The 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.