Take a look at this graph that disaggregates the rates of covid-19 deaths according to vaccination status.
Note that if you are unvaccinated you have at least a five-fold greater risk of dying. This is a massive difference. And yet, many people choose to ignore information that is effectively smacking them upside the head and telling them to get vaccinated.
Compare this with how people are willing to adopt all manner of practices that promise even small benefits. People start taking things like turmeric, acai berries, pomegranate, and adopt all manner of diets, exercise routines, and things like detoxing even though the promised benefits may be just a few percent reduction in cancer or a slight increase in longevity, and the like. And even those benefits have been shown to not be that robust or are even spurious. This behavior reminds me of something that Jesus said in Matthew 23:24 about people straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel.
But presented with a staggeringly large reduction in death rates that vaccines provide, they act if that were not worth considering, even though the situation seems to once again be turning dire.
President Joe Biden on Thursday warned people who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 are looking at a very bleak and dangerous winter if they do not get their shots soon.
“I want to send a direct message to the American people: Due to the steps we’ve taken Omicron has not yet spread as fast as it would have otherwise done,” Biden said in remarks at the White House following his Covid-19 briefing Thursday.
As of Wednesday, only about 1 in 6 people in the US are fully vaccinated and boosted against Covid-19, leaving hundreds of millions at risk as the threat of the fast-transmitting Omicron variant looms.
The latest ensemble forecasts published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that new Covid-19 hospital admissions may reach record levels in the coming weeks, while new cases and deaths may reach levels last seen during last winter’s surge.
The CDC’s predicted increase in Covid-19 deaths would bring total deaths for the pandemic to 837,000 to 845,000 people by January 8.
An average of nearly 120,000 new cases are being diagnosed each day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University — 50% more than a month ago. And more than 1,200 people are dying every day, on average.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he is certain Omicron will become the dominant coronavirus variant in the US relatively soon.
“It has what we call a doubling time of about three days. And if you do the math on that, if you have just a couple of percentage of the isolates being Omicron, very soon it’s going to be the dominant variant,” Fauci said, later adding, “We’ve seen that in South Africa, we’re seeing it in the UK and I’m absolutely certain that’s what we’re going to be seeing here relatively soon.”
Fauci also said this week that at this point, there is no need for a variant-specific booster shot but that there will “no doubt” be breakthrough infections.
There was an article that said that in some European countries, some hitherto vaccine resistant people are changing their minds.
Some former vaccine skeptics in Eastern Europe have shifted over to the other side as coronavirus infections surge, countries are making it more difficult for the unvaccinated to travel abroad and authorities battle against government distrust and vaccine disinformation.
When she rolled up her sleeve in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo to take her first COVID-19 vaccine dose, Fata Keco was afraid of possible adverse side effects. But she said the worst she had to contend with over the next few days was “moderately discomforting pain” in her left arm around the site of the injection.
More significantly, the 52-year-old self-employed cleaning woman has joined the global community of vaccine-believers after months of “being very susceptible” to what she now describes as “the most ridiculous theories.”
She told The Associated Press that some of those that she heard were “that the coronavirus does not exist, that journalists were paid to spread panic, that planes were spraying us with viruses at night, that vaccines were being used by the powers that be to implant us with tracking microchips.”
“Now I feel relief for having done something to protect my health after putting myself in danger for a long time,” Keco said. “Also, I don’t mind that it will make my life easier if I decide to take a trip abroad.”
She isn’t alone in her transformation, especially after numerous European countries started tightening their anti-virus rules, including by requiring proof of vaccination from foreign visitors.
“I want to travel and study abroad and for that I have to be vaccinated,” said Esma Dzaka, 18, after getting her first dose Tuesday in Sarajevo.
European countries are smaller and people were used to crossing borders so the new restrictions are a good stimulus to get vaccinated. Americans travel much less to other countries and so that will not be much of an incentive except for the well-to-do.
So the unvaccinated will continue to die at much greater rates, an avoidable tragedy.