[COLUMN] Booster shot?

DO people need (is it safe) to be vaccinated against COVID-19? The almost 6.5 billion COVID-19 vaccines given have shown the vaccines are safe and effective. The massive global deaths are a compelling proof we all need the vaccines. The majority of COVID-19 deaths in the United States, the Philippines and other nations were from among those who refused the vaccines, which is the reason it has been referred to as “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

When dealing with a disease like COVID-19 we must think like scientists and deal with evidence-based clinical data, and not listen to and be misled by ignorant civil rights agitators, spineless self-serving politicians, or purveyors of dangerous misinformation in social media. For our electrical problems at home, who would we believe, plumbers or electricians?

Riskier than Mount Everest

Before making a choice, we must first be adequately informed of the facts – not myths, not lies – and be able to do the analysis and the math ourselves. For example: Around 750,000 in the U.S. have died from COVID-19 and about 7,900 died after receiving the vaccines (many of them were not directly caused by the vaccine itself). So, which one is the more likely to kill people, COVID-19 or the vaccines?

More precisely, the risk of taking the vaccines is only a fraction of 1 percent (0.0105%), compared to the 10-20 percent risk of dying from COVID-19. Getting the vaccines is at least 90 times safer than getting COVID-19. The risk from COVID-19 is said to be greater than the risk of climbing Mount Everest. Getting the vaccines is obviously the wiser/safer choice! A no-brainer, even for a 5th grader.

What we now know

The scientific facts we know today about COVID-19 (the deadliest pandemic in American history), which started in China in December 2019, are as follows:

  1. Masking (covering both nose and mouth) and social distancing greatly reduce the transmission of the virus, which could also be spread in aerosol mode (virus flying in the air) and not only by droplet infection (breathing, talking, sneezing, shouting, coughing, singing). The trajectory could be 20 feet or more, depending on the airflow. The spread is greatly minimized with 6 feet of social distancing. Cloth masks, even the expensive designer ones, are not as protective as the KN95 masks.
  2. Wearing a mask, even for hours does not cause harm. It is best to mask up, do social distancing, and avoid crowds, even after a booster shot, until this pandemic is over.
  3. Governors, judges, and others who are against a vaccine mandate or who mandated against social distancing or masking are doing a great disservice to the public. Their arrogant un-medical harmful advocacies have caused preventable miseries and countless deaths, with some victims being children. Albeit not malicious, their reckless actions could lead to potential lawsuits. One person is enough to transmit a killer virus to millions. How do you think did the one person in Wuhan infected by SARS-CoV2 virus lead to the 242 million cases and have killed close to 5 million around the world (nearly 46 million cases and about 750,000 deaths in the U.S. alone)? Indeed, one person can cause a pandemic within days in our shrunken world today where one could have breakfast in Las Vegas and dinner in Paris on the same day.
  4. The unvaccinated are at the greatest risk to get COVID-19. When infected, they have more severe symptoms and are six times more likely to die, compared to those who have been fully vaccinated, and especially to those with a booster shot. Trying to get infected in order to get natural immunity is insane. Remember the famous personalities who were against the vaccines and ended up getting infected and died? They regretted their previous dangerous advocacy, and before they died, they urged everyone to get vaccinated. They did not survive to benefit from natural immunity.
  5. Natural immunity is not as good, not as stable, and long-lasting when compared to immunity from the vaccines. Natural immunity (without vaccination) will NOT protect the unvaccinated from getting infected AGAIN by a newer variant! Those who have recovered should still get vaccinated to get 2-tiered immunity, greater protection than those who had the two shots but did not get infected.
  6. Vaccine effectiveness wanes after 6 months. Those vaccinated need the booster shot, which will “boost” their antibody titer 8-10 times higher. The FDA says mix-and-match boosters are safe. Without the booster, they could still get breathrough COVID-19 infection, like the one that killed former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, who had the 2 shots.
  7. Vaccines for children 5-11 are here. The new anti-COVID-19 pills will be a game changer. More are in the pipeline. Monoclonal antibodies have saved countless lives. COVID-19 vaccines and the flu shot (for the winter’s twin-demic) may be given at the same time, just like children getting their multiple shots for school.

A deadly delay

The COVID-19 pandemic is being prolonged by the 20 percent of Americans who refuse the vaccines. Their bodies are acting as a huge reservoir where the virus continuously replicate and mutate to more severe (and deadlier) strains. They will spread the virus around exponentially, possibly making it necessary someday for people to need annual COVID-19 vaccination, like the annual flu shot.

Medically speaking, only a federally-mandated COVID-19 vaccination (like children’s legal school vaccination requirements today) could fully eradicate this deadly virus. Vaccines ended Polio 65 years ago. Smallpox and various other infectious diseases are practically gone, thanks to vaccines. But abuse of freedom, political correctness, and cancel culture today are standing in the way. In a democracy, national societal interest and safety must always prevail over individual civil rights.

Think about this: Would you allow people who have active tuberculosis or any deadly infectious disease and who refuse treatment (as their constitutional right) to spread the disease and kill thousands? Would a federal mandate to compel these patients to get treatment to protect the public not be justified?

A single individual is enough to perpetuate this pandemic. Why then allow the 20 percent (about 60 million) who refuse the vaccines to hold the majority (260.8 million) of Americans hostage, forcing the 80 percent to face a lingering nightmare and potential death, not to mention a national economic disaster, simply because the unvaccinated are wrongfully invoking the freedom of (a bad) choice that kills? Is this just? Any choice that endangers the lives of others is not the kind of freedom guaranteed by the Constitution.

How many thousands more deaths are we waiting for before we do the right thing?

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, a Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus based in Northwest Indiana and Las Vegas, Nevada, is an international medical lecturer/author, a Health Public Advocate, and Chairman of the Filipino United Network-USA, a 501(c)3 humanitarian and anti-graft foundation in the United States. Visit our websites: philipSchua.com and FUN8888.com    Email: scalpelpen@gmail.com


Dr. Philip S. Chua

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States.

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