Vaccinations; An admission
I have written is posts prior about the various factors one might consider surrounding the decision on getting vaccinated against COVID19. In my first post, I outlined my personal political considerations. This post was followed by one defending my right to make these political considerations (despite claims that I endangered the health and freedom of others).
Now, I wish to do the intellectually honest thing and reconsider my views in light of new research. It was brought to my attention by a colleague of mine that new research pointed at a limited level of sterilizing immunity provided by the three major vaccines in Europe (Aztrazenica, Phizer and Johnson). A few days after, while listening to my daily morning news (BBC Global News Podcast), I heard about an article published suggesting something similar. It stated that, while vaccinated people are equally infectious in the first three days of infection compared to unvaccinated people, their infectiousness dropped off steeply after those first three days. Unfortunately, the reported did not give any indication of the study being conducted on recovered patients (with natural immunity).
To explain why this is even relevant, let me visualize my thought process in a graph.
As you can see, I take getting vaccinated against COVID19 to either be a Social or a Selfish decision. My previous points were operating under the “Selfish” branch. This was because there was no reason (Reason 1) to believe otherwise, and ample reason (Reason 1), to believe so. The research which was mentioned above gives a reason (Reason 1) to believe that the decision is a social one. Though you could deny this research, you would effectively deny the entire institution of modern science, something which I am unwilling to do in practice.
Now we come to the second question, is it relevant? What I mean by this is, can it be ethically required from me to do a certain thing because it might harm another. This is of course a highly philosophical question. Though I personally think that the social implications of your choice are relevant in the current scenario, I also hold that one could make a very effective point for the irrelevance of this factor.
For instance, take the example of wearing heeled shoes or boots. This might cause some mild annoyance to people around you, but you might medically need this kind of footwear. The social impact of mild annoyance is irrelevant compared to your health. In the vaccination case however, the stakes are higher. The fight is between personal liberty and endangering the well-being and lives of others. As I said before, I am currently not in favour of siding with personal liberty, when actual human lives stand in opposition to it. But that is just me (and many others).