by Jerome Kehrli
Posted on Tuesday May 11, 2021 at 04:57PM in Geeks-up !
Well. For once this will be an article far away from the kind of stuff I use to post on this blog. This is a post about COVID-19 and its vaccines. But it's perhaps the most important thing I will have ever written.
Since the start of the week, various events have cruelly reminded us of how dangerous COVID is.
Particularly the situation in India, where infections are increasing at an absolutely terrifying rate, is very worrying. India this week set a world record for new daily COVID cases with more than 400,000 daily infections in recent days (and this is probably underestimated) and more than 2,000 daily deaths.
It is time for everyone to realize that our only way out of this long-term humanitarian disaster is clearly through herd immunity.
We have finally had an incredible chance for a few months: in Europe and the US we have wide access to many vaccines. The speed of vaccination has increased. And that is great.
The reason that prompts me to write today is that the #AntiVax are now emerging as the main pitfall on the way out of this disaster and that we - scientists or simply educated people - have the responsibility to react. All over Western countries, the same signs are being seen: some vaccination centers have already gone from insufficient supply a few weeks ago to insufficient demand today. And that is a disaster.
- For example, in the US, according to the CDC, the average daily immunization has dropped by 20% since the beginning of April. A lot of centers find themselves with excess doses and possible appointments remaining, for example in South Carolina (see US media). Another example, without the county of Palm Beach, where a large number of vaccination centers have opened in recent weeks, the health department announces that it has 10,000 possible appointments on the various sites that remain vacant.
- In Europe, the situation is unfortunately no better. In France, for instance, several vaccination centers claim that people are not registering for the vaccine as quickly as they had expected and that others are not showing up. The bottom line is that multiple doses are not given at the end of the day and some must be thrown away. This is madness.
A worrying and growing number of people are reluctant to get the free COVID vaccine.
However, these vaccines could save not only your life, but also the life of the people around you.
The bottom line is that for the Coronavirus, the herd immunity threshold would be between 70 and 90% of the population. It is this threshold that we have to reach as quickly as possible. This must be our most sacred goal.
In the US, for example, a survey found that if 60% of American adults have either received a first dose of the vaccine or wish to be vaccinated, 18% respond "maybe" and 22% categorically refuse.
Let us imagine that in the long term the undecided ones convince themselves to get vaccinated, that only places us at 78%. And unfortunately, this poll does not take into account children who are not currently eligibale to bgetting vaccinated and who represent about 22% of the population. From this perspective, achieving herd immunity today seems illusory.
We must therefore ensure that the vaccine is given to as many adults as possible as quickly as possible. And that means we really all need to get vaccinated.
I can understand that young, athletic and healthy people do not see the benefits of vaccination. We might not get seriously ill from COVID or even get sick at all, right?
But it could always be inadvertently passed on to someone who could then die.
And only vaccinating people at risk is not satisfactory since the circulation of the virus would not be stopped. And this is the real problem: the more the virus circulates, the more likely it is that we will see mutations appear that make it more dangerous, and perhaps even strains capable of fully resisting current vaccines, thus bringing us back to The starting point.
The point is, the current hesitation over vaccination is terribly problematic.
So in the rest of this article, I would like to review and discuss most of the "arguments" of the #Antivax groups.Read More