⚠️ From Dr. Friedman: COVID-19: 07/2021 UPDATE AND FACTS

All of our country is very encouraged by the declining rates in both COVID-19 infections and death, due mostly to President Trump’s vaccine production and trial effort called Operation Warp Speed and President Biden’s vaccine distribution efforts. As of July 2021, The United States has administered 334,600,770 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, 184,132,768 people had received at least one dose while 159,266,536 people are fully vaccinated. The pandemic is by no means over, as people are still getting infected with COVID-19 with the emergence of the Delta Variant. In fact, recently cases, hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 have gone up. In Los Angeles, the increased infection rate has led to indoor mask requirements.  The main reason that COVID-19 has not been eliminated is because of vaccine hesitancy, which is often due to misinformation propagated on websites and social media.  One of Dr. Friedman’s patients gave him a link of an alternative doctor who gave multiple episodes of misinformation subtitled “Evidence suggests people who have received the COVID “vaccine” may have a reduced lifespan” about the COVID-19 vaccine that Dr. Friedman wants to address. Almost 30% of American say they will not get the vaccine, up from 20% a few months ago. 
 
Statistics are that people who are vaccinated have a 1:1,000,000 chance of dying from COVID, while people who are unvaccinated have a 1:500 chance of dying from COVID.  I think most people would take the 1:1,000,000 risk.  Dr. Friedman has always been a proponent of the COVID-19 vaccine because he is a scientist and bases his decisions on peer-reviewed literature and not social media posts. As we are getting to the stage where the COVID-19 pandemic could end if vaccination rates increase, he feels that it is even more important for people to get correct information about the COVID-19 vaccine. 
 
MYTH:  People are dying at high rates from the COVID-19 vaccine and the rates of complications and deaths are underreported.
FACT:  The rates of complications and deaths from the vaccine are overreported.  It is a fact that when 200 million people get a vaccine, some of them will get blood clots, some of them will have a heart attack, some of them will have strokes, some of them will have optic neuritis and some will have Guillain-Barré syndrome.  These complications may not be due to the vaccine, but people remember that they got the vaccine recently.  Anti-vaccine websites seem to play up on this and give false information that COVID-19 complications are underreported and fail to note that there is no control group, so we do not know how many people would have gotten blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks if they did not get the vaccine.  For example, one anti-vaccine website highlighted a Tamil (Indian) actor Vivek, who died of a massive heart attack 5 days after getting the COVID-19 vaccine and tried to make a case that the vaccine caused that.  Of course, the massive heart attack was due to years of buildup of cholesterol in his coronary arteries and had nothing to do with the COVID-19 vaccine.  In fact, the complications attributed to the COVID-19 vaccine occur less frequently in those vaccinated than unvaccinated. The only complication that seems to possibly be more common in people who get vaccinated is blood clots, and the rate of that is still quite low.  Overwhelmingly, the COVID-19 vaccine is effective and safe.
 
MYTH:  I had COVID-19 before.  I don’t need a vaccine.  Natural immunity is better than a vaccine immunity.
FACT:  Most studies have shown that the COVID-19 vaccines are more effective, with longer-lasting immunity, than only having the COVID-19 infection.  The immunity after natural infection varies and may be quite minimal in patients who had mild COVID-19 and likely declines within a couple of months of infection.  In contrast, those who got the vaccine seem to have high levels of immunity even months after getting the vaccine.  The vaccine also protects against the COVID-19 variants.  If someone had one variant, it is unlikely that their natural immunity would protect them against other variants.
 
MYTH:  The COVID-19 vaccine leads to spike proteins circulating in your body for months after the vaccine.
FACT:  The mRNA from the vaccine, the spike protein that it generates, and all of the products of the COVID-19 vaccine are gone within hours, if not days, and do not hang around the body.
 
MYTH:  There is likely to be long-term effects, including infertility effects, of the COVID-19 vaccine.
FACT:  As the viral particles and proteins are gone within a couple hours to days and the vaccine only enters the cytoplasm and does not enter the DNA, it is very unlikely that there will be long-term effects.  So far, the clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine have not resulted in any detrimental effects, and it has been a year since the trials started.  Other vaccines have been used safely and do not give long-term side effects.  There is no reason to think that this vaccine would give long-term side effects, and we have not seen any evidence of long-term side effects currently. Pregnant women who received COVID-19 vaccines have similar rates adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes (e.g., fetal loss, preterm birth, small size for gestational age, congenital anomalies, and neonatal death) as with pregnant women who did not receive vaccines.
 
MYTH:  People with autoimmune disease should not get the vaccine.
FACT:  Persons with autoimmune disease are likely more susceptible to COVID-19, and they should especially get the vaccine.  People with preexisting conditions, including autoimmune diseases, have been shown to be give generally excellent immune responses to the vaccine, and it should especially be given to patients with Addison’s disease or Cushing’s disease who may have higher rates of getting more severe COVID-19. In fact, the CDC as well Dr. Friedman recommends EVERYONE getting the vaccine, except 1) those under 12, 2) those who had an anaphylactic reaction to their first COVID-19 vaccine. Patients with AIDS, and those on immunosuppressive therapy for cancers, organ transplants and rheumatological conditions, may not be fully protected from vaccines and should be cautious (including wearing masks and social distancing), but still should get vaccinated.
 
MYTH:  Patients with autoimmune diseases, and other conditions do not mount an adequate immune response to the vaccine and may even should get a booster shot.
FACT:  The only patients that have been found not to have a good immune response to the vaccine is those with AIDS or on immunosuppressive drugs that are used in people with rheumatological diseases or transplants.  With these exception, patients appear to mount a good immune response to the vaccine regardless of their preexisting condition and do not need a booster shot.
 
MYTH:  Why should I bother with the vaccine if it is going to require a booster shot?
FACT:  It is unclear whether booster shots will be required or not.  Currently, the CDC and FDA do not recommend a booster shot, but Pfizer has petitioned the FDA to consider it and is starting more studies on whether a booster shot is effective.  It is currently believed that the vaccine retains effectiveness for months to years after it is given.
 
MYTH:  We are almost at herd immunity now.  Why bother getting a vaccine?
FACT:  We are not at herd immunity as people are still getting sick and dying from COVID-19.  Dr. Friedman recently lost to COVID-19 his 43-year old patient with obesity and diabetes at MLK Outpatient Center. There are pockets in the United States with low vaccine rates, especially in the South.  The vaccine is spreading among unvaccinated people, while the rate of spread among vaccinated people is quite low.  Approximately 98% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. It is important from a public health viewpoint for all Americans to get vaccinated. 
 
MYTH:  There is nothing to be concerned with about the variants.
FACT:  Especially the delta variant appears to be more contagious and aggressive than the other variants currently.  The vaccines do appear to be effective against the delta variant but possibly a little less so.  Variants multiply and can generate new variants only if they are infected into patients who are unvaccinated.  To end the emergence of new variants, it is important for all Americans to get vaccinated.
 
MYTH:  I could just be careful, and I will not get the COVID-19 vaccine.
FACT:  Thousands of people who were careful and got COVID-19 and either died from it or became extremely sick.  The best prevention against getting COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.
 
MYTH:  I am young.  I do not have to worry about getting COVID.
FACT:  Many young people have gotten sick and died of COVID-19 and also, they are contagious and can spread COVID-19 if they are not vaccinated.  Everyone, regardless of their age, as long as they are over 12, should get vaccinated. 
 
MYTH:  If children under 12 are not vaccinated, the virus will still spread.
FACT:  The FDA and CDC do not recommend the vaccine for those under 12.  They are very unlikely to get COVID-19 and are very unlikely to transmit it to others.  They are the one group that does not need to get vaccinated.
 
MYTH:  COVID-19 vaccines are an experimental vaccine.
FACT:  While it is true that the FDA approved COVID-19 vaccines were granted emergency use authorization in December 2020 (Pfizer and Moderna) and Johnson and Johnson in February 2021. Both Pfizer and Moderna have petitioned the FDA for full approval, but by no means are these vaccines experimental. As mentioned, over 180 million Americans and many more worldwide have received the vaccine. This is more than any other FDA approved medication. Clinical trials are still ongoing and have enrolled thousands of people and Israel has monitored the effect of COVID-19 vaccines in 7 million Israelis. 
 
MYTH:  The COVID-19 vaccine is a government plot to kill or injure people or a war against G-d.
FACT:  Yeah right
 
If you want the pandemic to end, please get vaccinated and encourage your friends and colleagues to get vaccinated. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Friedman, go to goodhormonehealth.com

❣️ Happy 21st Birthday Cushing’s Help!

It’s unbelievable but the idea for Cushing’s Help and Support arrived 21 years ago late last night. I was talking with my dear friend Alice, who ran a wonderful menopause site called Power Surge, wondering why there weren’t many support groups online (OR off!) for Cushing’s and I wondered if I could start one myself and we decided that I could.

Thanks to a now-defunct Microsoft program called FrontPage, the first one-page “website” (http://www.cushings-help.com) first went “live” July 21, 2000 and the message boards September 30, 2000.

All our Cushing’s-related sites: