By Michael Orchard
Guest Columnist 

Seek good information on COVID vaccines


Last updated 11/8/2022 at Noon

I have just read some commentary from Wayne Schmotzer, D.V.M. in regards to COVID-19. Wayne is passionate about this topic, means well, and is very intelligent, but his commentary may be taken by people as actionable medical advice — advice that is not well-founded.

Dr. Schmotzer is largely promoting things that are in many ways not correct, only partially correct, or taken out of context in such a way as to contradict the evidence of thousands of experts who want nothing more than to promote public health, safety, and truth as much as factual scientific evidence can.

Wayne is not an expert on these things, and his writings seem to follow the playbook of the so-called Frontline Doctors, a very biased group of people who promote nonsensical “alternate facts” that are not supported by the evidence, and reek of attempts to profiteer by peddling drugs, treatments, and various carnival shows in various settings, including at least one convention-style meeting in a state most likely to attract a paid following.

Their online and self-published writings and speeches do not adhere to the evidence of experts who have spent lifetimes studying epidemiology, virology, genetics, bioinformatics, immunology, rheumatology, cardiology, pulmonary medicine, intensive care medicine, biostatistics, vaccine development, cellular and molecular biology, as well as many subsets of these fields.

No one person has the combined expertise of those thousands who have joined together in a unified effort over several years to understand and control COVID. Their findings are the basis of our current recommendations for treating and preventing COVID and reducing its impact on our population, our society, and our world.

We know a great deal about COVID-19, but our knowledge base and clinical experience continues to evolve.

When new information becomes available recommendations change and will change again.

We know a great deal about the mRNA vaccines, which have an excellent safety record.

Are all vaccines 100 percent safe for 100 percent of the population? No, but in the big picture it is safe for most people and is an important tool in controlling a deadly pandemic.

For vaccination advice, people should follow the recommendations of their physicians who know their medical history and who are up-to-date on the medical literature in their specialty fields.

We should not follow the recommendations of folks who do not follow the medical/scientific evidence as it becomes more refined over time, as it always does.

Thousands of people with a lifetime of study and expertise in a great many fields have been working day and night to get this pandemic under control.

We are now experiencing a return to normal in large part due to their efforts and also due to the public’s willingness to acknowledge these experts by taking their advice.

Still, as of two months ago, less than 70 percent of USA residents had had any vaccines for COVID, and less than 40 percent had had all the recommended vaccines.

Our numbers of dead victims from COVID-19 is the worst of all developed Western countries in the world, largely due to untruths promoted by some prominent political leaders, and yes, the so-called Frontline folks.

People not following the advice of experts in regards to safeguards and vaccinations for COVID -19 has resulted in hundreds of thousands of avoidable deaths from COVID, and very likely more long-term complications of COVID, which appears to be an even more likely outcome than death in younger people.

Online sources of knowledge in regards to COVID and how people can protect themselves from COVID run the gamut from excellent and verifiable, to dangerously, and sometimes intentionally, wrong. Some medical people have and are losing their licenses to practice due to their not abiding by standards of care. People should ask questions of their physicians, and yes, you should ask about the basis of their recommendations in regards to any medical care you get. A good physician will give good reasons for their medical recommendations and thought processes. A good physician will follow the medical literature as it evolves on COVID-19.

If a person wants professional level, up-to-date info in video format, try medical grand rounds at UCSF, which is factual medical information as known at the time of delivery (

M.D.s and D.V.M.s and Ph.D.s should be able to appreciate such presentations in a video format.

It takes hours to put these videos together, and they are a valuable source of summary information.

Give that link a try.

No matter what you see or read, ask your physician about COVID-19, and whether you should or should not get vaccinated or boosted.

Most folks should, very few should not.

(On this you should trust your physician, who knows you and all of your medical history, just as you should trust your veterinarian in regards to veterinary care and vaccinations for your pets and livestock).

Medical recommendations should be based on state-of- the-art research and facts as much as possible, not on personal bias or philosophy. Bias is rampant online, so beware of where you get your facts in regards to COVID.


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