection. We are being told that vaccination is the only way to end the COVID-19 pandemic, but our bodies can acquire adaptive immunity to SARS-CoV-2 passively or actively from vaccination or the antibodies produced through natural exposure. 1
2. Vaccinated individuals can infect others.
It is becoming clear that vaccinated people can contract new variants of COVID, harbor the virus and transmit it to others.2,3,4 Countries such as Iceland with the highest vaccination rates (80-90% vaccination) are still experiencing crippling epidemic waves with their highest morbidity since the onset of the pandemic.5 While the message continues to spread that “this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated”6, the truth remains that unvaccinated individuals do not cause the pandemic to continue. Peer-reviewed science is consistently emerging that vaccinated people are contracting and spreading SARS-CoV-2.
3. COVID-19 vaccines do not protect people as well as originally reported. Effectiveness of mRNA vaccines against infection from variations of SARS-CoV-2 virus is dropping fast. The New England Journal of Medicine published a peer-reviewed study in September that showed a drop to 65% vaccine effectiveness against the Delta variant.7 We still need to respect and protect the most vulnerable individuals in our population, because the risk of COVID-19 infection is often lethal for those who have grown too old to have robust immune response, or who have underlying conditions that can be exploited by the virus. mRNA vaccines have shown that they are effective at reducing hospitalizations and death, especially among the elderly.8 That is a good reason encourage vaccines, but no reason to mandate them, especially among healthy populations and those with the lowest risk of death from COVID.
4. Among healthy populations, SARS-CoV-2 infection confers robust immunity, and is rarely fatal.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data is revealing that this is less a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and more a pandemic of the vulnerable. “There were co-morbidities or other conditions listed on the death certificate for as many as 95% of all COVID-19 deaths.”9 In Summit County, there was only one death attributable to COVID-19 in 2020 according to the Coroner's report,10 at a time when the pandemic was at its height and no vaccines were available to the general public. In a place like Summit County, where we have one of the lowest death rates per capita at 0.00026%11 people could continue to rely on naturally acquired adaptive immunity, non-vaccine prevention and treatment.
5. Natural immunity is the most durable and lasting.
In previous influenza epidemics, it was shown that naturally acquired antibody immunity was more protective than immunity by other means12,13 and that the flu shot was capable of lowering immunity against other viral infectons.14 With the SARS-CoV-2 virus, immunity conferred by natural exposure protects against more possible variations to the spike protein on the viral capsid.15 It has come to light that the decay of immunity from our new mRNA vaccines is fairly rapid.16 That means vaccianted individuals will need boosters to their immunity on a regular basis, while the vast majority of people who have had a mild to moderate COVID-19 infection will develop lasting immunity that will protect them for a long time from many different variants of corona virus.17
“The moment we have scientific dogma is the moment science dies.” Zach Bush, MD
We must remember, even in the midst of a global pandemic, that science is an ongoing process of questions, hypotheses, and searching for answers. A vaccine-fits-all approach to a novel corona virus goes against the very foundations of what we already know about immunity and what current studies demonstrate. Despite the imperfect nature of VAERS (the Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting system), including low reporting by hospitals and medical clinics, COVID vaccines have injured or killed more people than all other vaccines on the market combined.18 Mandates for this vaccine could be considered unethical until we have more long-term safety data. For whatever reason, many evidence-based and effective treatments for COVID-19 are being ignored, or actively suppressed. As I write this, molnupiravir (Merck), several other anti-viral medications and monoclonal antibody treatments are being reviewed for emergency-use-authorization, which could effectively end the pandemic for all of us.
1. Seeley's Anatomy and Physiology, 12th Edition. McGraw Hill. ISBN: 9781264229505 (shared with permission from McGraw-Hill publishers)
2. Walensky, R. Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fully Vaccinated People Who Get A COVID-19 Breakthrough Infection Can Transmit The Virus. CNN reporting, August 6, 2021. www.cnn.com/2021/08/05/health/us-coronavirus-thursday/index.html
3. Ioannou P, Karakonstantis S, Astrinaki E, Saplamidou S, Vitsaxaki E, Hamilos G, Sourvinos G, Kofteridis DP. Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 among vaccinated health care workers. Infect Dis (Lond). 2021 Nov;53(11):876-879. doi: 10.1080/23744235.2021.1945139. Epub 2021 Jun 26. PMID: 34176397.
4. Kasen K. Riemersma, Brittany E. Grogan, Amanda Kita-Yarbro, Peter J. Halfmann, Hannah E. Segaloff, Anna Kocharian, Kelsey R. Florek, Ryan Westergaard, Allen Bateman, Gunnar E. Jeppson, Yoshihiro Kawaoka, David H. O’Connor, Thomas C. Friedrich, Katarina M. Grande. Shedding of Infectious SARS-CoV-2 Despite Vaccination. medRxiv 2021.07.31.21261387; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.07.31.21261387
5. Our World in Data. https://ourworldindata.org/covid-cases
6. “This remains a pandemic of the unvaccinated and that threatens our freedom - your freedom to receive routine or lifesaving medical care like cancer treatment. Until more unvaccinated people do the right thing to protect themselves and our economy - Coloradans should wear masks, get the booster, and get tested if you have symptoms.” Colorado Governor Jared Polis update September 28, 2021.
7. Keehner J, Horton LE, Binkin NJ, Laurent LC, Pride D, Longhurst CA, Abeles SR, Torriani FJ. Resurgence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in a Highly Vaccinated Health System Workforce. N Engl J Med. 2021 Sep 1. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc2112981. PMID: 34469645. “Vaccine effectiveness exceeded 90% from March through June but fell to 65.5% in July.”
8. Moghadas SM, Vilches TN, Zhang K, Wells CR, Shoukat A, Singer BH, Meyers LA, Neuzil KM, Langley JM, Fitzpatrick MC, Galvani AP. The impact of vaccination on COVID-19 outbreaks in the United States. medRxiv [Preprint]. 2021 Jan 2:2020.11.27.20240051. doi: 10.1101/2020.11.27.20240051. Update in: Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Jan 30;: PMID: 33269359 “Vaccination markedly reduced adverse outcomes especially among individuals aged 65 and older, with non-ICU hospitalizations, ICU hospitalizations, and deaths decreasing by 63.5%."
9. National Center for Health Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were co-morbidities or other conditions listed on the death certificate for as many as 95% of all COVID-19 deaths. Data as of 9-5-2021. www.cdc.gov/nchs/covid19/mortality-overview.htm
10. Wood R. Coroner, Summit County Colorado. 1 death from COVID-19, among a total of 78 deaths in Summit County in 2020. www.summitcountyco.gov/DocumentCenter/View/32583/Summit-County-Coroner-2020-Annual-Report-pdf
11. Summit Daily News, June 2, 2021
12. Kreijtz JH, Bodewes R, van Amerongen G, Kuiken T, Fouchier RA, Osterhaus AD, Rimmelzwaan GF. Primary influenza A virus infection induces cross-protective immunity against a lethal infection with a heterosubtypic virus strain in mice. Vaccine. 2007 Jan 8;25(4):612-20. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2006.08.036. Epub 2006 Sep 7. PMID: 17005299.
13. Laurie KL, Carolan LA, Middleton D, Lowther S, Kelso A, Barr IG. Multiple infections with seasonal influenza A virus induce cross-protective immunity against A(H1N1) pandemic influenza virus in a ferret model. J Infect Dis. 2010 Oct 1;202(7):1011-20. doi: 10.1086/656188. PMID: 20715930.
14. Rogier Bodewes, et al. Annual Vaccination against Influenza Virus Hampers Development of Virus-Specific CD8+ T Cell Immunity in Children. J. Virol. November 2011 vol. 85 no. 22 11995-12000
15. William N. Voss, Yixuan J. Hou, Nicole V. Johnson, George Delidakis, Jin Eyun Kim, Kamyab Javanmardi, Andrew P. Horton, Foteini Bartzoka, Chelsea J. Paresi, Yuri Tanno, Chia-Wei Chou, Shawn A. Abbasi, Whitney Pickens, Katia George, Daniel R. Boutz, Dalton M. Towers, Jonathan R. McDaniel, Daniel Billick, Jule Goike, Lori Rowe, Dhwani Batra, Jan Pohl, Justin Lee, Shivaprakash Gangappa, Suryaprakash Sambhara, Michelle Gadush, Nianshuang Wang, Maria D. Person, Brent L. Iverson, Jimmy D. Gollihar, John Dye, Andrew Herbert, Ilya J. Finkelstein, Ralph S. Baric, Jason S. McLellan, George Georgiou, Jason J. Lavinder, Gregory C. Ippolito. Prevalent, protective, and convergent IgG recognition of SARS-CoV-2 non-RBD spike epitopes. Science, 2021. “Blood plasma samples from four people who recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infections, the researchers found that most of the antibodies circulating in the blood -- on average, about 84% -- target areas of the viral spike protein outside the RBD (receptor binding domain).”
16. Israel A, Shenhar Y, Green I, Merzon E, Golan-Cohen A, Schäffer AA, Ruppin E, Vinker S, Magen E. Large-scale study of antibody titer decay following BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine or SARS-CoV-2 infection. medRxiv [Preprint]. 2021 Aug 21:2021.08.19.21262111. doi: 10.1101/2021.08.19.21262111. PMID: 34462761 “Initial levels of antibody are much higher in vaccinated patients, but decrease faster (than in people with naturally acquired immunity).”
17. Kojima N, Shrestha NK, Klausner JD. A Systematic Review of the Protective Effect of Prior SARS-CoV-2 Infection on Repeat Infection. Eval Health Prof. 2021 Sep 30:1632787211047932. doi: 10.1177/01632787211047932. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34592838.
Dr. Justin Pollack and Dr. Kim Nearpass
A pair of naturopathic doctors, sharing our love of natural and holistic medicine. How can we help you?