Dr. Scott Jensen and Dr. Robert Hamilton joined Gary Borgendale on Alpha News Monday night to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine, whether the public should be skeptical of it, who should be receiving the vaccine, and other coronavirus measures.
Jensen, a practicing physician in Watertown and former state senator, said people have a right to question the validity of the COVID-19 vaccine. The average time needed for a vaccine to be completed is at least 3-4 years, and the COVID vaccine is being distributed now, less than 12 months after research began.
“People have a right to say, ‘Okay, were there shortcuts taken? How did we shrink the time frame?’” Jensen said. He added that pharmaceutical companies created this vaccine in overlapping steps in order to “condense the timeframe.”
No one should be able to say to someone, “You don’t get to question [the vaccine] because you’re not an epidemiologist, or you don’t know virology,” Jensen said, noting that vaccines have been withdrawn in the past because of a number of reasons: lacking efficacy, lacking safety, or even killing people.
When asked about the objective of the vaccine, Dr. Hamilton, who is a pediatric doctor in California, said from his understanding, it is possible to still get the virus after receiving the vaccine, but the symptoms will be either lessened or not there at all.
“That, to me, means we are creating a subclinical carrier state, which is not something we want to do,” Hamilton said, meaning even though a person may not show symptoms, he can still transmit the virus to others.
Jensen offered a basic explanation of what the vaccine does: send a “code” to cells to create protein strands that reach circulation and create an immune response, so antibodies are also created. This way, if the virus does enter the body, there hopefully will be antibodies to “disallow” the virus from working in its normal manner.
“I think it’s important for people to realize this is experimental,” Jensen said of the COVID vaccine. “We have never done this before. We have never had an mRNA vaccine introduced into humans.”
Discussion moved to the question of who should be receiving the vaccine. Hamilton strongly advised against children getting vaccinated for COVID, since they actually get other coronavirus diseases all the time, which has had a “protective effect” and helped them fight off COVID-19 more effectively. Many coronaviruses cause the annual colds that are so common, Hamilton noted.
Jensen explained that in Minnesota, the Department of Health has taken the lead in determining vaccination tiers, with long-term care residents and staff being number one, and the vulnerable and elderly being number two.
According to Jensen, the pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer, as well as the FDA, agreed early on that whenever the vaccine came out, children under the ages of 16-18, pregnant women, and individuals who have already had COVID-19 should not receive the vaccine. Now, Jensen said, the only demographic restriction officially in place for the vaccine is children under 16-18.
“In other words, they absolutely blew off the conversations that had taken place with the two manufacturers,” Jensen said. He made a comment that there is no such thing as a “vaccine expert,” but there are doctors who use these injections every day.
“I would go so far as to say pediatricians have a vast knowledge and awareness of vaccines, not because they’re ‘vaccinologists,’ but because they use these tools, these injections, these opportunities every day,” he said. As such, doctors have no choice but to stay up to date with current vaccination practices.
“They are listening to what is happening with COVID-19,” Jensen remarked.
Hamilton noted that while he would not encourage pregnant women to get the vaccine, as it would undeniably affect the fetus in some way, he has seen pregnant women test positive for COVID and deliver their babies without issue.
Jensen offered his perspective on the restraints that have been put in place for youth sports, particularly the mandate for hockey players to wear masks in addition to helmets and mouth guards.
In a heated tone, Jensen explained that a mask being worn by a youth hockey player who is skating hard and breathing heavily will quickly become saturated with water, bacteria, viral matter, and probably fungus and yeast as well.
“Now, you have a mobile, flexible petri dish that is covering your mouth,” Jensen declared. He said it’s a double standard that youth wrestlers, who are “spewing and spitting,” are not required to wear masks.
Hamilton shared his viewpoint from California, where “everybody out there on the streets is wearing a mask, and people are still getting sick.”
General Health Advice
As general well-being advice, Dr. Hamilton advised eating healthy, sleeping well, and taking vitamins. Both he and Dr. Jensen brought up the importance of exercising and losing weight if needed, since obesity is an extremely common comorbidity.
Jensen also remarked on the large effect stress has on the working ability of the immune system, saying that praying, meditating, or simply relaxing and taking a day off is not only good for your soul but also good for your physical body.
Some trustworthy sources these doctors shared included Stanford University, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the CDC for general information on vaccines. However, they clarified the COVID-19 vaccine is an mRNA vaccine, which has never been used before now.
“This is a wild, wild west we’re living through. And we need to really try to fact-check ourselves. If we read something that seems bizarre, then cross check it. Go look elsewhere, try to get a balanced appetite, if you will, of where you get your news,” Jensen urged.