Thursday, November 18, 2021
Europe is in the grip of the "4th wave" of Corona infections, basically caused by the combination of the delta variant plus colder weather being stronger than the "herd immunity" from vaccination. While there is a lot of misinformation on the internet about the vaccine, the 4th wave does provide us with rather accurate statistical information, because the numbers are so large. The two key results are that if you are vaccinated, you have an about 30 times lower chance to get infected with the corona virus than if you were unvaccinated; and once you catch the virus, if you are vaccinated you are 30 times less likely to die than if you are unvaccinated. Which means that if you count the whole chain from getting infected to dying, a currently not infected vaccinated person is a thousand times less likely to die from Covid than a currently not infected unvaccinated person.
What isn't said is that this statistical result is valid only as long as not all ICU beds are full, and all respirators are taken, which is a situation towards we are heading. At some point the health system is overloaded, and doctors will have to practice triage, which is deciding who lives and who dies based on a set of ethical criteria. And triage is bad news for the unvaccinated. One of the main principles of triage is that if you have two people needing treatment, but you can treat only one of them, you should treat the person more likely to survive the treatment. As the vaccine significantly increases your chance to survive, with everything else being equal, a doctor will always choose to give the respirator to the vaccinated person rather than the unvaccinated person, because the vaccinated person is more likely to be actually saved by it.
For obvious reasons the power that be are trying to not offend the part of the population that is hesitant to get vaccinated, and they are trying to nudge them towards vaccinations rather than talking harsh truths to them. But that harsh truth is that if you don't want to get vaccinated, you are a thousand times more likely to die from COVID now, and if the overall situation worsens on the current trajectory, you might be left to die in triage. The whole "get vaccinated for the good of the community" talk isn't wrong, but it isn't the main reason why you should get vaccinated. You should get vaccinated out of pure self-preservation, because the minor risk of secondary effects from the vaccine is negligible compared to the major improvement of your life expectancy if you take it.