Vaccination not requiredTuesday, August 10, 2021
Have you ever heard coaches talk about how they've studied their opponents, including ones they've never met; how they watch and analyse videos and strategise accordingly to determine the best way to defeat, contain, or avoid embarrassing loss? Well, that in a nutshell is what a vaccine helps a person to do – use a false threat to prep your body's defences. The body is forewarned and, therefore, forearmed.
Now what of a familiar opponent? Coaches also assess what went well and what could have gone better to repeat successes where possible; effectively creating a playbook. That is, your body has already been exposed to the real thing. It knows its enemy.
The effects of both, however, remain the same — they teach the body about “stranger danger” and how to raise the appropriate alarm. But, preferably, you will get vaccinated to avoid the ravages of what could be a very ruthless and crushing opponent.
Because neither vaccination nor initial infection protect against future infection or reinfection, then, by logic, neither post-vaccination infection nor reinfection should come as a surprise. Therefore, the presentation of vaccines as the pandemic's panacea undermines the value of the resilient immune system, particularly of a recovered individual.
A study by Rockefeller University this year has highlighted that the antibody count in vaccinated individuals is comparable to that of recovered individuals. But, a little more protection would be useful, right? Not quite.
A study from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, released on July 22, also showed that there was no significant difference between a naive patient (never been infected) who received all doses and a recovered individual who has been vaccinated.
Additionally, while I, admittedly, stopped short of finding numbers for post-vaccinated infections, the phenomenon has been the subject of regular media sensationalism. The reinfection rate among the recovered was less than one per cent, as shown by a University of Missouri-Columbia study, in which of 9,119 recovered, 63 were reinfected. Similarly, a test among 6,600 UK health-care workers showed only 44 re-emerged with the illness. In all cases the symptoms were notably milder, even for those who suffered from extreme symptoms previously. Dr Theodora Hatziioannou, a virologist at Rockefeller University, was even quoted by Healthline.com as saying that reinfection symptoms can be so mild that they are missed.
Now that the Government has been pressuring doctors, business owners, and party promoters to encourage, cajole, and even bully others into getting inoculated, the following questions arise:
• What will happen to those who have recovered from the disease?
• Will the same pride of place as the inoculated be extended to them?
• Will they be given preferential treatment when travelling or attending parties or returning to work?
Being regularised requires that one must either show proof of having received the jab or a negative test result. Ironically, a negative tester could be more valuable than a pathogen-bearing asymptomatic jab-ee. With the advent of vaccines, we have witlessly disposed of the value of natural antibodies on our way to herd immunity.
Jamaica has an incredible recovery rate. As per the Ministry of Health and Wellness's website, as of July 25, it was 90 per cent. According to the science, that's already 46,868 people immunised. They must benefit from the same preferential treatment as those who took the 'jook'.
Note that there are still people who die after getting sick, so this is not a recommendation to wait to be tried by fire. Make an educated and rational decision to protect your health and that of your loved ones.