A college fraternity brother recently wrote to me about his skepticisms regarding vaccines and the integrities of government and pharmaceutical entities. I am an internal medicine physician, and I endorse mainstream medical practices and science. I do not share any of his doubts. I do not believe there are any conspiracies to overstate the seriousness of the contagion and/or to promote vaccines for the financial gains of the pharmaceutical industry.
The contagion is real and devastating. Our only hope to eliminate it any time soon has been the vaccine(s). Statistically, 90% of people would have to take a 95% efficacious vaccine to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19. If this had occurred, we would have been over this pandemic months ago. Obviously, we are nowhere near this level, so the pandemic continues, with no end in sight.
My friend is a successful businessman who appreciates numbers. Well, for COVID-19, the numbers are overwhelmingly in favor of the efficacy and safety of the vaccines. Billions of doses of the vaccines have been administered worldwide, with almost no serious side effects and with tremendous efficacy to prevent the disease and its complications, or to at least markedly mitigate the disease when present. The chance of a serious COVID-19 vaccine side effect is maximally about 1 in 100,000; but, in reality, it is probably closer to 1 in 500,000 to 1 in 1 million. I have read of no deaths directly attributable to the vaccine.
Breakthrough infections occur because the vaccine is 90-95% efficacious, not 100%. Only herd immunity will end it. Development of variants is inevitable until we achieve herd immunity.
US deaths attributable to COVID-19 now approach 740,000, including young people, healthy people, teenagers and kids. Many survivors have long-term complications.
As for ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, zinc and other random entities, the medical literature does not endorse their use based on current data and knowledge. I go by what the expert physicians and scientists say. New data and knowledge are always in process, so recommendations may change, but I will wait for the true experts to offer these up, not pseudoscientists, anecdotalists or social media mavens.
The bottom line is this: For every question about COVID-19, the vaccine is always the answer.
Eli Goodman, MD
THE RIGHT VERDICT
Scott Reeder failed or refused to see the obvious ("When you're a wannabe," Dec. 9). Twelve jurors found him not guilty on all charges. They sat through all testimony, including Kyle himself, unlike those who could not see past their own bias. Those shot that night were all trying to attack a citizen who presented no threat to them and was acting lawfully. This is what the jury decided. It is the way our laws work.
I want to thank Fletcher Farrar and everyone on the staff of Illinois Times for your excellent publication which keeps us informed on community events and issues. I am especially grateful for the opportunity to freely announce the events we have here at Jubilee Farm. Many guests who come to our programs say, "We read about you in Illinois Times. Thank you for providing this generous service.
I wish all of you many blessings during this special time of year and throughout the new year.
Sister Rose Marie Riley
Director, Jubilee Farm