More questions

The authors’ conclusion that symptoms are signals of vaccine effectiveness is not only unfounded and reckless, but it also puts them in a difficult position.

If females had systemic reactions more frequently, aren’t they admitting that males are less protected?

If systemic symptoms occurred more with Moderna than with Pfizer, doesn’t that mean that Pfizer’s formulation isn’t as effective?

What about those who had no symptoms after the jab? Should they be worried that they aren’t as protected?

Dr. William Schaffner, a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, told CNN:

“I don’t want a patient to tell me that, ‘Golly, I didn’t get any reaction, my arm wasn’t sore, I didn’t have fever. The vaccine didn’t work.’ I don’t want that conclusion to be out there. …

“This is more to reassure people who have had a reaction that that’s their immune system responding, actually in a rather good way, to the vaccine, even though it has caused them some discomfort.”

In other words, there is apparently no downside to getting the COVID-19 vaccine. If you didn’t suffer any symptoms, good! If you did, that’s good, too.

Schaffner’s sanguine framing of the “discomfort” that occurs after inoculation may be acceptable to some. I wonder how it sits with the 1 in 4 vaccine recipients who either were unable to participate in daily activities or missed work or school, or the nearly 8 in 100 who sought medical attention after vaccination?