We have people who are opposed to vaccinations on ideological grounds, on partisan political grounds, on religious grounds, and who think that it undermines their ‘wellness’ attitude to health and believe that various dietary and mental therapies are the key to avoiding the disease and that vaccines interfere with that protection.
But there are those who do not fit into any of those categories and say that they are not opposed to vaccines as such but don’t get vaccinated because they think that vaccines are unnecessary if one lives a healthy lifestyle and do not have the comorbidities that make one a risk for serious illness and death, such as age or being immunosuppressed or having lung ailments. Younger and otherwise healthy people are likely to fall into this category of the unvaccinated.
But that is not a good bet. The virus can still attack you as can be seen by this case in France.
Grichka and Igor Bogdanoff became France’s most famous twins, hosting a TV science and science-fiction show in the 1980s on a spaceship set.
They died of coronavirus within days of each other in hospital, Grichka on 28 December and his brother on Monday.
Aged 72, the brothers had not been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Their friends said they were convinced their healthy lifestyle would protect them and they were admitted to hospital in mid-December.
Although their families did not specify the cause of their deaths, their lawyer Edouard de Lamaze confirmed they had both contracted the virus.
Family friend Pierre-Jean Chalençon said they had left it too late to seek hospital treatment, deciding it was similar to flu. “People have said they were anti-vaxxers but they absolutely weren’t,” he told BFMTV. “Several friends told them to get themselves vaccinated but they felt because of their lifestyle and their [lack of] comorbidity, they weren’t at risk of Covid.”
Asked why they had chosen not to have the Covid vaccines if they were not themselves anti-vaxxers, Luc Ferry said on Monday: “Like Igor, Grichka wasn’t antivax, he was just antivax for himself.
“They were both athletic, with not an inch of fat, and they thought the vaccine was more dangerous than the virus.”
While this is just a single sad example of people who have far more trust in their bodies’ ability to ward off viruses than is warranted, it should still serve as a warning that the idea that the virus is like the flu and can be dealt with as such is a dangerous myth, although healthy lifestyles may result in milder symptoms and quicker recoveries.
At some point, as the virus mutates, it is likely to become endemic and less lethal and join the ranks of the various flu viruses that circulate all the time, as happened with the Spanish flu a century ago. But we are not there yet.