While I listen to Dr. David Basel on South Dakota Public Radio thoroughly refuting the unscientific excuses some Philip rancher comes up with for not getting the coronavirus vaccine, I feel I should spotlight the good vaccine news that the CDC released Monday and which our state Department of Health found worthy of a state press release but which our Governor hasn’t seen fit to promote through her wide-reaching social media channels: The Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines work like gangbusters.
According to the CDC’s ongoing analysis of health care workers and other frontliners who face a higher risk of exposure to coronavirus and who were able to get the shots early, if you join my family and me in getting both doses of one of the mRNA covid-19 vaccines, you reduce your risk of infection by 91%. Partial vaccination reduces the risk by 81%.
Even if you do catch coronavirus after getting the shot, the CDC finds you won’t feel nearly as sick as you will if you choose to go without the shots:
…fully or partially vaccinated people who developed COVID-19 spent on average six fewer total days sick and two fewer days sick in bed. They also had about a 60 percent lower risk of developing symptoms, like fever or chills, compared to those who were unvaccinated [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, press release, 2021.06.07].
…and you’ll be less likely to make others sick:
…fully or partially vaccinated study participants had 40 percent less detectable virus in their nose (i.e., a lower viral load), and the virus was detected for six fewer days (i.e., viral shedding) compared to those who were unvaccinated when infected. In addition, people who were partially or fully vaccinated were 66 percent less likely to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection for more than one week compared to those who were unvaccinated. While these indicators are not a direct measure of a person’s ability to spread the virus, they have been correlated with reduced spread of other viruses, such as varicella and influenza [CDC, 2021.06.07].
This study is good news consistent with lots of solid science gathered in the six months that we’ve been putting mRNA vaccines in people’s arms. All the science says the coronavirus vaccines are working better than expected. So listen to the CDC, and listen to the doctors: get your shots!!!
And hey, Rancher Bill, if Dr. Basel still can’t convince you to get your shots, just stay out at the ranch, and on those rare occasions when you come to town, keep wearing your mask. You may not love science, but I’m sure you love your neighbors.