Though the U.S. is starting to get back to a semblance of normalcy more than two years after COVID-19 became part of life, vaccine manufacturers are still competing to dominate the market and the general debate over the coronavirus vaccine continues, with validity to both skeptics’ and advocates’ arguments.
Most recently, because of the risk of a rare blood-clotting syndrome, the U.S. has decided to limit the use of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine to adults who have no other alternative.
“After conducting an updated analysis, evaluation and investigation of reported cases, the FDA has determined that the risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), a syndrome of rare and potentially life-threatening blood clots in combination with low levels of blood platelets with onset of symptoms approximately one to two weeks following administration of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine, warrants limiting the authorized use of the vaccine,” the Food and Drug Administration announced last week.
Nearly 19 million people have received the J&J vaccine, according to The Washington Post.
According to the FDA’s data, there have been 60 confirmed cases of blood-clotting syndrome, called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). Nine of those cases resulted in death.
There have also been production issues, such as an accidental mix-up of ingredients by a contract manufacturer, that have made people hesitant, Reuters reported.
The J&J vaccine received U.S. clearance in February 2021 for adults, according to Reuters.
In light of these issues and the new decision of the FDA to limit the use of J&J, this sheds some light on the broader issues and debate over vaccines.
There is still a large portion of the U.S. that is still unvaccinated.
About 77 percent of the population has received at least one dose, 66 percent are considered “fully vaccinated” and 30 percent have also gotten a booster dose, USA Facts reported.
It should come as no surprise that a large portion of the country is hesitant to be vaccinated since the vaccines were developed very quickly, but, now, a year later, there is still data coming out about adverse side effects.
Not everyone should be vaccinated. That is a simple truth. Medical choice and freedom are important, and from a strictly medical standpoint, even the safest, most effective vaccines can pose problems for those with certain preexisting conditions or complications.
It is entirely appropriate to question vaccines, be aware of the side effects and then make a decision.
But on the flip side of that, the general science of vaccines is often a good thing that can help all of humanity, and that also must be recognized.
If vaccines hadn’t been developed, we would still be dying from smallpox outbreaks, measles, and a good many more children would be dead or crippled from polio.
Just because some vaccines have adverse effects and issues of efficacy does not mean that vaccination as a whole is bad. We can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
This is the issue that we are dealing with today with the COVID vaccine.
Skeptics of the COVID vaccine have been justified a few times because problems with the vaccines have arisen, as clearly seen with J&J right now.
But just because the skeptics have been proven right a few times, does not mean that a holistic, anti-all-vaccination method of thinking should be adopted.
That is dangerous, oversimplified, over-generalized group think.
Unfortunately, though, the way that pro-vaccine advocates, including the U.S. government and Big Pharma, have countered this thinking is not with logic and data, but with dangerous, oversimplified, over-generalized groupthink of their own.
Big Pharma and the government have put vaccination on the moral high ground, arguing that you have to be vaccinated in order to save yourself and your fellow man.
After the establishment has positioned the vaccines in that manner, as soon as there is a problem with the vaccine, like dangerous blood-clotting, all the pro-vaccine arguments come under suspicion and vaccine skeptics feel justified once again to toot their horns and say that vaccination is bad.
That could literally lead to Americans dying in the future because of the skepticism about vaccines that the past two years have fostered.
This could have all been avoided with greater transparency on the part of the government and promotional campaigns that used more persuasion on the American public instead of a combination of guilt and government coercion.
Above all there needed to be a willingness to engage with skeptics in good-faith dialogue rather than attempting to silence them through sheer force.
But now, the whole U.S. is essentially caught in a self-perpetuating Catch-22. And future generations will pay the price.
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