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Alarm Over Vaccine Effectiveness - Are Headlines Misleading?

An example given by the new York Times over vaccine alarmism goes something like this: "The coronavirus vaccines aren’t 100 percent effective. Vaccinated people may still be contagious. And the virus variants may make everything worse. So don’t change your behavior even if you get a shot."

However the evidence so far suggests that a full dose of the vaccine, considering the appropriate waiting period after the second shot, is indeed effective in eliminating the risk of hospitalization and drastically reducing a person’s ability to infect somebody else. This also applies to new variants of the Covid 19 strain. With all the evidence, people are still hesitant in getting the vaccine with concern of how effective it really is. This is much to do with headlines claiming 70-90% effectiveness depending on the brand of vaccine: 72 percent for Johnson & Johnson, compared with 94 percent for Moderna and 95 percent for Pfizer. Are these headlines misleading?

According to The New York Times Morning Debriefing today, "The most important measure — whether the vaccine prevents serious illness — shows the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be equally effective as the other two. All work for nearly 100 percent of people. The picture is murkier for mild cases, but they are not particularly worrisome." What we have seen so far is about one third of our U.S. military and about 60 percent of nursing home staff refusing to accept the vaccines. Between a quarter to a third of healthcare workers have refused the vaccine as well. This leaves the public with questions and doubts as to the effectiveness and potential harm that may come from the vaccine. In efforts to encourage the public, NBA stars as well as other celebrities' are offered to participate in campaigns to encourage vaccination, however some NBA stars are reluctant about pushing this idea as well. Nationally we are split with almost half of Americans feeling averted into wanting to take the vaccine and the doubts and skepticism is higher among minority groups, people without a college education, registered republicans, and lower-income demographics. The statistics show a significant decrease in new coronavirus cases, and while the vaccine has been available, with the statistics of how many people refusing the vaccines, it could be heard immunity is finally taking effect. However, in the United States alone, our current new cases daily average, as of today, is about 64K compared to last year when the pandemic first became apparent when we were at about 20 cases a day average. The risks and threats are still very much real and still quite high. “Our discussion about vaccines has been poor, really poor,” Dr. Muge Cevik, a virologist, told David Leonhardt of the New York Times. “As scientists we need to be more careful what we say and how that could be understood by the public.” To read about this topic more in depth:


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