How do you counter this? (vaccination hold-off)

I’m still not quite getting it; it’s expected that you’ll feel bad for a day or so after getting the vaccine. Actually catching COVID that doesn’t require hospitalization causes anything from no symptoms to being very sick for a couple of weeks. Even at that, I don’t see the downside. That’s essentially the same gamble from getting a flu shot.

What’s the upside to NOT getting vaccinated? Why is this something that even requires thought or careful consideration? I mean, there are literally no concrete downsides to it, other than possibly feeling cruddy for a day or so. I didn’t- I felt really lethargic for an afternoon after my first dose, and that was it. Other people like my 73 year old mom had no side effects whatsoever.

That’s what I don’t get; vague fear of something that hasn’t even been shown to happen, the likely possibility of a day of feeling bad, versus nearly certain protection against the virus? Even if you’re not likely to die from it, that sounds like a good deal to me.

Wanting to avoid feeling shitty for a day isn’t “a vague fear”, it’s a very realistic fear of a likely outcome. If i feel too shitty to do anything that day, I’ve lost that day.

I mean, i agree it’s a good deal, even for young adults, because there are a lot of risks other than death that my analysis didn’t include. But without those? Meh, it reduced uncertainty. But different people have different preferences there.

I agree that risk increases with age. I agree a lot of attention is paid to younger deaths and paediatric syndromes which makes the risks seem higher. However, the fact healthy young people are dying from Covid at all is concerning. Young people should still get the vaccine since the chance they will feel lousy from the vaccine” for much time is low.

There are a number of reasons given for not getting a vaccine and some of them are better than others. A young person who dies from Covid loses a lot of years of life. The risks should also be seen in terms of risk to others including older people. No points for avoiding a slightly uncomfortable experience but sending grandma to the ICU.

Shingles is a disease you get years after you’ve had chicken pox. And while chicken pox sucks, shingles usually sucks worse. We don’t know if Covid will lie dormant and give its victims and rebound gift in later years. And while the vaccine isn’t 100% effective at preventing Covid, its better than nothing.

Sure, but who’s such a wimp that they’re going to forego a vaccination on account of feeling poor for a day? That just strikes me as both absurd, and in light of what we know about COVID and its transmission, really selfish.

If you’re vaccinated you have nothing to fear from me potentially spreading a virus. The phrase is typically used in the abortion discussion where without consent out as one version of death the unborn has it’s brains sucked.

This is the same age bracket that vapes and smokes.

Fear of health issues is not strong in this clientele.

This is untrue. Vaccines, while effective, are not perfectly so. Moreover, some people cannot be vaccinated for legitimate medical reasons. Those people are frequently also the most susceptible to more serious outcomes. They rely on those who can getting vaccinated so that the virus will be unable to be circulated.

While it’s true that you’re entitled to choose not to be vaccinated, making that choice indicates a lack of regard for others.

No, as Gorsnak has already said, it is completely untrue. In fact, it shows a staggering lack of knowledge. Vaccinated people can still get the disease, as any vaccine is not 100% effective. And there are some who cannot be vaccinated. You (the unvaccinated) are causing others to get sick.

The ignorance is strong in this argument.

In addition to what has already been said, there is also the problem that the more the virus circulates, the greater the chances for it to mutate into a form to which the vaccines are less protective.

There are always outliers which skew the discussion. You are assuming I won’t quarantine if I get any symptoms. As the NIH study said last summer

Conclusion: In summary, all the 455 contacts were excluded from SARS-CoV-2 infection and we conclude that the infectivity of some asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers might be weak.

And from a different study reported last winter about Wuhan tests

All asymptomatic positive cases, repositive cases and their close contacts were isolated for at least 2 weeks until the results of nucleic acid testing were negative. None of detected positive cases or their close contacts became symptomatic or newly confirmed with COVID-19 during the isolation period.

I’m aware which makes me question why it’s called a vaccine instead of an ameliorant. The current vaccines are designed to suppress the symptoms and theoretically make the disease less transmissive by making the antibody response stronger earlier.

Uh-huh. Who’s to say it only potentially “leaked” once? But that’s a CT for another time.

You can be spreading germs for days before you even suspect you’re ill. You can be spreading germs for days and never even display any symptoms yourself.

This is not new information. I don’t know why you ignore it.

In any anti-vax discussion there is always at least one anti-vaxxer that raises the same tired points. Those points are refuted, and the anti-vaxxer then goes away, or raises different points each of which is shot down. The anti-vaxxer generally can’t or doesn’t find fault with the refutation.

Then it all happens again.

There are only two possibilities -

  • each such discussion involves a new anti-vaxxer who has never had a discussion with non-anti-vaxxers before and so is genuinely ignorant of the reasons their points are wrong.

  • they are completely fact and/or logic immune.

I am genuinely not sure which is the case. But I know which way I lean.

It’s called a vaccine because it’s a vaccine. Vaccines have never been touted as a “cure-all”.

Your knowledge of how vaccines work is quite poor. I suggest you either do some reading from actual medical professionals, or refrain from posting inaccuracies.

Exactly. This is well-known a d the whole reason masks were suggested for everyone over a year ago. This is probably also why we have had such a long-term pandemic unlike the SARS and MERS outbreaks. Asymptomatic, mildly-symptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission are driving the pandemic. It’s astounding that someone who takes the trouble to make multiple posts on a message board on a topic never bothered to learn some of the basics.

There is also the possibility that some people are genuinely ignorant, some are highly skeptical of ‘facts’, and some are both. I can tell you one thing, actual medical professionals trying to counter vaccine hesitancy do not treat patients as if they are fact or logic immune. A condescending attitude may save you time and effort (by turning the anti-vaxxer away), but it will not help you break through.


That is a very old study and an unusual one: the carrier was an admitted hospital patient (for a chest condition) who tested positive and was put in quarantine, and the 455 contacts were based on contact tracing during her stay at the hospital - hospital staff, other patients, close family. Your second cite also follows an asymptomatic carrier who tested positive and isolated despite having no symptoms.

Think about that for a second, these studies involve asymptomatic individuals who tested positive by coincidence and were put under strict isolation. In that specific scenario, transmission is negligible.

We’re talking about the general case and public policy here. Most people without symptoms do not get tested for the virus, and therefore have no cause to isolate. Unless you regularly get tested for the virus and promise to isolate if the test comes back positive, these studies have no bearing on Euphonious_Polemic and Gorsnak’s point.

By and large asymptomatic individuals with COVID-19 can transmit the virus, not as well as symptomatic carriers, but still at a significant rate. If you’re going into the literature I found a December meta-study that reviewed five studies covering transmission rates of asymptomatic individuals, Estimating the extent of asymptomatic COVID-19 and its potential for community transmission: Systematic review and meta-analysis | Official Journal of the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada. Here is a reproduction of table 2,

Table 2: Comparison of secondary transmission rates

Study No./ N (%) Asymptomatic transmission rate Symptomatic transmission rate Relative risk
Zhang et al (22) 1/119 (0.8) 11/250 (4.4) 0.2
Cheng et al (14) 0/91 (0) 22/2644 (0.8) 0.66
Chaw et al (13) 15/691 (2.2) 28/1010 (2.8) 0.78
Luo et al (17) 1/305 (0.3) 117/2305 (5.1) 0.06
Park et al (18) 0/4 (0) 34/221 (15.4) 0.72

Quote from the meta study,

The asymptomatic transmission rates ranged from none to 2.2%, whereas symptomatic transmission rates ranged between 0.8% and 15.4%.

Now to take these numbers and make them tangible… if I am misinterpreting data feel free to point it out - I’m bad with statistics! Pretend you are an asymptomatic, unvaccinated carrier. You have normal contact with another unvaccinated person (with normal precautions, eg: a face covering all of the time and six feet distancing most of the time). The data would indicate that there may be up to a 2.2% chance that you infect the person (it would be higher without precautions - I’ve seen estimates in the double digits).

All of this concerns asymptomatic individuals, not to be confused with presymptomatic individuals. It is known that the virus can be transmitted before the onset of symptoms, and this was an early distinguishing feature between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1. Presymptomatic carriers, and not asymptomatic carriers, are thought to be the most contageous. Meaning, if you end up having symptoms you could have been transmitting the virus before you knew you were sick. Those people are not included in asymptomatic studies. But I am not able to find a meta study on the transmission rate. Maybe someone else more knowledgeable can find those numbers, or point you to the individual studies that we can rely on.



Nothing will. It’s a well studied problem. The last study I read reported on, IIRC, the results of applying about ten different approaches to handling vaccine hesitancy. None really worked, and presentation of facts and logic was an approach that tended to make anti-vaxxers more anti-vax.

So actually it is best to treat anti-vaxxers as being fact and logic immune - not openly no doubt - but it should be an underlying assumption that informs one’s approach.

Here is one such article recommending facts and logic, though not specific to COVID-19.

Table 2. Answers to questions commonly asked by parents (Click to expand/hide)
Benefits of vaccines
• “Can my child still get a disease even after being vaccinated?”34,35 “This is not very common. More than 95% to 99% of children develop immunity after vaccination, which further improves with boosters.33 Vaccinated children often get milder symptoms even if they do get the disease”
• “Do we still need to give vaccines, as many of the diseases are no longer here?”34 “Your child might never need the protection offered by vaccines, but you do not want her or him to be lacking the protection needed in the event of an outbreak, which still happens in Canada for diseases such as measles, mumps, and whooping cough. Vaccination is similar to wearing a seat belt; you do not expect to be in a collision, but in the unlikely event that you are in one, you want to be protected. Even if right now your child is able to avoid infectious diseases as everyone around is vaccinated, what if she or he decide to work elsewhere in the world later in life?31 Even if your child never travels internationally, others in your community travel and can bring back diseases”36,37
Safety of vaccines
• “How do we know vaccines are safe?”25,38 “The safety of each vaccine is carefully checked before it is licensed and it is monitored on an ongoing basis after licensing. If a serious side effect is found, the vaccine is pulled from the market. I understand you might be concerned, but I truly believe that the risk of diseases is greater than any risk posed by vaccines”39,40
• “How do we know vaccines do not cause long-term health problems?”34,40 “Based on more than 50 years of experience with vaccines, it is not likely that vaccines cause unexpected long-term problems. Studies have found no relationship between vaccination and development of chronic diseases”25
• “Can my child get a disease from the vaccine itself?”34,41 “Inactivated or killed vaccines, which make up most vaccines, cannot give you the disease from the vaccine itself. Live vaccines contain viruses that are weakened, so occasionally you might get a mild case of disease (for example, a few spots of what look like chickenpox or measles). This is not harmful and actually means that the vaccine is working”
• “Aren’t the ingredients in vaccines toxic?”34 “Some ingredients in vaccines might be toxic, but only at much higher doses. Remember, even water can be toxic at high enough doses. The ingredients in vaccines are there to keep them from getting contaminated by bacteria and to make them work better”
• “Why is aluminum in vaccines?”38 “Aluminum is used to boost the immune system.34 It is commonly ingested from food, drinking water, and medicine. In fact, the amount of aluminum found in a vaccine is similar to the amount present in breast milk and infant formula”38
• “Why is formaldehyde in vaccines?”38 “Formaldehyde is used as a preservative. It is found naturally in foods.42 In fact, more formaldehyde is present in a pear than in all the vaccines a child receives”31
• “Should I be concerned about mercury in vaccines?”42 “Thimerosal is a form of mercury different from naturally occurring mercury like what is found in fish and cannot build up in a person’s body. Multiple studies have shown that thimerosal in vaccines is not harmful. It is no longer found in any routine childhood vaccines.25 It is only used as a preservative in certain influenza vaccines to prevent contamination”
• “Doesn’t the MMR vaccine cause autism?”38,39,41 “We all want answers to the cause of autism, including me. But study after study has shown that vaccines do not cause autism.43 One study showed that the rates of autism were the same in groups of children who received the vaccine compared with those who did not receive the vaccine”
Immunity related
• “Isn’t vaccination unnatural?”34 “No, vaccines invite the immune system to produce its own protection, just like a natural infection would.31 The difference is your child does not have to get sick first to develop these protective antibodies”
• “Isn’t natural immunity better than vaccination?”36,42 “Although natural immunity might give better immunity than vaccines do, the risks are much higher. With natural infections, a child might develop complications such as permanent brain damage, deafness, blindness, and death. On the other hand, if your child is exposed to a disease after being vaccinated, he or she would already be armed and able to fight it off”35
• “Can’t so many vaccines overwhelm my child’s immune system?”25,34,42 “A child’s immune system has to deal with thousands of germs on a daily basis starting at birth. Scientists estimate that babies can handle up to 10 000 shots at one time.25 By stimulating the immune system to do what it is naturally meant to do, vaccines make your child’s immune system better at fighting off these diseases”

These rely on the doctor’s status as a trusted source of information rather than cites - but the cites are there in the article for (childhood) vaccines it concerns.


You miss the point. That is an article about the best practice but (a) it’s an article about the best approach to take with people in general, not anti-vaxxers in particular and (b) nowhere in the article does it say that the techniques it suggests work for anti-vaxxers.

There are currently five “variants of concern” in the US (defined as those for which there is evidence of an increase in transmissibility, more severe disease, reduced neutralization by antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination, reduced effectiveness of treatments or vaccines, and/or increased diagnostic detection failures), but several thousand variants have been identified worldwide; fortunately, most mutations don’t seem to make much difference.

Does your CT posit thousands of separate 'leaks"?