I have previously mentioned my own stance on the vaccine, namely that I was going to get it and hoped most people would. I have also discussed that a vaccine did not prevent me from contracting COVID-19.
Now we are in 2022. Some places in the world are starting to require boosters to become fully vaccinated with the new concern of omicron. I did a little research last week on the mRNA vaccines and how they work. That made me feel better in my decision and allowed me to understand why the current vaccines struggle against omicron.
What follows is my understanding and should not be treated as medical advice. The lack of sourcing is intentional as I encourage everyone to do their own research.
The mRNA is injected and that creates a spike protein that simulates the appearance of COVID-19. This triggers an immune response in your body and your body learns how to best attack spike proteins. Previous versions of COVID-19 had around nine or ten spikes while omicron has around thirty-seven.
Looking at omicron logically, I can understand the vaccines decreased effectivity. If the body was trained to fight off something with nine to ten spikes and sees something with thirty-seven, it will need a new plan. That is why the pharmaceutical companies are working on a new vaccine.
I had my second dose back in April 2021; I then got COVID in late August. As the point of the vaccine and booster is to simulate the spike protein and remind your body how to fight it; it feels like I had a “booster” of sorts in late August / early September since the booster is focused on previous nine to ten spike variants.
One must wonder if COVID-19 will mutate again by the time that vaccine comes out. Obviously, a concern, but the good news is that I am hearing omicron seems to be less dangerous which is typical of viruses. After all, a virus’s goal is to thrive and propagate, and if the host dies prior to being able to pass it along, that goes against its goals.
Which brings me to vaccine mandates: I am against them. And I say this as someone who lost a loved one to COVID-19.
I have made my own choice, but I am not comfortable with the idea that anybody is forced into making a decision against their wishes when it comes to their own body. And there are multiple ways of being forced: one could be the threat of a job, a second could be financial repercussions by having to pay for weekly tests out of pocket, and a third could be restrictions of movement via curfews or being prohibited in restaurants and other places.
Of all these, the prohibition of restaurants makes the most sense to me as by definition, a mask will be removed to eat and drink. And masks, like vaccinations, are key in slowing the spread especially with new variants coming out. But even these mandates treat a subset of our population as second class citizens.
There is no easy path forward for the governments of the world. But I do believe that mandates are not the way to go. Humans don’t like being forced into doing things, and the continuation of punitive policies will only result in frustration and vitriol.