COVID-19 vaccine warnings don’t mean it’s unsafe – it’s proof the system to report side effects is working

While the COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the U.S. have been proved to be safe and effective, recent reports of rare adverse events, or side effects, have raised concerns. On July 12, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved an update to the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine fact sheet to include an increased risk of the rare nerve condition Guillain-Barré syndrome. This follows previous reports linking the J&J vaccine with a rare blood clot.

While reports like these can be scary, they’re a sign that the vaccine safety reporting system is working. They also highlight how the relative risks of rare side effects like these need to be put into context…

A rare adverse event may take months or years to identify for a simple reason: It’s rare. For some drugs that are less commonly used, new safety data takes longer to discover because a relatively small number of patients use the drug…For cases like the COVID-19 vaccine, however, millions of people will receive the drug shortly after it’s released to the public, and new issues or patterns often emerge more quickly.

This can lead to two problems.

First, not every reported adverse event is directly related to the vaccine…Second, a plausibly identified adverse event does not necessarily make the vaccine unsafe.

In such extraordinary times as during a pandemic, it’s understandable that people may be hesitant to take on any more risk than they have to. But there are safety nets in place to monitor the COVID-19 vaccines, and they are still working as they should.

Being aware of the risks of a treatment, however rare, can help people make health decisions that work best for them…And in the case of the COVID-19 vaccines, they must be weighed against the consequences of remaining unvaccinated and letting the pandemic rage on.

Emphasis added.

Who are these people?

More than 93,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2020. “We are in an enduring crisis that is still going on. We are still right in the middle of it…”

The 29.4% increase is an alarming jump from 2019, which also set a record after 71,000 people died from drug overdoses, according to CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics…

The spike in deaths was driven by the increased presence of the dangerous opioid fentanyl into the illicit drug market in the US, along with increased isolation among people who use drugs and overwhelmed public health agencies during the pandemic. The increase is only the latest in a long-running epidemic of overdose deaths steadily rising over the last half-century, with more than half a million people dying as a result of drug overdoses in the last decade alone…

While fentanyl is now linked to 3 out of 5 overdose deaths nationwide, the preliminary statistics suggest deaths from methamphetamine, cocaine, and prescription pain pills also increased in the last year. That likely reflects their contamination with fentanyl, and increasing use of multiple drugs together, said Volkow. As little as 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be a lethal dose; one survey conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration reported that 26% of counterfeit pain pills contained that dosage or higher.

We know all the usual steps needed to fightback…including policing producers of ingredients used by the makers of counterfeit drugs. One constant remains. A junkie is a junkie is a junkie. Straightening out that personality disorder still seems to be beyond modern American medicine.

The decline in U.S. fertility


A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle
I wonder why this photo was chosen for the article?

The decline in population growth in the U.S. from 2010 to 2020 is part of a broader national trend linked to falling birth rates, but also immigration changes and other factors. In May of 2021 the scope of that change became clear, with a record low of 55.8 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age in 2020, a 4% drop from 2019. Other countries are facing similar slowdowns in population growth.

This shift has been underway in the U.S. for many years.

Economic opportunities, social norms and changing gender roles – especially expanding education and employment options for many women – help to explain why fertility has slowed in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. That change has repercussions for trends in workforce numbers, employment, health care, housing and education.

And that’s about as much of this article as I care to reproduce (pun intended!). Maybe I missed something; but, the authors avoided the everpresent question in our young(ish) republic. Do we continue to obey the instruction set we receive from religious leaders — or not!

When my father’s family moved here from Canada they hadn’t yet reached their ultimate family size of 10. That’s Grandma, Grandpa, and eight kids. My parents had two of us. Birth control overruled the priest at St.Charles Church on East Main Street. And after my sister and I related our first-day-in-catechism class…how fortunate we were not to be whipped by the nuns who performed that task for the priest in charge…that Sunday morning journey came to an end. My mom…very much self-taught like my dad…picked society-oriented books, fiction and non-fiction, for us to read every week and we discussed them Sunday mornings instead of taking that walk to church.

Over time, we went different ways, different conclusions. My sister married and had two lovely children. I eventually decided marriage could work. My parents example proved that to me. I had no interest in children since I didn’t set out to set the world on economic fire, anyway. Stronger political struggles in the (then) new and growing post-war civil rights movement served as primer for an ever-expanding materialist philosophy. Got a vasectomy when I was 22 years old. The Doc just about freaked out. I never looked back.

Read both the articles I linked to. Make up your own mind. It’s your life to build.

Afghanistan can’t wait for the U.S. to get out of the way — to let in China and Pakistan

As the U.S. exits Afghanistan, Beijing is preparing to swoop into the war-torn country and fill the vacuum left by the departed U.S. and NATO troops.

China is poised to make an exclusive entry into post-U.S. Afghanistan with its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source close to government officials in Afghanistan told The Daily Beast that Kabul authorities are growing more intensively engaged with China on an extension of the $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) — the flagship project of BRI, which involves the construction of highways, railways and energy pipelines between Pakistan and China — to Afghanistan…

In other words: The Afghan government, behind the scenes, is welcoming China immediately after saying goodbye to America.

Yup. All part of an obviously subversive plot. Here’s Uncle Sugar finishing decades of superb foreign policy – stationing tens of thousands of American troops in yet one more small nation to show off the benefits of American democracy [and military hardware]. We’re going out the door. Meanwhile, the “subversive” Chinese and their Pakistani allies in the Belt-and-Road Initiative are actually going to build highways, railways and energy pipelines – making the country a key link in East/West infrastructure. And profits.

How sly.