This article defines a more effective public health strategy for the current COVID pandemic. All we need now to implement the strategy is for some courageous Senate and House members to introduce legislation to curb the power of CDC, NIH and FDA.
The core issue is that there is a huge array of reactions to both COVID infections and vaccines based on diverse biology, genetics and medical conditions of individuals. Missing from current policy is recognition and support of personalized medical methods.
First, medical history tells us the wisdom of making the medicine fit the person. This is the cornerstone of what is called personalized or individualized medicine. Good physicians also find the combination of drugs to best address an illness or disease. This contrasts with mass use of off-the-shelf, one-size-fits all drugs. Proposed here is an approach to tailor or fine tune medical solutions to individual biologic and genetic characteristics, based on personal medical needs and circumstances.
An example of trying to get the public to accept a mass medicine is the case of seasonal flu vaccines. A large fraction of the public does not take them. During the 2019-2020 season, 63.8% of children between 6 months and 17 years got a flu shot. Among adults, just 48.4% of people got flu shots.
Why is this? Because it is common knowledge that their efficacy rate is relatively low. On average, people who get the flu shot are between 40% and 60% less likely to catch the virus than unvaccinated individuals. The truth is that the annual flu vaccine does not fit every individual, even though there is little medical evidence that taking a flu vaccine poses significant health risks. But people know that the flu fatality rate is relatively low. Many individuals make a sensible risk/benefit analysis, concluding that there are insufficient benefits of taking the shot. Others, especially older people with serious medical conditions and possibly weak immune systems, get annual flu shots. The public health system has allowed a personalized approach to seasonal flu vaccines.
And it turns out, based on government data, that “low risk” is also applicable for the current COVID pandemic. For the vast majority of people, getting coronavirus infection either means no symptoms or only mild ones not much different than the flu or a very bad cold, and it pass in relatively few days. Here is the reported truth about low coronavirus death risks for healthy people: “CDC showed that 94% of the reported deaths had multiple comorbidities, thereby reducing the CDC’s numbers attributed strictly to COVID-19 to about 35,000 for all age groups.” This stands in contrast to the widely reported total of over 730,000 COVID-related deaths in the U.S. What this shows is the huge variations in how people respond to COVID infections because of their innate differences.
What COVID infected people do get is natural immunity, which abundant medical research and clinical studies have shown is better than vaccine immunity. The latter declines in about six months, whereas natural immunity lasts longer and better defends against new variants.
The missed opportunity discussed early in the pandemic
Between the early 2020 months of the pandemic and the rollout of mass vaccination in late 2020 there was interest in applying the personalized medicine approach to managing the pandemic.
Consider what the Mayo Center for Individualized Medicine said about the COVID-19 response. The document detailed a number of initiatives Mayo was pursuing to address the pandemic by obtaining medical data that could lead to personalized pandemic solutions.
Also, a September 2020 article had the intriguing title “How to use precision medicine to personalize COVID-19 treatment according to the patient’s genes.” Here are excerpts:
“In recent years, a gene-centric approach to precision medicine has been promoted as the future of medicine. It underlies the massive effort funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health to collect over a million DNA samples under the ‘All of Us’ initiative that began in 2015.
“But the imagined future did not include COVID-19. In the rush to find a COVID-19 vaccine and effective therapies, precision medicine has been insignificant. Why is this? And what are its potential contributions?
“If precision medicine is the future of medicine, then its application to pandemics generally, and COVID-19 in particular, may yet prove to be highly significant. But its role so far has been limited.
The NIH has said: “The National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program has announced a significant increase in the COVID-19 data available in its precision medicine database, adding survey responses from more than 37,000 additional participants, and virus-related diagnosis and treatment data from the nearly 215,000 participant electronic health records (EHRs) that are currently available.”
The specialty germane to a personalized pandemic strategy is called pharmacogenomics. It is the study of the role of the genome in drug response. It combines pharmacology and genomics to discover how the genetic makeup of an individual affects their response to drugs, including vaccines.
It deals with the influence of acquired and inherited genetic variation on drug response in patients by correlating genetic factors of an individual with drug or vaccine absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination. It deals with the effects of multiple genes on drug and vaccine response.
By using pharmacogenomics, the goal is that pharmaceutical drug treatments, including vaccination, can replace or at least complement what is dubbed as the “one-drug-fits-all” approach.
A July 2020 NPR show was titled “Research On Personalized Medicine May Help COVID-19 Treatments.” This was deemed newsworthy:
“The nationwide All of Us Research Program aims to tailor medical treatments of all kinds, including treatments that may be developed for the new coronavirus. So far more than 271,000 people nationwide have signed up to share data with the initiative. All of Us started under President Barack Obama in 2018 and involves institutions across the country.”
In sum, there was legitimate medical interest early in the pandemic to use personalized medicine, in which drugs and drug combinations are optimized for individuals or certain population demographics.
But one thing is now clear. The personalized approach to managing the COVID pandemic has not been aggressively pursued by public health agencies. They have placed their resources and hopes with mass vaccination, both encouraged, coerced and increasingly mandated. And yet, the hope that we can vaccinate ourselves out of this pandemic has lost credibility.
In contrast, an alternative personalized approach, used by hundreds of physicians, based on generic medicines, vitamins and supplements have been more blocked than supported by the public health establishment as detailed in “Pandemic Blunder.”
Proposed new public health strategy
Part One: Individuals decide either on their own or with the advice of their personal physician to be vaccinated for COVID. And to accept what government officials have decided are the best COVID medical solutions for outpatients and inpatients.
Part Two: Individuals choose a preferred medical professional who, on the basis of their education, training, experience and successful clinical results, offers alternatives to vaccination and government promoted medical solutions for outpatients and inpatients. The medical professional uses the patient’s medical history, conditions, needs and unique personal biologic and genetic circumstances to reach the best personalized medical solution.
The new public health strategy is, therefore, twofold. Widely available vaccination becomes focused or finely tuned to meet the desires and needs of part of the population. Along with use of the second part there is no sacrifice of true public health protection in the pandemic.
Part Two of the strategy directly addresses the widespread resistance to COVID vaccination by some Americans.
This is a rational perspective consistent with the belief in medical freedom. If one believes that there are some certain medical benefits of COVID vaccines, then traditional medical practice supports use of them on an individual therapeutic basis. This is a free personal decision, perhaps in consultation with their physician to accept that COVID vaccine risks are outweighed by its benefits.
Risks and benefits may be based on personal research of available medical information on vaccines, or on information from government agencies, often without advice from their doctor.
To seek to implement the wisdom of fitting the medicine to the person, it requires accepting the science that no two people, medically, genetically and biologically speaking, are exactly the same; this cannot be disputed. This is why using pharmacogenomics has a role to play. Looking at average statistical vaccine outcomes ignores and disrespects individual biologics, medical conditions, concerns and needs. This is an overselling of vaccines.
Americans have always wanted to see themselves as unique individuals. This translates to medical actions. Mass vaccination for everyone ignores and devalues this traditional belief by Americans.
The fallacy of only one medical solution
If the government would let some part of the public choose personalized treatment to deal with COVID infection and another part to choose vaccination (and other government actions), why would that not be an acceptable public health policy? The two-part strategy will become increasingly important as the government promotes or mandates regular booster shots over months or years.
Choice is rational if, indeed, there are personalized treatment options other than vaccination that can be obtained from some medical professionals. Indeed, there is now a vast medical literature on treatment protocols not only to cure but also to prevent COVID infection. They are being used very successfully by hundreds of American physicians.
The only conceivable “loser” for this approach would be vaccine makers, which would have a smaller market.
Physicians should have the freedom to advise their patients to either use a generic medicine treatment protocol or help document their natural immunity (with valid testing) to allow patients to embrace personalized medical action rather than be vaccinated.
Here is the ethical and medical truth: Protecting individual health trumps protecting public health but is not antithetical to protecting public health. Overly coercive public health actions, such as vaccine mandates, are antithetical to protecting individual health for many people who fear even low probability negative reactions to vaccines.
Here is the ultimate medical truth: When all available medical science and means are fully used then the result is safely protecting public health without sacrificing medical freedom of both physicians and individuals.
A new public health strategy that no longer adheres to single-minded mass vaccination can obtain broad public support. Now is the time to endorse and support personalized medicine applied to the pandemic.
Promoting choice is a far better public health approach than wide use of authoritarian pandemic controls that have devastated lives and produced mental stress and many collateral deaths.
On that last point, CDC has now recognized mood disorders put people at high risk for severe COVID cases. Compare pre-pandemic 2019 to 2020 when there were 53 million new cases of depression globally, a 28% increase, as reported in The Lancet. Surely, promoting more medical choice for addressing COVID would help people stay both mentally and physically healthy.
Resistance to vaccine mandates should not be seen as unpatriotic or as creating harm for others. Supporting personalized medicine is a way to avoid negative impacts on the American economy because of rigid, inflexible vaccine mandates that compel many Americans to accept job loss that in many ways imperil public safety.
Lastly, staying alive and safe surely is the presumed goal of all people. We have more tools than vaccines to help people meet their goal. Now we need the public health establishment to let all the tools be freely chosen.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Last year, America’s doctors, nurses and paramedics were celebrated as frontline heroes battling a fearsome new pandemic. Today, under Joe Biden, tens of thousands of these same heroes are denounced as rebels, conspiracy theorists, extremists and potential terrorists. Along with massive numbers of police, firemen, Border Patrol agents, Navy SEALs, pilots, air-traffic controllers, and countless other truly essential Americans, they’re all considered so dangerous as to merit termination, their professional and personal lives turned upside down due to their decision not to be injected with the experimental COVID vaccines. Biden’s tyrannical mandate threatens to cripple American society – from law enforcement to airlines to commercial supply chains to hospitals. It’s already happening. But the good news is that huge numbers of “yesterday’s heroes” are now fighting back – bravely and boldly. The whole epic showdown is laid out as never before in the sensational October issue of WND’s monthly Whistleblower magazine, titled “THE GREAT AMERICAN REBELLION: ‘We will not comply!’ COVID-19 power grab ignites bold new era of national defiance.”
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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.