Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Coronavirus Update 7–13–2021: The 3 reasons why it matters that you get vaccinated (even if I’m vaccinated)

"If you're vaccinated, and the vaccines work, why do you care if I get vaccinated? Let me live my life. My body, my choice." This sentiment echoes a popular refrain of those who are anti-vax or otherwise not getting the Covid vaccine.

It's also very, very wrong. Here are the top three reasons that it matters that you get vaccinated (even if I'm vaccinated).  

1/ You are allowing the virus to mutate, new variants to develop, and the virus to continue living on. That's how viruses work. In fact, infectious disease doctors are calling the unvaccinated "variant factories." The greater number of unvaccinated there are, the greater the opportunities for the virus to mutate and multiply. The only way to stop the virus from replicating into more virulent and dangerous variants is to have a sufficient percentage of the population vaccinated. At our current 48 percent nationwide full-vaccination rate, we are a long way off from this happening. Thus, your failure to get vaccinated is allowing the virus to use your immune system as a breeding ground for Covid to replicate into new variants. Eventually, those variants will evade my immunity. 

2/ Vaccines are not perfect and do not guarantee 100 percent immunity. At 94 - 95 percent effective, the mRNA vaccines are among the most effective vaccines ever developed. But they're not perfect. Thus, your failure to get vaccinated could result in you transmitting the virus to me. The odds are that you won't and that even if I do get the virus that I won't get seriously ill or die. But, there's always that chance, and your unvaccinated status is limiting my freedoms in what I can and will do as a result. Moreover, as the virus mutates and new variants develop, there is a greater chance of them evading my vaccine-induced immunity and causing me to suffer a breakthrough infection with more serious implications. (See number 1 above.)

3/ Not everyone can get vaccinated. Those who are immunocompromised should not get vaccinated (or may not respond to the vaccine as well), and those under the age of 12 can't get vaccinated (for now). Thus, your failure to get vaccinated is putting them at risk. The best way to protect these people is to get vaccinated yourself.

I'm done telling the unvaccinated to get vaccinated. If you've chosen not to get your shot, nothing I say is going to convince you otherwise. Just understand, however, that we the vaccinated have our reasons to be upset that you're holding out, and that your refusal (no matter how valid your reasons) is doing way more harm than good to the collective in which you live. 

* Photo by Spencer Davis on Unsplash