A deep dive into the risk/benefit of vaccination vs. “natural” COVID infection at this delta-driven stage.
– [Zubin] I just wanted to, you know, I wasn’t intending to do a show today, but I wanted to follow up on my Delta variant, is Delta gonna collapse show, and talk to you guys live, take your comments and questions. Quick, shout out to everyone on our Locals platform, which is off the social media grid. It’s just a better place to connect as a tribe, go to zdoggmd.locals.com to join there for exclusive stuff and better conversations. All right, got that out of the way. All right, here’s the thing.
Come on in I see Jana King’s here, Shelly, Rosario, all right. You know, can we have just a rational discussion about what’s going on right now? ‘Cause I just don’t see, I gotta mute that, I don’t see a lot of rational discussion happening via media outlets. There’s a lot of fear, there’s a lot of confusion, there’s a lot of miscommunication from public health, like CDC, about vaccinated people and in breakthrough infections and should you get vaccine?
And they’re saying, yes, you should get vaccine, but then they’re communicating with their body language that the vaccines don’t work at all. So how are we supposed to understand this when we’re in a situation now where cases are clearly rising. Hospitals in certain states, this is key, are getting full. I’m not saying full, I’m not saying overflowing, I’m saying they’re getting full, whereas before it was quite slow. We’re in the summer when typically you would expect cases to be lower, except when you look at last year, cases did surge during the summer in the warmer states, which I mentioned in my video before. That’s because it’s the equivalent of their winter in the sense that people go indoors because it’s so hot outside during the summer.
So again, crowded indoor conditions, air conditioning, low humidity, that tends to promote spread of virus. So we’re seeing that again in southern states, the difference this year is that you’ll notice that cases are rising, kind of all over, but they’re rising much faster in states with the lowest vaccination rates. Hospitalizations are rising fastest in states with the lowest vaccination rates. The vast majority of hospitalizations, severe illness, and any death is happening in unvaccinated people. So this is how we can look at this now, because we have a lot of data. Right, early on with the vaccines people are like, oh, are these, you know, experimental? And we don’t know if they really prevent transmission and we don’t know if they’re actually gonna prevent severe disease with variants and the India variant or Delta, which originated first described in India. People were concerned. Well, it does show some reduced neutralization by antibodies that are created with the current generation of vaccines.
And I’m focusing on the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccine, AstraZeneca and J and J are also in this, right, but they have even a little bit less juice with this, but not that much, not more than you think when it comes to severe disease with Delta, all right. So the concern was, well, are we gonna be able to prevent infections and transmission with vaccination, right? And then CDC came out and said, well, we looked at this thing in Cape Cod and it looks like vaccinated people can get infected, A, breakthrough infections, B, they seem to generate viral replication, and C, they seem to transmit it, potentially even to other vaccinated people, okay. Then everyone said, well, then what’s even the point of getting vaccinated?
Especially when mask mandates, which we thought would go away with vaccination, in fact, that was part of the tacit agreement on the part of many Americans, like, okay, if we just do the right thing and go get vaccinated and they’re telling us it’s safe and it’s effective, they’ll take away the mask stuff so we can open up again, we can do all this stuff and move on. And I said even in the spring, I said, this pandemic’s effectively over if we just vaccinate. We’re gonna generate some model of herd immunity that’s enough. We’re gonna destroy the worst of the severe disease and hospitalization will never overwhelm our hospitals and we’ll be good, okay. That didn’t anticipate that people would just stop getting vaccinated.
So we had this rate of vaccination uptake that was quite good, it wasn’t great, but it was quite good. And then people were like, meh. Everything kind of opens up for the summer, travel resumes, people are starting to celebrate, right. I’ve traveled twice this year, it’s been great. The mask mandate went away in California where I was, we were going into supermarkets without masks and it was the joy of being vaccinated. Like, oh, this is a reward, this is great, right. The people I hang out with are all vaccinated because we roll in similar circles of people that actually look at the data and go, oh, okay, yeah, this looks pretty safe. Yeah, all right, this sounds good to me, this is a way out of this thing, all right, wonderful.
And I have not gotten COVID. Now it’s different if you’ve gotten COVID. There’s a rationale to not necessarily rushing out to get vaccinated or even getting both doses if it’s mRNA vaccine. So that I understand, I’m talking about people who’ve never had COVID, never been vaccinated, they stopped getting vaccinated. You open up, now, who are the majority of these folks? they tend to be younger because younger people have this sense that, well, this thing’s not about me. It’s about old folks because 70 odd percent of the deaths and so on were above, you know, 60, 70 years old and generally young people, and I don’t have a lot of comorbidities or other sickness, I’m just, I’m probably okay, so they didn’t get vaccinated.
And they were reading about myocarditis and these potential side effects of the vaccine, which by the way, are still quite rare. They’re usually reversible, and most of the math that you do for an adult pans out that the risk of the vaccine is vastly outweighed, which is small, the risk of the vaccine is vastly outweighed by the risk you have of getting COVID, even if you’re generally healthy. Because COVID is such a like, it’s such a dice toss. You don’t know if you’re gonna get, be one of those people that just ends up in the ICU and you had no other preexisting conditions, right, it does happen. So younger people then were not necessarily getting vaccinated. So what do we see when something like Delta happens?
What is Delta, what’s going on with Delta? How do we best understand this? All right, the simplest way to remind ourselves of this is that the virus when it came of straight outta Wuhan it had a certain structure in its spike proteins, certain genetic code in its RNA and it goes out in the world. Now, as it does this, it starts replicating. And this is evolution on a rapid scale. Because the thing replicates millions of times, even in a single individual, it has all this chance for the replication to generate errors. So the error correction software of this virus isn’t great, it’s an RNA virus and it generates mistakes. A lot of the times those mistakes make the virus less likely to succeed at infecting another person or replicating or staying, keeping its integrity intact.
But every now and again you get a mutation, particularly in the spike protein, which is the business end of this virus that binds to human cells, that makes it more likely more sticky to human cells, more likely to replicate in upper airway where it could be spread more easily than the wild type virus that started out. And the selection process in the world is, as humans start to generate some degree of immunity or it just becomes that it’s harder for the virus to find a target, the variants of the virus that are in that population that have been generated that are stickier, that replicate better, that are hardier say at room temperature, whatever it is, whatever it is right, that make gives it a little advantage, those start to get selected for. Meaning they replicate more and it happens fast, exponentially fast. Delta, we hardly even heard of it early on, right? The India variant. Then all of a sudden it’s 80% of cases in the US, and that’s only where we’re testing with genotype for that, because we don’t always do that.
A lot of people have asked me, oh, I got tested for COVID, they didn’t tell me if it was Delta or not. That’s ’cause they didn’t probably didn’t test. So they’re probably doing, you know, selective testing of particular samples then extrapolating, right. Which it does work statistically. But the point being that it becomes dominant, why? Because it’s better at infecting us. Now, CDC then looked at it and said, well, it looks like this thing has a reproductive number, an R0 of closer to like 7 to 9, which is like chickenpox level infectivity. Meaning every person infects like nine other people. That’s crazy high. Like there are not a lot of viruses that do that. Measles for reference, I think one of the most contagious viruses, is something like 16 or 14 reproductive number, right?
So you just, you have measles in an area and you walk away and two hours that thing’s still floating in the air and it can infect people, right? This is much less than that, but it’s still quite high. So that’s why you start to see cases rise. Now the question is, what effect does vaccines have? And why did I mention young people? Well, young people are not necessarily going out, running out and getting the vaccine, so what happens? They are the dry tinder that a wildfire spark would first catch on if you have a variant that’s very contagious. So maybe at baseline young people are a little more resistant say to the wild type coronavirus. Maybe you need more viral particles in their vicinity to get them infected and so on, otherwise they brush it off, they never quite reach an inoculum that gets them infected. But with Delta it’s a little different, so it’s easier to infect them. So what happens? Kind of a perfect storm. You open up in the summer, young people go crazy, which they have a right to do, guys.
Are you kidding me? How much we’ve really turned the screws on young people. And really, if we’re being honest, it’s old people screwing young people. It’s like these old politicians, “You better lock down ’cause me.” It’s like, you’re old. The young person is missing out on college. I’m not saying, you know, kill old people. I’m saying, this is the dynamics, almost a generational warfare. So they’re coming out, doing their thing. Okay, so what happens? A lot of ’em are getting infected with Delta. Preferentially the ones that are not vaccinated. What about the ones that are vaccinated? Well, they can get infected too, but it’s about four to eight times less likely to get infected. And a lot of times the infection that you get, and you’re looking at Santa Clara data here, four fold decrease in infection chance if you’re vaccinated. And this is the key thing, when you’re vaccinated, the chances of severe disease, hospitalization, death are like. They’re not zero, so there are people who are vaccinated who’ve had breakthrough who ended up in the hospital, right?
Because there’s so much circulating virus. They could end up being the unlucky ones, right. But it’s still vastly, vastly more protective. And that’s where this idea of the CDC saying, oh, you know, this misinformation that construed what CDC said as, oh, well, vaccines don’t even work, you’re still gonna get infected and you’re still gonna spread it. No, you are less likely to get infected by an order of magnitude. You’re less likely to get very sick. And by that definition you’re less likely actually to transmit, right? So with all of this, young people now infected much higher rates, cases go through the roof. What happens to deaths? Well, generally, if you vaccinated the most vulnerable people, which about 80% of people over the age of, I forget, it was 65 or 75, have been vaccinated.
That’s our most vulnerable group, and that’s great. Whereas 50% of Americans in general across the board have had two doses or a full vaccination regimen otherwise. So you’ve kind of protected the most vulnerable with the exception of that 20%, and those are the ones you see in the hospital, by the way. And so deaths don’t necessarily skyrocket in areas where that’s true. But cases may go up, especially if you’re testing aggressively. So what ends up happening, you have tons of cases, deaths and hospitalizations less, but it’s regional. So in the south where vaccination lags quite a bit, Mississippi, Louisiana, et cetera, you’re seeing hospitals get full of unvaccinated people who are very sick with some vaccinated collateral damage, okay. So it becomes a problem then because first of all, healthcare workers are exhausted. second of all, you’re killing people in the hospital. Third of all, you’re gonna get the collateral damage just by numbers because so many people are infected that you’re gonna suck in some very young people.
So you’re gonna suck in some kids who end up in the hospital, just by statistical bad luck, or they have co-morbidities, which is more likely, and they can’t be vaccinated because they’re under 12. So now you see stories on the news full of panic. ICU’s filling up in Florida with kids. Yeah, there are kids in the ICUs, yeah, but this is a straight numbers game. So that’s gonna happen. It doesn’t necessarily mean that Delta just happens to hone in on children and kill them. That’s a misunderstanding of that data, right. So let’s think about this rationally then, let’s put this picture a little bit together. Do the vaccines help prevent infection, transmission, and death, and severe disease? The answer is yes, yes, and yes. Less so with Delta than with other variants, but still yes. Okay, are they safe? Well, nothing is perfect. So anyone who tells you, oh, these are 100% safe, they’re lying to you, right, there’s always something with an intervention, in any vaccine, right, we keep saying that, any vaccine can do that, but it’s very rare, it’s often reversible, and you’re always deciding which risk you wanna take. Do you want to take a risk. with something that was developed by humans who have skin in the game, in other words, they’re gonna get this vaccine, right? That actually works on scientific principles or something that emerged out of China, whether it was a lab or whether it was in the wild, it doesn’t matter, it’s equally scary in the sense that, I don’t trust that, that’s nature. Nature has been trying to kill us since we emerged, right, that’s just what it does.
Humans try to kill us too, but in this case less obviously. So, although they’re trying to bankrupt us, fricking pharma. So all that being said, which risk do you want to take? This tiny risk of the vaccine or the uncertain and larger risk, in general, in general, of COVID? Now with young, with kids, that calculation becomes a little murky and we’ve done shows on that. So I’m not an absolutist about vaccinating kids. You have to look at the pros and cons, talk to your pediatrician, and make a decision based on what you value and what risk you want to take. And what I think is adults, right, this is where I would say, just go out and get vaccinated. This is my recommendation, right. I totally understand why you wouldn’t want to. I totally get it. In fact, I get it more than I’ve ever gotten sort of anti-vaccine hesitancy ever. You’ve got a politicized situation where you’ve got one particular group of politicians that are really pushing it. That’s very off-putting to the other group, even though the other group had a president who started Operation Warp Speed that developed the vaccine, who’s taken the vaccine, right. But there’s this tribalization, you wear you’re not-vaccine as a badge, right. I get, I do, I totally get it. Because when I hear people trying to vaccine shame people I’m just like, this sucks.
I almost want to unvaccinate myself when I hear this asshole talk, right? So there’s that, but then there’s also the natural concerns that people have. Well, this thing was rushed, it happened over a very short period of time, I hear all this information on the internet that it’s gonna cause sterility, nope. It’s gonna cause, you know, worst disease, antibody dependent enhancement, nope. People are dying en masse and it’s being reported in the vaccine adverse event reporting system and no one’s talking about it, nope. Let me tell you guys, like, doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals, do you think that low of us? And I know some of you do, but do you think that low of us that if we saw this happening en masse, we wouldn’t crap our pants and start screaming about it? No.
Extremely rare blood clotting, rare myocarditis, found, reported, made a big deal of, warning labels put on the thing, risk benefit discussed, CDC weighs in. That’s how science works. It actually works. Now we know with millions, hundreds of millions of doses, that this thing works to do what we intended it to do, which is lower severe disease, lower death, lower hospitalization. So my strong recommendation, stronger than I’ve ever made before, is if you’re an adult, you don’t have a great reason to not get the vaccine unless you’ve been previously infected. And even then, if I were molecule for molecule in your shoes, I would just go ahead and get at least one dose to act as a booster. Because I think that would just, and the data seems to show, that that one dose actually gives you neutralizing antibody levels that are very similar to getting two doses of vaccine. There is some data, and I’m not sure how much I believe it, that says that vaccinated immunity might generate stronger levels of neutralizing antibodies.
And that neutralizing antibodies are what are correlated with the risk of breakthrough infection, okay. So the higher your neutralizing antibodies, the lower the risk of breakthrough infection. So for all those reasons and the fact that they are safe, that nothing’s perfect, but if I’m taking my chances with COVID, not having had it, I’m gonna go get vaccinated, my family’s going to be vaccinated, and then if we do that enough, now see, in spring I was saying, you know, the thing’s over because we’ll reach a level of 60, 70% total immunity, that’ll be enough for herd immunity. That was unfortunately pre Delta. So I did not have enough juice in my head to imagine what a reproductive number of nine would do to herd immunity calculations. Well, they go up a lot. So they go up to like 80, 90, maybe higher than 90. So that’s why you see, even in highly vaccinated countries like Israel, you still see breakthrough cases, but are you overwhelming your hospitals with death and destruction? The answer is no, not yet.
We’re not seeing that. Great Britain was a great example of this, right? They have a very high vaccination rates, higher than us, but it’s still not, you know, 90%, but between natural infection that and the fact that mostly it was young people, their death rate has not been very high, even though their cases are at times rivaled what was happening in the winter. That’s wonderful. You guys, that’s such good news in the face of a variant like Delta that’s so sticky, so easily spread, like that’s crazy good news. But yet instead it seems like media and all our focus is on but, but, but… It’s very simple now, right? I think you should go get vaccinated. I understand why you’re hesitant, we’ve done many, many shows on trying to address it. I don’t judge you if you still say, oh, I don’t want to do it.
I’m just saying if were molecule for molecule you, I would go do it, this is why. People email me, they ask me, I’m on the fence, I don’t know, this is my concern. And I’ll answer in a few sentences and usually that’s enough to at least trigger people to go, you know, let me think of, okay, I’m gonna go do it. And to a one they’ve written back and said, perfect, I’m so glad I did it. No problems. Yeah, a little fever, a little muscle ache, it was great, thank you. And look, if you decide not to do it, you need to at least have enough information to make that decision in an educated way. Look at the numbers in states where vaccination rates are high, like California, et cetera. We are not yet overwhelming our hospitals, although cases do rise and it’s usually in the unvaccinated.
Now, as you get, and now this is something I want to inoculate you guys against, because you’re gonna see it, as your vaccination rates rise, you are going to see the majority of cases be in vaccinated people. That’s just a numbers game, because there aren’t that many unvaccinated people so the only cases you’re gonna see are breakthrough. Remember, the vaccines around 90% efficacious, maybe less so against protecting against just straight positive case now. Because remember, to remind you, this is a mucosal virus. What that means is it replicates and causes disease on the mucus membranes in the nasal pharynx and the airways. And so a vaccine that causes blood antibodies to happen will help you maybe to keep you from getting severe disseminated disease where you get very sick, but it may not protect you from just straight getting an infection, mild or moderate infection. Now compare that to something that a disease like measles, that it starts in the mucus membranes, but it has to enter the bloodstream to do what it does.
Right, well measles you’re pretty much like 99% protected for life with a vaccine because of the mechanism of how it works. Plus its incubation period is much longer, 14 days. So it takes that long to establish. Well, in that time your body has plenty of time to spin up its memory immune response from vaccination or previous infection. Look at measles, previous infection, sterilizing immunity. Vaccination, sterilizing immunity. COVID, previous infection, eh, at least you won’t get very sick, severe disease, death. Vaccination, eh, at least you won’t get severe disease, you know, death, hospitalization. You see how that works? So now with that, part of the reason when I did my piece on why Delta might’ve collapsed in Britain and the Netherlands and why it might collapse here in terms of number of cases, it really involves to a large degree, people stepping up and getting vaccinated. If you don’t do that then you have to allow natural infection to do it. And guess what? That comes with a cost. because every Xth person is gonna end up in the hospital, sick, or dead, or with some long COVID, right. Now, kids is another thing, and we need to talk about that. So, you know, are unvaccinated people a danger to kids and so on? In general, still the risk to kids is small, I really think so.
Now some pediatricians will disagree, some pediatricians will agree, it’s very nuanced. Ultimately that data set depends on what you value, how you parse risk for your own kid, and so on. Now, the other piece of that that I want to mention is if everybody starts, if at least we get higher vaccination levels. And look, it’s happening already. One thing I forgot to mention again, ’cause I do these things as a stream of consciousness, the Delta piece that I did, is that human behavior, and this has to do with now what we’re gonna talk about, which is mask mandates, vaccine mandates, these kinds of things, okay. Human behavior modulates itself in response to environment. So when you see cases surging, hospitals overwhelmed, friends and family getting sick, you tend to go and do something about it. You either distance, you cancel a trip, you start putting a mask on, you wash your hands more, et cetera. You maybe don’t go to the restaurant, you maybe take out whatever it is.
And that happens and we’re seeing the same thing happening with vaccination. When you see the cases happen, vaccination rates go up. When polio was rampant, everybody got vaccinated against polio. When we forgot collectively as a society about these preventable childhood diseases, measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, polio, there emerges a group of people that are like, meh, this doesn’t matter. This is not a real disease, it was all about sanitation and hygiene, the vaccines didn’t do anything. You stop vaccinating and what ends up happening? Resurgent disease, measles outbreaks, pertussis outbreaks, right? So sometimes the stimulus will create a response. Now, that’ll happen naturally so you’re already seeing in Louisiana and stuff, rates like vaccination four times what they were because people are like, oh, this is real. Holy s** uh blah, right? I’m trying not to curse so you guys can share this, I only said the A word once. So naturally this will happen.
And I think that happened probably in Great Britain, although they had the help of a little tracking app that would ping you. Apparently people were calling it a pingdemic because the thing would blow up your phone like every minute ’cause everybody was infected. But you know, there were little things in Great Britain, they came out of a lockdown, but they had opened up when the cases were surging, you see? So how do you hack natural human behavior? Well, you make edicts from the top down. You must wear a mask, you must social distance, you must close schools, you must throw a mask on a two year old. You gotta do all these things, okay. Well, how’s an already distrustful 50% of the population politically gonna like that? They’re not. Then they’re going to find ways to get around it. They’re gonna get very upset and they’re gonna feel like nothing they do is gonna get us out of this interminable crisis that they feel is partially manufactured ’cause they don’t know people that have gotten sick or died, or they’re more concerned about their livelihood, which is going away, which is the equivalent of being sick or dying ’cause health is wealth in many cases. So mandates, say for masks, let’s forget about masks for a second, let’s talk about vaccine mandates.
So you mandate that people get the vaccine. All right, hey, guess what? That’s gonna work. You’re gonna get 90 plus percent, this is historically true. True with childhood vaccines, true with hospital vaccines, for healthcare workers, et cetera, you will get compliance when you make it the law or you make it that your employer requires it. People will complain, you know, the 40% or whatever of healthcare workers that in certain institutions that haven’t gotten vaccinated will throw a fit and they’ll try to make up religious exemptions and do all of that. But in the end they will roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated because they need a paycheck. Well, that’s coercion, right? That is forcing someone effectively to do something you think is right. Now, I happen to agree that I think it’s right, I disagree that you need to coerce people to do it. I think people like, I think somebody said this, individual people are very smart but people en masse are idiots. And this is true. This is very true. You can reason with an individual, and I’ve done it many times and people have convinced me of stuff, right? Changed my mind on things. But a mass of people behave like an entity beyond itself that’s just idiotic, like has an IQ of 10 and just doesn’t understand reason, is pure emotion and pure tribalism.
And when you attack that entity with a mandate, mm, right, the individual feels the pinch, but the group, and the dynamics get very sticky. So that’s why I don’t understand that we need to mandate stuff. If we just did a better job understanding each other, communicating, detribalizing it, depoliticizing it. Wouldn’t be cool if Trump and Biden actually stood up there, like something out of the sixties and held hands and said, look, guys, let’s just all get vaccinated. I hate you, you hate me, I think you’re an idiot, I don’t like your immigration policy, I don’t like your face, whatever it is. But hey, you know what, the one thing that we all agree is we’re like looking out for Americans. We think you should get vaccinated. And then, end these stupid mask mandates, make sure schools are wide open in the fall, wash your hands, do common sense things. Now, you’re gonna see flu re-emerge with a vengeance I’m pretty sure as we open up, you’re gonna see RSV, which we’re seeing already.
And I actually think people have like forgotten how to be immune to stuff ’cause we’ve been hiding. And so, you know, you get a cold now and it’s like you’re debilitated. So at some point we’re gonna have to move on. And I think that point was like 10 months ago, but what do I know, right? So that’s the punchline, is I really think you should get vaccinated. I do, and I say this out of pure love. I totally understand why you wouldn’t and I don’t judge you for it, I really don’t. I’m being deadly serious. I really don’t, I get it. I have extended family that won’t get vaccinated. And I think it’s based on incorrect information, but I totally understand why. I know the person, I’m like, okay, this is how you kind of see the world, this is what you value, and through your values this makes no sense. Well, why can’t we speak to your values instead of telling you, well, you’re just a bad person who’s gonna kill babies who can’t be vaccinated, who are very low risk anyways. That’s just dumb. Let’s be smarter than that.
Not just individually, but collectively. All right, that’s my rant. I guess we’re live, I should look at your comments. Thank you for speaking some common sense. Thank you for supporting my choice, Laura Hromanik, yes. Now remember, I support you as a person making a decision that you think is best for you, but that doesn’t mean I won’t continue to advocate if you chose not to be vaccinated and you haven’t been infected that you get vaccinated, which means I’m going to keep talking about it. But I’m not going to talk about it in a way that belittles or shames your decision, it’s just gonna keep providing information. By the way, if something emerges where it shows me, oh, you know what, I was totally wrong about this. Like, this class of people should not be vaccinated, right? Like where I’m still ambivalent about the 12 year olds. But my 13 year old is vaccinated, right? And we made that decision based on our values. But I don’t think that those values can be applied to everyone. So, I’m gonna continue to do that if that’s okay with you. And you know, this is interesting, Robert Tinder talking to someone else, no, you not being vaccinated means you are not entitled to a job, jobs are not your right. So this is the thing about mandates.
Government mandates are interesting, not a huge fan. Employer mandates are interesting because those are private companies. They can hire whoever they want. And you can have requirements already in healthcare for annual PPD testing, for MMR vaccination, you know, these kinds of vaccinations can be required already for healthcare jobs. Now people will say, but this is emergency use authorization, how can you require something that is under EUA? It’s not even FDA approved. Let’s be honest, we have enough post-marketing surveillance now that would blow away any typical FDA approval process. What’s happening now, as Paul Offit said on our show is, they have to go through this manufacturing, I forgot what it’s called, CCC something, chemical control and something, don’t quote me on that. But it’s this very rigorous thing about how the thing is manufactured and it’s a protocol. Now, they’re expediting it, but you can kind of look at hundreds of millions of people who’ve gotten it. And we’re not seeing zombie apocalypse. We’re not seeing infertility apocalypse. We’re not seeing people drop dead regardless of what you’re reading on the internet. You’re just not seeing it. And believe me, doctors would be telling you, right?
We’re not that evil, guys. Like I know why people don’t trust some of us, right? Because there are financial poisons. Absolutely that are incentives. I’ve been talking about them my entire time on the webs, these conflicts, this fee for service mill that incentivizes us to do things to people instead of for people. But guys, we’re still human beings. These are our families too. We’re choosing to vaccinate our own, right. Now there are some, a lot of nurses won’t vaccinate. And I’ve talked about this before and I think some of this is, they’re often the guinea pigs and often the whipping boys of administrations and stuff so they’ve been beaten down, they don’t trust anything. And also they honestly, if I’m being totally transparent, it’s not in their typical standard training to deeply review literature and look at those things. So they rely on other experts to do that, just like a endocrinologist might rely on a cardiologist to deal with stuff involving the heart.
So they use their intuition and they’re like, well, this thing’s too new, administration’s making me get it, I don’t trust administration, et cetera. And they don’t get it. Now, to me looking at it from this different vantage point, it’s like, oh my gosh, you guys, we’re all pulling our hair out about not having enough PPE about having to work the front lines, putting our lives and our family’s lives at risk from COVID. They come up with a solution scientifically, and we don’t want to get it? Like, ugh. And that means it’s a failure of connection. It’s a failure of understanding. It’s a failure of recognizing common humanity and saying, okay, let’s talk about this. Instead of what happens, which is social media, polarizes us, and then families are ripped apart. I get so many people saying, oh, my husband won’t get vaccinated and I hate him now. And it’s like, well maybe we should understand him. Or, you know, my wife keeps pushing me to get vaccinated and she doesn’t understand, like I got a mild case of COVID. I don’t want to, I’m terrified of myocarditis and my family has a history of heart. Okay, let’s understand each other. We can probably come to a compromise or at least understanding that we’re coming from the right place.
But instead what happens is this is potentiated by social media, which is an effing poison, right. That we’re just incentivized to hate each other in group. And it often goes along political political lines, but not always. It’s a failure of the American education system, says Supporter Angie Clark. I don’t think American education has done a great job at anything. You know, especially taking care of our kids during the pandemic. You know, it’s like, okay, teachers are vaccinated. They can wear masks. Why are we taking this out on the kids now? Let’s open up the schools. The data looks really good on that. Let’s open up the schools, let’s stop hurting poor kids. Right, and if you’re a teacher and you didn’t get vaccinated. Hm, okay. That’s the same thing as with healthcare professionals, we need to talk, we just need to talk. So once it’s FDA approved will the drug companies, healthcare, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, be responsible for if adverse events happen?
Well, here’s a way to look at that, okay. And I actually don’t know the specific answer to whether this is going to be administered through vaccine court, the court that adjudicates vaccine complications, right. That had to happen because everybody was suing vaccine companies early on for anything. And they didn’t even have to, you know, it was civil court so they didn’t have to even prove really causation. And the companies were stopping making vaccines because they’re like, there’s just too much legal exposure, even though we know the vaccines not causing these problems. Well, so they created this court and I did a video on this, right, the Hannah Poling video. And that then allowed people with very little evidence to say, okay, I think this vaccine injured my child, let’s come with a settlement. And that’s how that works. But nowhere in that court does it say the vaccine was actually responsible for the child’s illness. Right, the standards of evidence are much, much lower in civil court.
But the amount of money paid out, et cetera, as limited, you know, there’s some details there that make it so that the pharma companies don’t go out of business trying to make vaccines, which historically hadn’t been that profitable, right. So if you look at now, as Offit said on our show, in the history of vaccines, that would end up happening happened within the first two months of administration of the vaccine. It’s never been that something appears five years later, 10 years later. And they’ll say, well, it’s a new technology so maybe this is an exception. It just doesn’t seem to even make scientific sense. And then you have guys like Malone and Vanden Bossche, and, you know, these other guys that show up. on Rogan and all that talking about this stuff. And I keep telling people, I’m like, yeah, sure, you can speculate all kinds of stuff. There’s no evidence that it’s actually happening and these guys will keep moving the goalposts. Okay, nobody died right away. Well, they’re gonna die in five years.
They didn’t become sterile so far and all the data, by the way, we gotta talk about pregnancy. All the data so far says the thing’s safe? Well, give it three years. Everybody’s uteruses will explode. Come on. And a lot of these guys are selling something, right? They really are, like Mercola, one of the top peddlers of vaccine misinformation. The guy has a multi-million dollar empire. He basically employs the entire city of Cape Coral, Florida. That’s why they won’t say anything bad about him, Even the FDA is like, this guy’s a quack, can you guys do something about him? It’s crazy, guys. Like people talk about people like us in pharma’s pocket. No money from pharma. I get money from you who support the show, right?
The little ads that YouTube runs on our videos. But like a guy like Mercola can make millions on supplements and tanning beds and crap like that and no one asks, could he be biased when he says vaccines will kill you? Give you a third eye? God. Pregnancy, lot of women have asked me, okay, I’m pregnant, what’s going on, should I get the vaccine? Okay, the major societies, ACOG, Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine say yes. Why? Okay. The evidence so far in pregnant women who’ve gotten the vaccine is that it does no damage beyond the background whatever happens normally in pregnancy, nothing. They’ve seen no signal at all. Now, the data that came out in New England Journal of Medicine, they looked at these cases and said, okay, these are the women who’ve gotten infected. Let’s compare them with a control group, et cetera. Okay, fine, wonderful. Looked great. Only caveat is they mostly weighed people who got the vaccine later in pregnancy.
So maybe not early in first trimester or something. First trimester is always this dicey period where things are a little touch and go, right. A lot of spontaneous miscarriages happen in the first trimester. Because, you know, things are dividing and it’s very delicate. And again, I’m simplifying it and my obstetrician colleagues are gonna punch me in the face whenever I opened my mouth about the lady parts. But that being said, looks really safe. And the thing is, we’ve seen pregnancy is a big risk for COVID complications. So if you’re trying to weigh risk, well, okay, should I get vaccine with this? Doesn’t look like there’s a risk, but if there is it’s small. Versus, roll the dice with COVID, I haven’t had COVID, roll the dice with COVID. That risk is an order of magnitude higher, because pregnancy seems to be like a hypermetabolic state, kind of like having diabetes or something. You don’t have as much reserve capacity and the virus loves that. So pregnant women are very much at risk from COVID complications and have been, and that’s tragic. You want a tragedy, pregnant mother dies of COVID, kids born, right? That’s a tragedy. Even worse as both die or have permanent disability and we’ve seen all this, okay. So, even in pregnant women, this is probably a really good idea.
And again, this is a deal where you talk with your doctor and your partner, whoever you’re making decisions with, and you make this decision together based on your values and what you think your risk is and how you like to think about risk, right? Just go in with the most information you can have delivered in the most nonjudgmental way. That’s what I think. Michelle says the vax is like a bulletproof vest, it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get shot, but your chances of surviving without mortal injury or death are much better with it than without. That’s pretty much it with this. And one thing to remember, you as a vaccinated person are at higher risk if there’s a lot of circulating virus in the community than if there isn’t, because you’re more likely to have a breakthrough case, ’cause there’s more virus floating around. So the more people that get vaccinated, the less floating around virus there’ll be, by definition. So it is the way out, just the most clear way out of this.
Tear the mask off, move on, get vaccinated. This idea that CDC has asked, you know, in certain areas where there’s high replication people to wear masks, that’s why, because when there’s so much virus around then you’re gonna get breakthrough cases so if you want to prevent that, wear a mask, and it’s very hard to know who’s vaccinated or not if you’re using the honor system, that’s probably why they made that decision. I still disagree, I still think it’s terrible messaging. Just tell people, hey, do the right thing. If you’re worried, wear a mask. In fact, we recommend just wear a mask, but don’t mandate it, but we really do recommend it. It’s just the right thing to do because who knows what’s going on? Just do it for a little longer, but please get vaccinated.
In fact, no, please, please definitely get vaccinated. Here’s all the reasons why, let’s have some town halls, let’s talk, right? I don’t know, I mean, it’s very hard. We’re in uncharted waters here. This hasn’t really happened in the age of the internet where there’s so much misinformation and polarization. All right, guys, I think we did a thing. We have this unique opportunity now where we can really balance our own needs, right, to be safe, to have a family that’s safe, to be free, to not have to wear a diaper on our face, to let our kids go to the public schools we’re paying for with our tax dollars, to feel safe going into a restaurant, to patronize businesses, to run our own businesses, to travel where and when and how we would like to.
We want that, we want that freedom, that autonomy. And it is in tension often in a dynamic equilibrium with this sense of communion, with oneness, with community, with what is good for the many. And if you think you err on one side or the other of that equation, you probably do, but not as much as you think. We all strike this balance every day, every day we don’t, you know, run red lights or, you know, light things on fire on our way to work. Even if we wouldn’t be caught, we are thinking about, I’m giving extreme examples, We’re thinking about our community and ourselves in a dynamic equilibrium because in honesty, one cannot exist without the other.
With the situation with the pandemic, we need to replace all this madness with, and a lot of this is incentivized by corporate structures in the media, corporate structures in medicine, where we get paid to do stuff to you and corporate structures that reward a joker like Mercola selling supplements and tanning beds, an anti-vaccine propaganda, Sherry Tenpenny, you know, nurse Erin Olszewski who’s selling books, right. And you may agree with her politics. You may be like, oh I really like that she’s very conservative. And it’s like, yeah, but she’s still completely wrong about this other stuff and being rewarded people buying her book. So these things tend to promote a polarization into autonomy, community, and then you have the naysayers in the community side shaming these people, you’re gonna kill people by not wearing masks. And then these guys going, you don’t tell me what to do, you’re a catastrophizing piece of crap. Then how do we have a society that works? And in the meantime, everything falls apart. We got to understand each other, we’re all trying to be good. We really are, with a few exceptions.
We’re all trying to be good, all right. Let’s try to be good together. Let’s be nice to each other in the comments. Otherwise I will ban you, ’cause that’s the thing I’m doing now. If someone’s just a clown, they’re just being a jerk. Okay. Speaking of okay, the way we pay for all this, join our Supporter Tribes. Locals is my favorite. Facebook is my next favorite. YouTube has the best quality. They’re all there, zdoggmd.com/supporters. I love you guys so much, I really do. Thank you for listening to me on a Saturday night. It’s really, really a joy to connect with you. It is, it gives me goosebumps sometimes when I get emails from you guys. Even the hate, because it means people are listening. All right, till next time I’ma fade us to black just to be dramatic, we out!