South African Doctor Unpacks COVID and Vaccines! I Am Tired of Misinformation!
Photo Cred: Doctor Adam Woodford

‘That’ Doctor who went viral with his vaccine-selfie is going viral again… “what you think you know about this virus and vaccines is scary”.


South Africa (16 August 2021) – Dr Adam Woodford – a Medical Doctor at the Department of Health in the Eastern Cape – is going viral again, this time for his candid conversation on COVID-19 and vaccines!

The Doctor has given us permission to share the post. Read it below:

Let’s talk about COVID-19 vaccines.

I’ll try to stick to objective facts and try to leave out any “entitled opinions” (as well as leave my emotions out of it – no promises).

Disclaimer – I’m not a well-known heart surgeon; actually, I’m neither a heart surgeon nor well known for that matter (so I’m not going to be speaking about the best approach to doing concurrent tricuspid annuloplasty and mitral valve replacement).

I’m just a doctor working in Internal Medicine who happens to actually treat COVID-19 patients in a hospital.

Disclaimer #2 – this is a long post, so I’ve numbered the misconceptions with them explained in layman’s terms. I’ve also included a non-biased evidence-based link on vaccines in the comments, which references everything I may mention and includes further content for those who “do their research.”

Why am I posting this?

Because I took an oath. Because I believe in non-maleficence and the anti-vax propaganda being spread all over social media is dangerously misleading, harmful, counter-productive and has massive consequences – not necessarily to the person who shares it, but to their audience who have been influenced by that misinformation they shared.

1) The vaccine is experimental and not well studied?

To date, over 4 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered worldwide.

That’s 4,000,000,000 (4 with 9 zeros!!! I mean, that’s a lot of zeros, and I had to double-check I put the right amount of zeros there).

To put this into perspective, around 1,83 billion people have had the vaccine, while only 208 million have had COVID.

With the nature of this pandemic, it is one of the most extensively trailed and monitored agents ever. What other new drug can you say has a sample study group of 1,83 billion people?

South African Doctor Unpacks COVID and Vaccines! I Am Tired of Misinformation!
Photo Cred: Adam Woodford Supplied

2) The vaccine doesn’t prevent you from getting sick or dying from COVID-19!

Actually, it does. And this is why we love evidence-based medicine. Because it’s non-objective numbers and statistics which don’t lie.

Now with some variability between regions, strains and vaccines used, it has been shown to reduce covid related deaths by 95% and hospitalizations by 60-90%.

Now just to clarify, I’ve seen someone misinterpret this as follows “If Covid has a survivability rate of 97%, and the vaccine protects you by 95%, that means the vaccine does nothing or actually worsens your chance with covid”.

No, when measuring efficacy, you are looking at the outcome in question – in this case, the deaths. This means we are looking at the 3% deaths. The vaccine then reduces those deaths by a further 95%. For example, you have 100 unvaccinated people who will die from covid, if they were all vaccinated, only 5 would die, and 95 would still be alive today.

Dr Adam Woodford
Photo Cred: Adam Woodford Supplied

Now the other important part is the reduction of hospitalizations. This is one of the main reasons governments have justified all our lockdowns and restrictions. Our country does not have the capacity or resources to handle a pandemic influx of hypoxic/ill patients.

Goodness, even before the pandemic, most SA hospitals were hanging by a thread and running at near maximum capacity

Every time we have a wave:

  • We cancel elective surgeries (that person waiting for his knee replacement so he can go back to work and provide for his family and contribute to the economy has to wait another 6 months).
  • We restrict outpatient clinics (people may miss the attention to detail their chronic illnesses may need).
  • Both in and outpatient diagnostic work up-tempo slows down, as CT scans, MRI’s etc., become more restricted/regulated.
  • Patients miss the clinics on their own behalf because of fear of covid/transport issues (their cancer spreads, their high blood pressure, diabetes, or HIV gets worse and suffer complications).
  • We are pressured to discharge or avoid admissions for non-covid patients we would normally hospitalize. This is done as safely as possible, but it might mean deferring someone’s work up etc.
  • ICU beds have to take away non-Covid beds for Covid beds. We cannot, unfortunately, make new ICU beds from thin air. SA has a terrible ICU bed to patient ratio. And that’s before covid.

This means (and this is happening) that non-covid ICU gets fuller even quicker, and critically ill people won’t get the intensive critical care they may need like:

  • Your brother who gets in a bad car accident, who needs a ventilator to help him breathe.
  • Your pregnant wife who bleeds out profusely after going into labour.
  • Your son, who has a ruptured burst/appendix which goes into shock post-operatively needing adrenaline (we are really pulling out all the stops to try and prevent these otherwise preventable deaths, but we are not magicians to make resources out of nothing).

What I’m saying is, if we have fewer hospitalizations, to something more manageable that doesn’t hamper the other services of health care, there won’t be a need for lockdowns and restrictions. Look at England who has lifted all restrictions and no longer wear masks because their faith in the vaccine seems to be paying off. They are not seeing the same burden of hospitalizations and deaths despite the “3rd wave”.

How glorious was it to see Man United win 5-1 in a full Old Trafford stadium. Not a mask in sight.

South African Doctor Unpacks COVID and Vaccines! I Am Tired of Misinformation!
Photo Cred: Adam Woodford Supplied

3) This vaccine doesn’t stop infections or spread

This one I agree with. Because the data shows you may still get infected, and I’m not going to lie about that.

However (a very big, however), you will most likely only have a mild infection, meaning you’ll just have to deal with a snot nose and a headache.

Turning a potentially disabling or deathly virus into a common cold.

If you look at places that have had lots of vaccinations (UK, USA, Israel), they have seen a lot of infections but a massive reduction in hospitalizations and deaths if you compare it to their previous waves where they were unvaccinated. And of the deaths they are seeing, they are mostly all unvaccinated.

South African Doctor Unpacks COVID and Vaccines! I Am Tired of Misinformation!
Photo Cred: Adam Woodford Supplied

4) I know someone who got vaccinated and died- my one friend Tony whose mechanic said his sister’s ex-boyfriend, Kyle’s one friend from high-schools old teacher’s cousin died 2 weeks with covid after getting his covid vaccine. It doesn’t work.

Firstly, it’s amazing how everyone knows someone who supports their anti-vax argument.

Secondly, both Pfizer and J&J vaccines are non-live vaccines. This means there is absolutely no way you can get COVID-19 from it. It’s either mRNA that instructs the spike protein to be made or the spike protein carried in a viral vector, not the whole virus. Also, there is no biological explanation or possibly to suggest this somehow alters your DNA.

Thirdly, your body takes time for your humoral immune system to kick in with specific antibodies. The first few days, your innate immune system kicks in, where your body gets fevers, muscle pains, headaches etc., which means your body is trying to kill a virus it thinks it has. Then from 2 weeks later, you start developing the specific antibodies to covid and with each passing day and week grows stronger. Remember covid can take 10 days to show symptoms, and the severe lung infection may take another 7 days on top of that.

So if you die 2 weeks after vax, you likely had COVID before the vax.

5) I’m not a lab rat

Well, technically, you are. We all are, actually, as you are either in the study group or unknowingly, the control group of the vaccine. How else could we prove the vaccine works if we didn’t have the unvaccinated to compare it to?

Also, getting infected with the “experimental” virus (since it’s still fairly new) means we learn a lot of medical sciences from those infected and learn more about covid and covid related complications. And hey, depending on your conspiracies, the jury is still out on whether the virus is a “lab virus” anyway.

Personally, I’d rather get a lab trialled vaccine than an un-trialled lab virus. Just saying.

6) I don’t want any potential side effects from the vaccine

Let me stop you there – let me tell you some of the “side effects” of the actual virus itself:

  • hypoxic pneumonia
  • lung fibrosis (home oxygen dependency)
  • deep vein thrombosis (blood clots)
  • pulmonary embolism
  • stroke
  • encephalitis
  • heart attack
  • myocarditis
  • arrhythmias/ sudden cardiac death
  • multisystemic inflammatory syndrome
  • heart failure
  • kidney failure
  • miscarriages and preterm labour predisposing to neonatal death
  • acute paralysis (Guillain Barre syndrome)
  • death itself

Adverse reactions to the vaccine are reported to be 0.05%, with the serious ones as low as 0.004%. With the most common serious reaction being anaphylaxis. Don’t get me wrong, anaphylaxis can be very scary and dangerous, but luckily, it’s 1- very rare, 2- it happens soon after vaccination (whilst you’re still at the centre), 3 – it can be treated quite easily with adrenaline, anti-inflammatory steroids and antihistamines. (A damn site lot easier to treat severe covid).

Other very rare possible associations (which is less than 0.004%) like blood clots, myocarditis, paralysis (GBS), bells palsy is basically no higher than the background incidence rates for these conditions. And you’re over 300 times more likely to get blood clots and myocarditis from covid if you’re unvaccinated than the vaccine itself. So the vaccine actually lessens that risk.

Now bear in mind 1,83 billion people have been vaccinated. This is a very large number. If you take any random 1,83 billion people worldwide and follow them up for a month, various amounts of them will get certain illnesses like blood clots, paralysis and undoubtedly some amount of them will die as people get sick and die all the time.

The importance is to see if the incidence of these things is higher in the vaccine group as opposed to the vaccinated group – for which it is not. e.g. The same amount of people who got in car accidents in the vaccinated group and non-vaccinated group; therefore, vaccines don’t increase car accidents.

Now for the emotional part.

I can’t actually care if you don’t get the vaccine. It is absolutely 100% up to you. It’s your right.

What I do care about is the number of anti-vaxxers that are filling our hospital and taking away the other health services of people who don’t have covid. The part where you see so many covid people die every day in your care, whether there isn’t much you can do for them or if you’re throwing the kitchen sink at them to save them—the part where children are left behind, orphaned because they lost their parent(s). The part where health care workers are emotionally drained, on a pall time low morale, lost the passion for their career or potentially even suicidal – this isn’t just at work, they take this home with them – we don’t just switch off. And then all of a sudden 1 video comes out saying vaccines are nonsense and people in masses go on about how she is a hero, how she is brave for speaking the truth, how all the other health care workers are fooled or weak, liars, and too scared to speak out.

Well, all I’m doing here is speaking out the actual truth.

If you’re getting angry reading this, you should probably just take a step back and reflect – ask yourself are you thinking impulsively or rationally? Can you justify your alternative views by facts or credible sources (note Dr Vosloo did not back up a single thing she said by any evidence or statistics)? Try and always be objective.

PS… for the vaccine reps and Bill Gates associates reading this, please DM me for bank details. I do accept cryptocurrency too.

Sources: Adam Woodford | Vaccines 
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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