Category: Vaccines

Love Vs. Vaccine Mandates

May we live in interesting times. Check this out. What you will see is my friend Jane Sarasohn-Kahn’s blog post which further develops a theme I wrote about recently. In my post, I talked about the PSA offered by Pope Francis, in which he described getting the COVID vaccine as “An act of love.” Here, Jane notes that the Catholic Health Association has mounted an entire campaign wrapped around the notion of getting vaccinated being a way to “Love thy neighbor.”

AND. As I wrote this on September 9th, a clearly perturbed President Biden announced that he was “out of patience” with the unvaccinated, and proceeded to issue a mandate for almost 100 million people to get vaccinated. Federal employees, those doing business with the Government, employees of large corporations, etc.

Bottom Line. An interesting juxtaposition of events. A message based on love and a Presidential mandate. Will these forces combine to get the hardcore unvaccinated to take the plunge? What will the percentage of success be? How quickly will all of this unfold?

Stay tuned!

Does “Confidence” Cause “Action???”

Here’s an interesting one. A recent Harris Poll indicated that formal FDA approval of Comirnaty increased respondents’, both vaccinated and unvaccinated respondents, “confidence” in the vaccine. Interesting thought in and of itself. Reading this left me to ponder how many people could outline, even at the 20,000-foot level, the differences in the hurdles that a vaccine has to clear in order to obtain “emergency approval” versus “FDA approval.” I certainly couldn’t and look at what I do for a living!

The plot thickens. According to this same article, about 50% of those who are unvaccinated are moved enough by this increase in confidence that they “probably” or “definitely” will be vaccinated, and about 60% of parents are now willing to get their children vaccinated. Color me skeptical on that one. Talking with patients on the topic of vaccination, I have heard religious objections. I have had patients say that they are afraid that the vaccine since it is “Messenger RNA,” will alter their genetic makeup. Or have a negative impact on their fertility. Then there are those who believe that the vaccine will “magnetize” them or allow the government to track their movements. Does “FDA approval” relieve them of these objections?

Bottom Line. Just as I had finished reading this piece, I was scheduled to do one of my On Doctors’ MindsSM conversations to get an update for our hundreds of subscribers as to what is happening in office-based practices as a result of the pandemic. This doctor, a more senior primary care physician in a rural practice in Pennsylvania, offered that about 60% of his patients had been vaccinated and that he saw little likelihood of any more doing so. He has tried hard to get the balance to get vaccinated, but to no avail.

Survey research results versus the opinion of a physician with 50 years of experience under his belt. Which do we believe? Oh, and other factors, like major corporations, government agencies and academic institutions now feeling empowered to issue vaccine mandates given FDA approval might well have a significant impact on the outcome here.

What will Cominarty’s approval translate into in terms of new patients journeying out to get the “Fauci Ouchie?” 

Stay tuned!

What’s in a Name???

Here’s an interesting one, the likes of which we have never seen before. When the Pfizer vaccine received final FDA approval, the company quickly rolled out a brand name for the product. Comirnaty. You can see the “creatives’” minds at work coming up with this one.  “Co” for COVID. “mirna” for the first authorized messenger RNA. “ty” for community. 

The only question is whether any of this marketing fluff will matter. Likely “the Pfizer vaccine” is a term heard, around the world, more frequently than the name of any other pharmaceutical product prior to its FDA approval.  As we have often discussed, habits are strong forces, and I scratch my head wondering whether anyone will take the time to learn the new “brand name,” and to substitute it for the terminology now entered on hundreds of millions of vaccination cards. Will the result be clarification or confusion?

Bottom Line. While I see why Pfizer felt the need to promote this name, I wonder how many times someone will say “Comirnaty,” get a quizzical look from a listener, and respond, “You know! The Pfizer vaccine!!!” 

Will Pfizer spend a lot of money to drive the new name home? Will it matter? It will be interesting to watch and see!!!

Are We Entering the “Dark Ages???”

Our friend the Country Doctor certainly thinks so. Check this out! What you will see is his riff on the current collective state of mind of the United States. A sort of shared craziness that has the country more afraid of a vaccine than the disease it has been developed to prevent. Over 600,000 Americans dead and counting, and still half our population is unvaccinated, and many of them proud of it. Science has become a nasty word in the minds of many. Terms like “mandate” fly right into the face of the LMA (“Leave Me Alone”) generation and have led to demonstrations and violence. Flight attendants are literally getting punched when they tell passengers to put on masks. The result? I have seen several FB posts that have suggested that this might well be Armageddon, the end of the world as forecast in Revelation. 

Bottom Line. I know, I know. Chicken Little speak. The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!! We typically make fun of people whose stock and trade is the prediction of the end of the world.  BUT. I think that the doctor has a point here that should be considered. Are things bad now? Arguably, yes. Are things likely to get worse? Maybe. What will that look like?

And most importantly, what can be done to get our collective consciousness back on a positive track? I think the good doctor is correct. If things get better, it will be due to “dumb luck or divine intervention.” It will NOT be due to everybody doing their parts!