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Vaccine Critics Received More Than $1 Million in Pandemic Relief Loans

  • January 19, 2021

Ms. Fisher disputed the idea that her group is anti-vaccine. The organization “does not make vaccine use recommendations and encourages everyone to become fully informed about the risks and complications of infectious diseases and vaccines,” she said.

Covid-19 Vaccines ›

Answers to Your Vaccine Questions

While the exact order of vaccine recipients may vary by state, most will likely put medical workers and residents of long-term care facilities first. If you want to understand how this decision is getting made, this article will help.

Life will return to normal only when society as a whole gains enough protection against the coronavirus. Once countries authorize a vaccine, they’ll only be able to vaccinate a few percent of their citizens at most in the first couple months. The unvaccinated majority will still remain vulnerable to getting infected. A growing number of coronavirus vaccines are showing robust protection against becoming sick. But it’s also possible for people to spread the virus without even knowing they’re infected because they experience only mild symptoms or none at all. Scientists don’t yet know if the vaccines also block the transmission of the coronavirus. So for the time being, even vaccinated people will need to wear masks, avoid indoor crowds, and so on. Once enough people get vaccinated, it will become very difficult for the coronavirus to find vulnerable people to infect. Depending on how quickly we as a society achieve that goal, life might start approaching something like normal by the fall 2021.

Yes, but not forever. The two vaccines that will potentially get authorized this month clearly protect people from getting sick with Covid-19. But the clinical trials that delivered these results were not designed to determine whether vaccinated people could still spread the coronavirus without developing symptoms. That remains a possibility. We know that people who are naturally infected by the coronavirus can spread it while they’re not experiencing any cough or other symptoms. Researchers will be intensely studying this question as the vaccines roll out. In the meantime, even vaccinated people will need to think of themselves as possible spreaders.

The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine is delivered as a shot in the arm, like other typical vaccines. The injection won’t be any different from ones you’ve gotten before. Tens of thousands of people have already received the vaccines, and none of them have reported any serious health problems. But some of them have felt short-lived discomfort, including aches and flu-like symptoms that typically last a day. It’s possible that people may need to plan to take a day off work or school after the second shot. While these experiences aren’t pleasant, they are a good sign: they are the result of your own immune system encountering the vaccine and mounting a potent response that will provide long-lasting immunity.

No. The vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer use a genetic molecule to prime the immune system. That molecule, known as mRNA, is eventually destroyed by the body. The mRNA is packaged in an oily bubble that can fuse to a cell, allowing the molecule to slip in. The cell uses the mRNA to make proteins from the coronavirus, which can stimulate the immune system. At any moment, each of our cells may contain hundreds of thousands of mRNA molecules, which they produce in order to make proteins of their own. Once those proteins are made, our cells then shred the mRNA with special enzymes. The mRNA molecules our cells make can only survive a matter of minutes. The mRNA in vaccines is engineered to withstand the cell’s enzymes a bit longer, so that the cells can make extra virus proteins and prompt a stronger immune response. But the mRNA can only last for a few days at most before they are destroyed.

Del Bigtree, the founder of the Informed Consent Action Network, also objected to being described as anti-vaccination, saying his group opposes “the distribution of products that are not properly safety-tested.” He does not consider the Covid-19 vaccines safe, he said.

The loan allowed his organization, near Austin, Texas, to retain 10 jobs, he said.

“We used the loan just as it was designed,” Mr. Bigtree said.

Several of the groups have been penalized by Facebook for making misleading claims, according to Dani Lever, a Facebook spokeswoman.

A page run by Dr. Tenpenny was removed in December for violating the site’s policy on misinformation, Ms. Lever said. The National Vaccine Information Center and Children’s Health Defense are barred from advertising on Facebook. Both groups’ pages, along with the Facebook page for the Informed Consent Action Network, have been removed from Facebook’s algorithmic recommendations system, which diminishes their visibility on the site.

The Paycheck Protection Program distributed $523 billion to more than five million small companies from April to August to help them endure the shutdowns and other economic shocks caused by the pandemic. So long as recipients use most of the money to pay workers and comply with other rules, the loans are eligible to be fully forgiven and paid off by the U.S. government.

Congress recently allocated $284 billion to restart the program, and hard-hit organizations — those whose sales have dropped by at least 25 percent since the pandemic took hold — are eligible for a second loan. Ms. Fisher said her group does not intend to apply for another loan.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/18/business/anti-vaccine-ppp-loans.html

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