There’s been a lot of fear and anxiety around the coronavirus pandemic. Not surprisingly, there’s also been increased concern over the vaccines that were relatively quickly formulated for this novel virus. There has been much misinformation on the internet and social media. It is important to recognize the contributions vaccines have made to safety in the modern world. It was not that long ago that diseases like polio and smallpox gripped the world with even more fear than the current coronavirus pandemic. Many children were paralyzed around the world from the scourge that was polio. Smallpox cost the lives of millions and it was not until vaccines were created for these diseases that we came to a place where we no longer even think much of either disease.
Misconceptions around the coronavirus include saying that it contains pork products or fetal/embryonic tissue. Neither of these are true. In fact, there’s not even coronavirus in the vaccine. The vaccine (Moderna and Pfizer) uses a messenger RNA housed in a lipid nanoparticle to deliver the mRNA into the cytoplasm of the cell. AstraZeneca delivers the mRNA into the nucleus of the cell. None of these systems have the actual virus, but the messenger RNA is used to create the spike protein via the cells or machinery so that antibodies can be made to the spike proteins. The spike proteins are how the virus actually attaches to receptors in the lungs and causes infection. There is no genetic modification of the person (host) with the vaccine, just as there is no genetic modification of the host with the actual virus infection. The Coronavirus, when it infects a host, also hijacks the normal cells’ machinery to produce more virus. The lipid nanoparticles are not robotic. Some have even said that the vaccine carries a chip or would make us robots. Again, none of this is true.
Millions have not received these vaccines and, overall, it is much safer to get the vaccine than it is to get the actual coronavirus. Here in the United States, African-Americans are dying disproportionately to everyone else from the coronavirus; yet African Americans, due in part to distrust of the medical system, are much slower getting the vaccine. There is fear that African-Americans might have a pandemic long after the rest of the world has developed immunity.
Some have even said that Ellen White was against vaccines or that her son had a problem due to being vaccinated. However, it is important to remember that Ellen White died before modern vaccines came on the scene in the late 1920s. So talk of her son having lifelong problems due to vaccines is not feasible; at least not as it pertains to vaccines manufactured and produced as they are today. In fact, one of Sister White’s secretaries stated (June 12, 1931) that Ellen White did take a preliminary form of the vaccine against smallpox when there was an outbreak (See Selected Messages Book 2, page 303).
For us in America, it is reassuring to know that African-American Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, an immunologist at the National Institutes of Health, helped lead Moderna’s design and development of its coronavirus vaccine. Dr. Corbett has earned praise by Dr. Anthony Fauci for her research and work. Her research is instrumental in fighting COVID-19, and yet there is scepticism about the vaccine within the African American community. The vaccine is not mandatory and, based on the 95% effectiveness, may never need to be. Even with new concerns based on emerging variants of the coronavirus, those at greatest risk should strongly consider being vaccinated.