Let’s get our facts straight

Published 8:22 pm Tuesday, June 15, 2021

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Letter to the editor

When we read Doug Brinson’s letter to the editor on June 9, 2021 about the Covid vaccines, as a journalist and a veterinarian, we decided to do as he said in his last sentence and do the research to verify the points that he made.

To his first point, that “none of the vaccines are FDA approved” and just “allowed to be used on an emergency basis only.” Perhaps Brinson would have been relieved to read the next paragraph under the heading “Are the Covid-19 vaccines rigorously tested?” which states: “Yes. Clinical trials are evaluating investigational Covid-19 vaccines in tens of thousands of study participants to generate the scientific data and other information needed by FDA to determine safety and effectiveness. These clinical trials are being conducted according to the rigorous standards set forth by the FDA.” That is why the FDA authorized these vaccines for public use, stating on its website: “Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) is a mechanism to facilitate the availability and use of medical countermeasures, including vaccines, during public health emergencies, such as the current Covid-19 pandemic.” 

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The web site factcheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania established to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues also has the following information: “Researchers began developing vaccines for Covid-19 using RNA technology more than a year ago in January 2020, based on decades of understanding immune response and how vaccines work.”
In reference to Brinson’s second point that “it takes 3 to 5 years to PROVE a vaccine is safe,” according to factcheck.org: “Thousands of volunteers participated in clinical trials that started spring 2020, making sure we can trust the vaccines to be safe and effective. Based on those results, in December 2020, the FDA authorized two versions of Covid-19 vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech) for the American public. A third (Johnson & Johnson) was added in February 2021 and is currently available for use in the United States after a pause in April 2021.” 

Perhaps Brinson may have found comfort had he known that the same RNA technology used for Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines has been used for many years safely and effectively in veterinary medicine. (According to Dr. Thompson, for the past three decades, veterinary medicine has spearheaded the advancement in novel vaccine development, including RNA and DNA vaccines that induce cellular immune response and have been proven safe to use.)

As to Brinson’s third point that 4,863 deaths have been reported after taking one of the vaccines, this is true. However, Brinson did not reference the entire report, which further states that there was no evidence that the vaccinations contributed those patient deaths. According to the CDC website: “Over 285 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through May 24, 2021. During this time, VAERS received 4,863 reports of death (0.0017%) among people who received a Covid-19 vaccine. CDC and FDA physicians review each case report of death as soon as notified and CDC requests medical records to further assess reports. A review of available clinical information, including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records has not established a causal link to Covid-19 vaccines.” 

After doing our research as Brinson suggested, it appears that the benefits of the vaccines far outweigh the risks. We are concerned that the people who he discourages may needlessly get ill along with our dedicated healthcare professionals. 


Robin A. Edgar

Dr. David Thompson