This thread should be gold
BRB, making popcorn.
Google has given its anti-vax workers an ultimatum: you're fired unless you comply with its COVID-19 vaccination rules. That's according to an internal memo to staff obtained by CNBC this week. Googlers must provide to management proof of coronavirus vaccination, or successfully apply for an exemption on medical or religious …
I think that was true 20 years ago when you found spirited, opinionated, and well trolled comments, but ... today - if the topic crosses a some perceived Left/Right divide - rationality goes out the window.
The "right-wing" nutters have always been around and engaging with them is like engaging with some homeless guy who's been off his psych meds too long and is coming down off a bender.
The "left-wing" nutters are a more recent phenomenon and engaging with them is like engaging with a tantrum throwing 3 year old who is screaming and thrashing about in the middle of a store aisle because you won't buy them "Fruity Unicorn Loopy Frosties"
I do not notice an excessive number of "right-wing nutters" here even though I have been referred to as some sort of dangerous left winger by people in the USA who see anyone who works in the NHS as some insane crazy.
If everyone here had exactly the same politics, it would be boring anyway but I like I like seeing different viewpoints. I just don't see many people here who think Brexit is going brilliantly and BJ is an excellent Prime Minister.
""progressive" arm that's center-right"
Uh. No. Absolutely, positively, No. The progressives (aka liberals) here in the states are extreme left-wing. If they had their way, we'd already be a fully socialist/communist nation--ruled by the elites who absolutely determine who gets what (job, money, benefits, punishment, jail, etc.). Ever heard of Bernie Sanders or AOC?
And today's right-wing "nutters" are yesterday's (i.e. before 1975) moderate Democrats. JFK anyone? "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." Absolutely 180 degrees now--all the progressives want everything given to them by the government (housing, university education, healthcare, childcare, food, jobs, cell phones, $200 sneakers, cable TV, etc.). Just look at the 3 TRILLION dollar bills that just passed--government throwing money to whoever has the loudest temper tantrum.
Yeah. That's working out well. Hello skyrocketing inflation (worst in 40 years). 1. Print more money. 2. Money gets devalued. 3. Prices go up to cover the lost value of the money. Basic economics.
But the worst of all is the gradual (well, it used to be gradual) removal of our freedoms. Free speech? Not these days--you'll lose your job/livelihood if you dare to speak against the group think culture. Due process? Only if you're in the group think camp. Example: Over 400 riots throughout our country in 2020 that included billions in damages, murders, etc. What happened to the rioters? Nothing. Matter of fact the media propped them up. Then 1 riot at the captial, and all hell breaks loose with the media. Hundreds of the accused rioters detained in jail with still no court date.
Freedom over your own body? Only if you intend to kill your unborn child is that now permitted. Otherwise, the government and its media and corporate sycophants have 100% control over you--hello vaccine mandates. Before you know it, we'll all have ID chip implants and ID tattoos--that way, there's zero possibility for you to escape their control. We already have the masks to identify who the "trouble-makers" are now (i.e. those that don't wear them). Gee. Did any group of humans in our past ever get IDs tattooed on them before?
Language. Yeah, that's been taken over too. Used to be that "science" meant research, peer reviews, critical thinking, facts, reproducible results. Not any more. Now "science" actually means "politics"--i.e. "Follow the "science". Want to win the 200m women's freestyle? That's easy. Just "follow the science" and turn yourself from a male into a female. Damn the chromosomes--they're so much yesterday's definition of "science".
Ok. Start with the idea that “right-wing nutters are 1975 moderate Democrats”. Quite the opposite: today’s Democrats are fairly well-aligned with an old-style Republican like Eisenhower. Eisenhower continued New Deal programs, expanded Social Security, and prioritized a balanced budget over tax cuts.
Second: indeed it is true that Biden passed a large spending bill. But: Trump was the highest spending president ever - its just that he mostly spent on stuff that benefited the rich, so nobody noticed. But that’s not unusual: if you graph spending since WW2 against party, GOP presidents spend about 20% higher than Democrat incumbents.
Free speech: speech is indeed free. But in the USA, *because and only because of laws passed by GOP*, a company choosing to fire an employee due to what they said on their own time, is protected. In any of what you consider to be the more left-wing countries, that would be unfair dismissal. Cancel culture was *enabled* by the Right - they were simply too dumb to realise that not everyone in corporate position agreed with them, so they wouldn’t always be the ones wielding the whip. Goes around comes around.
Due to the way their terms overlap accounts, from thebalance.com:
"The Best Way To Measure Debt by President
The best way to measure a president's debt is to add up their budget deficits and compare that total to the debt level when they took office. A president's budget reveals their administration's priorities."
Trump wasn't actually the highest. (although close)
If you look at increases, Trump was 33% and Obama was 74%
When Trump raised spending in 2016 it was for:
"After several years of decline in the deficit, the first budget under President Donald Trump resulted in a $122 billion increase over 2016. According to the U.S. Treasury Department, this increase was due in part to higher outlays for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as interest on the public debt. In addition, spending by the Federal Emergency Management Administration for hurricane relief climbed by 33 percent for the year."
But that doesn't suit your hate or the prevailing narrative does it.
No amount of facts will change a lefty point of view. They are the bogey man, all out to get you (for their mates). All rather juvenile no?
I'd love to hear that some megacorp like Google decided to challenge the "religious" issue head-on. You want to claim it's against your religion, fine, but then we want to see where *exactly* it says it in your scripture. If you can't give chapter & verse, can't set your holy book down & point to where it says "Thou shalt not get the jab", then your employer should be free to fire your ass.
Claim a medical issue, fine, but then your employer should be able to require a copy of the medical paperwork from your doctor to prove that claim, otherwise said employer gets to fire your ass.
Or, and this would be an expensive "fix", have everyone that claims such exemptions then be required to be inside a biohazard containment suit while on company property "for the safety of the other employees forced to work in close proximity to a potential plague carrier". Let's see how fast those jabs get adopted then.
*Sighs & shakes head*
Oh who the hell am I kidding? It'll never happen. It's infringing on their "free dumbs", innit? *Spits*
"Doesn’t stop them from making up their own religion that explicitly says that vaccines are forbidden."
Having read all of the Scriptures of all of the common religions (and a bunch of uncommon ones), and not having seen anything even hinting at vaccinations in any of them, I can confidently state that anyone who claims a religious exemption has, in fact, invented said clause and bolted it to their religion. Or heard it from someone who has done so. Probably for personal gain. I wonder what their God/ess/es have to say about THAT.
Seems to me that in most religions putting words into the mouth of God is a big no-no ... One of the biggest, in fact.
Christianity involved taking the Jewish scripture, adding stuff to it, then rebranding Roman pagan religion with a Christian theme and interpretation.
Islam involved taking the Christian scripture, removing the pagan stuff and some of the other bits that were added to the Jewish scripture, and adding more stuff of their own.
What rule could you put in place to allow this to happen, but not allow someone to add a few paragraphs to an existing scripture that proscribe vaccines?
AFAIK, rules have been in place for a very long time. It's something that usually pops up around census time, and involves clear religious discrimination, anti-competitive behavior and long established traditions. So no, jedi is not a religion. Climate change is, because some chap won a case claiming they'd been discriminated against due to their belief.
Or that was due the separation of church and state, and secular courts ruling on whether legislation protecting beliefs had been applied correctly. Then there's Scientology, which is or isn't a religion depending on country. Or protracted legal procedings in the UK to get the tax benefits, which it eventually won. So no longer do you have to have a supreme being, but you would still have to convince HMRC, IRS etc that the anti-needle exists, and will corrupt your soul.
Also can't remember if the UK has an official inter-faith body that rules, or advises secular courts on matters spiritual. But it's easier to have faith than tax exemptions. Sadly. Then I wouldn't have to charge VAT when I sell indulgences.
You want to claim it's against your religion, fine, but then we want to see where *exactly* it says it in your scripture. If you can't give chapter & verse, can't set your holy book down & point to where it says "Thou shalt not get the jab", then your employer should be free to fire your ass.
I'm an atheist myself but I do get tired of this strain of aggressive secularism. It tends to portray itself as liberal and tolerant, but only if you agree with it. If you really believe in freedom you accept that means people can and will choose to disagree with you. Religion does have value, it is emotional comfort to many and imposes an external moral compass independent of what is popular or convenient at the time.
As for your challenge you proceed from a false assumption since a central text is not always the final arbiter. Even with Christianity while the Protestants place utmost faith in the Bible, in Catholism it is Church doctrine itself that is the final arbiter. Leaving that aside of course there is no mention of vaccines. Does this surprise you when most central texts are hundreds or thousands of years old?
Instead you have a set of principles. Most religions adopt "do not kill" and that there is no such thing as the greater good as mantras.
Vaccines are generally derived from aborted fetuses. I do not propose to get into the whole abortion debate here, let's leave it as "both sides have their views, both are earnestly held, both have some foundation in logic". However if you believe "abortion is murder" then (in an admittedly hard core interpretation) you are complicit in murder.
Compare it to war crimes prosecutions over the years. To be complicit just how involved do you have to be?
You fired the rifle?
You guarded the prisoners?
You put them on the train?
You occupied their house?
You took the jab?
Note I'm not saying I agree with that interpretation, I don't, however it is rational and may be earnestly held. I would hope most employers would seek to find accommodations to anyone opposed to killing others.
Vaccines are generally derived from aborted fetuses.
Some are made from foetal tissue cells, but by no means all. Even those that are use cell lines developed and grown from foetuses aborted 40-50 years ago, there's certainly no need to abort a foetus today to develop a vaccine. Even the Catholic church, which is adamantly opposed to abortion, encourages vaccination against COVID.
Bit of a weird one religious exceptions to vaccination in the main.
I'm pretty sure neither Allah nor Jesus would have ever heard of vaccinations, and most people back then would have been more likely to believe that disease was the result of a curse or an evil spirit.
Paraphrasing Jesus: "It is not what goes into a man's mouth that corrupts him, it is what comes out of a man's mouth that corrupts him." That is, what you do or say demonstrates the already existing state of your heart and mind. (This answer was in regard to the conundrum/trap about permitted foods.)
It doesn't matter to your religion whether you are vaccinated. But if you don't give a damn about your neighbor, well, that surely shows the state of your soul.
Far too many 'religious' are of the "I'm saved! Y'all can go to hell!" type.
As parodied by the Austin Lounge Lizards in "Jesus loves me but he can't stand you" (hard to find lyrics). Probably easier to find on YouTube.
And yes, I'm Christian. And sad.
It's not a new problem. This might help explain
the references but also "cited by" are a rabbit hole.
Issues around embryonic cell lines in the development of some vaccines, for some groups.
Allergy stuff re eggs does not apply TTBOMK to covid vaccines but can be a reason.
Unfortunately the success of vaccines means that knowledge of the dire consequences of diseases like measles has to be learnt at the cost of dead, deaf and crippled children when minimum vaccination levels drop - if there are no potential carriers, the vulnerable are protected.
Not so much when 25% have no jab at all.
There are too many who read lists of what might be a reason to be exempt as an absolute right - asthma with multiple ITU admissions, I'll grant, using an inhaler once in the last 5 years is not the same.
"Entitled" children is another story again where even trying to use or encourage a mask is not considered.
(dons flak jacket)
>>"Entitled" children is another story again where even trying to use or encourage a mask is not considered.
I work in a plague pit also known, in happier times, as a secondary school.
The number of 'official' exemptions from wearing a mask in the student population (and, to be honest, in the staff as well) is beyond belief; the number of plague rats not wearing protection (for others) above and beyond that list is stunning.
Its almost as if the government guidelines for masks/prophylactic vaccination were designed to ensure plague transmission by children... shurely shome mishtake?
Don't get me wrong, for me self determination is holy. No discussion.
But what does trouble me massively though is them making a self determined choice to not get vaccinated for some reason, and being vocal and/ or aggressive about it.
And then they catch the bug, end up on our (physicians) door step, demanding to be treated. In many cases with their (or their relatives) aggressive behaviour. Or ignorant (*oh, I didn't know*oh, didn't feel like it*oh, they told me it wasn't that bad*). But mostly aggressive lately, and rising...
I did the oath, so I will treat them. But in reflective moments, I do ask myself why I have to do a triage call to people, telling them their operation has been postponed, seeing them die on the waiting list, because all beds are full with (young) patients that should not be there. In tired moments, realising you might be getting too old for this, you do ask yourself whatever happened to making a decision and living with (or die due to) the consequences of your own actions. I mean, we all got past the stage where mum washes your knickers right?
... their job requires them being face to face with random people, and they refuse to get vaccinated, fire them for being incapable of filling the requirements for the job. It's not like Alphagoo can't replace them with folks who have had the jab, and yet are out of work.
It's time to stop pussy-footing around with the pig-ignorant anti-science anti-vax crowd.
Before anyone says it, if somebody is actually medically incapable of getting the jab (rare, but reality for some people) they probably wouldn't want to put themselves in that position in the first place.
So called "religious objectors" can kiss my pasty white butt ... unless you can show me in scripture (any scripture!) where it unequivocally states vaccines are a big Thou Shalt Not. I've looked, and see no valid examples, just dumb-ass "preachers" rabbiting on about their freedumbs. (The only freedom they actually seem to want is the freedom to collect loot from their flocks, and otherwise maintain their power over other people. Slimeballs, the lot of 'em.)
Even the Christian Scientists allow vaccinations
"On the other hand, our practice isn’t a dogmatic thing. Church members are free to make their own choices on all life-decisions, in obedience to the law, including whether or not to vaccinate. These aren’t decisions imposed by their church."
My ex-neighbour got the jab, but because she was recovering from cancer (post-chemo), her body didn't make any anti-bodies. She was taken into hospital in June for observation and after 3 days was tested positive, she spent the next 2 months in a coma and the time since trying to regain the use of her muscles and limbs.
She is walking again, and making better progress than the doctors expected.
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I am not an epidemiologist or virologist, so anything I say should be taken as a layman's understanding and thus substantially subject to the Dunning-Krueger effect or just sheer ignorance. With that said, a vaccine is not 100% effective at eliminating viral load or preventing viral transmission or illness due to viral transmission, it just substantially reduces those things. If you have a room full of vaccinated people, even if someone is carrying the virus, it should be in much lower concentration than in an unvaccinated person, so the odds of transmitting it go down, as does the amount transmitted. If you introduce unvaccinated people into the room, the odds go up that those people will have a higher viral load, which increases the odds of more of the virus being transmitted and thus of someone actually getting sick, odds which obviously increase the more unvaccinated people are allowed into the room.
In short, the point of having everyone be vaccinated is not to provide an absolute cynosure against infection but rather to dramatically drive down the odds of someone getting ill.
People actually knowledgeable on this subject should now point out where I'm wrong or how this post is incomplete. :)
it's sometimes about those that can't be vaccinated for genuine (exceptional & rare) reasons.
If you can't transmit from person to person the chain of infection is broken and by not having a reservoir of re-circulating virus the unvaccinated are protected by the greater society with individuals acting for the greater good and communal safety by getting vaccinated if they can.
look up how measles vaccines work once you reach >95% coverage https://www.who.int/immunization/sage/meetings/2017/october/2._target_immunity_levels_FUNK.pdf
yes it mentions herd immunity.
And you are pretty much heading in the right direction
So you're vaccinated. Congrats! You can now go to the pub. But wear a mask, because it is the law. Have a passport on us! If you've tested positive, self-isolated, and aren't dead, have a 6-month passport! If you've self-tested negative, have a 48hr pass!
Don't you feel so much safer? Don't ask why you need to mask if you're vaccinated. It's because you could sill be infected and infectious. So remember to stay masked and gloved if you hook up. Also don't ask why previously being positive is just as good for passporting as vaccination. Patented and trademarked antibodies are just better, ok?
And don't ask about 'cases'. They're at record levels. Trust us, we're from the government and we're here to help. Also don't ask about the first Omicron martyr. They died within 28 days of testing positive for Omicron. What they actually died from is irrelevant detail.
But such is politics. I guess it's good that natural immunity is recognised. Unless you're a drug dealer looking to endlessly boost profits. And vaccine theatre also allows governments and authoritarian employers to weed out undesireables and create a nice, compliant population.
Please go self-replicate with something coated in curare and rusty spikes.
(and that's the polite response- I'm banned by the entire EU, 73 additional countries, and the Vatican from the impolite answer; something about waking eldritch horrors from their deep, watery sleep.)
Dear employee, inject this, or else.
I guess as an employer, the Alphabets of this world simply demand blind obedience. Employees who disobey orders, ask questions will not be tolerated, and must be terminated. Do no evil becomes do as you're told.
(I kinda wonder if this establishes liability, if the employer insists on a medical procedure as a conditon of employment. Maybe they'll set min/max BMI scores next.)
I think that's reasonable. Hospitals are full of sick people, so there's a high risk to both staff and patients. But it's also been interesting to see that vaccine hesitancy has been high in the medical profession. I've not looked recently for papers examining that, but it echoes other studies showing that hesitancy is highest amongst the most and least educated. But everyone gets lumped in as an 'anti-vaxxer'
Some policy decisions also haven't helped, so get vaxxed or get fired. Then administrators are suprised that staff refuse their command. Then further suprised when they ask the Army for help, and discover that a lot of medics come from the hospitals that just fired them.
It'll be interesting to see if there's any booster effect. Guessing surviving staff will be compliant, but some may decide the policy is pointless and move on. Especially as some of the most authoritarian policies come from cities like LA, NY, Chicago etc that also have sharply declining quality of life.
The needs of the many (employees+dependents) vastly outweigh the needs of the one.
C'mon, you can save a lot of typing if you simply say "I'm afraid of needles, and I'm a very, very selfish person who cares not a wit about anybody else." We'll understand ... but pardon us if we don't invite you to the ElReg Solstice Party.
Or hire you for anything ... we actually care about our employees.
If you're going to back "Dave from Twitter" who's a plumber, instead of Professor Chris Whitty, who's a highly skilled epidemiologist and physician (and every other skilled scientist in the entire world), you aren't a thought leading rebel who can see through the global smokescreen; you're an idiot.
Wear your mask. Get jabbed. Stop asking questions you won't understand the answers to.
...Don't you feel so much safer?...
That is not why I had the jabs.I just don't want the nagging feeling that I may have killed someone through my own arrogance in thinking that I knew better than scientists, virologists, doctors etc.
As for thinking I know better than government ministers, not the same. An average 10 year old may be more worth listening to on the subject than BJ, Ree Smogg or other similar wastes of air.
I'm living in Poland, where we have over 200 year tradition of fighting and undermining our governments, which, through our own faults perhaps, were either foreign (when Poland was divided between Russia, Prussia and Austria, then hitler German occupation 1939-1945, and then Soviet occupation (1945-1989) which was implemented by the Moscow compliant Polish United Workers Party. We have it ingrained that the government is our enemy - no matter what the propaganda says. And it was just chilling for me to see your post down voted 14 to 2. Are British that dumb now or was it down voted by bots? And anyway, why asking simple, logical questions is so dangerous that it must be robotically down voted?
Because it's a matter of managing probabilities. Vaccination very substantially reduces the probability of catching a serious infection. It does not eliminate it. This is true of all the measures, all the social distancing, all the mask wearing, all the closure of premises. The lot.
My daughter, double vaccinated, still got an infection from her son, at that stage under the vaccination age here. It wasn't as bad as it might have been and will undoubtedly have increased her future immunity. She has still had a booster. Why? Because there's a new, more readily spread variant going about, resisting which needs all the strength the immune system can muster. And because, like me and SWMBO she's a bilogist, in her case a neuroscientist now working in clinical trials AND SHE UNDERSTANDS THIS STUFF.
It's not "fear" so much as dread ... Fear implies a loss of courage, dread does not. There are some people that I dread coming into contact with, but I'm not in fear of them.
But play with tactical syntax all you like, if it floats your boat. It says more about the commentard than it does the subject matter.
My sister is vaccinated and caught COVID from an anti-vax person at work, it was a mild case though and she is fully recovered, no symptoms of long COVID so far. Some vaccinated people do end up in ICU.
Bryan Adams is vaccinated and has caught COVID twice. https://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/583167-singer-bryan-adams-tests-positive-for-covid-19-twice-within
Kinda crude and unscientific though. Company hired a witch, my cow got sick, they cursed me! Kind of ironic that in these enlightened times, one can't discriminate against wiccans, but can burn the vaccine hesitant.
But it's one of those corelation != causation things. Science shows it's pretty much equally possible they were infected by a fully vaccinated person. Or someone outside the office. Or a vaccinated person made the unvaxxed sick.
> Science shows it's pretty much equally possible they were infected by a fully vaccinated person.
I think that's a bit of a stretch on what has actually been said. You're not equally likely to be infected by someone that has been vaccinated as from one that has not.
If you've been vaccinated, you can still get the disease but at a much lower probability and with symptoms that are of lesser severity, if at all.
Point stands. Correlation isn't causation. Vaccines don't guarantee immunity, or prevent transmission. Science, or just policy can't really prove one way or the other. Maybe one got sick with delta, the other with omicron. Won't know that without sequencing both. Or it could be a 'case' thing. One tests positive, self-isolates, then goes back to work. Second person gets sick, sow how come? Or maybe there was a 3rd person who was asymptomatic and infected both.
But there's no easy way to be sure. If track & trace identified a potential contact, and staff followed that up with their own tests, that might identify the 3rd person, but not any actual 'patient zero'.
Covered in radio 4 More or Less stats programme.
Before seatbelt law - most die without one
After seatbelt law, most die with one on!! ergo seatbelts kill!!
BUT only 5% of original death rate - seatbelts save lives. If 85% of people are vaccinated, by definition those in ITU are likely to have had some doses (although ratio is still not that of vaccinated population)
And vaccinated people will die.
icon for mathematics and stats analysis-->
A Møøse once bit my sister... No realli!
As someone else commented; How does she know who she caught it from? Was the unvaxxed person the only person she did something memorable with, and if so, why?
I've know! She caught it before BoJo's excellent advice last night to be careful who we socialise with! If only she'd been warned earlier.
All this finger-pointing is hugely divisive.
Because vaccination gives partial but not complete protection.
In other words, for the same two reasons that I would avoid somebody carrying a large sheathed machete on the street, who is just “going about their business”.
It is certainly true that I am most likely to be murdered by somebody I know, overall. But *this* person represents a much higher risk of killing me than any of the other people *not* carrying machetes. So I would choose to be somewhere else.
But also, they are the sort of person that carries a machete, while claiming it is their right to do so and totally fine. Which makes them the sort of person I don’t want anywhere near me.
And even if they don’t kill anybody, do I want to employ them to write code for me? Of course not. Because they will be the sort of person to get into endless pissing up the wall contests about code reviews, and dogmatic counterproductive discussions about “when I worked at Nokia, we always…..”.
Do Not Employ.
Why do I (first, second and booster) fear the unvaccinated?
Because if I have the misfortune to have a heart attack, or be hit by a bus, I am for the foreseeable future very much more likely than normal to die waiting for an ambulance, or waiting for treatment, because our medical system is clogged up with ignorant egotistical fuckwits who couldn't be bothered to protect themselves with a quick, free and painless procedure,
Not all hospital beds are the same: different wards, different levels of care, etc. I don't even have to assume that figure you gave is correct.
The point is: hospitals are at near capacity -- around 95% in the UK this week – and a surge in COVID-19 cases will push them over the edge, and people will be denied or given limited care. That's why we vaccinate: so we don't clog up the health system, and put others in danger, with a mostly solved problem.
"The NHS was put on a crisis footing as hospitals in England were told to discharge as many patients as possible while estimated daily Omicron cases hit 200,000 and the variant claimed its first life in the UK." (Source)
"Hotels are being turned into temporary care facilities staffed with workers flown in from Spain and Greece to relieve rising pressure on NHS hospital beds." (Source)
If that's an honest question, honest answer below. If trolling, sod off.
1) vaccines are highly effective, but not 100% so.
2) disease circulating among an unvaccinated subset of the population creates variants. Given time and bad luck, we could start all over again.
3) unvaccinated people getting sick tie up medical resources. In the early days of the pandemic, you went in to the hospital and you either died or you got better. Now that we have more effective treatmemts, you stay in the hospital longer. This crowds out people needing help for other issues.
4) if you're unvaccinated and you get sick, you'll miss work. Assuming you are a productive member of the workforce, that doesn't help with the general state of the economy at a macro level. At a micro level, your absence may have a negative effect on the supply chain for something I want or need in my personal or professional life.
Now, if you're not vaccinated, and you've signed an appropriate document that ensures you won't be admitted to a hospital if you get COVID (after all, if you don't trust a vaccine, why would you trust anything else in a hospital), I'll give you a pass on #3
A friend is a surgeon at UCH. We spoke last Saturday - 12th December - and on that day she said of all the patients in their Covid ward, exactly one had been vaccinated (and that poor fucker had cancer and was on a cocktail of drugs)
UK Hospitals are stretched to breaking with people who think that not getting vaccinated Is their choice. But because of that choice, people that need to go to hospital due to something that isn’t due to their irrational belief, can’t get the healthcare they need.
The COVID vaccines are very good at preventing serious illness and death but they're not very effective at preventing infection and transmission. This is especially true with the Omicron variant which has evolved to evade the vaccines to such an extent that boosting is necessary.
If the goal is to minimise outbreaks in the work place then regular lateral flow testing is the only practical option.
By the way, government data in the UK shows that COVID case rates among the fully vaccinated are now higher than those in the unvaccinated in every working age group above 30.
Refer to Table 11, page 35.
Personally speaking, I don't care how spreadable it is if it's been reduced, through vaccination or mutation, to literally nothing more than a bad cold -- no long-term effects, no risk of death.
I can put up with a cold.
"COVID case rates among the fully vaccinated are now higher than those in the unvaccinated"
I don't know what point you're trying to make here but if it's what I think it is, you're off base. The same report you quote says: "Comparing case rates among vaccinated and unvaccinated populations should not be used to estimate vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infection."
Beg to differ. One way to assess vaccine effectiveness is to compare it against a control group, ie the unvaccinated. See also drug trial protocols, blind, double-blind, or according to some whistle blowers, unblinded vaccine trials.
There's still the problem with 'cases'. If you're vaccinated, and that means you're at a much lower risk of being hospitalised, then being a 'case' doesn't really matter. Unless viruses adapt and there's antibody escape or ADE, in which case mass vaccinations just help the strongest mutations thrive.
I don't know what point you're trying to make here but if it's what I think it is, you're off base. How is it a surprise that vaccinated people (the majority) have the most cases?
Of course the vaccinated are now the vast majority in the UK, but those numbers are rates not total case numbers. Therefore you are more likely to encounter an infected individual among the vaccinated population than the unvaccinated population.
My point was that we shouldn't stigmatize the unvaccinated for happening to make a different health choice.
A recent article in the Lancet highlights this view.
The epidemiological relevance of the COVID-19-vaccinated population is increasing
PS Reposting this because it doesn't seem to have appeared in the comments, despite approval.
Yeah, hopefully Omicron, if it turns out to be as mild as the South Africans have found, will confer a degree of natural immunity to huge swathes of humanity.
Vaccination, as with any medical intervention, is not entirely risk-free, so mandating them is a bit different to outlawing smoking.
Here in California, K-12 kids are required to be vaccinated for polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox.
Thanks to vaccinations, cases of the above requiring a doctor's care are so rare in this state as to make headline news when they occur. Prior to mass vaccination, these diseases killed or maimed hundreds of thousands of people yearly. For centuries.
Covid-19 is killing and/or maiming hundreds of thousands yearly all by itself. And yet people refuse to get vaccinated against it?
The mind absolutely boggles. Of course we should stigmatize the unvaccinated ... or at the very least, ostracize them.
 That's from memory ... I may have missed one or two.
Here in California, K-12 kids are required to be vaccinated for polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox.
How many of those illnesses require booster vaccines multiple times per year though?
The issue with the current COVID vaccines is that they don't confer sterilising immunity and the protective effects wear out rather rapidly. Also, since most target just the spike protein, the virus has ample opportunity to evolve immune escape.
Perhaps the 2.0 batch will be better.
Keep on movin' those goal posts.
In fact, keep on moving them all the way out the door, down the street, over the road, across the bridge, all the way into a pharmacy or a doctor's office, all the way over to the uncomfortable chair where you can sit down and get a jab and move on.
"How many of those illnesses require booster vaccines"
Most of them. 4 polio, 6 diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough, 3 hepatitis B and 2 each mumps, measles, rubella and chicken pox (again from memory ... my daughter's vaccinations were long ago, I'm going by what I remember of my nieces and nephews).
Later, as Adults, recommendations for some of those return ... although chicken pox becomes shingles if you're old enough to have had the actual disease. I also add reoccurring 'flu, rabies, anthrax, cholera and a couple others to my mix. (It's a lifestyle issue; I'm nothing if not pragmatic.)
"they don't confer sterilising immunity and the protective effects wear out rather rapidly."
But they DO provide protection from the worst of the effects, leading to it perhaps not even being noticed vs being stuck in a hospital, in an induced coma, with a machine breathing for you and perhaps leading to rather nasty after effects that might last a lifetime (we just don't know yet).
"Perhaps the 2.0 batch will be better."
One or two jabs per year to tide you over until The One True Jab is invented is a rather small price to pay for that kind of security, no?
"Most of them. 4 polio, 6 diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough, 3 hepatitis B and 2 each mumps, measles, rubella and chicken pox (again from memory ... my daughter's vaccinations were long ago, I'm going by what I remember of my nieces and nephews)."
I think Tetanus is every 5 or 10 years.
" think Tetanus is every 5 or 10 years."
The DTaP (Diptheria, Tetanus, acellular Pertussis (whooping cough)) jab used here in California is given at 2, 4, 6, ~14 months and then again just before Kindergarden (usually). After that, a different jab (Tdap) is usually given every ten years ... unless you live/work in a place where Tetanus is deemed to be required more often. I live on a ranch and work with farm animals, and so I get an extra Tetanus jab halfway between the ten-year Tdap jabs.
So yes. Either every 5 or every 10 years.
> The issue with the current COVID vaccines is that they don't confer sterilising immunity and the protective effects wear out rather rapidly. Also, since most target just the spike protein, the virus has ample opportunity to evolve immune escape.
So, your position is they're not great, so let's not bother? Really?
We've had about 1.5 years to come up with something that we can treat Covid with (quite a staggering feat actually) as opposed to the decades for the aforementioned maladies, so it's not surprising that there is room for improvement.
They're not Covid? So picking on flu. It might kill you, so you might be offered a flu jab. If everyone, or just say 95% got jabbed, we'd eradicate the flu, right?
Or 2yrs ago, Covid was a new and terrifying disease. Doc Doom predicted millions of deaths. Then it turned out his model was wrong. Again. But 2yrs later, the media is still fixated on 'case' counts, and dubious mortality claims. Or, there's better understanding of the risks. Most people who become 'cases' won't notice given it'll present much like a cold. And assuming they survive that, they'll have antibodies and arguably won't need vaccination. So see the 6-month passport for Covid 'survivors'.
As for stigmatization, sure, why not? Worked well for lepers. Dust off old pub signs. No dogs, blacks, Irish or smokers. Oh, scratch 2 of those, so just discriminate against dogs, smokers and the unclean. Or as another poster suggested, forehead tattoo. 666, gullible, stars, so many lables for the tolerant to choose from.
Or, why not go after the co-morbities. Biggest is probably obesity. Ok, we'd have to reverse policies and campaigning against intolerance (see Karl Popper) but if it works to stigmatise smokers, or the naturally immune, why stop there?
But such is politics. You're vaccinated, so am I. If someone isn't, they've been informed of their risks and can make their own choice. Take that away, and by definition it's pretty much fascism. And that's a bad thing, no?
Hmm. Australians? They, along with some other countries are busy building quarantine camps so refuseniks can be locked up. I'm sure it'll work out fine though. Untermenschen were of course forced to participate in medical experiments against their will though.
Indeed. There are risks or costs in place whether you have the vaccine(s) or not, both to you and to other people.
In particular, it seems now that by remaining unvaccinated, a person may suffer risks to their employment, or to their freedom of movement, or other related things. They can now judge the risks and costs -- for either possible action -- and make their own choice.
You forgot the new definition which includes 'right-wing'. Otherwise, we have social engineering via creeping compulsion and 'nudge units'. We have the tolerant cheering the steady restriction of the non-compliant's rights. We have the benevolent government setting rules on how you can party. Follow them, or xmas will be cancelled. For you at least, not for us. Curious why our masters ignored their own rules though.
Kinda hard not to view that as authoritarian, especially when the messaging is all about reducing rights to force compliance.
But it's all sadly familiar. The Blair government wanted to impose ID Cards and came up with the idea of creeping compulsion. ID Cards would be great! They would let you do all the things you could do before. Want to buy alcohol? Just present your passport. I mean ID Card. You would gradually 'need' an ID Card before you could the things you took for granted.
A short while later, ID Cards are dead. Or just rebranded as (internal) Passports, complete with near real-time track & trace. Previously mass surveillance was sold on the idea that it'd save you from terrorists, now, to save you from a virus. SSDD, but such is politics.
Yeah, 'cos the introduction of 'flu vaccinations for the over 65's in the UK made such a huge difference to the mortality rate. Not. (see: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/adhocs/12735annualdeathsandmortalityrates1938to2020provisional)
Chickenpox vaccination? People used to hold chickenpox parties to try to make sure the kids got it while they were still young - an immunisation of sorts. I certainly wouldn't recommend it but that was the attitude.
Measles is different - it's a real bastard.
We shouldn't be stigmatising those who CANNOT be vaccinated. We absolutely should stigmatize those who CHOOSE not to be, because they pose an elevated risk to the wider population.
You have an absolute right and a choice not to be vaccinated against Covid. What you do not, and should not have, is a right to be absolved of the consequences of that decision. Being excluded from significant areas of society is a consequence of that decision.
This post does highlight the inconsistency of mandating a vaccine but not testing which unfortunately gives the anti-vaxxers an opening in their on-going attempts to persuade everyone else not to get vaccinated.
I'm fully vaccinated with three jabs. I can still catch Covid and be highly infectious. A non-vaccinated individual who does not have Covid will be less infectious than I am. A vaccine passport / requirement to be vaccinated does not make me less infectious or the non-vaccinated individual more infectious. The only way to decide which of us is 'safest' is to test us both. If it is a company policy that staff must be vaccinated then fine, but don't think that eliminates the need for testing. If companies are going to use vaccination status only to decide if someone is safe, then that could lead to an infection outbreak which the anti-vaxxers will seize onto with both hands and give them the chance to persuade others not to get jabbed.
TL:DR; Test as well as vaccinate.
You can file it under everyone's risk. Someone who has "done the research" is not only elevating their chance of catching COVID but anyone unfortunate enough to be in their proximity. And those affected by the increased demand on hospital beds/ICUs.
So it's no surprise that governments & companies are issuing mandates. If you are so scared or selfish to get vaccinated, then you still have the option to not interact with people or have a job until the pandemic is over. Just don't expect sympathy about your self-inflicted situation or people regarding you as a selfish, entitled, shitstain on humanity.
>>A positive lateral flow test probably means you have covid but a negative one doesn't prove shit.
Where anybody got the idea that a -ve LFT means 'definitely don't have CoVID' I really don't know. They were designed to detect asymptomatic/suspected infections not indicate a not-infectious host.
I guess its because people love black and white - so translate a +ve LFT as "Infected" and a -ve LFT as "Uninfected".
They can't seem to handle the +ve 'well you are definitely SARS-CoV2 positive.. go and have a PCR to be 100% certain' not also meaning, when showing a -ve result, "You aren't infected, no need to worry" rather than a -ve LFT actually meaning "Umm... not sure aboout it, you might not be +ve, but I can't be certain, if you have symptoms, or were a close contact, why don't you have a PCR to confirm it anyway"
A positive lateral flow test probably means you have covid but a negative one doesn't prove shit.
Likewise, just because you received a couple of COVID jabs at some point in the past, it doesn't mean you're not positive and capable of transmitting the infection.
"Likewise, just because you received a couple of COVID jabs at some point in the past, it doesn't mean you're not positive and capable of transmitting the infection."
Correct, but it does mean you will probably pass a LOWER viral load for a SHORTER period of time.
AND AND AND!!!
YOU likely won't suffer as badly. Or die, either directly, or from complications or opportunistic co-infections. Or have long term effects from Long Covid (which I understand is a thing.)
For fucks sake, people. Quit your bitching and get the shot already.
By the way, government data in the UK shows that COVID case rates among the fully vaccinated are now higher than those in the unvaccinated in every working age group above 30.
Yeah, and more people die in car crashes wearing seat belts than not wearing seat belts, so clearly seat belts can't be very effective at preventing death in car crashes.
Little did they realise the whole thing they been duped into religiously following is merely the freedom to do. Usually unto others and not necessarily in a way the others in question might approve of. Sometimes the boot really is on the other foot. Google is merely using the liberty it has been given. Mandated vaccination? I suppose it beats rigging elections for bad people.
But look on the bright side. Across the pond, John Stossel sued Facebook for defamation. Facebook added a 'fact check' claiming Stossel's content was false and misleading.
Then in an attempt to get the case tossed, Facebook may have facepalmed. Facts are normally true or false, and getting it wrong can be defamatory. To get around that problem, their response claims that their 'fact checks' aren't really checking facts, but are simply opinions. Opinions having some protection against defamation claims.
But then there's the s.230 safe harbor protections. Snag is Facebook editing comments to add it's opinion may well turn it into a publisher, without the s.230 protection. Which could end up being a very expensive opinion. And also for Alphabet given it's use of 'fact checks' on YT.
Whatever. Nut-jobs suing mega-corps and mega-corps falling flat on their faces (and sometimes both in the same article) are nothing new around here. ElReg reports similar weekly.
More importantly, neither have anything to do with the discussion at hand.
Bad misdirection attempt. No cookie.
Not misdirection, but tangentially relevant. Stossel's case was wrt Facebook outsourcing their 'fact'... I mean opinion checking to a bunch of climate deniers. But both Facebook and Alphabet have been doing the same with Covid (mis)information. So depending on the outcome of the Stossel case, both could be in trouble.
And more specifically, YT and Facebook used 'fact' checking early on to ToS users when the facts where unknown. So Ivermectin as an example. Wiki writes it up as a left-wing conspiracy theory and cites a notorious FDA quote about the horse medicine meme. Yet the facts about Ivermectin are still uncertain pending formal trials. But some facts are well known, ie it's widely administered to humans and has saved a lot of lives. Just not as an antiviral.
But that's a policy issue. Should we spend billions to administer 280,000,000 booster jabs a year, or spend a lot less treating people who actually get sick and need just a few paracetemol and some rest.
Why would anyone not want to get vaccinated (unless they have a real medical issue). Surely the days of thinking that Bill Gates has infected you or 5G will track you forever are long gone.
The vaccine is proven to lower serious illness and death - this is a good thing (isn't it?). So, what's the issue I'm missing?
"So, what's the issue I'm missing?"
People are intentionally, willfully & even stubbornly ignorant, and are often willing to fight in order to somehow substantiate their beliefs, despite all evidence that suggests those beliefs are irrational
As far back as the ancient Greeks, philosophers have been pondering the balance of knowledge, ignorance and opinion, and how it affects the individual, small groups, and society as a whole. Most have come to the conclusion that people just want to coast along, without thinking, having faith in what they think they know to be facts ... and will defend their right to do so, even to the point of taking up arms. Opinions are divided as to why, but it seems to be embedded in our genes. I suspect it's part of the "us vs them" survival function gone awry.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." —Anonymous (often falsely attributed to Mark Twain)
Was going to write stuff. It’s enough to say that many folk would rather have their biases confirmed and have a bad thing happen to them than their bias refuted and a good thing happen. You see this in politics all the time (my guy does a bad thing and I excuse it - your guy does a bad thing and I’m calling for their head. Or my party’s policy will harm me but I vote for it and defend it, but I the same policy from the other party I would consider outrageous.).
People are very very quick to pick a side, often based on little to no relevant info. Folk are them very very reluctant to swap sides even when they learn of what they would previously (prior to picking a team/side) have considered incontrovertible evidence as to the negative aspects of their choice or the positive aspect of the alternative.
In short, people often choose not to do what one might assume is the logical best choice. Reason: people are weird (and so am I!).
Too lazy to provide citations for all the above. Please forgive me!
Why would anyone not want to get vaccinated (unless they have a real medical issue).
Because peoples' decision making process is based on their own previous life experience.
Consider three hypothetical individuals.
Person A had several friends/family members contract COVID early on, some became seriously ill and a couple didn't make it.
Person B doesn't know anyone that even had COVID, is in a demographic where the hospitilisation/mortality rate is miniscule and knows someone that experienced severe side effects from the vaccine.
Person C from an ethnic group that is traditionally wary of any government-backed medical interventions due to extremely disturbing historical events.*
Now, are you honestly telling me that you cannot fathom why each of the individuals above would have a different reaction when confronted with the prospect of mandatory vaccination?
* - Google "Tuskegee syphilis study"
Person D who is in a demographic where the hospitalisation/mortality rate is not minuscule and knows people who have caught the bloody bug and shrugged it off and some that had a tough time - and would rather live the rest of their life to the full.*
Or Person E who is so terrified and knows so little they wear a mask whenever they step outside their front door - because net curtains.
It does take all sorts to make the world.
*I identify as 'D'.
(I didn't down-vote you).
How does being vaccinated prevent you living the rest of your life to the full? Seems like it would increase your chances of living a full life.
Mask wearing has little to nothing to do with being terrified. Strawman to prop up your belief system.
You want the freedom to not wear a mask - fine, but expect others to use their freedom to call you out on it should they wish to do so.
Freedom works both ways. Mighty hypocritical of you to bang on about freedoms (no you didn't use the word specifically, but it's implied) then critise the people who want to do the opposite to you.
You'd have to read some of the nonsense that the anti-vaxx crowd is spouting to get that. There are some who are convinced that the vaccine causes COVID and that it is all some big conspiracy to decimate the human population to save the environment, or something like that. Then there is the guy who shows cancer victim autopsies and tells his audience that the damage was caused by the COVID vaccine.
And thus it goes. Utter nonsense, but they believe it, and make decisions based on the garbage they've heard.
Yeah, I do think it's a matter of freedom to choose.
I have chosen to be vaccinated. I strongly support other people who have chosen otherwise.
The post I was commenting on was emphasising that different people have different experiences to base their choices on. One potential experience being ignorance and abject fear - which could result in either choice.
My personal choice was partly influenced by my background in the pharmaceutical industry (or possibly despite it).
What was yours based on? Eminence-based medicine?
Who is forcing anybody to get vaccinated? This isn't a governmental edict.
All alphagoo is saying is that if you refuse to get vaccinated, you can't work for alphagoo. You can still work for someone else who allows unvaccinated people.
Note that I'm no fan of the gookids ... not by a long shot.
@jake "Who is forcing anybody to get vaccinated? This isn't a governmental edict."
That is the point Teejay was making with De facto. This isn't a governmental edict it is a Google edict. So, too continue to be employed by Google you have to do something that is not required by law.
While I believe we should all be vaccinated (medical reasons excluded), to require you should be vaccinated should be a government decision not that of your current employer.
If you have already had covid, I see little sense in getting the shot. Like, how does a spike protein give better protection than being exposed to the entire virus? I can't make any sense of this directive. European countries recognise the recovered. How come the UK, USA & Australia don't?
... contrary to popular belief, you can get Covid-19 more than once. And the effects can be less, the same, or worse the second (third ...) time around. Getting the jabs on schedule minimize the effects of a second (third ...) case.
Why the rules are different in different countries are as varied as any other laws in the various countries ... mostly it's down to the fickleness of how elected officials perceive their electorate.
Yeah, I am aware you can get it more than once. If your body did fine fending it off the first time (let's say if you had no symptoms), most likely it's going to be fine the second time too surely?
And why would a jab be better than your own immune system? It makes zero scientific sense. It makes perfect profit sense.
"most likely it's going to be fine the second time too surely?"
Apparently not. One guy I know who was just on oxygen at home the first time around, a year or so ago, is now sleeping nicely with his ventilator in ICU at Stanford. Docs say he might be out of the induced coma in a week or so. Maybe.
Just before they knocked him out, he managed to convey to his Wife to get herself and the kids vaccinated after all ... We won't tell him that she already took care of that, the first time he got sick and she and the kids lived out of a hotel and then at her parents for few weeks.
Because "That what does not kill you only makes you stronger" is a lie.
Because the shots are designed primary to prepare your immune system to recognize a threat and react faster and with greater potency than catching it and either being in the ICU while your immune system figures out how to fight off this one, or not being able to fight it off and you wind up in a pine box. (There's your science angle, explained as if to a fifth grader.)
because the two major variants that have been publicized are a result of a perfect storm of forced "I DON'T WANT TO", major governments using it as a political weapon in order to profit from the disorder and chaos that has resulted, and those same governments piss-poor mismanagement of the entire thing from the start, again as a political weapon for their own self-serving interests.
@luminous “If your body did fine fending it off the first time (let's say if you had no symptoms), most likely it's going to be fine the second time too surely?”
Not necessarily, like flu the covid virus mutates and the next version you catch could be more virulent.
You are right catching Covid provides protection as does the vaccine and as like the vaccine that protection diminishes over time. But when that protection starts to wear off you could just restore protection with a vaccination rather than hope you catch the same variant of covid before protection has fully worn off leaving yourself open to a more virulent strain.
But it's not covid.
So back in November 2002, a traveler got sick, and ended up in a Vietnamese hospital. Dr Carlo Urbani noticed this was unusual, rang alarm bells, and sadly died. So that was the SARS outbreak, and at least 782 people died.
So that was SARS-CoV. 15 years later, that was probably traced back to a remote bat cave by researchers in Wuhan. Couple of years later, SARS-CoV-2, aka covid hits the market & explodes. Ground zero being Wuhan, but that's probably just a coincidence. Suggestions that gain of function research had anything to do with this will be vigorously denied by Dr Fauci and his supporters. Even though there's a growing stack of evidence.
But such is politics. Whatever happened, we've ended up with a mutated strain since 2002. And it's still mutating. And in all likelihood, it'll keep mutating. And as you say, it may mutate into something more lethal. It's just what viruses do. Kill the host too quickly, and you limit your opportunities to spread. Mutate to sneak past the immune system, and you spread faster. Hijack an antibody to gain entry into a cell, and you can hijack the immune system to spread. That's ADE, or Antibody Dependent Enhancement.
But that's one of the risks of mass vaccination, especially if you're administering the wrong vaccine. That just makes ADE far more likely. Sure, you'll have antibodies, it's just that a virus can use those against you. And oddly enough, following SARS and other coronavirus outbreaks, ADE was considered high risk for vaccines.
But no matter, mix & match jabs and boosters, I'm sure it'll be fine.
Personally I'd be asking to see a REAL copy of his diploma, and checking up on whether it is a real medical school or not... I wouldn't stick with a "doctor" who spouts their own quackery and nonsense instead of valid medicine.
Though I do realize there are people who look for the outlier cases and loons so they can point to them as "proof" that their paranoid fears are "valid."
No, that is not what I am trying to argue.
I'm asserting that a maverick opinion - for example an opinion that vaccines are not always a good idea - is not to be ignored just because it is maverick. It needs to be properly refuted (or perhaps found to be valid) based on evidence. Some ex-medic offering a counter-opinion without evidence is not good enough for me.
If you spent all your time "refuting" the nonsense and BS that people spout on the 'net I 100% guarantee you would never get anything useful done.
Demanding to be refuted is just another plea to be taken seriously when full of it, and is to demand that the objector prove a negative, which, as everyone knows, can't be done.
Keep shovelling. Eventually you'll reach China or bury yourself in manure.
Then why are you attempting to refute my arguments? Are you trying to 'save' me?
I won't bother attempting to refute opinions such as 'Bill Gates is trying to microchip the world' or 'Covid is caused by 5G'. I'd agree that would be a waste of my time. However, attempting to refute the opinion that 'anyone who declines the Coronavirus vaccine is an idiot and deserves to be fired' does leave me a little hope that the holder is open to some reason. After all, they do seem to be basing their opinion on a 'greater good' argument.
Keep shovelling. Eventually you'll reach China or bury yourself in manure.
So you too are of the opinion that the data from China is total bullshit? (see: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/china/)
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. A ‘what if my random idea is valid’ is just fud, particularly when the evidence to the contrary is so solid, and continually well scrutinised and tested.
I understand folk taking a personal opinion on whether or not you believe the state should be able to dictate what medications you must take in order to be allowed to participate in various parts of society but that’s separate from an ignoramus expressing an opinion on something with overwhelming scientific consensus which is simply wrong.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence I agree.
The claim that the anti-coronavirus vaccines have been tested to the same extent as previous treatments for other diseases is patently false. We have only just reached the point where a (whole) year has passed since more than a few hundreds of people have been treated - yet these vaccines have now been put into millions of people multiple times. Extraordinary times called for extraordinary measures to set aside the requirement for the usual evidence.
Do I fear or expect that the coronavirus vaccinations will cause some sort of SciFi horror apocalypse? No. I thought when the authorities gave them emergency approval that they were unlikely to be net harmful. I also thought that they were unlikely to be long-term useful - when infected, we (humans, one of the host species) often produce batches of coronaviruses with changed characteristics (mutations) which change the way the next host reacts to the virus. So in the UK, we have had 'Wuhan original', 'new improved Alpha', 'Delta with extra stopping power' and now 'Omicron with added...' well, it's too early to tell what its got.
It's important to remember that coronaviruses do not 'do' anything. They don't reproduce, respire, feed - they have no machinery to do any of these things... and they don't mutate - we mutate them. Any vaccine based on 'this is the chemical signature of part of the virus' is on a losing streak already with coronaviruses.
So was it pointless to make the vaccines? Not in my opinion; they got us out of the initial panic. With a high (definitions of 'high' vary) percentage of vaccinated now in the population and death rates falling in the UK (I think death rate is a good surrogate measure for severe illness rate), it is not necessary to push for more vaccinations. I strongly suspect that much of the hatred stems from a 'we took the risk, why should you benefit?' attitude.
We have to consider what stopped the first wave (original) of coronavirus infections. In the UK deaths attributed to it faded away in the summer months of 2020. No vaccines ware involved. With an average lead time of about 23-25 days between infection and death (for those that die) we can say with confidence that infections were already declining by the time of the lockdown .The timing of the lockdown (announced 23 March) and other measures had no mathematically discernible impact on the course of the epidemic. Would other measures have had a greater impact? We'll never know.
So what stopped 'it' doubling every x days or pushed the 'R' number below 1? Nature. It's what happens with respiratory (and other) infections. Gompertz worked this out for the financial actuaries of his time.
If we look later in the year starting in October 2020 we see Alpha which then overlaps with Delta before they too fade away over the spring/summer months of 2021. Two measurably different infections which also faded away over the summer and followed classic epidemic progress curves - were vaccines the main reason? I doubt it. It's for the same reason that 'flu is much reduced in Summer.
It may be that vaccines have been helping to keep a lid on infections in northern hemisphere Winter 2021/22 - that's about as enthusiastic as I'll get.
In summary: In the UK, the 3 lockdowns did not work - so we should not try another one to see if it works this time. Vaccines were probably not necessary to turn the tide but they are possibly helping now.
Finally: This is why I don't think we should be pillorying people who have refused the vaccine. Encourage them, by all means. Emotional blackmail if you must. Coercion is unacceptable to me.
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A certtain cult founded by a person rhyming with Elrond (tm) is now spewing anti-vaxx propaganda as part of their recruitment procedure.
Convincing potential suckers/recruits that they are right and everyone else is wrong, is fair game for them.
Even worse, now others have got in on the act and are flooding FB/Twitter/etc with their vile content and committing click fraud into the bargain.
The latest variant is recruiting the unemployed for slave wages to print out and hand deliver letters or pamphlets, send spam emails etc.
Problem is, $5 an hour cash in hand is still better than nothing.
I find it quite believable. There have always been nutters, egotists, scammers, crooks and mugs. Why would this be different? FB and the like didn't manage to stop them before so again, why would anyone expect this to be different?
There is no doubt the vaccines for these bugs were approved far faster than usual. Six months or so ago I was saying 'unlikely to be net harmful'. I'd now say 'likely to be net beneficial'. It does not alter the fact that people should be able to choose for themselves based on what they've been told by people they believe or found out from what they consider to be reliable sources.
Personally, I consider Mr Johnson and Sir Keir unreliable as sources of medical opinion; likewise Prof Ferguson.
People still can choose for themselves. But all choices have consequences, and one of those consequences for choosing to remain unvaccinated is that some companies won't employ you. They've made a choice based on their risk analysis.
Feel free to find a different employer that doesn't mind, or start your own business.
One thing strikes me repeatedly as I read and hear about people blathering on about "muh rights"...
Why is it that the "muh rights" crowd is always so willing and even eager to stomp on everyone else's rights to prove they can be ignorant fools because the law says they can?
People have the right to life; that is prevalent in most British or European settled nations. You do not have the "right" to threaten someone elses' life (much less many someones in your community); murder is the highest crime in most nations, and even threatening someone is criminalized in most nations. And yes, when your unvaccinated posterior insists on dealing with the public, you are threatening them every bit as much as if you were to be a drunk driver on a sidewalk that pops out the driver's door with a loaded shotgun on a crowded street...
Doesn't apply to UK Google. Only US Google.
Still plenty of ways around it. Usually making vaccination a job requirement for the safety of themselves and other workers, then refuseniks can be warned they aren't meeting their job requirements as their actions (or inactions) risk endangering others.
Doesn't have to actually be endangering anyone. Just creating a risk the company deems unacceptable. From there on out it's standard disciplinary procedures of increasing warnings up to termination.
I blame Tony Blair, who was so determined to suck up to religion that his government introduced legal protection for irrational belief but not for rational belief. It resulted, for example, in an employment law case in which someone had to prove that his beliefs about climate change were irrational to get protected status as a result.
And so illogic is sanctified, a vague mention of religion gets you a free pass to avoid vaccination and teenagers demand that university lecturers accept their evidence-free and inchoate beliefs about gender or face the sack. We have, as a society, sanctified unreason.
Is an over simification that plays into the hands of anti vaxers.
I had covid I, it was mild, got the vax (5 months ago) and now I have a more serious covid infection.
"it just works" is not helpful. It's trivial to disprove. Vaccine programmes only are expected to work if the whole population plays ball, and they haven't.
Seasonal flu has a long history of having some years when's it's bad and the subsequent years it's less dangerous. Interestingly these new vaccines have not prevented that. It's looking like the best prevention of problems from covid v1, and Delta is going to be Omicron infection. Big pharma ain't gonna like that because it's free.
Vaccine makers sold their wares with numbers like 95% effective without talk of boosters (Even big pharma didn't say "it just works" )
Numbers today are looking south of 40% which is way too low for herd immunity. Some vaxes seem to close to 0% effective against Omicron. Other measures (masks/quarantine) will still be necessary.
If you want to protect against Omicron (you probably shouldn't IMHO, but if you do) having been vaxinated, just doesn't work. Booster might for a few months. Some types of vax might be better that others. Many might help serious consequences (that's hard to prove since só many vulnerable people are dead) Maybe there will be a new vax soon.
It simply isn't true that Covid vaccines just work.