Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Sometimes you really can't win ...

The US democrat congresswoman Ilhan Omar has criticised fellow politicians in the States as "shameful" for being injected with the COVID-19 vaccination before all health workers have had it.

That accusation, and similar ones on this side of the pond, show only too clearly that there are times when you're damned if you do, damned if you don't and really cannot win.

If politicians, other than those who are sufficiently old to come into a high priority category of clinical need, have the vaccine at an early stage, they get accused of jumping the queue.

If they don't they get accused of failing to show leadership and demonstrate that they have confidence that the vaccination is safe and effective. Ms Omar's fellow Democrat congresswoman, and usual close ally,  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (nicknamed AOC) chronicled her vaccination on a series of Instagram Stories and encouraged followers to ask questions about it. 

When the same charge which Ilhan Omar has been throwing around generally was aimed at AOC she replied by pointing out the problems and loss of confidence which could all too easily result if politicians appeared to be telling other people to get a vaccine they were not willing to take themselves.

For what it's worth, I am one of at least two or three holders of elected office in West Cumbria who can say that we

  1. have not taken the vaccine yet as the rollout has not worked its way down the priority list to us yet, but
  2. will take it as soon as it is offered, and
  3. have close family members working at local hospitals who have been offered and taken the vaccine in line with NCIC NHS Trust's standard practice for rolling out this vaccine (and report no adverse reactions or ill effects.)

4 comments:

Jim said...

but by their own data its not a vaccine.

its a jab that lessens symptoms, from a disease which most people catch with few or no symptoms.............

It does not add up.

Chris Whiteside said...

The people who developed it call it a vaccine.

The MHRA call it a vaccine.

It generates an immune response.

That sounds like a vaccine to me.

It protects against a disease which appears to have been directly at least a contributory factor in, or indirectly responsible for, 1.7 million excess deaths around the world this year.

Several people close to me including my brother and sister-in-law and several colleagues have had COVID-19 and fortunately recovered. But there are also some of my friends and colleagues who had relatives who have died from it.

I could continue but I think that makes the point. This virus is very real and it poses real challenges.

Jim said...

a vaccine is a weakened pathogen that trains the immune system to produce the correct antibodies to fight that pathogen. In the case of a virus the immune system learns how to fight the virus before it can get into a cell, so before it can change the cell to reproduce the virus. Meaning its not possible to catch or spread the same strain of the virus. Thats why you may have had more than one cold in your life but you have never had the same cold twice. Your immune system learned to fight that virus the hard way. I have been vaccinated against measles, there for i can not catch and can not spread measles.

the governent fact sheet tells us that it wont stop you catching and wont stop you spreading the virus

Therefor, ITS NOT A VACCINE

Chris Whiteside said...

With all due respect neither you nor I are expert virologists, so I'm not getting into a long debate about this, but both the responsible authority, the MHRA, and a lot of other people who know a thousand times more than both of us put together about vaccinations do describe it as such.

The definition you give, Jim is a description of how vaccines against most bacterial diseases are actually made.

However, my copy of the Oxford Reference Dictionary gives the first definition of a vaccine as follows:

An antigenic preparation used to stimulate production of antibodies and procure immunity from one or several diseases.

(The second definition in the same dictionary refers specifically to Edward Jenner's anti-smallpox vaccine.)

My understanding is that the above first definition of "vaccine" from the Oxford dictionary is a perfectly accurate description of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZenica treatments.

let's not waste any more time on a semantic argument, anyway: the really important questions are does it work and is it safe.

The answers for the Pfizer/BioNTech one has already been given as yes to both those questions after a very large clinical trial.

Let's hope that the same answer will soon be proved to be right for the Oxford/AstraZenica treatment.