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Old 24 Nov 21, 09:43 AM  
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Andy C
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Myth-leading antivaxxer lines – and the truth behind them

I thought it might be of use to put down the main memes spread by the lead Antivaxxer groups that worry people and make them more and more hesitant, and in some cases, seduce them into full-on antivaxxery themselves.

Please note that I’m not judging you if you’re worried by any of the below. If you are, you have been the victim of a carefully composed disinformation campaign that’s targeted at your fears and vulnerabilities, and skillfully put together to leverage human psychology.

Such as the “fill-in-the-next-words-yourself” technique (where they say something, use it to hint at something else, and get you to come up with the (obvious) link yourself – because what we come up with ourself, we believe by default).

The shield against that is to not worry about asking daft questions – the basic question: “So what?” can come over as daft, but it forces them to explicitly come out with the untruth that they want you to infer. Which they don’t like doing.

Because this would otherwise be a humongous post, I’ll do a separate one for each of the key antivaxxer lines:

They’re still in trial!

The mRNA vaccines aren’t technically vaccines but “gene therapies” and can change your DNA

They don’t stop transmission. And virus levels in breakthrough infections reach the same heights as in the non-immune

What about blood clots and myocarditis?

Thousands more are vaccine damaged or killed than they admit – look at the Yellow Card data!

Why do companies have blanket immunity from damages?

What about long term side effects?

Children aren’t vulnerable to covid but can get side effects from the vaccine!

But the JCVI said that children shouldn’t be vaccinated!

We don’t know what’s in it!

Someone said that it can affect fertility in young women, and it’s dangerous for unborn babies if you’re pregnant!

If the vaccine’s doing its job, why should the vaccinated worry about the unvaccinated?

The stats say that the vaccinated are no less likely to get covid than the unvaccinated – it says so in the UKHSA data!

Vaccine "shedding," magnetism, 99% graphene oxide, microchips, Mark of the Beast...

Edited at 10:00 AM.
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Old 24 Nov 21, 09:43 AM  
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Andy C
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They’re still in trial!

This is a favoured one. Because it is true that if you look at the trial protocols, they say they’re open until 2023. It’s one of the “fill-in-the-next-words” ones, where they stop, raise the metaphorical eyebrows, and try to get you to fill in the next line: “… so they’re experimental! We don’t really know what they can do to you! For all we know, they could have horrific side-effects in the longer term, right? Why don’t we wait until the safety information is all in?”

And the reason they get you to come up with those bits is that if they did, it’s easy to point to the evidence: all trial protocols are complete other than studies on long-term waning of protection.

Which shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise, given that for long-term waning, you need a long term, and given what we’ve been seeing in the media coverage.

ALL THE SAFETY TRIALS AND PROTOCOLS ARE COMPLETE. THESE ARE NOT EXPERIMENTAL. THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO 7 BILLION PEOPLE

That latter is crucial. One vaccine scientist said he never truly relaxes until the billionth dose is given – because by then, you will certainly have found any and all incredibly rare potential side effects. The length of time is far less of a concern to them (see the later one on “long-term side effects?”); it’s the raw numbers of doses given that provide the reassurance.

Again, though, the idea is to get you invested in the conclusion. Tell someone something and they may or may not accept it or recall it. Get them to come up with it, and they will not only accept it, they will fight to retain it.
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Old 24 Nov 21, 09:44 AM  
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Andy C
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The mRNA vaccines aren’t technically vaccines but “gene therapies” and can change your DNA

No, they’re vaccines.

This relies on grabbing an old definition from the earlier vaccines, riding it on your summary education in school about how vaccines came about, and playing on fears around the word “mRNA” and “genes.”

A vaccine is a substance introduced into the body to evoke a natural immune response against a given pathogen.

It can be injected, ingested, or inhaled; it’s still a vaccine. It can be an attenuated live virus vaccine, a deactivated virus vaccine, a protein vaccine, an adenovector vaccine, an mRNA vaccine – it’s still a vaccine. It is introduced to evoke a natural immune response against a pathogen (in this case, the virus SARS-CoV-2).

An mRNA affects proteins, not genes. What they’re describing is something called “reverse transcription.” These do not and cannot do that. It’s pretty much going: “Hmm. The letters mRNA sound a bit like DNA and they do something in cells and DNA is something to do with genes, right, so can they change your DNA like, you know, rewriting your DNA or genes or whatever?”

Which sounds a bit – well, dumb. It’s why they don’t say it out loud. They get your subconscious, deep in your mind and non-verbal, to think it without saying it. They can’t say it out loud, because you’d filter out its obvious absurdity.
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Old 24 Nov 21, 09:45 AM  
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Andy C
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Join Date: Nov 05
They don’t stop transmission. And virus levels in breakthrough infections reach the same heights as in the non-immune

Another favourite. They skip over “reduce”, “retard,” “slow,” and point to the fact that IF you get a breakthrough infection, and IF you’re in the early stages of the virus, then whilst transmission is still reduced a bit, you CAN still infect others.
And ignore the IF, the IF, and the STILL REDUCED and say “Hah! It doesn’t stop it dead! Transmission is still possible, so it’s useless!”

Well, they imply that, because, again, saying it out loud underlines its absurdity. Once again, your hindbrain is supposed to process this without consciously ‘saying’ it – because you’d filter it out if you ever explicitly thought it.

Firstly: if you do not catch it, you cannot pass it on. Sounds like I’m being Captain Obvious here and saying something that doesn’t need to be said – but it obviously does. Transmission is reduced by the amount it makes you immune to start with! So if your chance of catching it is down by 50%, transmission risk from you is halved. Boom. And then…

Breakthrough infections also clear faster than infections in the non-immune. This shouldn’t come as a surprise – your immune system knows what to do far quicker and swings into action faster. Those with breakthrough infections are infectious for a shorter period of time (about 60% as long). They do reach the same heights of viral shedding, it’s true – but drop away significantly quicker.

And, even at similar viral levels, infectivity is measurably lower (about 80%) – because the virus is already effectively in a pitched battle with your immune system.

So the risk of transmission from any individual vaccinated person compared to an unvaccinated one is 80% (reduced infectivity at similar viral levels) x 60% (reduced time period of infectivity) x 50%-5% (chance of them having it to pass on in the first place).

So, dependent on which vaccine they had, how long it has waned, and whether they are boosted or not gives a transmission reduction to a value of between around 2% and 25% for any given vaccinated person compared to an unvaccinated one.
That’s not to be sneezed at.

Or coughed at.

In comparison, reducing the speed limit outside of a school from 40 mph to 20mph reduces the chance of a child who is struck by a car at that speed from dying down from 90% to 10%. If, when this was proposed somewhere, someone was to say “Ah, but it doesn’t STOP the chance of them dying when struck by a car, does it?” you’d give them one of those looks, wouldn’t you?

Same thing here.

And I’ve got to wonder what in heck the people saying this think HAS reduced transmission by so much if not immunity?

Because when the ancestral strain of covid was faced by restriction levels as low as this (basically, early March 2020), infections were trebling every week. And Delta is twice as infectious, so why aren’t we seeing it sextupling every week? Why is it not increasing more than two-hundred-fold every three weeks? Something is massively retarding transmission, and it’s not lockdown…
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Old 24 Nov 21, 09:46 AM  
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Andy C
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What about blood clots and myocarditis?

These are not to be laughed at. There are (incredibly rare) cases of vaccine-induced blood clots from the AZ vaccine and also extremely rare cases of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) from the Pfizer vaccine.
These weren’t picked up in the original trials (which were completed fully – see above) because they are so rare. They’re measured in “per million” rather than “percent.”

In the first case, the immune response stimulated by the reaction to the spike protein presented by the adenovector seems to cause an unusual blood clotting reaction that can, sadly, prove fatal. In the second, the immune response caused by the reaction to the spike protein described by the mRNA causes a temporary inflammation of the heart muscle.

In every case – these can be caused by the virus itself and are considerably more common from the virus than the vaccine. In both cases, it could well be the immune system reaction that causes them – which is why it can happen from both triggers and why it’s always a lot more common from the virus trigger than the vaccine trigger. Because when the spike protein is introduced to your system by the virus, it’s in a form such that it will reproduce and grow with far more spike proteins presented (in the millions and millions) level before your system gets hold of it. The vaccine version doesn’t reproduce. The virus version does. It’s almost the definition of virus.

And, for the vaccine case, we’re talking so rare that the rate of serious harm is eclipsed by such medications as paracetomol (taken in the normal dose). And as for the contraceptive pill…

There is one extra difference on the myocarditis front: the vaccine-induced version seems to clear far faster and with less chance of serious damage than the virus version. I’ll never dismiss concerns of heart damage – but I can compare them, and when one is both far less likely and far less severe than the other, I know which one looks better.
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Old 24 Nov 21, 09:47 AM  
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Andy C
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Thousands more are vaccine damaged or killed than they admit – look at the Yellow Card data!

(Or, in the US, VAERS data)

For those not aware, the Yellow Card system is the method used to record suspected adverse reactions to vaccination. It’s useful to give signals of issues that you would not ordinarily see due to scale.

It’s NOT useful for reading off things and saying “Look, the vaccine caused this!”
Taken from the website: “The scheme relies on voluntary reporting of suspected side effects or medical device incidents to be reported by health professionals and the public, including patients, carers and parents”

Yeah, you can see the danger there: anyone can report anything. Often (usually) in good faith – who is to know what the causal connection is?

You have to find something unusual in it. And not “unusual” like these:

“Rabies”
“Arthropod bite”
“Screaming”
“Red Man syndrome”
“Foreign body in urogenital tract”
“Low income”
“Flooding”
“Soliloquy”
“Growth of eyelashes”
“Water pollution”
“Bed bug infestation”
“Teething”
“Facial bones fracture”
“Verbal abuse”
“Fetishism”
“Spontaneous erection”
“Kosher diet”
“Illiteracy”
“Dwarfism”
“Job dissatisfaction”
“Homosexuality”
“Hair injury”
“Tattoo”
“Childhood”
“Sunburn”
“Hangover”
“Chlamydia”
“Compulsive shopping”
“Malaria”
“Déjà vu.”

… I kid you not, all of those were taken straight out of the Yellow Card reports for the covid vaccines in the UK. Most of those have multiple reports against them. There’s a reason that no-one takes the results straight off of this.

They’re always analysed for correlation and whether or not they’re any different from normal (for example, about 500,000 people of the age of 40 or above will die in the UK per year. If we vaccinate everyone in the UK and 500,000 of those aged 40 and above died within the year, then the antivaxxers will certainly be howling “The vaccine killed half a million!” Even though that’s literally just the normal death rate. And all it means is that the vaccine does not make you immortal.

Another example is: Did you know that 100% of those who received the early smallpox vaccine in 1798 went on to die? It’s true: not one of them is still alive…

So if anyone cites the Yellow Card (or VAERS) to you as proof (PROOF, I say!) that the unnamed “they” are keeping secret thousands upon thousands of vaccine effects and deaths, you know how much credence to give them.
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Old 24 Nov 21, 09:47 AM  
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Andy C
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Why do companies have blanket immunity from prosecution for damage?

They don’t. Next.

Maybe I need to expand a bit. In the US, where suing for medical reasons is, shall we say, not that infrequent, they gave the vaccine companies a temporary waiver to ensure they didn’t get swamped under antivaxxer lawsuits.

In the UK, they’re as susceptible to civil suits as ever. Anyone quoting that one at you has taken it straight from a US site and not bothered to find out the difference.
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Old 24 Nov 21, 09:48 AM  
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Andy C
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Long term side effects

This is a big one and often linked with the first one (“They’re still in trial!” above). And it’s an understandable fear. It’s also often linked with “Normally, vaccines take years to develop; how is it that these came about so quickly and can we be sure they’re safe?”

Firstly, the reason vaccines normally take a long time is a combination of getting approval and funding for all of the various stages (anyone who’s ever put together a budget proposal for anything can know how long that can take), the time taken to produce vaccines by some older methods (you literally have to grow some of them – the mRNA and adenovector vaccines are quicker to physically produce), and the time taken to run the efficacy trials.

Note: NOT the safety trials. They’re about 3-6 months every time.

The efficacy trials consist of waiting for enough people in the trial to catch the infection. And then comparing the rates of those in the placebo arm (that didn’t get the real vaccine) to those in the vaccine arm. This can take years in some cases. If, though, you have a surging worldwide pandemic, you’re going to see those infections a damn sight sooner. Funny, that.

Adverse effects come from two sources: the ingredients, and the immune response generated. The first is damn near instant: do you have an allergic reaction? You’ll see that inside of minutes: it’s why they make you sit down for fifteen minutes for the mRNA ones – there’s a rare allergic reaction to some of the lipids.

The immune response is what can give the very rare thromboses or myocarditis. There are others that they look for, but these haven’t been visible even in billions of doses, so it’s these ones we’re watching for. And the immune response stabilizes inside of a couple of months. Three or four at the very outside. When you start talking in years – well, let’s just say it’d be something truly astonishing to immunologists.

No, what they look for is numbers rather than time. See the answer to the first one above: when you’ve got to billions of doses given, you’re not exactly likely to see anything surprising coming up.
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Old 24 Nov 21, 09:48 AM  
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Andy C
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Children aren’t vulnerable to covid but can get side effects from the vaccine!

This is an exaggeration of “children have considerably less risk than adults.” It’s not zero, though.

It is small, but children are far less likely than adults to get sick enough to need hospitalization. In the unfortunate cases where they do, they are considerably more likely than adults to pull through. The death rate is mercifully low.

Again, not zero. It is, though, almost the only metric the antivaxxers will ever point to.

Still, somewhere over a hundred kids have died in the UK. The rate per million infected in the US looks to be about 66.

The number hospitalized is in excess of ten thousand kids in England, so far. That’s not negligible. That’s more than ten thousand parents watching in fear as their kid gets taken into hospital with a disease that some people say doesn’t affect them at all.

You still get the antivaxxers saying “The chance of children dying from covid is practically zero, so we don’t need to vaccinate them! Especially with the chance of side-effects like myocarditis!”

Except that each and every side effect is several times more likely from the virus than the vaccine!

Seriously – the chance of myocarditis from infection with covid is six times greater than the chance from the vaccine – and it’s almost always less damaging with the vaccine than the virus. And that’s not to mention the chances of lung damage and low oxygen (far larger than myocarditis), other organ damage, the very rare but harmful MIS-C syndrome…

Either the risk of the virus is low enough to be ignored, and the risk from the vaccine is orders of magnitude less – or the risk from the vaccine is large enough to worry about, and the risk from the virus is far greater still. When the vaccine risk is far less than the virus risk, that’s an equation that never shifts.
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Old 24 Nov 21, 09:49 AM  
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Andy C
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But the JCVI said that children shouldn’t be vaccinated!

No, they didn’t. They said that while the risk balance indicated vaccination was less risk than infection, the difference wasn’t so huge as to make the decision clearcut.
Let’s be clear: they said, throughout, that the risk balance always favoured the vaccination. Not that it favoured the virus. The published figures were pointing to the risk balance being more than ten to one in favour of vaccine.

And we now have seen the minutes of the meeting – and know that to get figures that close (even if they were ten times riskier to let them be infected than to have them vaccinated), they assumed only 4% of children would be exposed to the virus!
(That is: the “attack rate” would be just over 4%. This was taken from a “comparable period” in the first wave).

We now know beyond any doubt that the 4% attack rate was far, far too low. It’s more than ten times that. Which shifts the risk balance even further.

And there isn’t a choice of “take the risk or don’t take the risk,” I’m afraid. It’s: “which risk do you take?”

The one where a very few children get a myocarditis attack which seems to clear up rapidly and without lasting damage, or the one where they are a hundred times more likely to be hospitalized with something even more severe. I’m not even mentioning the chances of Long Covid here – there’s no need to even add that to the equation; it’s so strong in one direction already.

And I get that we hate deciding on any risk for a children, even a lower risk. But there’s a one-in-a-century pandemic under way. Even refusing to decide is a decision (and is deciding for the 100-times-higher-risk).
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