Are vaccines safe?

Michelle Gerst, Ph.D.
Sep 8 · 4 min read

Before I provide data, I want you to ask yourself a few questions.

How many people do I personally know that have died from COVID?

How many people do I personally know that have been hospitalized or have long term effects from COVID?

How many people do I personally know that have died from a COVID vaccine?

How many people do I personally know that have been hospitalized or have long term effects from a COVID vaccine?

For me, I personally know of seven people who have died from COVID, the youngest was in her thirties, excluding nursing home residents.

I personally know of at least four others which were hospitalized and/or have long term effects from COVID.

I personally know of zero people who have died from the COVID vaccine or have been hospitalized after taking the COVID vaccine.

To understand whether the vaccine works to prevent COVID based on personal data is somewhat trickier as people are not as ready to share vaccine status or COVID infections if it doesn’t result in hospitalization or death. I know of at least one case where vaccination most likely prevented hospitalization and death and another case where vaccination most likely reduced the severity of COVID disease as only one of the oldest members of the family had one of two vaccine shots and had the mildest case in the family.

I am not interested in heated arguments and debate. I am writing this post for those of you who are confused because of a multitude of many voices saying many different things, and you still want the truth. To be honest, I had shut social media off for awhile and have been trying to live my life without talking or thinking about COVID as I am weary of the debate and sadness of it all. I recently had a good friend ask me some very good questions regarding the vaccine that I felt was worthy of a blog post. Some questions below are pulled from my conversation and others are pulled from conversations I have had with others during this time.

Question 1:

What are the weird side effects from the vaccine?

The vaccine has known side effects which are listed on the fact sheets from the FDA. The disease COVID has known side effects which the CDC has spelled out. Remember that biology is messy and no decision comes with zero risk. When I made the decision to get the COVID vaccine, I compared the risk of getting COVID to the risk of getting the vaccine. When I did this, my risk with COVID was much, much higher than the risk of getting the vaccine. You can access info to help you make this comparison at the following links:

Moderna vaccine factsheet

Pfizer vaccine factsheet

Johnson and Johnson vaccine factsheet

CDC best estimates for COVID mortality

Myocarditis frequency following mRNA vaccination

Question 2:

Does the vaccine affect fertility?

No evidence exists that the vaccines impair fertility in men or women. The disease COVID-19, which the vaccines prevent, is known to increase the risk of pregnancy loss, preterm birth, and other adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Question 3:

Is the vaccine the mark of the beast as mentioned in Revelation?

Revelation 13:16–18 states:

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

The vaccine is injected in the arm and is not associated with the hand or forehead. I have also never seen the number 666 associated with the vaccine.

Question 4:

Were aborted fetuses used to produce the vaccine?

No aborted fetus is present in the vaccine that is injected into a person. The part that is true to the rumors is that a cell line from a fetus aborted in 70s or 80s was used during initial testing. You can find more detailed info here.

It is a cell line that has been around for a long time and does not need continued abortions for the vaccine. No baby was aborted for the purpose of the vaccine.

This is how I process this information with the disclaimer that I am pro-life: Someone made a bad decision to destroy life many years ago and good came of the bad decision. I liken this to organ transplant from someone who was murdered. I don’t support the murder, but I am not going to refuse good coming out of something bad that was done by someone else as long as the good does not need continuous bad.

Question 5:

Does the vaccine work?

>90% of people hospitalized with COVID as of July 30th, 2021 are not fully vaccinated. You can find CDC info on breakthrough cases here.

I am sad that statistics now have names and faces for me. I hope this post helps you to navigate the noisy and and politically charged landscape when searching for info on the COVID vaccines.

Michelle Gerst, Ph.D.

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Michelle Gerst, Ph.D.

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Viral Feedback

A community of scientists, health professionals, and associated content experts providing data driven analysis, in the form of annotations, of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19-related news reports, government actions, breaking scientific papers, and other media. https://viralfeedback.org