“I think the central issue is that vaccinated people are probably involved to a substantial extent in the transmission of delta,” Jeffrey Shaman, a Columbia University epidemiologist, wrote in an email after reviewing the CDC slides. “In some sense, vaccination is now about personal protection — protecting oneself against severe disease. Herd immunity is not relevant as we are seeing plenty of evidence of repeat and breakthrough infections.”
Yes, CDC is acknowledging what is becoming very obvious. The vaccine does a great job of protecting against infection initially, but that protection wanes – rapidly. 75% at three months, 67% at four months, 44% at five months, and 16% at six months. Anyone who says that people have a moral obligation to get vaccinated to prevent the spread of Covid is not looking at the numbers.
That doesn’t mean there is no moral obligation to get vaccinated. The real risk of Covid is straining hospital capacity, resulting in substandard care not just for Covid patients, but for the heart and cancer patients – both diseases which kill far more people than Covid does annually. 80% protection against hospitalization at 6 months is excellent for anyone under 65 who’s reasonably healthy.
Israel is now providing boosters to all its citizens who are 5 months out from their vaccine and age 60 or older. My parents got their vaccine 6 months ago. My Dad is pushing 80 and has a host of health issues. Same for my MIL. When is the FDA and CDC going to get their act together and offer him a booster?
Other thoughts: I was a big advocate for “persuading” people to get vaccinated. The persuasion has been done, and I am sure a lot of people got vaccinated as a result. But it’s over. No one is getting persuaded any more. It’s time for vaccine mandates. I think what’s being done in NYC and with federal workers is a great model. Get your vaccine or get tested (at least) weekly. Or find a new job. Naturally, such rules haven’t been enacted in Washington. It’s also no surprise that the national teacher’s union has come out against it. NYC unions want to get paid overtime to go get their Covid test. You must be kidding me!
In fairness, I did read today that the likelihood of myocarditis in teens is six times higher as a result of Covid than as a result of the vaccine. I figure in many areas, including where I live, a teen has substantially less than a 1 in 6 chance of contracting Covid, especially if they lead a relatively tame lifestyle (no clubbing or hookups). My teenage self would never have caught Covid. Anyway, this implies that it is more dangerous for a teen to get the vaccine than not. And I don’t think it’s right to mandate vaccination in this scenario, given that the vaccine is still considered experimental. So, if I were king, I’d be very aggressive about mandating vaccination in workplaces and educational institutions, but only for ages 25ish and up. But WA’s attitude with regard to Covid is “suffer the children” so you can be sure that we’ll be leading the way mandating vaccines for kids when adults are still happily lallygagging about vaccine free.