back to article Meta Platforms demands staffers provide proof of COVID-19 booster vaccine before returning to office

Facebook parent Meta Platforms is postponing employees' return to US offices until the end of March – when it will require proof of a booster jab from eligible workers before they actually set foot in any of the locations. The mass inflow of staff was last pegged as 31 January, but the rapid spread of the Omicron variant …

  1. ShadowSystems Silver badge

    Good.

    Get the jab or GTFO. Any exemption should come with a biohazard containment suit requirement at all times while on company property. You insist on being a plague carrier, we insist on isolating you to prevent anyone else from dying. Don't like it, tough shite.

    1. Dr Scrum Master

      Re: Good.

      Yes, beware of that plague with a 99% survival rate where that rate decreases when there is already a co-morbidity which already reduces one's life expectancy.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Good.

        Omicron is filling up hospitals in the US to the point where the people who would really benefit from surgery are crowded out by the unvaccinated. You are welcome to not take omicron seriously in the privacy of your own home but if you start coughing, please stay there.

        1. chivo243 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Good.

          Lrrr is happy, and wishes us well! From Persia 8!

        2. chivo243 Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: Good.

          Guess what? My prostate meds cause half of the covid symptoms... I've been on in way longer than covid, and have to strike a.happy balance...

          Disclaimer: I had Covid in late November, Thanksgiving in the colonies... I guess I was lucky, I've had two day hang overs from a few nights in a row that were MUCH worse than the couple of uncomfortable and restless nights I experienced during my Covid episode.

          Lucky or a statistic swept under the carpet?

          Sherlock icon as he wants the truth

        3. chivo243 Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: Good.

          It was funny a year ago at my dad's funeral, my uncle says to me, he says to me, "I don't watch sports anymore... :" He's was an excellent baseball player, and a superb golfer... now I watch Politics and News... It's much more entertaining!! I was floored! Careful what you read and believe?

          In the end, I wish Cancer had all the resources Covid does... Near double digits of my family has succumbed to cancer, 0 for Covid. It feels odd in some way... should I wonder? A discussion for another day my friend. no AC needed.

          Somehow the Linus middle finger icon is missing...

      2. Citizen of Nowhere

        Re: Good.

        <sarcasm> Yes, sure, we can just chuck those with existing contributing conditions under the bus </sarcasm>

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good.

          <sarcasm> Yes, sure, we can just chuck those with existing contributing conditions under the bus </sarcasm>

          Nope. They can choose to get vaccinated should they so wish.

          Health authorities around the world are finally coming to the realisation that we need to learn to live with COVID. The omicron variant is literally as dangerous as seasonal flu, so extremely costly universal mass vaccination campaigns, multiple times per year, will soon be consigned to the dustbin of history. In future it will be the vulnerable demographics that are targetted for treatment, as IMHO we should've been doing from the start.

          Anyone remember the "15 million jabs to freedom" slogan? :)

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Good.

            @AC

            "Health authorities around the world are finally coming to the realisation that we need to learn to live with COVID"

            Not sure why your posting AC, well said. At the beginning we were being told this and the need for herd immunity etc. The concept of lockdown fatigue was already known and accepted. Once vaccines had been developed (at an unprecedented speed) we were told it was the way to freedom (as you said).

          2. Citizen of Nowhere

            Re: Good.

            >Nope. They can choose to get vaccinated should they so wish.

            Which partially protects them from infection. Whether or not targeted vaccination campaigns for the vulnerable is the future depends on how the virus evolves and the situation develops. Since it is infecting very large numbers currently more variants are to be expected and may not be similarly attenuated. Hospitalisations are going up quickly in many countries currently, placing health systems under considerable strain. While I am not in favour of compulsory vaccinations, the vacuity of the statements of many opposed to vaccination and the liberal sprinkling of bacofoil headgear conspiracy theories hardly convinces me they are the best people to listen to concerning a public health emergency.

          3. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: Good.

            The omicron variant is literally as dangerous as seasonal flu

            So how come over 14,000 people have died from covid in the past week in the US, when only 20-50K die from the flu over an entire YEAR?

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: Good.

              Have they actually died from St. Marys, I mean Covid? Or have they died within 28 days of a positive test? A rather important distinction, especially if more countries reduce PCR testing.

              But such is politics. Triple jabbed people already get infected & become infectious so being jabbed has limited effectiveness. Other than allowing employers to discriminate employees on medical & health grounds.

              It'll be interesting to see how litigation pans out, especially any natural vs commercially acquired antibody cases. From a 'science' perspective, it'll be fun to read expert arguments that branded antibodies are somehow better than naturally acquired ones. Especially given some recent papers around T-cells.

              1. DS999 Silver badge

                Re: Good.

                The covid deniers keep bringing up that stupid point. You can look at excess deaths vs the average for the past 5 (or 10 or 20) year average and see that if anything covid deaths are underreported not overreported, at least in the US. No idea about other countries.

                1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: Good.

                  That's an assumption. Die within 28 days of a positive Covid test, and you could be considered a Covid death. Even if the actual cause of death is unrelated. But that's the joy of stats, and media hysteria.

                  With Covid being endemic, and overly sensitive PCR testing, over time more people will test positive. That doesn't necessarily mean sick. Then there's normal winter bugs like influenza, NPV etc that lead to hospitilsations and deaths. And the causes are much the same, ie ARDS, pneumonia, heart failure etc. And without an autopsy, it can be extremely hard to determine how much Covid may have contributed, if at all. Excess mortality might be a better indicator, but also complicated by comorbidities that have gone undetected or untreated due to healthcare policy focusing on Covid. Or there are other factors, ie a cold winter generally leads to more deaths, especially with increasing energy poverty. Or just having an aging population will mean more deaths.

                  But the media is shamelessly exploiting the situation. The Bbc's run 2 stories about a 13yr old who's been in ICU with Covid, and now recovering. Message is kids can get Covid, so jab'em now. Except this kid is very unfortunate to have a severe form of muscular dystrophy, making him vulnerable to respiratory problems. It also affects the heart, so vaccination might be risky.

                  But such is politics. As the pandemic has progressed, it's become apparent where the risks lie. So in fit & healthy people, Covid is a flu-like inconvenience. Medicine has a principal of 'First do no harm'. So if there's very little harm from Covid, why risk the harm from vaccination? And then there's the neo-leper reaction. Get jabbed, or lose your job. Or in Canada, lose your booze, and maybe pay more tax. In Australia, you may be forced into a quarantine camp, and charged for your detention. In France Macron just wants to 'piss you off'. But that could mean more protests, and Macron becoming an ex-President.

                  But it's strange that as it's becoming more apparent that vaccination policy doesn't work, politicians are becoming more authoritarian & fascist in their proposals. Maybe they don't like being defied by subjects. Maybe they have sales targets from their drug dealers. But we're living in interesting times.

              2. katrinab Silver badge
                Megaphone

                Re: Good.

                In the UK, as of 31st December, the most recent day for which both stats are available:

                Number of people who died within 28 days of a +ve covid test: 148,624

                Number of people who actually died from covid: 176,035

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Good.

            Here's a prediction for you. Comments like this...

            "There's plenty of bad science on Facebook, but presumably most staff recognise the importance of getting the shots themselves."

            ... are really not going to age well. If you are in your 20s and particularly if you are male, then the benefits to this vaccine do not look great. I'd personally give it a couple of years.

            Also, after a few months it seems that the efficacy of the vaccine (against catching and spreading) is actually quite strongly negative. In other words if you are vaccinated, but not boosted then you are much more likely to catch and spread it. So, does that mean we'll have to accept vaccines 3 or 4 times a year to be able to carry on working? No thanks.

            Anonymous as in the current climate saying things like this could literally get me sacked. It will be really interesting to see if sanity has returned in a couple of years, and everyone stops cheering the Pharma companies as if they are our great saviour. No one sane did this in 2019 and before, as we realised they are all about making more and more money.

            But I daren't post opinions like this as myself right now, and I suspect a lot of others are "silenced" in this way, or just don't bother posting because of all the negative flak from the vaccine zealots. They are just not anywhere near as good as we were originally lead to believe.

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge

              Opine if you wish

              You're still wrong. Reality doesn't give a damn what you think.

              The actual evidence is very strong that the vaccines offer extremely good protection from disease, and some protection from infection.

              Basically, you are talking utter rubbish.

          5. graeme leggett

            Re: Good.

            Delta hasn't gone away just because Omicron is more common. And the next variant might take Omicron's high infectivity and mix in something that has more long term health effects (eg post-viral fatigue) even if it's not actually fatal.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good.

        The oft-stated but never cited 99% figure is a lie disseminated to foment and sustain hysteria. Please stop repeating it.

        You don't need anything but basic arithmetic skills to figure this out; it's like any other order-of-magnitude estimation problem. There are about 8 billion humans. Somewhere between 25% and 100% of them have been infected by Sars-CoV2 at least once (many probably more than once, but we'll disregard that here because this is a rough estimate only); let's use 50% to ballpark this. Government statistics -- not really reliable but good enough for order-of-magnitude estimation -- suggest fewer than 6 million humans have died of COVID-19. 6 million divided by 4 billion is 0.15%. You can use different figures on the top or the bottom if you like but you're going to come up with a figure far below 1% using any plausible pair of numbers. The truth is that the survival rate for healthy people under age 60 who are infected with Sars-CoV2 is at least 99.9% and given the declining virulence of successive dominant strains is probably approaching 99.99% for people infected today.

        For most people there is no reason to care about COVID-19 any more than you'd care about the common cold or the flu. If you are elderly, immunocompromised, or have chronic respiratory disease all are dangerous and potentially life-threatening. Otherwise they're not worth worrying about. Even if you're going to worry, you need to recognise that the available vaccines have zero public health value: they are not effective at preventing infection nor retransmission. Their only value is to the recipients, in a modest reduction in statistical duration and severity of illness. Mandates like these serve no public health purpose; their purpose is for corporations and the state to increase their control over individuals, eliminate privacy, and normalise those conditions among the next generation of children. Those are Meta's policy goals here, and they are well-aligned with both their corporate economic interests and their leaders' openly expressed politicial ideology.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good.

          Hurrah! A rare voice of reason on these forums.

        2. TaabuTheCat

          Re: Good.

          "Even if you're going to worry, you need to recognise that the available vaccines have zero public health value: they are not effective at preventing infection nor retransmission. Their only value is to the recipients,"

          Tell that to the health care workers dealing directly with the effects of this type of selfish thinking. Overwhelmed hospitals and burned out medical staff have a huge impact on public health value, especially if you need a bed for something other than Covid. If you think health care isn't being rationed right now in the US because of the overhelming influx of unvaccinated Covid patients, you are not paying attention.

        3. Zolko Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: Good.

          The oft-stated but never cited 99% figure is a lie

          no, it's a verifiable data: look at the data from the cruise ship Diamond Princess (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_on_Diamond_Princess).

          - 3711 people on board (2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew)

          - The median age of the crew was 36 while the median age of the passengers was 69 (!)

          - quarantined 1st of february

          - 696 tested positive by 1st march (1 month later)

          - 7 dead by 1st march = 1% (all of them aged >70y)

          - survival of 99% for those catching the Covid19, and 99.8% if considering the entire boat population

          Which means that by march 2020, any person interested in the subject could know that the Covid-19 is only dangerous for (very) old people. THIS is documented and verifiable science.

      4. NoneSuch Silver badge
        Go

        Re: Good.

        My contact list has decreased significantly over the last year. Almost all anti-vaxxers have been removed. Either by myself, tired of reading their ignorant posts and theories, or right after the funeral / memorial service.

      5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Good.

        99% survival of 100 infected people is 1 dead. 99% survival of 1 million is 10,000 dead. So far in the UK alone we have >150,000 dead.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good.

          Actually it's probably closer to a million dead in the UK over the past two years.

          Of something.

          Context is important here.

        2. tip pc Silver badge

          Re: Good.

          https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

          ~15m infections and ~150k are said to have died which is conveniently 1%.

          427m tests 69m population ~6.2 tests per person ~4% of tests where positive.

          ~0.2% fatality rate.

        3. Twanky Silver badge

          Re: Good.

          So far in the UK alone we have >150,000 dead.

          England and Wales from https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/weeklyprovisionalfiguresondeathsregisteredinenglandandwales. I consider ONS to be a more reliable source of information than the Government dashboard.

          Covid deaths (Covid mentioned on death certificate):

          2020: 86,240

          2021: 73,315

          Total: 159,555

          Any cause Deaths:

          2010: 493,166

          2011: 484,391

          2012: 496,616

          2013: 503,665

          2014: 497,700

          2015: 539,007

          2016: 524,474

          2017: 533,125

          2018: 539,340

          2019: 527,324

          2020: 614,114

          2021: 585,899

          Comparing with 12-year trend (2010-2021): deaths = year x 9,345 -18,306,422

          Differences from 12-year trend:

          2010: 16,328

          2011: -1,792

          2012: 1,088

          2013: -1,208

          2014: -16,518

          2015: 15,444

          2016: -8,434

          2017: -9,127

          2018: -12,257

          2019: -33,618

          2020: 43,827

          2021: 6,267

          2020+2021 total difference from 12-year trend: 50,094 deaths

          Comparing with 10-year trend (2010-2019) - ie excluding 2020 and 2021 as 'unusual': deaths = year x 5,929 -11,430,810

          Differences from 10-year trend:

          2010: 5,967

          2011: -8,737

          2012:-2,441

          2013: -1,322

          2014: -13,216

          2015: 22,162

          2016: 1,699

          2017: 4,421

          2018: 4,706

          2019: -13,239

          2020: 67,622

          2021: 33,477

          2020+2021 total difference from 10-year trend: 101,099 deaths

          Even assuming the most extreme trend (based on 2010-2019) diagnosed Covid deaths seem overstated by about 57%.

          Accepting trend (based on 2010-2021, ie all available data) diagnosed Covid deaths seem overstated by about 200%

          Note that 2015 was a bad year though obviously not as bad as 2020. There was a distinct epidemic (probably 'flu) spanning Jan-Mar 2015. 2014 was an unusually benign year.

          Note that 2019 was an unusually low year too. If we define our trend line as 2010-2018 (ie exclude 2019, 2020 and 2021 as 'unusual' years) we see this:

          Comparing with 9-year trend (2010-2018): deaths = year x 7,033 -13,651,269

          Differences from 9-year trend:

          2010: 8,909

          2011: -6,898

          2012: -1,706

          2013: -1,690

          2014: -14,687

          2015: 19,587

          2016: -1,978

          2017: -360

          2018: -1,178

          2019: -20,226

          2020: 59,531

          2021: 24,284

          2020+2021 total difference from 9-year trend: 83,815 (Diagnosed Covid deaths seem 90% overstated).

          Which years do you think should be included/excluded from any trend calculations?

          Note that no age-standardisation has been applied to adjust for population changes/aging.

          1. Twanky Silver badge

            Re: Good.

            ONS use a 5-year average comparison for their weekly figures. For 2021 they've used an average based on 2015-2019 because 2020 was unusual.

            If we try to draw a trend based on 2015-2019 we get:

            Comparing with 5-year trend (2015-2019):

            deaths = year x -850 + 2,247,104

            Differences from 5-year trend:

            2010: -45,438

            2011: -53,363

            2012: -40,288

            2013: -32,389

            2014: -37,504

            2015: 4,653

            2016: -9,030

            2017: 471

            2018: 7,536

            2019: -3,630

            2020: 84,010

            2021: 56,645

            2020+2021 total difference from 5-year trend: 140,655 deaths above trend (Diagnosed Covid deaths still seem 11% overstated).

            A problem with using this trend: For 2010 to 2014 we have nearly 209,000 deaths below trend.

            Pick a trend, any trend... Now justify your choice.

      6. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Good.

        The trouble is a big part of CoViD's impact is economic.

        With Omicron being so much more transmissible, it isn't single people getting CoViD but entire teams and offices and the disruption this causes - Omnicron was cited as a big cause of airlines having to cancel flights due to insufficient crews.

        Companies are also wanting to limit the amount of sick pay they give out, hence why we are seeing companies only offering full rates for those who have done what is regarded as good practice and been vaccinated and only statutory minimum for those who haven't.

        Aside: I remember in one (or more) of my employment contracts there being a health clause that required me to take actions that were beneficial to health and thus being able to do the job. I suspect not getting vaccinated would probably fall foul of this clause.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Good.

          @Roland6

          "The trouble is a big part of CoViD's impact is economic."

          That isnt exactly accurate. While it would have an economic impact to a degree it wouldnt be as large an impact as the reaction to Covid which has been highly destructive lockdowns and restrictions pretty much stopping the economy.

          "Omnicron was cited as a big cause of airlines having to cancel flights due to insufficient crews"

          When isolation rules and restrictions force people to stop working and to isolate, or worse even the 'pingdemic' it isnt the virus doing the damage. We dont stop the world because one person in an office sneezes, or even has the flu but is asymptomatic or feels slightly under the weather.

          "health clause that required me to take actions that were beneficial to health and thus being able to do the job. I suspect not getting vaccinated would probably fall foul of this clause."

          Scary thought that isnt it. A vaccine which has yet to pass the trials necessary is made available through emergency powers with a serious lack of knowledge of the health effects could be forced upon you because some idiot thinks they have all the answers, or at least the right to make you a lab rat.

          Regardless of your belief or not in the lockdowns and restrictions it is important to attribute the damage to the right cause.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Good.

            @Codejunky - Yes there is history - the lockdown that wasn't really a lockdown etc.

            I was just looking at Omicron and challenging the viewpoint that because the 'plague' isn't killing lots of people, it isn't something that we should be concerned about.

            In some respects as a business, I work on a simple rule: if one member of a team tests positive then it is highly likely that other members will also test positive within the coming days, and thus ask the question do I keep that team and office open with the risk that in a day or so I will have insufficient staff to run a service or do I simply send them home for a few days and pull the shutters down. Obivously, whilst the team members are at home they are not visiting my other sites and so infecting other teams and clients (aka reputational damage)... The catch is that as a business I get hit for the sick/absence pay and loss of revenue not the government...

            Useful reading: https://ukhsa.blog.gov.uk/2022/01/01/using-lateral-flow-tests-to-reduce-the-self-isolation-period/

            However, remember self-isolation is all about reducing onward transmission, it's not about individual sickness where in many cases I've observed the 'cold' phase lasts only a day or so, but there is often a sting in the tail in days 5~10 caused in part by the mess Sars-Cov2 makes and so opens the body up to secondary infection...

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Good.

              @Roland6

              "and thus ask the question do I keep that team and office open with the risk that in a day or so I will have insufficient staff to run a service or do I simply send them home for a few days and pull the shutters down"

              I am pretty sure thats a fairly standard question for people managing a workforce. So what do you do normally? I not actually asking for the answer but it is such a normal question that should also apply to this for near all of us. Its not the virus knocking out the staff but the isolation requirements forcing staff shortages. When of course we deal with this as a normality.

              "Useful reading: https://ukhsa.blog.gov.uk/2022/01/01/using-lateral-flow-tests-to-reduce-the-self-isolation-period/"

              its about time. Again its not the virus causing the issue but the restrictions forced on us. Change the isolation rules and suddenly there is less of a staff shortage.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      biohazard containment suit

      Umm, could I just ask - can you play tennis in those things?

      Asking for a friend, obvs.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Good.

      I have, in general, little against vaccine requirements. However, limiting them to COVID-19 does seem arbitrary. There are other highly commuincable and dangerous diseases out there, such as influenza for which a similar requirement would make just as much medical sense. However, it probably makes even more sense to limit such requirements to employees where transmission at work is likely to lead to significant morbidity such as in hospitals and care homes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good.

        A flu vax mandate, while still odious and contrary to any concept of bodily autonomy, would in fact make a lot more sense since they tend to confer sterilising immunity. The current crop of COVID vaccines are so leaky as to be near worthless for reducing transmission, especially when it comes to the omicron variant.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Good.

          A bad flu year normally kills more people than Covid has. Luckily the last couple of years have seen a pretty dramatic fall in flu deaths. Must be as a result of mask mandates I guess.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Good.

            Horseshite!

            In the US, over the past 10 years, the WORST year for flu deaths is 52,000 (2017-2018).

            The current COVID death count for the past 28 days, is 39,000.

            Let me repeat: that is for 28 DAYS! Less than 10% of a full year. In 28 days COVID killed what a full "normal" flu year would kill.

            Unless your 'bad flu year' is 1918.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Good.

              Deaths due to flu are so common that they are not kept meticulously but the number you're quoting for the US for 2017-2018 looks extremely low, given that the estimate for Germany (a quarter of the population) for that year is 30,000 - 50,000. COVID deaths are still be recorded for patients with the virus, though the actual cause of death could be something else. For example, Denmark is reporting ICU patients with COVID as such even though around a quarter were admitted for other reasons.

              Direct comparisons are, however, not possible. Flu can be considered endemic which means deaths are in a population that has been infected and where vulnerable groups are regularly vaccinated.

              Both viruses can lead to serious infection and death, particularly among the elderly and steps to mitigate infection, including vaccination, should be taken where possible.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Good.

        >I have, in general, little against vaccine requirements. However, limiting them to COVID-19 does seem arbitrary.

        They aren't, its just that CoViD is the current topic.

        For example wish to be a midwife or similar, you will need to have had your MMR.

        1. Zolko Silver badge

          Re: Good.

          its just that CoViD is the current topic

          do you mean to say that next year there will be some new hot topic and "they " will want to impose some other new "vaccine " to experiment with ? I don't know what is worse: the criminals doing this, or the sheep willingly accepting it.

    4. AJ MacLeod

      Re: Good.

      I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry at the many ludicrously sanctimonious people like ShadowSystems who completely refuse to comprehend the clear fact that being fully vaccinated and boosted DOES NOT STOP YOU FROM CATCHING OR SPREADING COVID, particularly the variant now most widespread. Sure, _your_ symptoms may be less severe, but that's about it.

      For what it's worth, my father in law has just had a long-awaited operation cancelled... hospital too full of selfish unvaccinated Covid patients you ask? No, turns out that his recent Pfizer booster has caused his blood pressure to soar to insanely dangerous levels after a decently long lifetime of not having any health issues whatsoever. One in a million side effect perhaps? We know two others nearby who have had exactly the same problem arise after the same vaccination.

      _You_ can stick whatever potentially deadly substances you like into your own body, just shut up and let others decide what they will do... it's frankly none of your business.

      1. Citizen of Nowhere

        Re: Good.

        >who completely refuse to comprehend the clear fact that being fully vaccinated and boosted DOES NOT STOP YOU FROM CATCHING OR SPREADING COVID

        Your caps lock is stuck. Probably some potentially deadly substance spilled onto your keyboard.

        You can catch and spread this virus even while vaccinated; you are far less likely to do so than someone who is not vaccinated, however, on the evidence we currently have.

        1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

          Re: Good.

          > you are far less likely to do so than someone who is not vaccinated, however, on the evidence we currently have.

          I know the media etc keep banging on this to try to maintain the drama and momentum, but it's not true, I'm afraid. Quite thoroughly demonstrated by quite solid matched-pairs analyses by, for example, Public Health England, which were published months ago.

          There is NO difference in Infectiousness for vaxxed vs unvaxxed. Neither on an instantaneous basis nor a whole-of-infectious-period basis.

          There IS a slight decrease in overall Transmission for vaxxed in the first coupla months after 2nd dose, due to the fast-decaying VE vs infection. But thereafter the same or, recent data suggests with Omicron, _worse_ rates of Transmission than the unvaxxed.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: Good.

            That's simply flat wrong.

            The claim is based on a complete misunderstanding of the statistics.

            The only thing I'm not sure about is whether this misunderstanding is wilful, or merely because statistics cannot be understood by reading a headline. You need background information too - what numbers are actually being compared.

            1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

              Re: Good.

              Actually I read the 2 research papers at the time. The full body, not just the abstracts (something I discovered in 2004 to my shock is compulsory in any field with a virtue-display crusade anywhere near it). I have 16 letters after my name, heavy on statistics & econometrics (the difference is akin to knowing how to write a compiler vs using the language to solve problems), and on that aspect of my skillsets my work history has ranged from "broad" hands-on bigdata quant research to "deep" complex multi-distribution ex-ante estimations.

              I read research for fun. And I tear apart and dismiss a disturbingly large percentage of it.

              I'm afraid I don't know what headlines you're talking about.

              I just told you what the most-solid-by-far research I've seen on the topic discovered. If you don't like it, do a better bigger research project and prove them wrong.

        2. John Jennings

          Re: Good.

          I am familiar with reading medical journals, and I havent been able to find any medical papers to support this for Omicron. That might have been true for the original infection - nothing I have seen refers to the latest (or even Delta for that matter).

          The story is more about boosting, than basic vaccination. There appears to be less actual information on that.

          I would be happy to stand corrected, but a link to the Guardian wont cut it.

        3. AJ MacLeod

          Re: Good.

          For the record, my caps lock key is mapped to super as those didn't exist on PC keyboards when mine was made. I did my shouting the hard way with shift...

    5. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Good.

      Enough already with this splitting of society based on virtue signalling. These policies are made based on the theory of what vaccines 'should' be doing, or last year's wishful thinking about what we wanted them to do. In real life, infection rate charts across time show similair rates in many places irrespective of vaccination rates, mask mandates, lock downs.

      Vaccinations ARE effective to reduce the severity of illness. They're doing between rather little and eff all to contain spread. And their effective duration is less than a year. So 'vaccinated' isn't vaccinated unless you have a booster, every year isn't enough, so, every 6 months? Where does it end?

      People have to accept that covid is here to stay for many many years, and best we can do is live as normally as we can and deal with it. If you're vulnerable get vaccinated, it can save your life. Everyone else's vaccination status has demonstrably very little to do with your chances of contracting it (which either way, over a long enough time span, is close to 100%, possibly more).

      Vaccine mandates might sound like nice company / government policy, but won't really change anything except continue to split society against each other. But then maybe that's the whole point...

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: Good.

        Hear hear

    6. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: Good.

      They're not isolating 'plague carriers'. They're isolating people who haven't been vaccinated.

      Had your vaccinations? Spewing clouds of toxins, coronavirus and STDs? Come right in!

      Sorry but policies like this are purely theatre unless they demand a test from everybody.

    7. Zher0

      Re: Good.

      yeah, yeah.. nah

      weed got this bro https://www.blueheronblast.com/2022/01/have-toke-and-stay-safe.html

      A new study from Oregon State University shows that cannabis can keep covid from entering human cells.

      According to a press release from OSU, Van Breemen and collaborators, including scientists at Oregon Health & Science University, found that a pair of cannabinoid acids bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, blocking a critical step in the process the virus uses to infect people.

      The compounds are cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, and cannabidiolic acid, CBDA, and the spike protein is the same drug target used in COVID-19 vaccines and antibody therapy. A drug target is any molecule critical to the process a disease follows, meaning its disruption can thwart infection or disease progression.

      “These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and in many hemp extracts,” van Breemen said. “They are not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans. And our research showed the hemp compounds were equally effective against variants of SARS-CoV-2, including variant B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, and variant B.1.351, first detected in South Africa.” Those two variants are also known the alpha and beta variant, respectively.

      Well, shit, I will get right on that. Ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure, I always said. Nip covid in the bud. Or with the bud. Stay safe and happy!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You can have my medical records when you're my physician. Otherwise go pound sand. But what else would one expect from a corporation that already believes all your personal data belongs to it regardless not only of whether you've consented but even whether you've signed up for an account? It should surprise no one that they treat their employees with the same disregard as everyone else.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Although I would expect Meta to seek everyone's medical records via some underhand scheme the article says that they were demanding for proof of vaccination, not medical records from employees. If you have evidence Meta are demanding medical records you are welcome to post a link.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Proof of vaccination" is a kind of medical record. It is specifically a record of a specific kind of medical procedure performed on the data subject. That's as much a medical record as it's possible for anything to be.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          These downvotes are absolutely hilarious. It's hard to find more compelling proof that someone is either participating in the corporatist-statist agenda or has been thoroughly brainwashed by its propaganda. Let's review:

          A "record" contains a collection of data. Each datum is a specific fact, a piece of information such as a person's name or the date on which something occurred. A vaccine certificate is a record containing data, specifically the name of the patient, the date, the kind of vaccine administered, and the identification of the person and/or clinic that administered it. Do downvoters deny that a vaccine certificate is a "record"?

          "Medical" means of or pertaining to medicine, the art of preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases of the human body. A medical procedure is therefore any procedure done on, with, by, or to a person for those purposes, especially if the procedure is performed by a medical professional such as a physician or nurse. A vaccine is a substance intended to stimulate or confer immunity to infection by a pathogen or to reduce the likelihood or severity of disease through immunity; that is, it is a substance administered to a patient for the purpose of *preventing disease*, which makes its administration a medical procedure. Do downvoters deny that vaccines and their administration are "medicine"?

          If vaccines and their administration are medicine, the administration of a vaccine a medical procedure, and a document containing data about a procedure is a record, by what conceivable twisted logic is a vaccine certificate not a "medical record"? FFS, people. I get it, you're propagandised to believe that every human should be physically forced to receive as many Sars-CoV2 vaccine doses as the government-pharmaceutical machine decides, and that everyone should be compelled on pain of total exclusion from all social and economic intercourse to display proof of that fact to anyone who asks at any time. Fine, we disagree. But can we still at least agree that WORDS HAVE MEANINGS? That proof you believe we should all be forced to keep and display is a "medical record" because THAT'S WHAT THE WORDS "medical" AND "record" MEAN! Where's George Orwell when we need him?!

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Given that US companies can fire employees for violating things like a no smoking policy at home, they shouldn't have any trouble enforcing this.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    If the unvaxed are able to continue working from home it might result in a worse take-up.

  4. codejunky Silver badge

    Hmm

    At least they are still letting them work remotely. The sub-heading says anti-vaxers but thats a pretty harsh conclusion when we are talking about a particular vaccine with very limited data, not yet completed all the trials and is in use under emergency powers/exemption in most countries. A vaccine which was advised against deploying to pregnant women until recently and also children.

    To put people with concerns in the same camp as general anti-vax is a bit wrong. Hopefully not too wrong (serious long term side effects).

    1. Spanners Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Hmm

      (serious long term side effects)

      How about the serious long term side effects of not getting vaccinated, including

      A greater chance of getting Covid

      A greater chance of hospitalisation if you do

      A greater chance of ending up in ITU if you do, then

      A greater chance of death

      And if you don't, a greater chance of Long Covid

      I didn't like those possibilities so I have been vaccinated twice and boosted.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm

        "I didn't like those possibilities so I have been vaccinated twice and boosted."

        No one (that I've seen) is attempting to deny you the right to make and carry out that choice. Please respect others' right to make a different one.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          Exactly this. If someone chooses not to take it that's their personal choice. If the vaccine stopped you from spreading it, then perhaps, maybe that's an argument for mandating. But it really doesn't do that. Not even close.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Hmm

          >No one (that I've seen) is attempting to deny you the right to make and carry out that choice. Please respect others' right to make a different one.

          I do, however, 'others' need to understand choices have consequences and they need to own them.

          I'm happy for (UK) hospitals to use the well-established ResPect protocol to refuse admission and treatment to those CoViD sufferers who haven't been vaccinated - this is consistent with their clearly expressed wishes by not getting vaccinated (or a medical exemption).

          1. tip pc Silver badge

            Re: Hmm

            So it’s ok for citizens to pay for the nhs but not for those citizens to use the nhs free at the point of need when they need to?

            Some very sick and twisted thinking behind the view that unvaxxed should not be treated, especially when 90% of over 12’s are vaccinated.

            Stats over the last 3 months show most in hospital and icu have been vaccinated, the majority triple jabbed.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: Hmm

              >So it’s ok for citizens to pay for the nhs but not for those citizens to use the nhs free at the point of need when they need to?

              Yes!

              Remember they have declined/refused the free preventative treatment offered by the NHS for CoViD19. Under the established ResPect protocol that could be sufficient for consultants to decide that the patient had capacity when they made that decision and thus did not want medical intervention/treatment if they contracted CoViD19 and that 'forcing' treatment at a time when they might not have capacity, would be a violation of medical ethics and that person's human rights...

              Remember a big issue has been to manage things so that there are sufficient beds etc. once hospitals start getting full difficult decisions will be made and vax'ed/unvax'ed is a simple first cut dividing line.

              >Some very sick and twisted thinking behind the view

              Not really, just some hard logic based on recent encounters with the ResPect protocol and how it is applied in overstretched A&E's with a shortage of high dependency beds.

              Getting vaccinated is personal choice which has consequences - own them.

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        @Spanners

        "How about the serious long term side effects of not getting vaccinated, including"

        Ok so how do we judge that against the long term effects of being vaccinated? And of course the risk of covid difficulties are different for various situations which need to be factored in.

        "A greater chance of getting Covid"

        So what? Lets change covid to flu. People choose to get a flu vaccine or not every year. Personal choice. Also vaccination doesnt stop you catching it but it increases the chance of a lesser symptoms assuming you are affected by covid.

        "I didn't like those possibilities so I have been vaccinated twice and boosted."

        And yet have no clue at all what effects these vaccines have on you. What about the risks against your health and life for that? Potential of reproductive harm even defects to future generations?

        I am also double vaccinated and boosted (regret the booster and was for piece of mind for my family) but this is where its a personal choice and I am all for that. I dont care what others choose to do and I am respectful if they want distance or masks or whatever, but if they dont care I dont either.

        1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

          Re: Hmm

          > flu vaccine or not every year. Personal choice. Also vaccination doesnt stop you catching it

          Actually, it does. Just not very much. 50-60% VE vs Infection is considered a *good* flu vaccine result -- and it changes each year.

          Add to that the fact that a side-effect is that it INcreases your risk of catching ~any other virus. ADE or similar.

          Nett: slight reduction vs flu, additional risk from any other virus, occasionally large.

          Summary: unless you are particularly susceptible to flu, or are working closely with anyone whose health/life is at risk from flu, the flu vaccine is generally a bad idea.

          But each individual needs to make that choice, that decision; not a central office bureaucrat/bureausite flouncing for the media and their peers.

          1. codejunky Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Hmm

            @W.S.Gosset

            Thanks for the correction

            1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

              Re: Hmm

              Pleasure. You're usually bang on, I just noticed a minor hiccup.

              If you're interested, you can see a graph comparing Flu vs Covid here:

              https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0962-9 -- pdf download button on the right

              top-left of Extended Data Figure 9, page 19 of the PDF (page 1,223 of the source journal). NB! Original Wuhan variant.

              And for an industry-insiders (incl.WHO) view of flu & vaccines, in Australia: https://www.immunisationcoalition.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/1-Barr-ASM-2020-presentation.pdf Core mortality numbers including CFR (0.3%! But note big gap for flu with IFR.) are on page 17. Vaccine details kick off a bit after that.

              Note that's pure flu (BLOODY hard numbers to find), whereas most health depts generally quote a bundle of flu & other respiratory seasonal stuff. So 2019's 902 deaths is generally seen quoted as over 4,000 (or was that 2017? Can't remember at the moment.)

      3. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        @Spanners:

        I agree with everything you say, except for this one point which I find a bit of a tell-tale re whether people rant at anyone expressing caution re the current vaccine options:

        > A greater chance of getting Covid

        Your chance = 100%.

        Given even the original Wuhan variant's Reff, we either snuffed it in a month or two, or it was going to go endemic.

        Well, by June 2020 we'd made clear it was going to go endemic.

        Delta sharply shortened the timeframe on that.

        Omicron looks like collapsing that sharply further again, from years to months.

        It's not IF but WHEN.

        Some people believe they can hold it off forever (or like Australia's twittering classes, hide from it forever). Others recognised the 100% straight away and then moved on to considering the larger consequences.

        Interestingly, the former group has been extremely loud in attacking any points raised by the latter group, and in seeking to anathematise the latter group.

        Anthropologists will have a field day with the covid-19 response, in years to come.

        1. Spanners Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Hmm

          It's not IF but WHEN.

          @W.S.Gosset I've had it twice that I know of, in 2020, Both were asymptomatic. So maybe there were more.

          Less likely last year as I had my jabs at the start, regular LFT's and a booster..

          Things from the last few years are going to turn out a lot of university courses, PhD's and historical analyses. I wonder what someone will do this year...

          1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Hmm

            Twice?! Showoff.

            > and historical analyses. I wonder what someone will do this year...

            Probably just a lot more of last year's hysterical analyses...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      Hmmmm. But the AntiVaxxer are pushing their agenda hard. So more and more "hesitant" people are being radicalised into AntiVaxx.

      Have a read of this:

      The HART files - Logically.AI

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        @AC

        "But the AntiVaxxer are pushing their agenda hard"

        Very true but when dont they? But when I look at 'news' its full of covid jab propaganda. I cant count how many bull stories I have read about someone refusing the jab but then on their deathbed urging everyone to get vaccinated. These people who had so little faith in the jab while knowing this virus was going around suddenly believe in the very thing they absolutely did not trust? I can believe maybe one or two but the constant bull stories? Naa.

        Anti vax look daft because they push their propaganda hard and stupid. But with covid and these vaccines I am seeing the same from the pro-jab. And when the facts are played fast and loose it really looks stupid (anti vax have form on this but pro-covid jab propaganda isnt much better).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          "I can believe maybe one or two but the constant bull stories? Naa."

          There are plenty more stories on my feeds about staunch AntiVaxxers campaigners and influencers resolutely sticking to their view right up until their dying breath. Mostly in the US. (One died in Texas on Monday )

          1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

            Re: Hmm

            Then this is your wake-up call that your feeds are massively spun.

            Try switching to non-bubbling sources. You might be startled.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hmm

              That was my point.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Re: Hmm

          Many these articles are coming from Nudge. That messaging is designed to implant fear and coerce people into getting vaccinated.

          It's funny to read those articles and finding thought patterns from the playbooks :-)

      2. Zher0

        Re: Hmm

        "A vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original vaccine composition is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable," the WHO Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition (TAG-Co-VAC) said in a statement Tuesday 11th of January

        I prefer the term Vaccine-Free but have no problem with you choosing your own terms, it just doesn't bother me

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      Some anti-(Cov)-vax tropes there

      *"Limited data" - Actually massive numbers vaccinated with health authorities scrutinising the pharmacovigilance systems.

      *Not completed all the trials" - but key trials have been completed showing efficacy in preventing hospitalisation/death and the safety profile of the vaccines in question

      *Use under emergency powers/exemption in most countries - doesn't mean just waved through by authorities. It's authorised on basis of risk/benefit. And where full approval has been given it's by major countries.

      "Particular vaccine" is a bit of a misnomer too - there are several different vaccines using different mechanisms.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm

        "*"Limited data" - Actually massive numbers vaccinated with health authorities scrutinising the pharmacovigilance systems."

        That data is still necessarily limited. This is a site that carries mostly news about technology, so let's talk about something clear and specific from our own industry. When we manufacture computers or other electronics, we often perform accelerated aging tests on samples prior to market introduction. This allows us to gain some imperfect information about how long we can expect them to last in the field and what the distribution of failures will look like over time. This information can be used to find and address defects, improve the design, and establish economically viable warranty terms. Because we need or want, for economic reasons, to get the product into the market long before its expected or required lifetime has passed, we necessarily take shortcuts in testing. Some tests address things like design defects (always present) and manufacturing defects that manifest themselves on every device more or less immediately. Others address statistical problems that affect small quantities within large lots -- think mechanical tolerances, marginal soldering, slight footprint mismatches, etc. But to get to market when we need to, we also employ accelerated aging tests that attempt to mimic some or all of the things that happen slowly in the field. These tests are necessarily imperfect but they do have some predictive value: they have been shown to identify defects that other tests cannot, and to have some correlation with actual field performance over time.

        There are no accelerated aging tests for human beings, and if there were, it would be unethical to administer them. The only way to know the long-term effects of a medical procedure -- including a vaccine or any other drug, surgery, etc. -- is to wait and watch. If you want to know the 5-year rate of side effects from a specific vaccine, you must administer that vaccine to some large, diverse population and a placebo to some other large, diverse population, then wait 5 years and perform occasional examinations of both populations. There is no shortcut. One cannot simply spray humans with salt water for a week and draw useful conclusions about side effects over 5 years (or some other arbitrarily long period of time). That means if you want confidence about what side effects (if any) occur after 5 years before introducing your medical treatment into the market, you have to wait at least 5 years after you first develop it and begin large-scale clinical trials. Even the very limited short-term trials most regulators require for drugs and vaccines are extremely expensive; the kind of long-term study I'm describing is mind-bogglingly so. And of course there is demand for treatments *now*, both from patients and sometimes from government officials; many people don't want to wait 5 or 10 or 25 years to understand the long-term side effects, especially if the treatment addresses a serious illness they already have, or if they've been whipped into a hysterical frenzy of terror by the mass media, politicians, and corporate lords looking to score policy gains.

        The end result is that while the data on the short-term side effects of most Sars-CoV2 vaccines available in Western countries is fairly extensive and does in fact show that harmful side effects exist but are very rare, there is no data on medium- to long-term side effects (if any). This is not because their manufacturers are evil or government officials in cahoots with them (either may or may not be true, they just aren't relevant), it's because the necessary amount of time has not passed. Unfortunately, there is also a very strong taboo around funding or performing long-term studies of vaccine safety. Many people, rightly or not, have concluded that this is because some vaccines are much less safe than the establishment wants people to believe, or because those establishment entities simply don't want to know. As a result, although it's conceivably possible to perform these long-term studies, it's rarely done, especially since the Wakefield paper. Therefore the true long-term safety of most vaccines is simply unknown; in some cases because it's unknowable, in others because it's not been studied adequately. One of these problems can be fixed; the other cannot.

        In the case of all Sars-CoV2 vaccines, the long-term side effects, if any, are unknown and unknowable. I would say that qualifies as a "limitation" of the available data, wouldn't you? It's fine if you believe either that Sars-CoV2 is so dangerous to you that this limitation isn't important, or if you choose to believe that all vaccines, or at least the Sars-CoV2 vaccine you choose to receive, are universally safe in the long term. There's no evidence for that, but there's no evidence for the existence of gods either and we don't punish people for being religious. It's also totally reasonable for someone whose actuarial life expectancy is a few years or less to decide that long-term thinking simply isn't applicable. I'm not going to tell you otherwise because I don't have any evidence to the contrary -- no one does nor can -- and in any case decisions about your medical treatment are yours to make and yours alone. But I do ask that you accept that there are in fact limitations to the available data that might lead reasonable people to choose not to receive one, or any, of the available Sars-CoV2 vaccines.

        Actually, I don't ask; I insist. Accepting these facts does not make you an anti-vaxxer; it makes you an open-minded human being who treats others with respect and decency and acknowledges the omnipresent possibility of being wrong. The alternative -- whether you're an anti-vaxxer or a corporatist-statist propagandist -- is to be an obnoxious bully. That's what Meta are doing in this example, and what far too many of you are doing here. I don't like bullies, and I stand up to them.

        1. jmch Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Hmm

          Exactly what he said!

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Hmm

            Simple example. What are the long term effects on pregnancy, and then child development? It's probably safe, but so was Thalidomide. Given spurious correlation between vaccinations and autism, if problems do appear, it'll likely increase vaccine resistance.

      2. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        The trial data might not be limited, but its still provided by the Pharma companies themselves. So, trials are completed, full approvals are done, so what?

        The real test of whether they work isn't the trial, it's real life, for which we have far more available data. And in real life, infection rates by country or by locality do not correlate with vaccination rates. Ergo vaccines aren't working to stop the spread of Covid.

        On the other hand, hospitalisation rates per case are way down*. So the vaccines are effective to help whoever takes them not get very sick if they're infected. So if you are concerned for your own health, get the vaccine. If you don't want it, don't get it because it won't affect anyone else much differently. If you can't get the vaccine, there are now effective drugs against covid.

        Either way, splitting society with an all out social war of vaccinated vs unvaccinated isn't helpful. Just let everyone choose what they want.

        *partly also because omicron isn't as severe as delta

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          "Either way, splitting society with an all out social war of vaccinated vs unvaccinated isn't helpful."

          God, yes, this. Never mind the rare short-term side effects of the available vaccines and the unknowable long-term side effects. In fact, for sake of argument let's stipulate that none of those exist at all and we know it with absolute certainty based on data from wholly independent researchers everyone trusts. Surely the damage to the social fabric caused by vaccine (and mask, and ...) mandates and the politicisation of medicine has far outweighed any benefits they might have had(*) in reducing infections. This history needs to be mandatory for anyone studying public health in future; it's a crucial lesson in counterintuitive human behaviour like many others in both public health and economics. Humans don't behave the way models assume and unintended consequences -- which I'm charitably suggesting these might be -- can be devastating.

          (*) Not conceding that there are any. The evidence seems to suggest everyone will be infected regardless, a position that even the mainstream media and medical bureaucrats are now starting to take. But like my hypothetical stipulation, it isn't necessary to believe this to agree with my overall conclusion.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          The Effect of Vaccination Rates on the Infection of COVID-19 under the Vaccination Rate below the Herd Immunity Threshold

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8305789/

          "several countries were selected as sample cases by employing the following criteria: more than 60 vaccine doses per 100 people and a population of more than one million people. In the end, a total of eight countries/regions were selected, including Israel, the UAE, Chile, the United Kingdom, the United States, Hungary, and Qatar. The results find that vaccination has a major impact on reducing infection rates in all countries. "

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      Its worse than that. I am vaccinated, but I am not taking a booster.

      I took the Astra vaccine - now they say it was dangerous - what will they say of the RNA variants in a year?

      FB is demanding a medical procedure to remain at work.

      What next? Circumcision or a Mastectomy?

    5. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      Indeed, demonisation of people to 'other' them is endemic. I've had vaccines against measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, polio, hepatitis B and yellow fever. I've also had what I was told was a vaccine against Coronavirus.

      This article accuses me of being an anti-vaxer. Thanks.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    I'm a vaccine

    extremist

    Vaccines work........ how do I know? seen any smallpox/TB/diptheria/Polio/Measles/Rubella/Mumps lately? nope? well thats because we vaccinate enough people to give herd immunity from those diseases.

    When covid-19 emerged, we knew 2 things about it.

    Humans had never encountered it before

    We did not have a vaccine for it.

    Therefore no herd immunity and it was likely to spread like wildfire.... which it did... and the initial results were that it had a death rate of about 1%, whether outright or by infecting people already weakened by other conditions.

    So someone like myself with a serious medical condition would be at risk of snuffing it.

    Along comes a vaccine, it wont stop you catching covid, but it will prepare your body to make covid-19 antibodies quicker upon infection(this is what all vaccines work by)... So I'm straight in as soon as my name comes up on the GP's list.

    BuT yOu CaN sTiLl CaTcH cOvId comes the anti-vaxxer crowd.. yes you can.... I know 4 people at work all with vaccinations come down with covid, BUT and heres the thing, without the vaccination there would have been a 1 in 25 chance that one of them would have died, however all of them recovered, did not need to goto hospital and the guy who was affected worst of the 4 said it was the baddest case of flu he had, but it passed within 2 days (his sense of smell returned after 6-7 days).

    So get jabbed... you may not like needles stuck in you (and I sure dont) but your loved ones will be grateful that all that happens is that they'll be able to say "stop whinging in bed I'm not your slave" instead of "Please pull those this love.. please pull through this... dear God help my loved one breathe please pull through this....."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm a vaccine

      That's fine. I'm not an extremist; I'm a rationalist who examines and weighs facts. You still have the right to be an extremist, though.

      The facts are these:

      Some vaccines work very well and have created a large positive net value for humanity.

      Others don't work well, which includes vaccines intended to prevent the flu and COVID-19.

      Therefore, "vaccines" are neither great nor terrible. The general technology of vaccines has been a big positive contribution to medicine. That does not mean that every vaccine that has been created actually works, is beneficial to every human who receives it, or (more subtly and also more usefully) delivers value that outweighs the risks and costs to a specific individual. By your same logic, I could point out that in many areas 95% or more of the population have been vaccinated against Sars-CoV2 and then ask "seen any COVID-19 cases lately?". Since the answer is very definitely "yes!", that would by your logic imply that all vaccines are useless, which certainly isn't true nor is it a reasonable conclusion to draw from the stated facts. The conclusion you've drawn is similarly irrelevant and incorrect.

      Also irrelevant to this case but a crucial piece of information for you: there is no vaccine against TB. It's treated with antibiotics that have historically been highly effective, less so recently due to improper administration that has given rise to resistance. Whether TB is common in my area or not has no bearing either way on the merits of vaccines. Smallpox has been eradicated because there is (was, actually; it's no longer available unless you're a soldier) a very highly effective vaccine that prevented not only a deadly disease but also infection by and transmission of the virus that causes it. Unfortunately there is no Sars-CoV2 vaccine available that delivers similar, or even remotely comparable, protection.

      In your case, you seem to have made a rational choice to be vaccinated against Sars-CoV2 regardless based on your own medical history and consultation with your physician. Good for you! Others, in different circumstances, have made the rational choice not to do so. Please don't tell others how to make medical choices for themselves; you are not (I assume) a physician, and you certainly are not *my* physician. Not only is providing medical advice without a licence illegal in many jurisdictions, it's also rude and disrespectful. As is demanding that others supply information about their medical history to you, their employers, or the government. You're welcome to share your personal choices with others but you are not welcome to demand that I share mine.

      It's fine if you can't appreciate the distinction between smallpox vaccines and Sars-CoV2 vaccines. You were able to make what you consider to be a good treatment choice for yourself without making that distinction. I would not propose to deprive you of the right to do so; it's still your choice and no one else's. Accept that others can make that distinction and have decided that it's a relevant input. Meta aren't demanding that their employees be vaccinated against smallpox or measles, so the vaccines that prevent those diseases are not relevant, nor are their merits. All such arguments are strawmen.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: I'm a vaccine

        Most of what you just said is completely untrue, the rest is misleading.

        The Covid vaccines are extremely effective. Far better than the flu jabs, in fact.

        Vaccines have multiple measures of effectiveness. They do not need to achieve them all to be worthwhile.

        1) Reduce the probability of severe disease

        2) Reduce the length of infection

        3) Reduce the probability of infection

        4) Reduce infectiousness

        (1) is the most important and the easiest to measure accurately.

        You (and others) have been claiming that a vaccine that is ~90% effective at preventing severe disease, but only ~50-60% effective at preventing infection is useless.

        That is an indefensible position.

        It's like saying you won't remove the spike from your steering wheel because it won't prevent a crash, and you don't care that leaving it fitted means far more crashes will be fatal.

        PS: There are several vaccines against TB. You may have heard of BCG? I had one. My daughter had a different one. The UK doesn't routinely use them everywhere anymore because tuberculosis is now rare - entirely because of the vaccines.

        Vaccines are probably the single greatest class of invention that mankind has ever come up with.

        1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

          Re: I'm a vaccine

          @Richard 12-and-a-half:

          Everything he wrote is accurate, wide-thinking, and very well informed.

          > Most of what you just said is completely untrue, the rest is misleading.

          You have already earlier in this thread catastrophically shot yourself in your foot -- nay, your head. But you have here absolutely excelled yourself. There's little more than a smoking revolver and a fingertip clattering to the ground.

          You appear to have your head absolutely stuffed and jammed with a particular type of meme, and beliefs about misguided lesser beings, to the point where you can no longer read things but merely keyword for dogwhistle triggers for you to jam into pre-taught stories/narratives. Which you then extrapolate wa-aaaay out to some mad strawman. Then rave at your private strawman on its very very long stick.

          For example:

          >You (and others) have been claiming that a vaccine that is ~90% effective at preventing severe disease, but only ~50-60% effective at preventing infection is useless.

          There is precisely no way in hell you can get from what he wrote --or what anyone on this thread wrote-- to this mad redefinition of reality.

      2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: I'm a vaccine

        Weigh facts?

        Height of the MMR vaccine thing.... it was claimed that MMR vaccine would give 1 in 100 000 children autism (or more depending on who you listened to) so parents avoided jabbing their kids with it.

        Measles KILLS 1 in 2000 victims and brain damages 1 in 500, but parents had never seen any outbreak of measles because lots of people were vaccinated.

        So the vaccinations lapsed.... result: measles outbreaks

        How many kids were damaged by measles as a result of some doctor pushing his own agenda supported by the anti-vaxxer crowd?

        When I got jabbed, I was concerned I had a chance of having a reaction to the vaccine, but knew the chances of a reaction were 1000 times less than the chance of death from covid.

        Or to put it better I had a choice of 2 bags of balls , 1 bag with 1 black ball and 99 white balls, the other bag with 1 black and 99 999 white and I could choose 1 ball from 1 bag and if it came up black I would die.

        Which bag would you draw from?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm a vaccine

          Unfortunately, the available Sars-CoV2 vaccines are not the 51-year old MMR vaccine you're talking about, which means much less is known about the bags we get to choose between, and the data we do have don't really support your beliefs about their contents.

          As a person under 50 with no chronic health problems, one of the bags I may drawn from is a bag with one black ball and somewhere between 999 and 9999 white balls, exact quantity not known. It represents the outcomes of not bothering with a vaccine and enjoying my life under a business-as-usual policy. We'll call that bag #1. My own assessment of the admittedly incomplete and probably deliberately manipulated data available to me is that there are at least 4000 and probably close to 10,000 white balls in bag #1. It's possible there are substantially fewer, however.

          The other bag I get to draw from contains some number of balls, some of which are black and some white. The latest available information suggests that between 1500 and 15,000 of those balls are white and at least one is black. Neither the total number of balls bag #2 contains, nor the colours of the other balls, are known. That bag represents the the outcomes of choosing one of (or, in some countries, one or more of) the available Sars-CoV2 vaccines. I have found nothing that would substantiate your belief that it contains approximately 99,999 white balls and only one black, but I am willing to accept hard evidence that would.

          Please note that if you want me to accept that only one ball is black, I will require you to fill out a complete racing form for every one of next weekend's horse races at the active track of your choosing, because that knowledge requires the ability to travel to an arbitrary future time, make observations, and return to the present with your observations intact. Picking the finishing order of every horse in a dozen races seems like the simplest way to prove that ability, but I'll consider instead the closing price of every stock listed on the NASDAQ or some similar information that cannot possibly be obtained any other way. It's not necessary that I be able to make economic hay with the information.

          So, to repeat your own question, which one would you draw from?

          Now suppose that you are being blasted nonstop by practically every conceivable moneyed, politically connected interest group -- many of which you already considered of dubious moral and ethical character -- with messages urging or demanding that you draw from bag #2. Still like your choice? Then ratchet that up with those same interests threatening you with everything from loss of your income to ostracism from social, economic, and religious life, to incarceration and confiscation of your property. Still loving bag #2? That's fine; I won't stop you. But I insist that you respect the right of others to do either or both of:

          (1) Choose bag #1, and/or

          (2) Decline to tell others which bag they chose.

          If you're not also appalled by the conduct of the bag #2 mafia, I'm disappointed by your lack of human decency. And if you're not at least a little suspicious of bag #2 on account of that conduct, all I can say is that you're a very different person from me. At some point, the manner in which their conduct affects my assessment of those people as human beings becomes even more important than the information I *do* have about what's in the bags. Put simply, the kind of people who behave that way are not the kind of people I would trust to look after my interests or to be honest with me about what they know. Again, it's fine if you disagree; I'm not here to convince you that you should choose one bag or the other and quite frankly I don't know you so I don't have any interest in your choice. Just stop telling me what to do.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm a vaccine

        "Unfortunately there is no Sars-CoV2 vaccine available that delivers similar, or even remotely comparable, protection"

        Nirvana fallacy in action?

    2. grumpy-old-person

      Re: I'm a vaccine

      TB is still a serious, ongoing problem in a few countries - as is polio

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anti-vaxxers?

    If you've had two jabs but haven't had the booster yet that doesn't make you an anti-vaxxer.

    If everyone is supposed to have a booster every six months, where are we going with this? At the very least, healthcare services are stripped back or dropped as the health budget is diverted into constantly paying for jabs for the entire population.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Anti-vaxxers?

      I am retiring shortly but coming back part time (quite common in the NHS).

      One reason that I want to do part time that seriously upset an enthusiastic anti-vaxxer is that it will help keep my jabs up to date! If further boosters are made available, I will get them.

  8. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Home forever

    Many companies that have a workforce at home should spend more time refining the metrics they use to evaluate their usefulness. A manager can walk around giving employees the evil eye to make sure they stick to working, but that's not a reason to require employees with office jobs to come into an office. If the government doesn't pass laws that require people's home offices to meet handicapped regs with disabled parking, ramps, minimum restroom dimensions, etc, it's cheaper for companies to have employees at home. It's less of an expense for HVAC, coffee, custodial service and bog rolls. Employees can also arrange their workspaces to suit them on not have to make do with whatever "office system" the company spends piles of money on. It can also mean employees can work split shifts so they can see the kids off to school in the morning and are home when they return rather than paying for childcare.

    I'm really surprised all of these companies are so itchy to get everybody back into a cubicle.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Home forever

      I can't speak for Meta's managers; I don't know them and I don't know how they think.

      But as an engineer and occasionally manager with over 20 years of experience in a wide range of environments (open-plan offices, individual offices, paired offices, cube farms, and mostly-remote teams), I can tell you why I would. The simple fact is that on any project too large for one person to handle, creative people are more productive in an environment that makes collaboration not merely possible or even easy but *unavoidable*. This is why it's so effective to have lots of groups of couches with whiteboards, and a culture that encourages everyone to eat lunch together, and a physical infrastructure that makes it hard for people to avoid overhearing one anothers' conversations and encountering people working on related (or even unrelated) projects in hallways and buses and sidewalks.

      The original Bell Labs offices in New Jersey were built this way; so were a number of campuses in California that originally housed the companies built by the Bell Labs diaspora. It works! While remote work technology has improved in the last 20 years (to be blunt, most of the improvements are not conceptual but were simply made possible by increases in last-mile network throughput), there is nothing available that comes close to an effective in-person work environment. Yes, there are drawbacks, and the costs you mention are real. But as difficult as it is to measure individual engineering productivity, it's not that difficult to measure team productivity. In my experience, remote teams take 50-100% longer to achieve the same outcomes they would in person. There is no way to measure the loss of novel ideas that happen only when cross-disciplinary teams are contantly cross-pollinating. The added cost of maintaining offices, if constructed and staffed properly, is far exceeded by the benefits.

      Remote work is effective where it would be (or is) effective to hire contractors: the tasks to be performed are rote, well-understood, and/or self-contained. If a particular need can be filled by a contractor, it can be filled by someone working alone with little loss in productivity, especially if that person is experienced in this type of work and has good discipline. The lack of distractions can even be a net win. But it's death for larger creative teams doing more open-ended work. I suspect the bosses know it. I personally have absolutely no doubt that any honest, open-minded assessment of the "everybody WFH until forever" panicked reaction we've experienced will show not only that it failed utterly to achieve its supposed purpose -- I mean, how is that not tautololgical at this point? -- but that it never had any possibility of doing so, and that it cost trillions of currency units in lost productivity. Whether such an honest accounting will ever be done, I don't know. I suspect people now have so much invested in the bad choices they've made that they'll feel compelled to simply double down on them forever, repeating "it was necessary, we had no choice" until they believe it. In fact I'm fairly sure this has already happened. It's a lie, and their actions -- continuing to push as hard as they can to get people back into offices without being forced to acknowledge that they should never have left them -- leads inescapably to that conclusion for anyone willing to accept it.

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