Dear Bellinger Shire
6 April 2021
This week is brought to you by the letter “C”.
In fact for more than a whole year, nearly 18 months, the word of the universe has been a C word – Covid19. It beats “unprecedented “, but only just, I reckon. However this last fortnight the other “C” word dominating medical and media attentions is Clotting. Oh and the other awful one, if you are associated with Byron Bay, is Cancellation!
Unfortunately not very Creative this time as we are spending our time getting ready for the arrival of our vaccine supply. Some practices in the region have already started; most of our shire practices will start in the next 2 weeks. The rollout rules have changed multiple times and are very Constrained by supply (and national/international politics). So most practices will have to prioritise those at high risk first and probably will be trying to reach out to you to invite you to a vaccine Clinic with your normal GP practice.
Now first let’s take a Careful pause and recall warnings that we had out before the vaccine rollout started. Not the Conspiracy theorists ones about microChips, Bill Gates foundation, Genetically modified humands, and a plethora of murdered Citizens from Conniving white Coats. Rather, remember the warnings that we fully expected there to be reports of some Concern, side effects, or apparent Consequences. Once again, this being the biggest health and medical exercise ever entered in the history of humanity and under the tightest gaze of scientists, governments, policy makers and everyone not living on the moon.
And so we have had 2 weeks of debate about a Case of a rare Clotting phenomenon.
The key issue from the scientific mind is the difference between Causation and Correlation. Remember from previous discussions Carrots and bread.
I am happy to say that the Therapeutic Goods Administration has intensely examined the evidence and has published Confidence that the reports of blood Clots in unfortunate people after they have had a Covid19 vaccine are very rare, not yet plausible or explicable in terms of being Caused by the vaccine, and in fact occur no more often that in the general population in any other year. It’s just that we are all watching now.
The European agency responsible have Concluded the same thing. Our TGA, a Conservative body which normally operates with an abundance of Caution (a statement suddenly popular in federal political Circles) has Clearly Concluded over the long weekend that the huge benefit of us being vaccinated – to prevent us dying from Covid19 , or getting severe Chronic disease, seeing a Consequent economic Calamity, and the hospital system really Collapsing like many have overseas from unControlled Contagion, – still vastly outweighs the tiny risk of these proposed adverse events.
Once again this is not to say that side effects are not Common. I can attest that many of us – including myself last week – have felt it. Most of the local health Care teams on the front line are at last getting access to vaccination. I Certainly had a Constellation of fevers and Chills, aches and pains, and that fluey feeling of something Coming on.
Normally, when you get sick you just don’t know how long this will go on. It’s scary. But this time, when a brief reaction/illness is something expected, we know that it is going to just last a couple of days and then pass. It didn’t feel nice. But I also felt absolutely delighted to have had a reaction and noted my immune system responding with vigour and Conviction! And I bravely refused to succumb to “man Cold” behaviour!
I want to also Cheer the information we have so far from overseas, that the second dose tends to have a much milder reaction. I am looking forward to that being done in 12 weeks. Remember there needs to be a 2 week gap between the Covid19 vaccine and any other vaccine.
Once again, there is a very keen monitoring system asking for reports of any adverse events. We actually really do Care. Happily, once again, we are growing in Confidence about the safety of this program. The reports of efficacy – ie if it works in stopping severe disease or transmission – are actually improving!
However it is still possible that someone could get Covid after having the vaccine – if they get exposed within 20 days of the first dose, or are just unluckily in the 10-25% who just don’t take up a response to the first dose, and again are exposed. There is a long time till we are out of the woods.
If we are to take a mercenary approach with those who say Conserving the economy is the Crowning issue and pandemic Controls are overblown – one can look again across the ocean and see the rebound already occurring in USA now that they have had a U turn in approach, taking it seriously, and are furiously rolling out a vaccine program to hundreds of millions.
A summary of the evidence and information published by ATAGI – the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisations – has reinforced that there are only 2 Contraindications to the Covid Vaccines (ie situations where you don’t use this treatment):
1 Having had a past anaphylactic reaction to the first dose of Covid19 vaccine,
2 a proven anaphylaxis to a Component of the Covid19 vaccine.
There are no animal or food products in the Covid19 vaccines available in Australia. There are no risks believed for people with mammalian meat allergy. The Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) also Conclude that while people with allergies need to be watched Carefully – for 30 minutes after vaccine rather than 15 minutes – they should not be excluded. The august bodies also restate that people with Immune suppression and autoimmune disease are not at increased risk from the vaccine, but are at huge increased risk from the disease of Covid19.
People with history of CVA (Stroke), COPD (lung disease), on antiCoagulants, Cardiovascular disease, Coagulopathy such as a DVT history, Cancer, smoking, thrombocytopenia, diabetes, are also encouraged to get on with it as soon as the vaccine is available to them as the risk of adverse events is tiny, the risk of the disease in these groups is very serious.
They do reiterate that the very rare person with a history of Cerebral Venous sinus Thrombosis, and Heparin Induced Coagulopathy will be treated with caution by specialists for now. Once again you would already know if this is you.
According to the World Health Organisation more than half a billion doses of vaccine have been administered already. Unfortunately nearly 3 million people have died from Covid19 infection and the rate of infection is ramping up in some parts. We have a long way to go.
So, tempting as it was, I have avoided using too many technical or mysterious C words. Instead the C words I would rather be using most this week – Confidence, Communion, Community, Cooperation, Charity. Please think about these words for the brave new world we hoped we were going to see after all this stuff is done with.
If you would like to see more info and the rationales being offered for the vaccine rollout please Check the Federal Department of Health Website’s “Covid19 vaccines” page. But hey, while you’re in the ‘going down the Rabbit Hole’ mood, look at the latest Federal Scam Warning Website list. Oh theye’re out there like ants.
As always, please check any details with your own GP who is Constantly Collating the evidence and information for you.
Dr Trevor Cheney