A growing percentage of the general public is being driven away from vaccines of all kinds due to concern over the COVID-19 immunizations. UP Health Systems Pediatrician Colleen Vallad-Hix said During Michigan Tech’s COVID town hall Thursday that many in this new group were previously open to administering shots protecting their children from measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, and other diseases, but not anymore.
The increasing concern among the public comes during a period of shifting guidance. Less than two months after saying vaccinated individuals could resume a normal life, the Centers for Disease Control has begun recommending masks again regardless of status. The Food and Drug Administration gave the Pfizer vaccine full approval last week, but only for two shots. Vaccinating teenagers under 16 is still allowable only through an emergency use authorization as is a booster shot.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky says the agency now believes that vaccinations do not stave off infection or transmission of the disease, particularly as it pertains to the delta variant. In only three weeks public health officials went from stating there is no need to have a booster shot to grudgingly admitting that immunocompromised individuals should get one. Then the suggestion was one every eight months, before changing it to twice a year. The guidance is now down to every five months.
Israel’s Health Ministry will no longer consider people with two Pfizer shots as being fully immunized come September 1st and is requiring a third. That country is in the middle of an ever worsening outbreak of COVID-19, even though 80 percent of its adult population has received the Pfizer option in full and in accordance with recommendations. The country recorded its highest single-day case count ever last week.
Western UP Health Department’s Dr. Robert Van Howe said that there is still evidence COVID-19 vaccines lessen symptoms.
That narrative is quickly losing steam, though. Saturday’s Detroit News featured a story titled, “Why COVID Hospitalizations in Michigan Include More Vaccinated Patients.”
National outlets like Bloomberg, the New York Times, and others are running stories more often questioning the efficacy of the vaccines. International press like the government-funded British Broadcasting Corporation are beginning to question the wisdom of mass vaccinations against COVID on a recurring basis. The BBC’s Science and Health Correspondent James Gallagher published a piece last Sunday originally entitled “Is catching COVID now better than more vaccine?” The article appears today under a different name, but the content is still the same.
Several experts appeared in the article attacking a booster shot regimen.
“Professor Adam Finn, a government vaccine adviser, said over-vaccinating people, when other parts of the world had none, was “a bit insane, it’s not just inequitable, it’s stupid”.Gallagher, James. COVID: What’s the best way to top up our immunity https://www.bbc.com/news/health-58270098
If a growing percentage of the population, including medical doctors and professors, believe that routine COVID-19 vaccination is “insane” or “stupid” the phenomenon noted by Dr. Vallad-Hix will continue. Public health officials locally, and at the state and federal levels, along with business owners and university presidents, will need to do a better job explaining why they are recommending, and in some cases mandating, the course of action they are.