Dr. Shana Theobald challenges COVID vaccine conspiracy theories head-on

Dr. Shana Theobald of Kodiak Island Ambulatory Care Clinic takes conspiracy theories surrounding vaccines seriously. She’s encouraging people locally to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and she wants to address some of the conspiracies that she has seen locally head on.

“There are two– probably a few big ones going around– but two that I’ve heard commonly; one, that it can cause infertility and two, that the united government may be injecting a microchip into people,” Theobald said.

One of the more common theories is that the vaccine causes infertility. She says that this is outlandish.

“This was from a theory that the spike protein of the Coronavirus looks similar to a protein in the placenta… after creating antibodies to the spike protein, that would be triggered by the vaccine, that your immune system would then later on attack placental protein and interfere with pregnancy. To address this– when the virus infects you, it is putting all of its genetic material into the compartment that the machinery in your cells can make itself to replicate itself,” Theobald said. “So your body, when you get infected with the virus, you’re already seeing all of those same proteins anyway. And if your system is going to make an antibody to a protein that looks similar to something in the placenta- say, the spike protein– it’s going to do that with a viral infection. And in this case, the vaccine only contains the spike protein. So you’re really only mounting a pretty specific response to one particular protein of the Coronavirus rather than mounting all sorts of antibody responses to different parts of the Coronavirus. So, actually, with that theory in mind, it’s a lot better to get the vaccine than to get the virus.”

Effectively, for this conspiracy theory to be true, the virus itself would also cause infertility in people who develop antibodies to successfully fight it off, with or without the vaccine. The viral infection has no known impact on fertility.

Another conspiracy theory is the “microchip theory.” Theobald says that this one is self-explanatory.

“I’ve heard the theory that, you know, this is the way we’re going to get microchips in everybody. And just to address that– there is absolutely no possible way that a microchip can be added into the vaccine. Anyone can come and see the vials, see the solution that the RNA is in in the saline solution that we reconstitute the vaccine for injection… We draw the liquids up through a very fine needle, mix them and then inject them into the arm using extremely fine needle,” Theobald said. “And right now, the microchip that exists that I know of are in pets, and there are some small ones that people have opted to get– I don’t know why, I would never do that– But they’re bigger than a grain of rice. And there’s absolutely no way a microchip is there.”

Theobald went on to say that the vaccine itself, even with the minor side-effects that some people experience, is still vastly preferable to the virus itself, especially when considering the chance that one develops a long-term illness.

She says that people shouldn’t come away with the impression that the vaccines are so beneficial that side-effects are blindly accepted as a necessary risk. The vaccines are carefully scrutinized.

“So far, what we are seeing is there is no increase in deaths compared to the general population, there’s no increase in bad outcomes compared to what we would expect for that given age group on any given day in that population. Another thing I just want to share with people– the side effects from the vaccine are so much better compared to the side effects of the virus itself,” Theobald said. “The virus is extremely deadly and causes a lot of morbidity, which is like illness that kind of persists even if you recover from the virus. A lot of times people’s systems are left with damage that causes long term illness.”

In conclusion; an enormous amount of evidence suggests that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and in the opinion of Dr. Theobald, crucial.

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