So last night before bed I was reading this Vaccine Q&A over on NPR and buried down in the 9th section is this bit below (emphasis mine) which just had me going, OH COME ON, ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!
If I get vaccinated, can I go back to life as normal?
No, not right away. Studies of the new vaccines only measured whether vaccinated people developed symptoms, not whether they got infected. It’s possible that they got light infections — not enough to make them ill, but enough to pass the virus on to others. “That’s why I tell people when you get vaccinated, continue wearing your mask,” Carlos Del Rio, a vaccine scientist at Emory University who helped test the Moderna vaccine, recently told NPR. “We’re going to know later if the vaccine actually prevents infection.“
The CDC is calling for those who are immunized to continue wearing masks and practicing safe physical distancing until more is learned. “Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change recommendations,” as well as how many people are getting vaccinated and whether the virus is still spreading in communities, it says in an FAQ.
WHY WOULD YOU NOT BE MEASURING IF PEOPLE WERE INFECTED?
So…all we really know is getting the vaccine shouldn’t kill you, but we don’t know if it actually prevents getting infection, or if it’s going to fuel further asymptomatic spread – because folks WILL try to go back to normal.
I mean – if folks are still getting infected, and truly getting “light” infections, that is better than landing in the ICU, but are we looking at another wave of asymptomatic long haulers?
This is the hazard of pushing the vaccine out so fast. We don’t know when the “later” is that they talk about as to if it actually prevents infection. And when the average person hears “vaccine” – they think of an injection or such THAT PREVENTS THE ACQUISITION AND SPREAD OF A DISEASE.
And we don’t know if it actually *does* what we expect a vaccine to do, and won’t know until we get a fuckton of people getting it to be additional beta testers for it.
I’m not saying folks shouldn’t get it. But this information shouldn’t be something you stumble on at the end of an NPR article at 10 o’clock at night. And it’s going to make it harder to convince people to get it if experts can’t say for sure that it won’t prevent getting infected or spreading it – people will say, “well, it’s pointless if it doesn’t work.”
I’ll still get it when I can. Maybe by then we’ll know if it really prevents infection & spread. (Yay for being end of the line?)
But my god, how deflating to think of waiting for the vaccine, getting two doses, waiting two weeks for the immune response and then…continuing to stay home and do nothing.
It’s so fucking 2020.