Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

When could you say ‘No’ to a vaccine?

Before the anti-vaxxer movement, it was common to refuse vaccinations on religious grounds. These parents are willing to sacrifice their children by withholding a life-saving vaccination because vaccines are not mentioned in their scriptures. These parents do not usually question vaccines as such. The anti-vaxxer movement does. 

Governments often allow such religious refusals because it does not affect the international minimum vaccination threshold of 95% (Dutch gov). Most likely, the anti-vaxxer movement is accountable and/or responsible for the slow annual decrease in vaccination coverage. 

Covid-19 has shown a remarkable development: the more likely a vaccine will be available, the less likely people will be taking that vaccine. The number of Dutch people that will take a corona vaccine decreased from 73% in June to 60% in November (eg, Dutch NewsI&ONOSVK). 

This decrease is not an increase in the anti-vaxxer movement. Many people have a “wait-and-see” approach (eg, side effects). Some people are skeptic about the potential quality of the vaccine following the high speed of development. 

I’m not an anti-vaxxer. To the contrary. In general, I take my vaccinations when advised. Nevertheless, I have never taken an influenza vaccination. I don’t see the point and neither does my mother (86). Still, we both believe in vaccines, including their side effects.

I view vaccines from a risk-reward perspective (my blogs): what is the upside potential of a vaccine (eg, saving lives) and what is the downside risk (eg, side effects). Essentially, a pharmaceutical company does the very same: what is the investment of developing a vaccine (ie, risk) and will future profits be adequate to recover that investment (ie, reward). 

From a mortality perspective, the current Dutch corona fatality number (ie, 9,035) is still lower than the 2018 influenza deaths (ie, 9,400). Out of the last 10 years, 2 other influenza years are just below: 2015 (8,600 deaths) and 2017 (7,500 deaths). Source: Dutch gov. Based on an actual Dutch population of 17,150,210, the Dutch corona mortality is about 0.05% – or 1 in 2,000 people.

Thus far, the upside potential of a vaccine is minimal while the downside risk is still opaque.

The Medicine Song (1984) by Stephanie Mills

artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

You need a little bit of this medicine 

Mama’s gonna give you some medicine

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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