In a recent Facebook post by Redding Family Physician Dr. Richard Malotky, he made the following public statement in response to the public health message that everyone should get the COVID-19 vaccines: “Listen up people, don’t get the vaccine if you already have the antibody!”
Dr. Malotky rightly explained that if you had the virus, and presumably survived, you will have the COVID-19 antibodies. He also notes that a simple blood test can confirm that you have the antibodies that indicate you had the virus at some point. Even if you give blood at the Blood Center in town, in their report afterwards they can confirm the presence of those antibodies.
He also notes that when given the current COVID-19 vaccines, for those who had the virus previously, you will likely have some kind of reaction with your first dose.
My son, an Pulmonary/Critical Care physician (Fellow) confirmed that this is not atypical. Even for those who never had the virus, your second injection of the vaccine can cause a reaction, because your body has started generating the antibodies with your first dose. As reported widely, most symptoms are mild in nature, but some can be more than that. It is not unusual to have a fever, body aches, arm pain, etc. The fact that you have some reaction to the immunization is actually a good sign that the vaccine is working.
Post by Dr. Richard Malotky
Subject: RE: I Don’t Need the Vaccine’
I want to make a public service announcement. For some unknown reason the health department is recommending COVID-19 vaccine to everyone, even the people who have already recovered from the virus and who already have COVID-19 antibodies (IgG). Listen up people! The purpose of the vaccine is to make IgG antibody. Don’t get the vaccine if you already have the antibody! Your chances of having a serious immune reaction to the vaccine multiply greatly if you already have the antibody (and you don’t need the vaccine anyway).
It’s easy to check if you already have the antibody. The blood test is 99.6% accurate and can be ordered by your doctor. The nasal and saliva PCR tests are much more inaccurate. If you’ve been sick AT ALL in the past year get checked for the IgG COVID antibody before you get the vaccine!
I have had 2 patients suffer serious symptoms after getting the vaccine, and both patients already had the antibody. Everyone else, especially at risk folks, should get the vaccine.
Where Dr. Malotky strays from current medical knowledge is with his advice that “if you had the virus, don’t get the immunization”!
He notes that two of his patients, who presumably may have been medically challenged to begin with, had serious difficulties with the side-effect symptoms caused by the vaccine. What he fails to note, as the CDC has widely advised, is that the protective factors of your immunity response will wane with time.
Even with the current vaccines available, they are studying how long the immunity will last. This will likely be more settled as the months and years go by. As it stands, both because of this issue of immunity longevity along with the potential for virus variances that may make the virus more challenging to defend, will likely mean getting booster immunization, much like what we see with the flu viruses we deal with each season.
If those factors are not enough to be convincing, remember that for a good number of people who did catch the virus and recovered, a good portion of them continue to suffer from longer-term symptoms. like irregular body temperature, ongoing body aches, difficulty breathing when doing anything moderately strenuous, and even “brain fog”.
Recent and promising studies just released are showing that those with these ongoing health issues are seeing some pretty remarkable improvements following their vaccinations. Having said all of this, this statement below from the CDC makes clear its stance on this particular question:
Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, known as immunity. Current evidence suggests that reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection. However, experts don’t know for sure how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody (immune system) response without having to experience sickness.
Both natural immunity and immunity produced by a vaccine are important parts of COVID-19 disease that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
With current knowledge in the field that is being regularly updated, it does not seem reasonable to me for a physician/clinician to advise, as a general rule, that if you had the virus, you should avoid the immunization.
What does seem reasonable to me is for a physician/clinician to have a conversation with their patients, and if patients have certain chronic medical conditions, or weakened immune systems, or potential allergic histories, to discuss the pros and cons of being immunized.
What we know is that while the vaccines are very safe, there is no 100-percent guarantee. What I do know is that in Shasta County, there has been no reported deaths due to the COVID-19 immunization, but we do know that there have been more than 194 deaths due to the virus and counting in our county.
This virus has been particularly deadly for those who are on the older side of life, whose health and immune systems are not as robust to withstand the havoc that this virus can cause. What we are also seeing is that this virus can have a long-lasting impact on your general health, even on younger populations.
In short, you should do all you can to protect yourself, and those you care about. This means, with very few exceptions, to become vaccinated when the vaccine becomes available to you.
Dean Germano is the chief executive officer of Shasta Community Health Center in Redding.