Our Healthcare Q&A
Updated: Sep 12, 2022
September 12, 2022
How to Read and Understand a Drug Advertisement…
By Ruth Moore, PhD.
If you are like most people, you have seen numerous advertisements that introduce or sell a new drug or vaccine. It is confusing at best to know if this medicine is right for you or a family member, and I am asked nearly every week about my position on vaccinations and what my opinion is on new pharmaceutical drugs for illnesses. To help answer both questions, I am preparing this article to highlight my personal and professional responses. First, I am not an “anti-vax” or conspiracy theorist provider. I have taken the position of promoting education for those who inquire about safety, efficacy, etc.
My early training was in neuroscience and behaviorism, and this evolved into my doctoral preparation in psychoneuroimmunology and the practice of both functional and integrative medicines. I have heard, witnessed, and advised patients on how to mitigate vaccine injuries, and this has led to the topic at hand… “Are vaccines safe?”
The answer is VERY simple. Each person reacts differently to vaccines and a person’s safety can not be guaranteed, at all; ever.
The vaccines of a bygone era (measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, polio, and tetanus were the core vaccines and over a long period of time, have proven their efficacy with regard to the total population. Most people over 50 had these core vaccines without ill effects, as they were administered individually rather than lumped into mega-shots. This spreading out of vaccines allowed for the body to naturally adapt to the threat without too much stress to the central nervous and autonomic nervous systems. The population was also much smaller, so the viable threat was not as prevalent as it is today.
So when I am asked, “Is the vaccine safe for me or my child,” I answer truthfully. “I can’t predict this, or advise you to either receive or refuse an injection. What I can say is that you should research the data and understand how your health conditions could affect your immunity conversion.”
And this is the point (or jab) of this article. If you look at the pictures in the link: https://www.fiercepharma.com/marketing/merck-encourages-adults-to-get-vaccinated-against-hpv-to-protect-against-certain-cancers, you will see a recent advertisement for a popular vaccine that the military requires for its recruits and middle / high schools are requiring for admission.
The questions to ask for informed consent are:
1. How is the disease spread? Is the person at risk for contracting the disease? The disease is spread through unprotected sex.
2. How prevalent are conditions that are caused by this virus in the United States population? According to the CDC, there are approximately 3 million cases of diagnosed virus.
3. Does the vaccine protect against ALL strains of a virus or only a few of them – i.e. what is the chance of infection from a non-covered strain? According to the CDC, there are over 100 strains of this virus, and the vaccine only protects against 9 of them… this leaves a 91% chance of catching a form of this virus upon exposure, even though you are vaccinated. Using the total amount of cases (i.e. 3,000,000) the vaccine will not protect people from 91% of the strains or 2,730,000 occurrences.
4. WHAT is the rate of EFFICACY for deterring the virus? Based on the 3,000,000 estimated cases from the CDC, the vaccine offers protection for .01% of all people immunized or 1 out of every 10,000 people. This translates to the vaccine being effective for 27 people in the CDC example of 270,000 people exposed to the virus.
5. What are the contraindications for taking this vaccine? People who have had bad reactions to vaccines with AAHS or Amorphous Aluminum Hydroxyphosphate Sulfate, Yeast / Wheat / Gluten, Polysorbate 80, or previous reactions to this vaccine.
6. What are the side effects for this vaccine? Are the side effects localized reactions at the point of injection or do they become systemic with swollen glands? Are there autoimmune complications, i.e. joint pain or secondary infections? Are there central nervous system complications with respiration and cardiac issues? And finally, are there neurological side effects like confusion, cognitive impairment, or seizures?
7. What are the potentials for vaccine injuries? You know your health history, and that of your child(ren). Research other cases at
While this article is not meant to disparage any one vaccine or manufacturer, it does show you how to think critically and make informed decisions for consent to receive the vaccine. Many doctors do not administer the vaccines, instead – they rely upon their staff to do so, and you may not be informed of all the risks at the office visit. Make a list and ask these questions! If you can’t get answers at the time of your appointment, reschedule your appointment until they can make time, and ask for a copy of the vaccine insert that comes with the bottle they will open for you.
Finally, understand that some physicians have a very strict vaccination policy and if you choose not to be immunized or boosted in their office, they may refuse to treat you or provide on-going medical care. This is your choice – do not be pressured; and remember, you can ask for a referral if they refuse to continue care for you and your family.
Be well from Dr. Ruth!