Senator Ron Johnson’s has made several bizarre statements about Covid-19 Vaccines. The worst one is about people dying following vaccination. Yes if someone in vaccinated and gets killed in a car accident, that person died following vaccination, but the two are not related.
Senator Johnson has said young healthy folks need not be vaccinated. The Chinese physician that originally posted about the first Covid-19 outbreak was 34 and died from Covid-19. The problem with young healthy adults not getting vaccinated, is they are the folks that are most likely not to wear mask, then get the infection and have an asymptomatic case. These are the folks that become the silent super spreader. The Covid vaccine is 95% effective. In the original trials, 162 folks in the placebo group got infected while 8 in the vaccinated group were infected. These studies did not show folks dying from the vaccine.
Ron Johnson is an accountant. In the past he attacks others by questioning if they understand basic math. Epidemiology focuses on math in the form of a virus’s reproduction rate. If the reproduction rate is 3, as for the original Covid-19 virus, to achieve herd immunity requires 65 percent of folks to develop antibodies to the virus. This can happen through vaccination or prior infection. Since 5% of those who get vaccinated get the infection and many folks who had one infection gets reinfected, over 70% of folks need vaccinations. With the new variants having a reproduction rate of closer to 5 the number jumps to over 80% needing vaccination. If the vaccine is less effective against the variants, (lets say 65% effective) then over 90% of folks 12 and over need vaccination. Moderna just put out a paper indicating a third shot increases protection against the new variants.
Senator Ron Johnson has stated that since he has had the virus, he does not need to be vaccinated. There are ample cases of folks getting Covid-19 a second time. These second time patients will shed viruses when that happens. Senator Johnson is willing to risk infecting other folks when a simple shot can reduce the chance of that happening by 95%.
Senator Ron Johnson praised a physician for administering a anti-viral drug when other physicians refused to do so. The family got a court order to administer the drug. I watch a podcast from a researcher who studied corona virus for years. He began studying before SARS and MERS. He infected cultures of respiratory epithelial cells with the virus and study multiple therapeutics (new medicines) effect on the virus. Often therapeutics given in doses high enough to effect the virus, killed the respiratory cells. Covid-19 patients shed virus for 10 days, the first 4 days they are not symptomatic. Anti viral drugs are only effective early, and given after 10 days do nothing, except for someone who is immune compromised and their body does not contain the virus. The patient mentioned here was on a respirator. At that time an anti-viral drug would no longer help. Consequently, the big issue with therapeutics is unless you administer them before symptoms which would require massive testing of anyone who has contact with a Covid-19 patient, you are giving them late in the course of the infection. Basically, it is easier to prevent a fire than put one out. Senator Johnson is promoting Covid-19 treatment via therapeutics by his senate hearings. Relying on therapeutics is equivalent to needing to build 20 fire stations to put out fires where by preventing the fires you only need one in your town.