Myth busters: Frozen pizza, tons and tons of other things more danger than COVID vaccines

·3 min read

Some of the 33 million adults in the nation who remain unvaccinated against COVID-19 may believe that the vaccines are risky. Medical systems around the country have debunked myths about their risk.

Whether vaccine resistance is attributed to the speed at which the vaccines were developed, reported vaccine side effects, or breakthrough infections, those who remain on the vaccine sidelines are exposing themselves to much higher risk with the virus than the vaccine itself may pose.

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Numerous studies indicate that the unvaccinated have a higher risk of hospitalization and death than the unvaccinated.

In addition, hospitals and deaths are not occurring at high rates amongst those vaccinated, particular for those boosted. Not one hospital has reported that they are running out of space in their facility due to vaccinated people seeking treatment due to vaccine side effects.

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Living in a complex society involves each of us taking on risks. If we wish to avoid all risks, then moving to an isolated and remote area, while growing your own food, may be the only viable option.

Assessing risk requires one to measure the associated benefits.

That is why each of us is willing to drive an automobile, even though data indicates the U.S. accrued over 40,000 automobile accident deaths in 2021.

So what are some things that people ingest that are certain to be riskier than being vaccinated against COVID-19?

Combustible Tobacco (Cigarettes): Smoking kills. Over 480,000 people die annually due to smoking. Though death certificates for people with lung cancer or heart disease may not list smoking as the cause, such behavior leads to the preponderance of many such premature deaths. Smoking trends in the United States have continued to fall over the past 50 years.

If a person remains unvaccinated because of concern for the risks of the vaccine, yet continues to smoke, they are exhibiting a mismatch between risks and benefits.

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Trans Fats: Trans fats have a deleterious effect on our health. They increase the risk of heart disease and premature death. There was a time that most commercial baked goods were laden with trans fats.

Though trans fats have been banned in foods since 2018, they still find their way into some fast food offerings, microwave popcorn, baked goods, coffee creamer, frozen pizzas, and sweets. Given their impact on health, they pose a much higher risk to people’s health than the COVID-19 vaccines.

Prescription and OTC Drugs: All drugs have a purpose. All drugs also have side effects. Even drugs like aspirin, which have been used for decades, can be harmful if they are used indiscriminately without weighing the risk and benefits. Many commonly used drugs carry with them harmful side effects.

For example, antibiotics have saved millions of lives, but sometimes may cause rare allergic reactions. Opioids, when used inappropriately, may lead to addiction, overdoses and deaths. The COVID-19 vaccines also have their risks and benefits. Yet after over one-half a billion doses administered in the United States, deaths attributed to the vaccines have been exceedingly rare.

No amount of logic can convince those who remain staunchly unvaccinated to change their mind. In spite of such beliefs, the risk and benefit calculus weighs heavily in favor of vaccination, even if they ignore such evidence.

Experts say Trans fats found in microwave popcorn, baked goods, coffee creamer, frozen pizzas, and sweets are more dangerous than COVID-19 vaccines.
Experts say Trans fats found in microwave popcorn, baked goods, coffee creamer, frozen pizzas, and sweets are more dangerous than COVID-19 vaccines.

Whether the benefit is measured by personally staying out of the hospital and avoiding premature death, preventing spread of the virus to vulnerable loved ones, or minimizing community impact by lessening the burden on hospitals, vaccination easily wins over remaining unvaccinated.

So, are COVID-19 vaccines risky?

Ask the family and friends of those who died who chose to remain unvaccinated, or the 140 thousand people currently hospitalized who chose to remain unvaccinated. And ask the healthcare workers caring for them.

Sheldon H. Jacobson, Ph.D., is a founder professor of Computer Science and the Carle Illinois College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He applies his expertise in data-driven risk-based decision-making to evaluate and inform public health policy.

Infectious disease and public health physician Janet A. Jokela, MPH, is the acting regional dean of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign.

This column originally appeared on

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Doctors: What is more dangerous than the COVID-19 vaccinations?

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