The FDA cleared a new vaccine for COVID-19 Wednesday. The Novavax shot will be the first new option for American adults in more than two years – and with it comes a renewed push to get the jab.
The New Vaccine
The new vaccine from Novavax uses a more traditional approach than the others. It’s made from copies of the spike protein that coats the coronavirus, which are packed into nanoparticles that, to the immune system, look like viruses. An immune-boosting ingredient made from the bark of a tree in South Africa is then added to act as a sort of red flag for the body to ensure the nanoparticles look suspicious enough to spark an immune response.
The FDA has tentatively approved the shot for people 18 and older, but it’s already evaluating it for those as young as 12, according to Novavax Chief Executive Stanley Erck. The Biden administration has bought 2.3 million doses so far, and the vaccinations are expected to begin next month. Europe has cleared it for those 12 and up.
The Return of the Fauci
Just in time for the new vaccine, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former COVID czar, is making the rounds once again, calling for more vaccinations and, of course, a return to comprehensive masking protocols. Never mind that today’s COVID-19 symptoms are milder and the duration of infection is shorter. Don’t be surprised, either, to see that familiar narrative of compliance for the greater good championed by others in the coming days.
In the doctor’s public service announcements, however, sit some rather damning confessions. He pointed out that immunity that comes from inoculation and infection wears off rapidly. “Most people who have not received a booster this year, have a diminished immunity,” he told CNN’s John Berman.
“One of the things that’s clear from the data is that even though vaccines – because of the high degree of transmissibility of this virus – don’t protect overly well, as it were, against infection, they protect quite well against severe disease leading to hospitalization and death,” he said in an interview on Fox’s Your World.
So vaccines don’t work very well to prevent infection, and the protection they do provide wears off quickly, necessitating perpetual boosting with additional shots. Then there’s the other side of the story – vaccine injuries.
The Potential Cost of Compliance
Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine has a total of 69,996 adverse events registered with the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) so far, which is further divided by recovered: yes, no, unknown, and missing. Of the 47,605 known outcomes, 27,317 – just over 57% – did not recover, meaning they either still suffer the long-term effects of the vaccine, or, as was the case with 1,665 unlucky individuals, they died. The outcome of the remaining 22,391 cases remains unknown.
The Moderna vaccine was blamed for a total of 401,589 events. Patients had higher chances of recovering from the effects, however, in cases where the outcome is known. About 49% – 126,616 – failed to recover compared to 132,138 who did. Of those who didn’t recover, 6,776 died. Of course, that leaves 142,835 cases unaccounted for.
The Pfizer-BioNtech shot has a poor record with recovery from adverse events as well. A total of 412,187 were reported, of which 147,787 have unknown outcomes. Of the 264,400 cases with known results, 148,072 – which is 56% – haven’t recovered. The vaccine killed 7,777 of them.
An additional 3,150 cases were reported in which the specific vaccine was not listed. Of the 1,568 patients with known outcomes, 67% didn’t recover, of whom 59 died. The latest update was July 8, 2022.
When it comes to the Novavax inoculation, the FDA has warned there’s a rare risk of the same heart inflammation seen with the Pfizer and Moderna options, but rare is a relative term. Adverse events aren’t exactly common even for the other vaccines, aforementioned numbers aside, when one considers that a whopping 598 million doses have been administered. There are already four adverse reactions reported for this new vaccine, in fact, though so far none have died. Two have not recovered from their reactions, and the outcome of the other two are either unknown or the data is missing. All in all, VAERS has tracked 886,926 adverse reactions to the various COVID-19 vaccines, 303,067 patients – just over 34% of all reported reaction cases – are known to have not recovered, and 16,277 have lost their lives. Statistically, those numbers are negligible. To those who have lost loved ones or who may never recover from their own adverse reaction, they’re anything but.
With possibly life-altering – or ending – ramifications, the decision on whether to get the shot is one to be taken seriously. It’s also one to be made by the individual. But with tens of millions of tax dollars already spent on millions of doses of this new vaccine, it’s no surprise the administration and the media are applying pressure once again.