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How do we (non-insiders) know a vaccine is safe?


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How do we (non-insiders) know a vaccine is safe?
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-02-23, 09:16

Let me start by saying I'm really open to vaccines and they benefit they provide to our ways of life. Polio isn't really a thing anymore because most of us sucked down some liquid or got shot up. Same for many other diseases prevented by similar stories where scientists figured out how to help us be immune to whatever is targeted by the vaccine.

What I'm wondering is how would we know when a new vaccine is actually safe? In this particular case it is the covid vaccine. Years ago it was H1N1.

Sure it is easy to say, "if the government says it is safe then I'll take it." I did that while active duty and served as a great pin cushion. (I'm one booster away from being able to lick a cow's hoof.) I mean, depending on what you listen to the covid vaccine is either a God-send or Satan being injected into your veins. Obviously 99% (conservatively) of the world's population really doesn't have a clue with stigma and bias playing heavily into their choice to support or rebel any vaccine.

Personally I'm hesitant to get a vaccine that doesn't have years of track record showing it is safe. My reasoning isn't a religious one, just lack of trust is the bottom line. So please don't make this a political issue (there are people who are far left and far right who refuse vaccines), I'm really looking to see how ignorance can be corrected (education) and those who don't want to trust blindly can actually have faith that some new thing is actually safe being injected in them when there is no actual track record to show it won't bring side effects or even death.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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chucker
 
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2021-02-23, 09:40

Well, we don't know anything. We can make models, and then predictions based on those, and the more data we gather, the more certain we can be about certain things, but never quite 100%.

Do we know for a fact that the vaccine is 100% safe? No. We also don't know for a fact that there's a 0% chance there'll be a meteor crater tomorrow. We can be relatively sure based on constant surveillance, but what if we're overlooking an edge case?

What we do know is that tens of millions of people have been vaccinated, and very, very few had significant complications.

(This post kind of sounds douchy-er than I had intended. I guess what I'm saying is — yeah, it'd be nice if we had years worth of data, but that's kind of impractical, and the best scientists of the world are on the case. If there's a problem, you'll probably know rather quickly.)
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-02-23, 09:44

That's the thing. I can logic through the corner cases and spend my time about how unlikely that is to happen to me or my loved ones. That is no different than going off of gut instinct though.

Even still, we are speaking in very general terms... these don't solve ignorance. I'd look through medicine journals if I even knew where to start. Of course, those assume a level of knowledge and training to properly understand.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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chinesebear
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Harbin, China
 
2021-02-23, 18:58

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle View Post
That's the thing. I can logic through the corner cases and spend my time about how unlikely that is to happen to me or my loved ones. That is no different than going off of gut instinct though.
I'm not sure I'd agree with that statement. Gut instinct and thinking rationally through reality are very different things.

I think it's also important to look at the inverse. Is it safe to get Covid? We do have data to back that up (though long term effects are still unknown). So often, the vaccine arguments are "I heard that in one case, this bad thing happened. I don't want that to happen, so I won't get it." But, we do know that in 500,000 cases in the US, people died from Covid. So then the numbers (currently) are what, 20+million who had covid and 500,000 who died (plus more with serious to just annoying lasting effects) or the 10 million (?) vaccinated (I've got no idea on that actual number) and the complications from that (under 50). That's how I try to think of it. The challenge with these things so often is that we've become so used to accepting a certain risk, that we discount it. Then, when something that can minimize that risk, we focus on the new risk, even if it's infinitesimally smaller, and say then "I'm not gonna do it."

I remember when the seatbelt laws were starting to come in. And so many people told those stories of "Oh, I know this one person who was in a car crash, and didn't wear a seatbelt, was thrown from the car and survived. If they had a seatbelt on, they would have burned alive in the car." So, then, people didn't wear seatbelts. This is the same sort of phenomenon, quite honestly.

Though, there is the bigger issue of trust. And I think that's a big part of what you're alluding to as well. A big part of certain segments of modern American culture is the whole "I can only trust myself" mythos. I fight that in myself all of the time, quite honestly. But it comes down to, are you willing to trust, not a corporation, but the sum total of the group of people who are working hard to create these vaccines (or whatever it may be, because this is bigger than just vaccines). There is certainly a long track record of vaccines in the world, so the general idea works. And there are testing regiments that have been gone through to check for the "normal" complications. Philosophically, trust is a choice. And for me, I think life is a lot more pleasant to live if I chose to trust others (with a caveat - I'm not ignorant to deceiving and conniving people in the world - I just chose to not focus on them and default to thinking everyone is that way).
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-02-24, 10:24

I won't argue with what you are saying. Generally that is how we make good decisions. We look at cost/risk. We assume the risk of covid is worse than that of the vaccine. It is why I got so many shots in the military. However, this still doesn't educate me (or anyone) on why it is actually a good thing and a safe thing.

I spent my military career blindly accepting what leaders ordered. It was what I signed up for and I'm more than willing to comply since I raised my right hand free of coercion. However, since getting out I tend to not just be a sheep and like to know what I'm making a choice on when it has the potential to bring longer term issues.

I can roll the dice that if I got covid it would likely not be pleasant, but also not likely life threatening. What do I know about any of the three vaccines being offered here in the States? They are made by greedy companies who want to make money and keep me as a paying client. Is it cynical, yes but it is also accurate.

I'm not suggesting that the scientists working on these vaccines aren't putting their lives into this whole heartedly to bring about an end the the pandemic and even future cures for even the cold. I have a huge amount of respect for them and the work they are doing... as reported to the public via others. I don't personally know anyone working on a vaccine.

So yeah, it is a trust issue. This is why I mentioned it in the OP. Ignorance is fixable, but how do we fix it in this case? I did some DuckDuckGo searches and of course I was greeted with two options: Satan in my veins or the salvation of the world. Neither really had facts, just conjecture. Sure there vaccine side said the people who got it didn't get as sick or sick at all... but what makes this vaccine actually safe?

There is a bunch of fluid in that syringe and it isn't all mRNA. What is in the fluid? Is it actually safe or "safe in the dose given" kind of thing?

So again, I'm just trying to get educated and be able to educate others. Most of the people I've talked to are hesitant on getting the vaccine because it is so new they don't trust it. Education helps form trust.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-02-24, 10:29

One more thing....

To be clear, generally speaking I support this vaccine. I just want to be educated before I am willing to "put my name on it" so to speak.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2021-02-24, 11:13

How do we know anything is safe? Because testers tell us things are? What is the crash rating of your vehicle? Even in a 5 star rated vehicle you can still die. In my mind vaccines are the same thing, and in my mind the benefits to myself and the people around me outweigh the risk.

Do I know if these vaccinations are safe? Nope, that kind of knowledge is beyond me, I don’t have a background in biochemistry. Given that how could I realistically have a chance of understanding all that goes into the making in testing of drugs? My father has a background in chemistry and biology and seems to not be the least bit concerned about getting in line for the shots. I add that to my list of reasons. Then I have to rely on past experiences, have the other vaccines I’ve taken made by these companies harmed me? Answer, as far as I know they have not. Then I consider this, if the vaccine was going to kill or be harmful that would be very, very, bad for business. The short term gain the companies would get would be outweighed the long term pain.
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drewprops
Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2021-02-24, 14:39

Our lives are based on series of leaps, bolstered by trust in others, prior experience, and gut instinct.


....
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BlueRabbit
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: San Francisco, CA
 
2021-02-24, 19:47

Fortunately, the FDA is a government entity that makes a bunch of documents publicly available! Here are links to the FDA briefing documents that were used for approval of the Pfizer, Moderna, and now Johnson and Johnson vaccines. These documents are dry and verbose and long, but they have answers to all the questions you've asked so far, and they're written in language that I think most people could understand most of (unlike what you'd find in a medical journal). You could probably answer most of your questions by reading the executive summaries, but detailed info about vaccine effectiveness is around the middle of each PDF, and very detailed info about side effects is closer to the bottom.

Between all of these studies, there have been tens of thousands of people vaccinated with no major side effects from the vaccine. There also haven't been reports of anything widespread in the people who have been vaccinated so far—at worst, maybe 50 cases of severe allergic reactions in the US (which can be bad, but are easily treatable and are the reason why they make you stick around for 15 minutes after getting the shot). There's also a bunch of safety and efficacy data out there from Israel, which has vaccinated >50% of its population, but I haven't looked at it closely yet.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-02-25, 09:15

YAY! Great documents!

That is what I'm looking for. Sure that might be dry, but at least it isn't just the general "others have taken it and didn't die so it must be ok" kind of thing. While I don't expect there to be trade secrets in there, at least if I'm able to educate myself and others it would be a real game changer.

Drew, you are right... but when trust has been lost (in big Pharma) it is hard to just believe it is all sunshine and roses from them. The anti-vaxers aren't all quacks. Many just pick data they think supports their case and ignore the rest. Sadly, this isn't limited to them as that method is used pretty much across the board for all subjects. This is what is driving me to make my own educated choice. As a conservative Christian, many of the people in my circles are generally anti-vax because of a lack of trust. If I listened to them I wouldn't end up getting vaccinated ever, for anything. Science can't be tossed aside like that though... at least not proven science. Quoting a news source will never win an argument these days. Everyone knows there is a too much political push in the media in general. So if you have facts to be able to debate/communicate with then you stand to make greater ground.

An example is in the Johnson & Johnson document you read about this odd occurrence: "Numerical imbalances were observed between vaccine and placebo recipients for thromboembolic events (15 versus 10) and tinnitus (6 versus 0). Data at this time are insufficient to determine a causal relationship between these events and the vaccine."

So if I take that vaccine I'm going to get tinnitus? Anti-vaxers would be all over those things and tell you how it is damaging your nerves and going to make you deaf. (I already deal with tinnitus thanks to the Navy so jokes on them. ) There are so many reasons they might be exhibiting tinnitus that aren't related to the vaccine and yet it is included in the report.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.

Last edited by turtle : 2021-02-25 at 09:51.
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drewprops
Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2021-02-25, 10:52

People devote their careers, their lives, to these studies. They can read results the way a baker can read dough, or a riverboat captain the shifting sands of the Mississippi. As a layman, like with the Bible, I can look at raw data (scripture) and make anything I want out of it, while those who understand the context behind the data (scripture) can deliver a more accurate interpretation.


...
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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2021-02-25, 11:28

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueRabbit View Post
Fortunately, the FDA is a government entity that makes a bunch of documents publicly available! Here are links to the FDA briefing documents that were used for approval of the Pfizer, Moderna, and now Johnson and Johnson vaccines. These documents are dry and verbose and long, but they have answers to all the questions you've asked so far, and they're written in language that I think most people could understand most of (unlike what you'd find in a medical journal). You could probably answer most of your questions by reading the executive summaries, but detailed info about vaccine effectiveness is around the middle of each PDF, and very detailed info about side effects is closer to the bottom.
Not to mention that they have been approved by other health agencies as well, all over Europe, Canada
, and most 1st world nations as well. Documents from them are also publicly available. If it was just the FDA that approved them and everyone else said, no chance in hell, I’d be concerned.
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Dr. Bobsky
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: UK's most densely packed city. It's not London...
 
2021-02-27, 13:51

There are ethical standards that scientists abide by. We are encouraged to whistle blow if those standards aren't met. This is why peer review exists and undergirds all scientific advances and publication.

So when you ask how do you know a vaccine is safe, what you're really asking is how do we trust the hundreds or thousands of scientists that have collected and analysed data leading to that vaccine. Part of this trust has to come from appreciating just how high scientists elevate truth, and the standards under which that is ascertained. We don't build models and find data to support them. We build models and seek data that would refute them. Our lives are spent trying to prove ourselves wrong. This is why the scientific method works, and why it has supplanted other schools of thought on discovery and understanding. As others have pointed out: the data is available for you to interpret on the vaccines. As far as my reading goes: the vaccines are working as they did in the clinical trials; we won't know their efficacy until the disease is under control, but all signs point to the fact that they are effective.

Last edited by Dr. Bobsky : 2021-02-28 at 09:28.
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709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2021-02-27, 14:13

Sounds like something the librul FAKE NEWS would say to get me injected with a Soros/Gates microchip. NICE TRY "doctor".
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
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2021-02-27, 16:02

Not fake at all. Now do we trust that the companies are ethical, that’s something else entirely. I’d trust the average scientist far more than the average CEO. Are all scientists ethically sound, no. Are they all out to put mind control chips in us. Please, save the BS for low IQ fools.
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chucker
 
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2021-02-27, 16:09

I think that was sarcasm.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-02-27, 17:45

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
Not fake at all. Now do we trust that the companies are ethical, that’s something else entirely. I’d trust the average scientist far more than the average CEO. Are all scientists ethically sound, no. Are they all out to put mind control chips in us. Please, save the BS for low IQ fools.
This is why I know there is a major lack of trust. I personally have known scientists (microbiologist) at John's Hopkins. The scientists themselves would rather die than lie about their finding in general. Most are super reluctant to even talk about progress on their research (not just due to NDA) because they don't want to give false hope in the end results. So while the ones in lab coats might be trust worthy it is the ones in the suits that the public normally sees/hears. So with media being a crap shoot on if it is legit news or half truths means we are left to really scratch our heads.

With documents, like the ones linked from the FDA, and combine with media we can make pretty solid conclusions. As was said, approved in a multinational fashion... that is huge.

I have to admit, the concept of a chip injection is laughable. Right there with lizard men. However, the lack of trust is the really issue across the board.

I try to have faith in my fellow man, some just make it really hard.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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chucker
 
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2021-02-28, 05:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle View Post
I have to admit, the concept of a chip injection is laughable.
Hm, is it? We're not that many years away from chips being sufficiently small.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-03-01, 11:12

While that might be true... a multi dose vial means the patient might get more than one or none of a microchip floating around in the vial. When the doses ship in syringes ready with single dose, then there is a greater chance.

I am not even going into the reality of a chip in deep muscle tissue and transmission abilities. If the shot was sub-cutaneous then I could have a higher believably rate.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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