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"What Are Unvaccinated People So Afraid Of?"

Posted on 17th November 2021

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Show all posts in this thread (Covid-19).

Earlier this week I called my mother, who is now living with one of my sisters (in New Zealand).

My sister refuses to get the Covid-19 vaccine; my mother, thank goodness, is fully vaccinated.

We ended up talking for a while about my sister's refusal of the vaccine (which means that she has to leave her job at the end of this week). At one point she said "What Are Unvaccinated People So Afraid Of?"

The question suggests that she, and presumably other unvaccinated people, believe that vaccinated people are fully protected by the vaccines.

Well, for anyone not able to work it out for themselves, here are the answers:

Lower Risk is not Zero Risk

Although the risk of serious illness, hospitalisation or even death for vaccinated people is significantly lower, that risk is not zero.

Unvaccinated people are the main source of Covid-19 infections.

By refusing to get vaccinated, they are putting everyone, including the vaccinated, at real risk.

Some People Are Not Well-Protected By A Vaccination

Vaccination against Covid-19 is less effective in higher risk people. Such high-risk groups include:

  • Older people (like my mother);
  • People with conditions like heart disease or diabetes;
  • Immunocompromised people. These could be transplant recipients (who have to take immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of their lives), people who had had radiotherapy to treat cancer, people who have been infected with any one of a number of other viruses which suppress the immune system - HIV, Epstein-Barr virus (the cause of mononucleosis/glandular-fever/student-flu/freshers'-flu/kissing-disease), etc.

This is because vaccines work by training one's immune system to recognise and fight off infections, and compromised immune systems do this less well.

Covid-19 has Serious Consequences even for the Unvaccinated

In most countries, if you catch Covid-19, even if you have no symptoms whatsoever, you will have two weeks of mandatory quarantine. That means that you can't go to work, go shopping, or go out for a meal or drinks. Typically, any family members with whom you live will also be quarantined.

Quarantine is a major inconvenience that I can do without.

The Unvaccinated Breed New Variants

Unvaccinated people are known to be the main breeding ground amongst whom new variants evolve.

Already we have variants of the virus (e.g. Delta and Delta+) which are not only more virulent, but also not so well controlled by vaccines. It is only a matter of time before an even worse mutation evolves, that may render the existing vaccines ineffective.

By refusing to get vaccinated, they are hastening that evolution and, again, putting everyone at risk.