How does COVID-19 distinguish between immunocompromised people and vaccine skeptical people once Herd Immunity is reached? Won’t naturally acquired immunity (from surviving) and vaccination both contribute to Herd Immunity?

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There is no herd immunity.

The idea of herd immunity comes from things such as Cowpox, which were used to develop the first vaccine (thus the name, from lat. “vaca” for cow) against Smallpox. Smallpox and Cowpox need a lot of time in the body to become infective for others. The same is true for measles, mumps, rubella, and (most importantly) hepatitis. So when you vaccinate someone, that someone might still get infected, but because the virus is murdered by the immune system before the person becomes infective, you actively build a wall against infections.

In Coronaviridae the virus becomes infective around the time the innate immune system acts. That’s the first part of the immune system. Once the adaptive immune system springs into action, you have already been infectious for a day or two. That’s true for vaccinated and unvaccinated people alike. It’s also the reason the vaccine is a vaccine against COVID-19, not SARS-CoV-2, the virus.

In short, IF you are vaccinated, three things happen:

  • You have a 99% higher chance of not dying.
  • You have a 86% higher chance of not getting seriously ill.
    • You have a 65% chance of not being one of the 10% of people who develop “Long COVID” and suffer for months or years
  • You will only be sick for a few days (2–5) instead of weeks (10–20 days)
    • You have a 60% lower chance of infecting others (better than masks)

Now, the virus does not differentiate. BUT if you could be vaccinated and refuse to, you do a number of really shitty things:

  • You take the chance of getting seriously ill, meaning you will cost the tax payer lots of money that could have been avoided with a $18 dose of vaccine
  • You take the chance of being in the hospital, meaning you steal rare monoclonals and other treatment options from immune compromised people that can not be vaccinated. And with the Delta and Kappa variants “I am young” or “I am healthy” is a bullshit excuse because it does not matter anymore, the illness levels are no longer between old or young but between vaccinated and unvaccinated.
  • You have a chance for 14 days of infecting others. The only time it’s acceptable to spread a plague is if the heavens part and an angel blows a trumpet. Otherwise anyone who knowingly takes this chance and would have had a way of preventing it, is a piece of shit.
  • So, let’s say you get SARS-CoV-2. Your chances of it being a variant, not the wild type, are now at 75%, more than 60% of that being the Delta Variant.

If you’re vaccinated, you have two days of not feeling 100% and then you’re fine. You might even give it to others who are either vaccinated (good), not vaccinated but could (bad), or can’t be vaccinated. The two latter might develop COVID-19 from the infection.

If you’re not vaccinated you’ll get sick. The chances are now higher than not. You’ll steal treatment options from those who can not be vaccinated. You’ll contribute to the health care climate that pushes nurses and doctors to suicide, divorce, mental trauma, giving up their jobs, and more. You’ll add to the death toll. And, if you don’t die, you’ll have a 10–30% chance of never or for a long time being 100% OK.

The vaccine isn’t for herd immunity. It’s to keep you out of the hospital now and for the next few months, when your Long COVID makes you sick. It’s to save the physicians and nurses. It’s to save the health care system. And it’s to allow us to treat and save those who can not be vaccinated.

Mikka Luster @mikka