As someone who as of January 11 is eligible to start the vaccine shots, I’ve been reading up from articles quoting experts from the CDC, and medical and science fields. What follows about the specifics of the vaccine is not my opinion but from what I’ve read.
I’m summarizing this and sharing for my own edification and in hopes more will understand. Many of us skim too much these days, especially on the Internet, and I fear many will just see “covid vaccine” and think “no more masks!” Thinking that completely misunderstands what the vaccine is and what it is not.
There’s that large swath of our public who continue to aid and abet the unfathomable ramping-up of contagions and deaths thorough their behaviors: science denial, not wearing masks nor distancing, and continuing a selfish attitude of “masks infringe my rights.” Apparently they also feel it’s their right to flagrantly risk contributing potential death and suffering to everyone coming into contact with them.
First, the big question:
After I get the vaccine two-shots, I’m immune from COVID, right?
Part of my fear is many will think this, get the shots, stop using masks, and party like it’s normal life again. And we’ll spike like crazy with contagions and deaths if that’s the behavior that happens.
FACT: The vaccine works to build an immunity in your system that is 94-95% (per clinical trials) effective. This immunity will greatly reduce your odds of contagion and/or of serious illness. But there’s still a 5% chance you’ll get the virus even though you got the shot, assuming the vaccine process for you went correctly (see below).
TAKEAWAY: The vaccine is our current, best way to radically increase the odds of not getting the virus, but you must, must, must continue masking, distancing, washing hands, etc., afterwards. And for what will likely what be a very long time, maybe three years or so. That’s the current estimate of the promised land (herd immunity).
There’s every reason to believe medical science will advance the full efficacy of the vaccine over time and we all hope it gets to that “true prevention” status some point in the future, but now is not that vaccine.
Summary of Exposure and Vaccine Protocol
I hope the list below helps people understand how the process needs to proceed to be effective.:
- If you have Covid but don’t know it before you get the first shot, the shots won’t prevent you from the Covid shit show.
- If you take the first dose and then get exposed, see item #1.
- If you take the second dose, have escaped contagion, and get the second dose (21 to 28 days after the first, depending on which pharma vaccine), you’re immediately at the 95% improved risk odds!
Nope again, see item #1.
- You didn’t contract covid before, between, or immediately after the second shot, and it’s been 14 days or more past the last show without exposure/contagion. WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER! This is the spot the 95% prevention risk begins.
The vaccines as currently available work to build an immunity in your system. That building requires the two shots spaced apart a specific number of days, then a waiting period after the last shot (one of them 14 days after second shot, the other a few days earlier, but let’s be safe and use the longer one).
Note that all this is the average protocol for the average patient based on the clinical trials. Remember this vaccine went through fast-tracking and while, again I’ll say it, everyone should take it when offered and it’s our best way to radically decrease the risk of contagion, essentially we’re all part of the post-clinical trials study to really learn how effective it is across a vastly larger test group.
Despite all the bits above, please get the vaccine when you have the chance to do so. I believe once the power changes in Washington, we’re going to see a rapid increase in availability, and I hope, some federally mandated laws about masks and behaviors.
I plan to bare my arm and get poked as soon as they tell me I’m up. And you bet I’ll ask questions about the exact date I need to come back for shot #2. You can also take it to the bank that I’ll enter into a self-quarantine over those six weeks around the shots to further increase my odds of not messing up and giving the vaccine the proper time to build immunity in my body.