Think of your COVID-19 vaccine as a seat belt, not impenetrable armor – .

Think of your COVID-19 vaccine as a seat belt, not impenetrable armor – .

    Les vaccins ne sont pas conçus pour prévenir toutes les infections, comme une ceinture de sécurité, ils sont un outil pour sauver des vies.  Ils fonctionnent mieux lorsque la plupart des gens les utilisent.
    <ul class="summary-list"><li>Les vaccins COVID-19 ne sont pas parfaits et vous pouvez toujours tomber malade après avoir reçu toutes vos injections.</li>
  • But a vaccinated person’s infection is likely to be milder because their body has built up its defenses.
  • Vaccines are a lot like seat belts: they save lives, but they can’t prevent accidents.
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  • Vaccines offer a huge advantage in the fight against the disease. But they don’t make you immune to the infection.

    When it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, experts say, consider navigating a partially vaccinated world like driving a car. Some safety measures are in place – seat belts, airbags and traffic lights – but driving is not without risk, especially during the storm surge of the Delta.

    Risk assessment does not come naturally to us humans. It’s hard to be on your guard when you can’t to see the threat. This is why public health experts are so fond of analogies.

    “Vaccines, they’re no magic,” immunologist Barney Graham, deputy director of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health, said in a question-and-answer session earlier this week. “They create a spectrum of immunity that people have to understand, and then people will take a range of risks. “

    These risks intensify dramatically if people are not vaccinated, and more than 50% of the United States is.

    Wearing a seat belt doesn’t mean you can take your eyes off the road

    Seat belts protect against serious injury in an accident, but they cannot completely prevent fender folds. Likewise, licensed COVID-19 vaccines have an excellent track record for preventing serious illness.

    “These types of vaccines were never designed to prevent infection, they were designed to protect your airways and prevent serious illness,” Graham said.

    Federal records show that getting the vaccine will prevent you from going to the hospital more than 99% of the time, but you can still get infected if you’re exposed to someone with the virus, and you could get a little sick.

    Above all, you should always keep your eyes on the road, especially when the terrain is unfamiliar.

    Right now, riding the wave of the Delta variant is like driving down a steep road with a lot of potholes. The virus is not only easier to catch, it is also easier to transmit, which means not wearing a seat belt is especially dangerous now, even if most of your friends and family are already strapped in. and vaccinated.

    It is essential to keep an eye on the number of local cases and, depending on your risk tolerance, to take a detour to avoid high risk events.

    Getting vaccinated is like obeying the rules of the road: it’s a system that saves lives, but only when we all participate

    Healthcare workers rely on other people to get vaccinated, so their hospitals are not overrun.
    John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images

    Less than half of the United States is fully immune. This is the main reason why we see highly transmissible variants leading to new outbreaks.

    If half the cars on the road ignored the traffic lights, it would be chaos. You would be more likely to have an accident even if you still play by the rules.

    This is what we are seeing now with more ‘breakthrough’ infections – people who contract COVID-19 after vaccination. Without a solid level of immune protection, there is more COVID-19 moving from person to person and many more opportunities to meet someone with the disease.

    (Nonetheless, the vast majority of recent COVID-19 infections, especially the more serious ones involving patients in hospital beds, are in people who have not been vaccinated.)

    By following the rules of the road, you protect other drivers

    Hilary Young (right) and her 6-year-old have both recently tested positive for COVID-19. The youngster is fully vaccinated.
    Courtesy of Hilary Young

    With Delta around, accident rates are on the rise and extra precautions, like more masks, are needed.

    You could be well in an accident if you wear your seat belt – but you could injure others who don’t have the same protections.

    Already, 80% of Americans over 65 are fully immunized. But they cannot fight this disease so well on their own.

    “When you get to the elderly, especially over 80, you are going to find groundbreaking cases,” Dr Catherine O’Neal, chief medical officer at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, a hospital now invaded by COVID-19 patients, CNN recently said.

    The vast majority of those who are fully vaccinated and who end up being hospitalized or dead tend to be elderly. The same goes for immunocompromised people like cancer patients and organ recipients, who do not derive the same level of immune benefit from vaccines as others.

    Children under 12, who cannot be vaccinated, are now hospitalized at higher rates as well because they do not have additional safety protections, such as a car seat (vaccine), an airbag (warrant mask) or a reserved seat in the backseat (good ventilation in classrooms) to protect them from a rare COVID-19 accident with Delta.

    These vulnerable groups rely on the rest of the country to get vaccinated. Now, with the dominance of the more transmissible Delta variant, they need everyone to wear masks indoors in public, as emerging data shows that vaccinated people can easily spread the virus as well.

    The virus is a moving target and the rules of the road may change accordingly

    The traffic sign attached to the parking post reads
    A sign in Provincetown, Massachusetts on July 10, 2020.
    Zach Roberts/NurPhoto via Getty Images

    Now is not the time for cruise control. We are navigating a whole new terrain of infectious diseases.

    The way we think about these vaccines has to adapt in real time with the pandemic. If we cannot get enough people around the world vaccinated, this disease will continue to thrive and circulate, leading to new variants that could pose an even greater threat to our existence.

    We probably need to develop a better licensing and ticketing system to obey the rules of the road during this pandemic. In the meantime, getting the vaccine is a sure way to bond.


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