Author Topic: Anyone else get the Covid Vaccine?  (Read 1006 times)

Thewintersoldier

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Re: Anyone else get the Covid Vaccine?
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2021, 05:19:51 PM »
And yeah, scientists historically arenít great communicators of their work. Thatís why people like Carl Sagan, Neil DeGrass Tyson, and (honestly) Bill Nye are such gems and so important. They have a way of discussions this stuff that is far more approachable than most scientist do. The forward to a brief history of time has some good insight into this stuff. Scientist want to show their data as empirical proof of things, but most people havenít learned the skills to process that data. Someone needs to distill the data into ideas that people can understand. That step gets overlooked.

That is a fair criticism. I would like to point out a few things which at least partially explain why scientists struggle to communicate to the lay public.

First, scientists live at the edge of the known and unknown, and often times, the truth isn't entirely understood by even themselves. Scientists get comfortable with uncertainty. Much of free time (which is small, see point #3 below) is spent saying, "I don't know. This is what I could do to know a little more about it though." "I don't know" is an entirely unsatisfying answer to a non-scientist.

Second, science is complicated. Ideally, the goal of all research is to distill a complicated concept into a small package that anyone can wrap their mind around. In some ways this is related to my first point; How simple something can be made is often limited by our own capabilities as scientists, as well as our current understanding of the topic. However, some concepts are just too complicated for a person to understand unless they are willing to invest the effort to learn. For example, you'll never understand thermodynamics unless you learn to use math as a language. Words will never explain that concept.

Finally, scientists are spread so incredibly thin that we don't have the time or will to communicate with lay people. A tiny fraction of a scientist's work actually involves doing science. Most of our time is spent teaching classes, writing (and reviewing) grants, writing/revising (and peer reviewing) manuscripts, serving on student and administrative committees, invited lectures, conferences, etc... It's death by a thousand paper cuts.

How do you fix the problem? More science public advocates like Sagan, NdGT, Nye, and EO Wilson, as well as better scientific education for lay people.
When I was in college to be a teacher I was science major and math minor. I took a lot of science classes and am in no way a scientist but I have never stopped learning or asking why. My wife and I watch science based programs and read publications as well. It's so frustrating to see people abandon it all together because they don't understand or it doesn't support their narrative. I don't know how people can be so complacent with being ignorant to everything or just claiming ignorance is bliss. I want to understand things, know how they work, or at the very least try to. I have people tell me it's too complicated or hard. When I hear that this always pops in my head...

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DLW

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Re: Anyone else get the Covid Vaccine?
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2021, 05:42:26 PM »
When I was in college to be a teacher I was science major and math minor. I took a lot of science classes and am in no way a scientist but I have never stopped learning or asking why. My wife and I watch science based programs and read publications as well. It's so frustrating to see people abandon it all together because they don't understand or it doesn't support their narrative. I don't know how people can be so complacent with being ignorant to everything or just claiming ignorance is bliss. I want to understand things, know how they work, or at the very least try to. I have people tell me it's too complicated or hard.

With that curiosity and willingness to learn, I'd wager you have a well above average understanding of science. Unfortunately, you can't really understand that natural world without that ethos.

You touch on another point that I wish I would have made earlier... many people assume being a scientist solely entails having  encyclopedic knowledge in a narrow field. The truth is that science is not simply a body of facts; rather, it is a way of observing, thinking logically, and recognizing/limiting bias. I wish more people appreciated that aspect of science, because everyone can benefit from at least partially incorporating these behaviors in their life.

I'll step off my soapbox. I think Matosphere nailed it. I'm preaching to the choir on these boards. I seems like most of the folks around here are reasonable, curious, and dedicated to their craft...in other words, scientists :)

dan.schumaker

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Re: Anyone else get the Covid Vaccine?
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2021, 05:46:22 PM »



First time I've seen that, I'm definitely using it in the future  ;D ;D

jimilee

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Anyone else get the Covid Vaccine?
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2021, 06:18:54 PM »



First time I've seen that, I'm definitely using it in the future  ;D ;D
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alanp

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Re: Anyone else get the Covid Vaccine?
« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2021, 08:13:44 AM »
I highly recommend Pratchett, Cohen, and Stewart's _Science of Discworld 2: The Globe_ -- at one point, the faculty of Unseen University are trying to understand what this "psyense" nonsense is, as explained by Hex.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Science_of_Discworld_II:_The_Globe
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EBK

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Re: Anyone else get the Covid Vaccine?
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2021, 08:44:19 AM »
I still have concerns about the vaccines that I am positive could be addressed if I knew what to read.  In other words, my concerns are based only on what I personally don't know yet rather than on any wild conspiracy theories and the like.  I'll list a few, and if anyone with appropriate knowledge wants to tell me everything is fine, I will be satisfied. 

1)  Many people who are infected by COVID-19 are asymptomatic.  Is it possible that the vaccine could fail to produce the desired immune system response in such people.  That is, assuming their cells produce harmless spiky crowns as specified by the mRNA, might their immune system simply ignore them?

2)  What mechanism eventually stops my cells from producing those spiky crowns?  Does the vaccine change the cells or simply give them one-time-use instructions?

3)  Do we need more long term data to show the vaccine is safe?  This is very new technology (mRNA vaccines have never been rolled out before). I'm not sure how to best refine this question, so I will leave it vague for now.  I'm happy so many others are getting vaccinated first.  I am sure my family will eventually have an opportunity to get the shots, and I want to confidently, rather than nervously, roll up my sleeve.

I hope this post makes sense.  Just asking for info without any confrontational agenda here.   ;)
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DLW

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Re: Anyone else get the Covid Vaccine?
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2021, 09:07:16 AM »
1)  Many people who are infected by COVID-19 are asymptomatic.  Is it possible that the vaccine could fail to produce the desired immune system response in such people.  That is, assuming their cells produce harmless spiky crowns as specified by the mRNA, might their immune system simply ignore them?

This is a good point. I don't think we know anything about how people will respond to the vaccine that have been previous infected with the virus. I'm pretty sure these people were excluded from the initial trials and are too far down the cue to have been vaccinated en masse to study.

Best case scenario, the vaccine improves upon natural immunity by prolonging immune memory. Worst case, the vaccine reprograms natural immunity and turns a normally well tolerated response into a harmful one. My professional opinion is the former is highly likely, while the latter is not without precedence (albeit one vaccine in the history of vaccination).

We'll know the answer to this question in due time.

2)  What mechanism eventually stops my cells from producing those spiky crowns?  Does the vaccine change the cells or simply give them one-time-use instructions?

It should be noted that this question refers to only one (mRNA) of the many formulation of the COV2 vaccine. If the novelty mRNA vaccine is a major hang up for you, you have access to more traditional forms of the vaccine (e.g. Astrozenaca).

The reason spike proteins won't stick around forever is due to the instability of RNA. In fact, RNA is one of, if not the most highly unstable biomolecules. Thinking about this from the perspective of the central dogma of biology is probably the easiest way to understand why RNA is so unstable. DNA is trascribed into RNA, and RNA is translated into protein. In other words, RNA is an intermediate step between gene blueprints (DNA) and the functional form of a gene (protein). This affords a powerful opportunity for RNA to regulate protein production through a variety of means that hinge on the stability of RNA. Instability is the default, and stabilizing RNA is an active process. Thus, RNA is quickly degraded in the absence of a cell's highly coordinate attempt to stabilize it.

3)  Do we need more long term data to show the vaccine is safe?  This is very new technology (mRNA vaccines have never been rolled out before). I'm not sure how to best refine this question, so I will leave it vague for now.  I'm happy so many others are getting vaccinated first.  I am sure my family will eventually have an opportunity to get the shots, and I want to confidently, rather than nervously, roll up my sleeve.

While the mRNA vaccines are new, vaccination is not. There are common safety concerns that usually appear shortly after vaccination and a few other that develop upon exposure to the natural pathogen. There are virtually zero safety concerns that arise long after vaccination.

The trials for both the mRNA vaccines were quite large (10,000s of people). There were no serious side effects reported in both trials. Likewise, the fact that independent trials, utilizing a similar vaccine formulation, found each vaccine to be safe and effective is very reassuring. Of course, larger sample sizes are always better. An additional 7 million people have received the vaccine and there have only been a small handful of easily treatable reactions to the vaccine. Safety concerns with the COV2 vaccines are vanishing with every day.

EBK

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Re: Anyone else get the Covid Vaccine?
« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2021, 12:08:20 PM »
Thank you!  I'm sure I will still have more questions, but that helps with the biggest ones I had.
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