It is a very valid point that vaccinating entire populations is an experiment and people are the guinea pigs.
- People Are Often Guinea Pigs, Mostly Without Safeguards.
- The Safety Experiment: What is The Risk.
- Vaccine Risk vs Infection Risk.
- The Effectiveness Experiment: The Forgotten Risk.
People Are Often Guinea Pigs, Mostly Without Safeguards.
People were guinea pigs when a whole generation of kids grew up watching tv, and again now with a generation growing up exposed to social media. People become guinea pigs so often that it doesn’t make the news anymore, but we should not just ignore that it happens.
At least with vaccines, there are sound processes, mostly staffed by well intentioned normal people who are not all part of some conspiracy as some believe, to reduce the risk posed by the experiment, but it is still an experiment.
The Safety Experiment: What Are The Risks.
And being vaccinated is not always completely harmless. Vaccines don’t even fight disease or hang around in your body beyond a couple of weeks, but they give your body a look at something that looks a little like the virus, and your bodies own reaction to that triggers your immune system, and your own immune system:
- Does fight future infections.
- Is ‘primed’ in a way that lasts at least several months and maybe for ever.
- Can, in admittedly rare cases, can cause problems that make people unwell or even die.
The assessment is that for most people, exposure to Covid-19 without vaccination is a far, far more risky experiment than vaccination. At least most countries have decided that for over 12, while other countries have only decided that for over 16s. The young fit and healthy can still die from Covid-19, but their risk is reduced, so at this time, it is assumed that risk/benefit for the very young becomes questionable. If you are under 16, it would seem to be less certain what is best.
Vaccine Risk vs Infection Risk.
Getting vaccinated means you will get the vaccine for certain, while it may not be certain you will ever be infected with the virus. There have been situations, like in Australia in early 2021, when there was more immediate risk from the vaccine than the virus, because at that time, no one was being infected within Australia. It did not take long for the odds to be reversed in Australia, but if you live somewhere that the virus will not reach, then the equation changes.
So if you live in a location with no Covid-19 around or you are under 16 or not much older, then it can make sense to hold off on being vaccinated.
There is the adage “do your own research”, but the cost of the lab, test equipment and medical facilities is quite prohibitive, and allocating friends and family to the placebo group could be problematic.
For those over 16 in locations where the virus is circulating, the evidence is very compelling from existing research that it is better to be guinea pig for the effects of the vaccine than a guinea pig for the effects of the virus.
The Effectiveness Experiment: The Forgotten Risk.
All vaccine trials check not only for safety, but also for ‘efficacy’. At first I thought if I have a vaccine with 90% efficacy, that must mean I would be then 90% protected. It turn out, no, this is not necessarily the case. Unlike the virus, vaccines themselves are basically harmless, and when there is harm, it is the reaction of our bodies own immune system that causes the problems. You could think of an allergic response as like an anxiety, an overreaction to something that was not really a threat. With the original vaccinus or “from the cow” (origin of the word ‘vaccine’) there was an injection of a real cowpox virus, but most modern vaccines are not just less dangerous than the target disease, they present no threat at all.
There is simply no need for our body to produce any immune reaction to the vaccine at all. The desired response is that our immune system if fooled into responding, even when there is no need.
On one hand we don’t want people to dangerously overreact, but there can also be a percentage people with no reaction at all. If a person’s immune system correctly determines the vaccine is not even a threat, then as within around 2 weeks, the vaccine will be gone, and the person will be no more immune than the were before.
A component of vaccine ‘efficacy’ is the percentage of people have the same risk after vaccination as they did before vaccination.