The Myth of "Full Vaccination"

You see the signs everywhere, letting you know that only "fully" vaccinated people are allowed. The "partially" vaccinated or unvaccinated need not apply.

The use of the descriptor of "full" for vaccination implies completion. It implies sufficiency. But immunity against Covid can never be complete nor sufficient. What does it even mean to be immune? Does it mean viruses cannot enter you? Does it mean you won't shed viruses after become infected? Does it mean you won't get sick from the virus? Does it mean you just have a reduced probability of illness? Or just that you won't die even if you get sick?

We know that vaccinated people die, get sick, carry and spread the disease. This is not in dispute.

The nature of coronaviruses is such that you can never be immune in the sense of a certainty against illness. You can never achieve certainty that you will never get sick. Or that you won't carry or communicate the viruses to someone else. 

Vaccination is therefore a probability play-- you're less likely instead of more likely. Which leads us to one of my favorite classic fallacies: using arbitrary criteria to translate a continuous spectrum into discrete, step-change values. This is like drawing a line on a thermometer at 70° and declaring all temperatures above it to be "hot" and all below it to be "cold." It's a fallacy because the line could be drawn anywhere and because the terms hot and cold are descriptions, not definitions.

So you are not "immune" to COVID regardless how many times you've had it or how many shots you get. You just have a low probability of infection. Others have lower probability still (maybe compared to a young child) or higher still (elderly with comorbities) but the point here is there is only higher or lower resistance to major illness. There is no "immune" or "vulnerable."


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