Dr. Swetnam’s Thoughts on the Covid-19 Vaccine

Are YOU getting the vaccine? This is a question asked of me for the past several weeks by friends, nurses, patients and colleagues. A resounding yes is my answer, without question. From most people, I get a me too, but from others, I get the stink eye. I have been amazed at how many people have become experts in infectious disease, virology and epidemiology since Covid-19 started what seems like an eternity ago. Most have learned through the University of Facebook, which is a cesspool of disinformation about pretty much everything.

I doubt any minds will be changed, but let me try to dispel some rumors and fearmongering going around.

1. “The vaccine will change your DNA.”
This is false. The vaccine is an mRNA vaccine, mRNA is like a mailman. It carries a message to your DNA telling it to do something short term. In this case it is telling your DNA to produce proteins present on the Viral package, short term. You develop an immune response to those proteins and if the actual virus shows up…. Bam you already have immunity without being sick.

2. “There is a tracking device in the vaccine.”
This is false. Where you get the vaccine may track you for epidemiologic reasons but there is no “tracker” injected. If you pay taxes, the government already has your information. If you have a phone, are on FB, Instagram, Google or any other social media, believe me, you are already being tracked and your information sold to the highest bidder. Even if it were true, the vaccine would not be the one to worry about.

3. “Vaccines give you Autism.”
This is false. The number of studies proving this to be wrong are too numerous to count.

4. “I don’t want unknown proteins floating around in my body.”
Ok, if you get infected, you will have millions of unknown substances floating around causing illness, clotting, inflammation that can become chronic, loss of smell and taste and a host of other problems yet to be identified. This argument is kind of absurd. The vaccine produces “known” substances at least.

5. “I could die if I get the vaccine.”
There have been reports of severe allergic reactions that can be life-threatening. As with any new medicine, and especially with this vaccine, there can be rare adverse problems. That is why you will have to be observed after getting the shot, and treated if you have any reaction. You can also die of Covid and the likelihood of that is much higher than any reaction with the vaccine.

6. “The vaccine will make you sterile.”
This is false. What else can I say.

7. “People have died in the trials.”
This is true with caveats. Six people died out of the 43,000+ people in the study. Four of those who died got the placebo and two had the vaccine, but died of problems unrelated to the vaccine. So, none died of the vaccine.

8. “I am allergic to antifreeze so I can’t take the vaccine.”
The vaccine is shipped in dry ice and antifreeze in the packaging. It is not in the vaccine injected into you so this is not a problem.

My advice, get the vaccine if you can. Getting Covid-19 is a crapshoot. You may get nothing or you may die. I have personally witnessed everything in between. Do it for yourself, your family, your neighbors, and anyone you come into contact with. It’s like a new superpower so don’t miss out. My superpower is at 50% tomorrow and 95% in a month.

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