Are the Unvaccinated a Threat to the Vaccinated?

I don’t think so.

At a personal level, if you are vaccinated for Covid-19, then infected people are no medical threat to you. It makes no sense to single out unvaccinated spreaders by calling them a threat when all vaccination statuses are equally non-threatening to the vaccinated.

At a social level it may seem things are more complicated. For example, you might assume that unvaccinated people are responsible for keeping the disease alive. The assumption might even be true. But again, if you are vaccinated the living disease poses no medical threat to you. Apart from that, the assumption that unvaccinated people uniquely keep the disease alive is not necessarily true. With Covid-19, as with influenza, vaccinated people can also spread the disease, keeping it alive.

What about the social costs? Sick people cause expenses we all bear in some way, and policies to stop the spread of the virus cause inconveniences for everyone. These social costs are unfair to and unnecessary for the vaccinated. Surely the unvaccinated can be blamed for them, right?

No, not right. If the unvaccinated are not solely responsible for keeping the disease alive then blaming them for the social costs is a mistake. You could try a different version of the mistake by saying, if only the unvaccinated would get vaccinated the social costs would decline more rapidly, but in fact no one knows that to be true with certainty. Because the virus mutates all existing vaccines could become ineffective against new variants.

There is, ultimately, no credible way to describe the unvaccinated as a threat to the vaccinated. It is best to count vaccination as a blessing and avoid the temptation to make the unvaccinated into scapegoats.

42 thoughts on “Are the Unvaccinated a Threat to the Vaccinated?

      1. Vaccines have been shown to slow the spread AND prevent the potential death of anyone who contracts it.

        There is no, nor has there been, 100% protection form the virus. That is clear enough. But if you are unvaccinated and contract the virus you are more likely to be hospitalized and/or die from it.

        If you are unvaccinated and you contract the virus, you are more likely to spread it among others who have also chosen not to be vaccinated.

        However, the Governor of Alabama, Republican Kay Ivey is now scapegoating her constituents who refuse to get the shot.

        https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/564521-alabama-gop-governor-on-rising-covid-19-cases-time-to-start-blaming-the

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        1. RE: “Vaccines have been shown to slow the spread AND prevent the potential death of anyone who contracts it.”

          Lots of people believe that. I note, however, that to say the vaccines slow the spread one needs to show what the spread would have been without the vaccines. But there is no objective and verifiable way to know what the spread would have been. I dealt with this issue in the post by pointing out that viruses can mutate in ways that make existing vaccines ineffective.

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          1. …” that viruses can mutate in ways that make existing vaccines ineffective.”

            So far they have lost some effectiveness. BUT they are much more effective than natural immunity which would cause thousands more deaths.

            But if you want your voting bloc to die off, that is your issue. Not mine.

            Get the damned shot. Protect yourself. Protect your family. Protect your community. What is so god-awful hard about that?

            Liked by 1 person

          2. RE: “BUT they are much more effective than natural immunity which would cause thousands more deaths.”

            There is some recent research to support that claim, but it is far too soon to treat the claim as fact. We’re just at the beginning of being able to understand the differences between immunity by infection and immunity by vaccine. For all we know, the body’s natural defenses may be superior for reasons we haven’t discovered yet, or the vaccines may cause problems we haven’t discovered yet.

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          3. While there is no final answer that vaccines offer more protection than an infection (although the variants seem to be more impaired by the vaccine than by a previous infection) there is ZERO doubt that an infection of Covid-19 is many orders of magnitude more dangerous than the vaccines. So the idea of letting nature take its course without vaccination is equivalent to advocating for mass murder to meet a threat for which a death-free solution is at hand.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. RE: “there is ZERO doubt that an infection of Covid-19 is many orders of magnitude more dangerous than the vaccines.”

            Only in your imagination. I believe the full medical effects of the vaccines are at present poorly understood.

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  1. “At a personal level, if you are vaccinated for Covid-19, then infected people are no medical threat to you”

    That is simply false. You know better so I will call it a LIE.

    1. If I am one of the millions who has a compromised immune system you could easily cause my death by allowing the virus to grow in your body and spread to me.
    2. The vaccines are good, but they are not perfect. Even a vaccinated person can catch the virus from you, get sick and some even die.

    3. So long as the virus is circulating we are ALL at risk from the possiblity of dangerous new strains that the vaccines do not stop.

    4. You people are once again choking hospital capacity putting me at greater risk should I need hospitalization.

    So, the fact is that each and every jackass who refuses to be vaccinated is a medical threat to every person they come in contact with.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If you label a difference of opinion a LIE one more time, your posts will be moderated.

      A LIE only occurs when something is factually untrue and the person stating it knows that to be true.

      There can be no civil discourse in the face of constant accusation of lying.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was a fucking LIE.

        It was a statement of fact which is NOT true. It was not a mistake. It was not an opinion. It was a statement of fact. Mr. Roberts knows the truth of every point I made. He can feign ignorance but he is not THAT dumb. What is really impossibe is to have a civil discussion when people LIE or spread LIES.

        As for the threat of moderation . . . What happened to you are not Zuckerberg? It is Okay for someone to parachute in and sling egregious personal insults but not okay to call a LIE a LIE with good reasons offered for calling it what it is?

        Any time I see someone offering a statement of fact which is not true and I believe they know better I will call it what it is. So moderate away.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. “It was not a lie, either.”

            The statement was false.
            Either it was a lie or you are incredibly stupid because the facts that make it false have been discussed here and everywhere else for months.

            I have already opined that you know the truth and are not THAT dumb. What does that leave?

            What would you call a false statement the speaker knows to be false? You have already tried “counterfactual” which was Whiff.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. RE: “What would you call a false statement the speaker knows to be false?”

            In this case I would call it a supposition, which is a type of counterfactual. Sort of like Joe Biden’s statement: “If you are vaccinated you are safe.”

            Do you wish to call Stumble Joe a liar?

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      2. “ At a personal level, if you are vaccinated for Covid-19, then infected people are no medical threat to you.”

        Is there any truth to that statement?

        There are thousands of breakthrough infections and if a vaccinated person is older, immunosuppressed, then the even 90-95 double dose efficacy has possible lethal consequences if not at least hospitalization.

        The truer statement would be that vaccinated people are better protected.

        So Roberts’ statement is false with intent to purposefully bolster a false point.

        That is a lie.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. You are, of course, making the assumption that the vaccines don’t work.

          I’m pretty sure I wrote here even before the vaccines came out that they would not prevent a person from being infected, that they would only reduce the likelihood you from becoming clinically ill.

          That remains true.

          So, what if the person who chooses not to be vaccinated is forced to accept the vaccine, is it not still possible he could get a breakthrough infection?

          Of course, he will just be more likely to survive.

          That’s why I have written that it is hopeless to think you can wait for herd immunity to protect you. Sooner or later you will be infected.

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          1. I am not making the assumption vaccines don’t work. They do and very well.

            They are not perfect. Breakthroughs have happened and have led to hospitalizations and some deaths. So the particularly vulnerable like you and I for age and your lung malady as well as age. Cancer patients and others who cannot get the shot are at the mercy of others. And they are certainly as entitled to get back to normalcy or close to it.

            Are we supposed to force the vulnerable to opt out of life because some opt out of vaccination?

            On a larger scale, there is concern that because we are effectively ignoring the Third World even more variants will pop up. And they might be less affected by current vaccines than Delta. As the rich country, for us to ignore the hesitancy here is just a bit mind boggling.

            As a nation we busted our asses developing, waiting for and praising the vaccine development to get ourselves back up and running. Instead we are stuck because of misinformation, rumors, conspiracies and lies like “…and the unvaccinated are not to blame for the surge in Covid hospitalizations”. The unvaccinated are the surge, or about 97% of it.

            Or 4500 deaths post-inoculation with “many times that number” courtesy of Carlson’s propaganda disinformation machine. CDC follow through show almost zero were vaccine related.

            These lies are coming from the right almost exclusively. They are not opinions, just lies and people believe them.

            Liked by 2 people

        2. RE: “Is there any truth to that statement?”

          Of course there is, if you read it in context. Note, for example, the clarification that immediately follows: “It makes no sense to single out unvaccinated spreaders by calling them a threat when all vaccination statuses are equally non-threatening to the vaccinated.”

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          1. ” . . . all vaccination statuses are equally non-threatening to the vaccinated.”

            Uh, that is even more nonsense. Is there no end to it?

            If I am vaccinated and encounter the virus my body will quickly suppress it. If you are unvaccinated and encounter the virus your body will allow it to multiply geometrically making you a walking death trap to anyone who comes near you.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. RE: ” your body will allow it to multiply geometrically making you a walking death trap to anyone who comes near you.”

            But not, as you now admit, a walking death trap to you, if you are vaccinated.

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          3. “But not, as you now admit, a walking death trap to you”

            You are seeing what you want to see. I have not “admitted” any such thing. See point 2 in my original post. You are still a walking death trap if I am vaccinated and you are spreading the virus, but not as deadly as you would be to your fellow anti-vaxxer or cancer patient. You subject me to a risk of death far greater than I would choose for myself. Not to mention the risk of hospitalization, pain and suffering.

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          4. Got it. You want others to be vaccinated because if they are not your vaccination doesn’t work.

            Pitiful.

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    2. I don’t know the cause or the severity of your immune deficit, but there are precautions you can take to protect yourself that are less of a burden than trampling the rights of those who choose not to be vaccinated.

      You don’t have to go into public places where you will be in close contact with others.

      You can wear a quality mask, the demand for N-95 masks no longer exceeds supply, and you can wear a face shield, and wash your hands after taking it off.

      Certainly, that inconveniences you but you are talking about forcing others to accept medical treatment they do not feel to be safe.

      I can’t go into a home or business where cats are present, but that is my problem, I have no right to demand everybody kill their cats.

      Sometimes problems are our problems and not the responsibility of others to fix.

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      1. Let the unvaccinated stay at home, let them wear the N95 masks, let them wear face shields wherever they go. THEY are the ones whose silly choices create the danger.

        You want to virtually imprison millions of people because of how some people “feel” about a medical treatment that is free, painless and will – without any doubt – protect their lives along with those people you would imprison.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. At worst, you have to take the same precautions we all took for a year waiting for the vaccine. That is not imprisonment.

          I’m sorry you have a problem, but it is your problem.

          Again, I can’t tell people they can’t have cats because I am allergic, that is my problem.

          You mistake opinion for fact. Balancing the risks of getting vaccinated and not is a matter of opinion. Vaccines are not risk free, The risk is low, but not non-existent. You and I both took the choice that the risks were worth it to be able to circulate in public again, others may choose differently.

          I disagree with those who choose not to be vaccinated, but I would accept some inconvenience before denying them their right to choose.

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  2. “ It is best to count vaccination as a blessing and avoid the temptation to make the unvaccinated into scapegoats.”

    The point of vaccination is to achieve herd immunity with fewer deaths and hospitalizations.

    The unvaccinated by personal choice are preventing herd immunity so long as their numbers keep us under the percentage needed.

    If the pandemic is akin to war (recall the comment about being a wartime president?) than the draft dodgers are the unvaccinated. Even conscientious objectors had to serve in some capacity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “The unvaccinated by personal choice are preventing herd immunity so long as their numbers keep us under the percentage needed.”

      No, they aren’t preventing anything. If herd immunity for Covid-19 is possible, it will occur with or without vaccines.

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      1. “If herd immunity for Covid-19 is possible, it will occur with or without vaccines.”

        How many MILLIOINS will have to suffer and/or die before that is reached? Too many. Even those I don’t agree with on any spectrum do not need not suffer (or their families).

        How did that work for polio? Whooping cough. Measles? Mumps? Rubella? Herd immunity through vaccines. Duh.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. RE: “How many MILLIOINS will have to suffer and/or die before that is reached?”

          Death is one way for herd immunity to occur, and would certainly contribute to herd immunity if there were no vaccines.

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  3. The analogy is certainly plausible however while infections spread the public doesn’t fully open up, like travel. My wife and I are itching for that. However I won’t call people names for questioning the vaccine while putting themselves at risk or call them liars, like some people, just like I won’t give anyone a hard time for not taking radiation for cancer. To all of the lefties, belligerence and scapegoating will not solve anything.

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  4. Fauci is a gangster, my opinion. Sen. Paul said that he is a liar and a criminal. So we are making progress there.

    In THREE days one of our (anyway, my) stars is having an Internet event about covid. Dr. Simone Gold is a real doctor who tries to follow the Hippocratic Oath, unlike Fauci.

    Many on this site may be interested in checking this out—- https://live.aflds.org

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    1. “Fauci is a gangster, my opinion”

      Thanks for making it crystal clear that you were expressing an opinion. People who are familiar with your other opinions can judge for themselves what your opinion is worth.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Uh, are you addressing Bruce who – out of the blue and without a scintilla of evidence – has slandered a dedicated public servant. Or me who said nothing positive or negative about Bruce’s opinions even in response to this blatant incivility? If you took my remark to be negative that can only mean that YOU have a very low opinion of the stuff Bruce brings to this forum.

          Funny, I do not remember any threats of “moderation” when Bruce and others have parachuted in with egregious personal insults. Again and again. You are very, very selective with your threats. As I said to Dr. Tabor the other day, I do not give a damn what your moderation policy is but I do recommend that – whatever it is – it be applied consistently. That would be great.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. When you start threatening Mr. Smith with moderation, I will take you seriously. But until then, shut up about it or do something.

          All Mr. Murphy did was point out that BDP’s opinions are pretty much worthless or based in conspiracy nonsense. Everytime he says something about public education it is an attack on my daughter, and my family, ALL who went through various public education systems.

          Moderate or not. But don’t play games.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Sen Paul should follow the lead of his father and retire. He brings NOTHING to the table but baseless claims and innuendo. He is NOT a serious man and should NOT be attempting to conduct serious business. Raul is a clown. Period.

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