A Love Letter to the Vaccine Hesitant

My mission is to help all people sort through the misinformation and BS to make the BEST health and wellness decisions they can. Holistic doesn’t mean anti-medicine. Quite the opposite, actually. Holistic means whole body, and conventional, appropriate medical interventions are a big part of my model for true holistic care, the Wellness Pyramid.

Translated to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am here to help you feel better about the COVID vaccine.  You should feel great about it, because it’s awesome.  

If you don’t know me, I’ve immunized over 20,000 people against COVID, giving well over 36,000 doses with help of my “COVID Busting Volunteer Army.” I have experience with the vaccine. I also have a LOT of connections with practitioners fighting COVID in the trenches, as well as experts in vaccine manufacturing and epidemiology.

I have a webinar and two podcasts talking about the COVID vaccine.  I wanted to build a positive, factual, referenced guide to vaccines and safety that could be easily shareable to help anyone who is hesitant. I present this great rundown from a Reddit user, u/positivityrate.

I hope this helps just one person decide to join the ranks of the immunized. If you need to speak to an expert about this, I make myself available for direct conversation at vaccine@drnealsmoller.com.

Vaccines work, and are safe. 

They work really darn well, and are really darn safe.

Check out this great article about how unlikely it is for “long-term” side effects from the vaccines to show up a few months or years later.

The J&J vaccine manufacturing mixup that you heard about isn’t a problem. There are no tainted or flawed doses from J&J being distributed, all our doses of J&J came from a different manufacturer in the Netherlands and are both safe and effective.

Vaccines given EUA are safe even if you hear about clotting or growing a third arm.

That the vaccine manufacturers are not liable (you can’t sue them, etc.) if you die from their Covid vaccine is a non sequitur. This is true of most vaccines, and really, most medical practices/drugs/etc. They just have to warn you about potential risks, [which they actually do a good job of, even though those risks are minuscule.] Note that this would also be the case (you can’t sue them if it hurts you) for any future “cures”, therapeutics, or other treatments for the disease.

The vaccine isn’t killing anyone. You heard wrong. Great discussion here.

Clotting is so rare from the vaccine and so common from the virus, it’s not worth worrying about as a vaccine side effect.

Should we be excited about a vaccine that’s not 90%+ effective? Excellent question! Absolutely, yes. Video version of this discussion here.

There’s no such thing as vaccine side effects that take months or years before they start to show up. If there is a side effect, it usually shows up right away. Thousands of phase 2 trial participants have had the vaccine for over 12 months, and there are no worrying, lingering, or delayed side effects.

Immunity from infection lasts at least 8 months, though probably a lot longer. Again, at least 8 months, though non-antibody immunity may be most important. It’s too soon to say “lifelong” but that is a possibility.

The immunity granted by the vaccine lasts at least 6 months, probably a lot, lot longer, probably many years. It’s looking like it’ll be permanent or semi-permanent in a good portion of the population.

Vaccine-induced immunity may be comparable to, or better than, or a LOT better than, immunity from a previous infection. Especially to Alpha/Beta. Natural immunity from clearing an infection is highly protective of future infections, but you have to risk the disease in order to get it.

The OG SARS virus (SARS-CoV-1) from 2003 gave detectable immunity both 6 and 12 years later.

Vaccination and previous infection reduce viral load, which reduces spread. Updated info here.

This article does a good job of explaining the likelihood of vaccines at least reducing spread. This comment may help too. Data from Scotland.

“Moderna vaccine blocks >90% (87-93%) of infections & 91% (89-94%) of transmission.”

If you do get a breakthrough infection after vaccination, it’s very likely to be very mild.

This suggests a great reduction in the ability to spread the virus. Maybe even with just one dose! You should get both doses though.

Reinfections are rare, some studies show less than 1 in 1,000 (maybe in the 1 in 10,000 range, you’ll have to read the study, it’s awesome). Reinfections tend to be much milder than previous infections, even those new variants. Check the comments here for some really interesting discussion regarding reinfection. Especially the top comment thread.

Delayed second doses are fine. At least with ChAdOx1, though there is evidence that suggests that longer is better (Pfizer). The problem is that you have to wait longer for the second dose, and therefore, full protection. CDC used to say that there is no maximum interval between doses, but has recently changed (but may be extended again in the future). Pfizer says not more than 6 weeks.

Did you accidentally get mixed doses? All good.

Even if your antibodies fade over time, you still have some immunity. With other vaccines for other diseases, your antibodies fade, but you retain both T-cell immunity and B-cells, which allow you to mount an effective immune response within days.

The vaccines are FREE in the US. FREE FREE, not like “Copay free”, like frickin FREE. You don’t need insurance. Go get one. Now. Is there something stopping you from going to get one today? Talk to me about it, we’ll get it worked out.

If your doctor offers to give you the vaccine, take it, right away. It will be absolutely free. If you get a bill for the vaccine, call the cops, it’s ILLEGAL to charge you for the vaccine.

Get the vaccine now. You don’t want to regret not getting it.

Dr. Neal Smoller, Holistic Pharmacist

About Neal Smoller

Dr. Neal Smoller, PharmD, is a licensed pharmacist: and owner of Village Apothecary, an independent pharmacy in the most famous small town in America—Woodstock, NY. He’s also the host of the popular wellness podcast, The Big Mouth Pharmacist.”

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