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[Listen to an audio version of this blog entry here.]
They are being dubbed the game-changers. More accurately, they are the weapon humanity is unleashing to render useless the real game-changer that has been holding us all to ransom for the best part of a year now — coronavirus, the virus that went viral.
A jab for life
Our hopes of a return to something resembling the old normal BC, Before Coronavirus, hinge on the various vaccines being a success.
That being so, the world and its mother — particularly its elderly, vulnerable mother — must be anxiously awaiting their jab of life. Some, of course, have already got theirs.
As somebody classified as very low risk from covid-19 in terms of it doing me much harm, I’m well down the inoculation priority list. Indeed, I’m in the last group in Colombia’s five-stage vaccine rollout programme as things stand.
On top of that, considering the general lack of efficiency here across the board — unless you’ve got the money or palanca (appropriate contacts, that is) to receive a streamlined service — the chances of the programme being carried out smoothly and quickly are pretty low. The high-income countries’ hoarding of vaccines also has to be factored in.
Put it this way, my current visa expires in November and it’s unlikely the country will be in the final stage of the rollout by then.
Whatever the case, I’m in no panic to get the vaccine. Actually, all things considered, I’m happy enough not to get it at all.
For starters, as mentioned above, I am, in theory anyway, in the low-risk category for covid.
‘The chances of completely eradicating coronavirus are, apparently, fairly low.’
Moreover, I would be quite surprised if I haven’t had coronavirus in my body. As easily spread as it is, it would be pretty incredible if it hasn’t already mingled intimately with me. In fact, if I have avoided it, then I should play the lottery (or it may be just another sign that few “agents” want to get intimate with me these days).
Some people counter that one is being selfish in choosing not to get vaccinated. How so?
Coronavirus, here to stay?
What’s the risk if I’m not vaccinated but everyone else is (or at least those who are most vulnerable to serious infection)? As far as I’m aware, I surely couldn’t infect those who are inoculated, could I? Also, just because one has been given the jab doesn’t mean they can no longer carry and spread the virus, does it?
The above, by the way, are genuine questions but from what I gather the answers are in the negative for all of them.
Another common retort is that if I had no problem getting vaccinated for yellow fever, hepatitis B, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), etc. then why am I getting all pernickety now for this vaccine?
Again, it comes back to risk. As we know, covid is ageist. The older one is, the greater chance of severe complications and death. Those other diseases mentioned above tend to be more indiscriminate killers.
Added to this, due to the nature of coronavirus, those who are vaccinated will most likely need to get re-inoculated every year or so, à la the flu jab. The chances of its global eradication are, apparently, fairly low (it’s well worth listening to the considered thoughts of Dr Jay Bhattacharya in this YouTube conversation). Remember, it’s in the same family of viruses as the common cold.
Now, all that being said, if an unbiased, apolitical expert can give me strong reasons why somebody in my position should get vaccinated, rather than ‘just because’, I’m all ears.
Listen to Wrong Way’s Colombia Cast podcast here.