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Pro-vaxxer: 'Why I won't be vaccinating my children against Covid'
Mike is a dad and engineer. He has been pro-vax his whole life. He describes himself as, “a lifelong skeptic, admirer of Richard Feynman, James Randi, and Carl Sagan.” I came across Mike in the comments under Paul Offit’s Substack post, in which Offit argues for vaccinating kids against Covid. Pro-vax American oncologist David Gorski jumped into the comments with a question: Why do some generally pro-vax parents vaccinate their kids with the routine schedule, but not the Covid vaccine? Gorski insinuated that parents of this type think that children’s lives are expendable. So Mike bit.
Below is Mike’s response to Gorski, lightly edited for clarity and flow. You can view his comment in its original form HERE.
I appreciate the nuance and clear thinking that Mike brings in his response. Mike is also a very thorough commenter. Footnotes to support his claims are included at the end.
To readers who disagree with Mike on any of his positions - in the spirit of high quality debate, I encourage you to comment with a similar degree of thought and detail as Mike has done.
Over to Mike…
I am someone who has been "pro-vax" my whole life (43), used to troll anti-vaxxers with the Organic Food vs Autism chart, yet have not taken the Covid vaccines nor given them to my children. My wife, a surgeon, got the first dose of Moderna, but had such a poor reaction that her hospital waved her mandate.
I've also read and enjoyed Science Based Medicine [Gorski’s website] for years but have generally disagreed with most of your positions on Covid the last 3 years.
To your specific question - How could I support MMR vaccination and not Covid vaccination?
Simply put, because the MMR vaccine works.
If the paediatrician told me that MMR would prevent illness from measles, mumps, and rubella, and then my child and nearly every child I knew got measles anyway, I wouldn't have shown up for the second dose a month later. I would probably have searched for a new paediatrician too.
If my child fell very ill the day after his first rotavirus vaccine, and roughly 30% of the kids I knew also felt very sick the next few days following the vaccine, I probably wouldn't have shown up for shots #2 and #3.
Easier to lose trust than gain it, and bewilderingly, so many experts (yourself included) may be sacrificing decades of trust all for a rapidly developed new vaccine, a vaccine that had incredibly long odds of working very well in the first place. Not to catastrophize, but the promotion of the Covid vaccine may have eroded more trust in vaccines than Wakefield.
Entering 2020 we had spent close to 90 years trying and largely failing to make effective flu and coronavirus vaccines. It wasn't a secret that they weren't very good. As recent as 2018 you can find Michael Osterholm saying about flu vaccines, "It's much more complicated than we thought,” and, “I know less about influenza today than I did 10 years ago." That’s in Science Magazine in an article titled "Why Flu Vaccines so Often Fail" 
It seemed reasonable therefore to assume that as much as we would love to have a vaccine for ILI like Covid or Flu, after decades and decades with little to show we shouldn't have expected magic.
But Fauci, Bourla, Bancel, Wallensky, etc, said this was a miracle, and for a few months I believed it. I wrote off my wife's severe reaction to the Moderna vaccine as a one-off.
But then, many of her colleagues at her hospital started calling off after getting their shots. Then a local school closed - not from Covid - but from the teachers getting the Covid vaccine giving them negative reactions - and when I googled which school here in Cleveland, I saw it was a recurring issue across the country. 
As my age group became eligible, my Facebook timeline became inundated with the responsorial hymn "I got my Covid vaccine, I feel so sick, but I know I would have been even sicker from Covid." They would soon flip this a few months later when they inevitably got Covid - "I feel so terrible but without the vaccine I know it would be worse."
So I chickened out on taking it - but in my defense, our family hadn't participated in Covid Theater 2020 anyway - our kids returned to school fall 2020, we dined out, attended parties, vacationed, etc anyway so by the time the vaccines were out I assumed we had it already. If Covid was a fraction as contagious as they said, we should have all caught it from my wife, who's hospital for months had the highest patient count in Cleveland. Or from the kids wearing cloth masks under their chins at my kids school. Or at the restaurants, bowling alleys, movie theaters, bars, ball games, etc, etc.
By the time my daughter (then, 11) became eligible in the fall of 2021 she got Covid anyway, and it resulted in a 99 degree fever for 24 hours. On a scale of the colds she has had in her decade+ of life, this ranked near the bottom. I cared for her but none of us caught Covid from her anyway.
At this time *nearly everyone* I knew who got vaccinated was getting Covid. Sure, that's anecdotal, but every pundit/social media scientist/expert I followed claiming "but look how great the vaccines are working in highly vaccinated countries" had their claims falsified nearly immediately - and they never seemed to admit error. 
One week Vermont was praised for its high vaccination rate which is credited for having so few cases, the next week when cases are exploding, the experts were now pivot saying "this isn't surprising" because "they didn't have natural infections yet".
Can you start to see why I wasn't buying this bullshit? These experts sound like astrologers. Making shit up post hoc like Long Island Medium.
As for the "500 or 600" deaths of children from Covid? Why are there zero excess deaths under age 15? Why are there zero excess deaths under 65 in Sweden where kids never stopped going to school and didn't wear masks? Why when I would look into every story of a child who died of Covid it was almost always the case the child had something terribly wrong? The 8th grader in Oklahoma who weighed 300 pounds. The 6 year old girl in Texas who clearly had sepsis but only saw a NP instead of a physician who dismissed her condition (this was very tragic). The 11 year old in Virgina, also morbidly obese, who when she had Covid was locked in her room with a gallon of milk. Horrible, tragic, but I'm not seeing evidence that a Covid vaccine would have altered their fate. Perhaps if my child weighed 300 lbs before they hit puberty I would give them the Covid vaccine.
Why did so many countries see excess deaths *increase* after Covid vaccination campaigns? Israel, Denmark, South Korea, United States, Germany, New Zealand for example.
I'm not arguing excess deaths were caused by the vaccine, but when South Korea averages 5500 deaths per week with a variation of +/-600 and all the sudden skyrockets to 10,000 deaths a week Spring of 2022, it's hard for me to feel confident that their vaccination campaign achieved anything. Especially when the countries that didn't participate don't seem to have paid a price - Bulgaria for example had excess mortality significantly drop in 2022.
Sometimes we try really hard to make a vaccine and despite our best efforts it doesn't work out. There's no need to become attached to this. It's ok if it didn't work. Lots of drugs never meet endpoints. Lots of drugs meet endpoints and later are found to have side effects. It happens.
This looks like one of those instances where we tried really hard, and it didn't work out. The difference between this and say, RotaShield, is that for some reason this got politicized and turned into a test of faith in scientism. Imagine if we made RotaShield an article of faith in the 90's. Would we have mocked anyone daring to suggest intussusception side effects?
Hopefully the next ones work better. I'm patient.
(PS I did eventually get Covid June 2022. I had a splitting headache for 24 hours)
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 Example, YLE cites Der Spiegel article on 11/15 claiming highly vaccinated countries like Denmark are doing well, but that would be invalidated in 2 weeks