Vaccinations and FUD

Driving home earlier this month I saw a bunch of people on an overpass over the highway with a large sign that said, “COVID VACCINE MAKERS ARE EXEMPT FROM LIABILITY.” This is something activists have done in all fifty states.

The government passed a law to protect vaccine makers from liability in order to encourage them to develop vaccines in the face of a dangerous pandemic. So the sign is correct, but it’s misleading. It’s sowing FUD – fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

Many people decide not to get vaccinated because they conclude that their risk of dying is less than 1%. Although that’s true, it’s not an extremely rare event. Would you do something if you were told there was only a tenth of 1% chance of dying? What if I phrased that as out of one thousand of your friends and family, one person would die as a result of doing that activity? Would you decide that was a sacrifice worth doing, or conclude it wasn’t worth the risk? If not, why would you accept a risk ten times higher?

Even if you don’t die or get very sick as a result of getting infected, you have a high chance of developing Long Covid, with multiple symptoms that may last a year or more and be debilitating.

A majority of the misleading disinformation and hoaxes on social media has been spread by a dozen anti-vaxxers, according to the Center for Countering Digital Hate. Unfortunately they don’t have the redeeming qualities of the movie The Dirty Dozen. If you value your health make sure you’re following the advice of reputable sources, not influencers with their own agenda. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, do so today.

Author: Daniel Ginsberg, MD, FACP

I'm an internal medicine physician and have avidly applied computers to medicine since 1986, when I wrote my first medically oriented computer programs. So yes, that means I'm at least 35-years-old!

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