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Self-made podcaster Joe Rogan recently made national headlines after he suggested that young, healthy people and children have little to gain from taking the COVID-19 vaccine, even provoking an article by the far-left Media Matters for America that seemingly pushed Spotify to dump his show.
However, the most recent research suggests Rogan is correct.
On the April 23 episode of his Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Rogan told comedian Dave Smith, “If you say to me, you’re like 21 years old, and you say to me, ‘Should I get vaccinated?’ I’ll go no, are you healthy? Are you a healthy person? Like, look, don’t do anything stupid, but you should take care of yourself. If you’re a healthy person and you’re exercising all the time and you’re young and you’re eating well, I don’t think you need to worry about this.” Rogan also spoke about the experiences of his two young children who contracted the virus, and said “One of the kids had a headache, the other one didn’t feel good for a couple days.” He added, “No coughing, no aching, no in agony, there was none of that. It was very mild, it was akin to them getting a cold.”
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Children and young people are already scientifically confirmed to have extremely mild symptoms if they contract COVID-19. According to a systematic review of 1,215 peer reviewed studies conducted since the emergence of the virus, between 14.6% to 42% of children experience a completely asymptomatic infection. Of those who do experience symptoms, the most common are fever and cough; “proportions with fever ranged from 46% to 64.2% and with cough from 32% to 55.9%.” The science reveals that “All other symptoms or signs including rhinorrhoea, sore throat, headache, fatigue/myalgia and gastrointestinal symptoms including diarrhoea and vomiting were infrequent, occurring in less than 10%–20%.” Scientists have also confirmed that symptoms tend to worsen if the patient is an advanced age, or suffers from preexisting conditions, bolstering Rogan’s argument about young, healthy people.
A study in the British Medical Association’s peer reviewed scientific journal, The BMJ, concurs with this analysis. In the study, researchers established that “Children and young people have less severe acute covid-19 than adults.” The researchers studied 629 children infected with the virus, and virtually all of them experienced mild symptoms. Only six of those children in the study died while sick with COVID-19, and all those who died “had profound comorbidity.”
Meanwhile, researchers have confirmed that young people are virtually just as likely to experience adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines as older adults. One study published by the peer reviewed Dove Medical Press reveals that young people are actually more likely to experience flu-like symptoms than older people, who are more likely to experience simple irritation around the injection site. “Flu-like symptoms were more common among those under 60 years of age, while injection site pain was more frequent among recipients who were 60 years and older,” the researchers revealed. The study also notes that those who previously contracted COVID-19, regardless of age, were more likely to experience difficulty breathing.
Another peer reviewed study published by the American Medical Association’s JAMA Network Open corroborates reports that young people are more likely to experience severe symptoms. The researchers discovered that “Systemic reactions, including fatigue, headache, myalgia, chills, fever, and joint pain, occurred in participants after the first dose, although they were more frequently reported after the second dose among both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine recipients.” They add, “Persons 65 years and older reported less reactogenicity than younger persons.”
According to the study, which included 3,643,918 individuals who took either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, systemic reactions occurred in as much as 60% of recipients. 30.9% of recipients reported fatigue after their first dose, while 53.9% reported fatigue after the second dose. Of those who took the Moderna vaccine, 60% reported fatigue after their second dose. Other common side effects of the vaccine after the second dose of the vaccine were fever (31.3%), myalgia (44%), and headache (46.7%). More severe symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, affected 13.1%, 1.2%, and 6.2% of respondents after their second dose.
In short, the young, healthy people Rogan described on his podcast have very little chance of experiencing serious symptoms should they contract COVID-19, but have a worse chance of experiencing serious adverse reactions from the COVID-19 vaccines than older individuals. To further complicate the situation, scientists at The Rockefeller University, and top executives at Pfizer, have both suggested that more than one vaccine may be necessary for continued immunity from COVID-19.
“Rockefeller scientists in the Paul Bieniasz and Michel C. Nussenzweig laboratories” have determined that – should the variant strains of COVID-19 that emerged after the Wuhan strain of the virus spread across the globe – more vaccines or vaccine booster shots will be necessary. They determined that the efficacy of the vaccines is reduced when individuals contract one of the non-Wuhan variants. “‘This is a modest reduction that should not render the vaccines ineffective, although it could become a problem if the variants become dominant,’ says Zijun Wang, a postdoc in Nussenzweig’s lab and the study’s first author.”
Earlier this month, National File reported that a study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that booster shots and annual vaccinations may become necessary after the immunity offered Moderna and Pfizer vaccines was found to begin to lessen after six months. Days later, the Pfizer CEO said publicly that a six month “booster” shot of the vaccine would likely be necessary, “and then from there, an annual revaccination” would be required indefinitely.
While proponents of vaccinating young people suggest that it is the only way to achieve herd immunity within the greater population, which would likely require 94% of the population to be immune to the vaccine, they often fail to note that immunity after contracting the virus – something young people can do with minimal risk – lasts as long as the COVID-19 vaccine itself, with scientists currently suggesting antibodies for the virus will remain for between five and 7 months.
Again, Rogan simply suggested that young, healthy people should consider not getting the vaccine, as it may be unnecessary. “If you’re a healthy person and you’re exercising all the time and you’re young and you’re eating well, I don’t think you need to worry about this,” Rogan exclaimed. Later in the conversation, he added, “We’re talking about something that is not, statistically dangerous for children. But yet people still want to get your children vaccinated, which is crazy.” The science suggests that not only is Rogan correct, but the vaccine may actually offer worse reactions for children than the disease itself.
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