Based on what happened to Adam Goodman — a Toronto-based lawyer — after his second Pfizer shot, many might have assumed he'd never again go anywhere near a similar needle.
What happened to him?
Goodman said in a Monday op-ed for The Globe and Mail that at first, he thought he was merely experiencing "muscle pain" in his neck and then in his chest.
But a medical checkup revealed it actually was pericarditis — inflammation of the lining around the heart and "one of the two potential significant side effects associated with the mRNA vaccines," he said. The other significant side effect is myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart itself, Goodman wrote.
"Because I thought I was experiencing muscle pain, I let the pericarditis go too long without treatment. As a result, I experienced a dangerous squeezing of the heart called tamponade," he added in his piece. "I spent five days in hospital recovering with the help of a crack team of cardiologists, nurses, and pharmacists at Toronto’s University Health Network and a heavy dose of anti-inflammatory drugs."
'The vaccines are our civic duty'
But despite his serious medical scare as a result of the vaccine, Goodman is still a fan of the shots.
"I accept my role as collateral damage of the vaccine rollout," he added in his op-ed. "Before the current Omicron wave, vaccines helped us get back to some degree of normality. They protect society and our public-health system. Previous generations were asked to undertake far greater risks for the protection of society, including being drafted for war. The vaccines are our civic duty."
As for vaccine opponents, Goodman declared that they use "absolutely false, conspiracy-theory laden arguments" and called them "clearly a lost cause, embracing an anti-science and anti-truth ideology with a fervor rarely seen since the advent of the Enlightenment."
He added that he believes "the positives of the vaccines greatly outweigh the negatives" and that his children are fully vaccinated. Plus, Goodman said he "received a booster shot a few days ago. So far, I’m feeling okay. Instead of an mRNA vaccine, I took the Johnson & Johnson shot, which is a viral-vector vaccine less associated with pericarditis."
He added in his op-ed that he hopes by telling his story of battling a serious vaccine side-effect that the "vaccine hesitant" might also get the shots.
How are readers reacting to Goodman's vaccine stance?
Goodman's op-ed so far has elicited a wide-range of reactions. Some commenters agree with him; some don't. And still others are engaging in debates with each other:
"Mass Formation Psychosis in action," one commenter wrote, after which another commenter linked to an article refuting "mass formation psychosis," which Dr. Robert Malone noted in his recent interview with podcaster Joe Rogan.
Another commenter actually managed a balanced take: "I think the stance that antivaxers are anti-science is naive. There are plenty of scientists and doctors who question the vaccines (for the record I'm pro-vaccine) and the anti-vax people do engage in scientific thinking. The issue is more epistemological and has more to do with trust than being 'anti-science.' If we are going to convince anyone we need to be more nuanced with our thinking and less lazy otherwise our efforts will be easily ignored. You have to dig in a little to the content they are consuming to see their side accurately. Is this dangerous? Probably, but not looking at an argument from just one perspective is truly anti-science."