A month in lockdown – V is for vaccine

V2020The A-Z blogging challenge is quite straightforward, blog everyday in April, except Sundays, with subjects that follow the alphabet. It’s all a bit of fun. My subject is ‘A month in lock down’.

V is for vaccine, our greatest hope in overcoming COVID-19. Finding an effective vaccine would provide the level of immunity that the population needs to cope with the illness in the future but it is no silver bullet. 

Again, according to Wikipedia ‘A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular infectious disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins, or one of its surface proteins.

There is a lot of controversy over vaccines. They are not without side effects and there is a growing reluctance to be vaccinated in certain quarters. This can be on religious or libertarian grounds but are usually as a response to potential negative reactions to the vaccine. Such issues can be true at an individual level but don’t hold true at a population level. 

Vaccines only work effectively if they build a level of immunity across the population, which can be as high as 80%. This ensures that there is an insufficient pool of people without immunity for the virus to get a hold. A recent rise in infectious diseases that we thought were in the past, such as measles, shows that we cannot let our guard down.

There is a degree of altruism then in vaccination. Am I prepared to suffer some potential downside, even if it is significant, for the good of society at large? Humans are social animals and we already accept significant laws and regulations that curtail our ‘free will’ for the good of our society. Vaccination is just another one.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for a vaccine.

Stay safe.

2 thoughts on “A month in lockdown – V is for vaccine

  1. Hi Phil, nearly there! Thanks for this – it got me thinking about who bears the cost too and I see that here too there is controversy see https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-vaccine-must-be-affordable-and-accessible-134282. I think I also subscribe to the view that public funding should ensure fair access and affordability and make a contribution to timeliness too.

    Looking forward to a drink in the Joiners someday. We can definitely set the world to rights.

    1. Thanks Conn and sorry I have just got around to this. I am hoping that we emerge into a fairer society where public good is for the public. Letting the market decide who pays what for the vaccine is counterproductive as it will require a high take up to be effective, perhaps as high as 80%. If it is pricey then this simply won’t happen and the government will have to pick up the cost in health and social care.

      Joiners soon…

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