Updated: Jul 31
It is May 2021 and distribution of the new Covid-19 vaccines has rolled out fairly well (with a few setbacks). In past decades, vaccines have been fairly non-controversial, generally trusted and well accepted. In the last decade or so, large portions of the American public have lost confidence in the government, the medical establishment (especially the pharmaceutical branch), the media, science and "established authorities" in general. The result is that there is a lot of uncertainty, distrust, misinformation and even fear around these new vaccines for Covid-19. This is leading some to hesitate or even avoid getting these vaccines, delaying herd immunity and prolonging the complex health, social and economic crisis being caused by this virus.
Because I specialize in illnesses caused by both chronic infections as well as environmental exposures, many people have asked me to share my opinion and understanding of these vaccines. I have assembled (with the input of others) a list of common questions, theories and fears I have heard expressed. I will attempt to shed light on how these vaccines work, what they (do and don't) contain, and why I believe them to be safe and effective. I will refrain from speculating about the sources and fuel for the conspiracy theories and misinformation that are sweeping our country, but I will comment on a few of the more common non-fact based concerns. As with the other Covid missives I have written, this is emerging information, and what I have written is based on the information that is available to me today.
This began as a single post, but became so long and complex it had to be divided into parts. In this first installment I will answer these questions: