Now that I'm vaxxed, is Covid just another cold/flu/no big deal

Interesting set of charts (and data) of countries aiming at reaching 70% (herd?) immunity:

We’re never completely safe, I’ve had norovirus (sucked) the flu (sucked) surgery (sucked) risk is part of living. What I wonder is, where does Covid rank on the risk scale if you actually made the effort to protect yourself. Should I still avoid eating in a restaurant to protect myself from it? Should I avoid crowded times at the grocery store? I’m marginally safer, but if the margin is paper thin, is it worth the trouble I make for myself?

When I go to a grocery in Pennsyltucky, and 95% of the shoppers are unmasked, I know damn well that they aren’t all vaccinated. The act of masking myself is security theater, I’m not really more protected and I’m not really protecting anyone, because it’s the unvaxxed & unmasked person who is driving the risk scenario.

Is this the study you’re talking about?

As far as I can tell, all the participants in that study were vaccinated, although some only had one dose (which technically isn’t a breakthrough case). All of them had tested covid positive. The purpose of the study was solely to determine the predominant variant, not the rate of breakthrough cases.

As an aside, they mentioned the low number of hospitalizations, ICU, and death. However, their study sample is skewed in two ways:

  1. Most people get tested because they have symptoms and most of those because they’re fairly sick.

  2. The average age of that study is 44 years old. The average age in India is 26.8 years old.

Aren’t the mRNA pretty firmly established to be well more effective than the vaccines used in India? Is the comparison between breakthrough cases in India and breakthrough cases in the U.S. truly an apples-to-apples comparison? For one, there’s no control for vaccine type.

When considering breakthrough case percentages … should we be throwing all vaccines into the same hat and treating them as equivalent?

FWIW, India just got the Moderna vaccine about three weeks ago. Before then, they had distributed 260 million doses of other types.

As far as I know there is no effective study on % of breakthrough cases in India. The study discussed in prior posts did not address that question. Only 2% of India’s population was vaccinated during its most recent surge in cases.

I agree with you. “30% of vaccinated people in the U.S. will get symptomatic COVID” is an extraordinary claim that will require much further study and corroboration. I grant that no one made that specific narrow claim, but I contend that the broader claim upthread will commonly be read as I have recast it.

All the unbelievably stupid people? Do you have a flu vaccine every year? If you’re young and not at risk then probably you didn’t. What’s the difference? Apart from the world’s media ramming covid down our throats.

I have sympathy for all the poor people with cancer or other genuinely dangerous and unavoidable illnesses who have been neglected because of this Asian flu virus.

Risk of vaccine is tiny but still side effects more risky for young people than covid. Key workers have to work all year and pay back extra tax for next 50 years for everyone sitting at home. Why should they get the vaccine if they don’t want?
Maybe like me they resent all handling of this cold virus, it hurt so many people with cancer or illnesses, I don’t want anything to do with vaccines or garbage spouted by these people who have made all the decisions.

Deaths in the US to date: 624,882

Without the public health measures, shutdowns etc. it would have been worse. Much, much worse.

Without the rapid development of effective vaccines it would have been worse. We’d be knee-deep in bodies by now.

Sorry you resent all of the work that has been done to prevent disease and death.

Yes, as Stranger said, you can get breakthrough infections. The hard data is hard to come by but there’s growing evidence that the variant is better at evading the immune response of the vaccines. On a positive side, they seem to be doing their job at preventing the worst outcomes, though there are some who get hospitalized, and some die.

Here’s a good article by MIT:

To answer the question, I would say that if there’s a chance that a virus can kill you or lead you to medical bankruptcy, that’s potentially a big deal. Yes the chances are small, but we know they exist. It’s not like the odds of getting struck by a meteorite.

When I was young and immortal, I didn’t get my flu shots. One year I got the flu and it was the real deal. It was horrible and I don’t ever want to do it again. Easiest way to ensure that is to for me to get a flu shot every year. Hubs won’t get flu shots and has had the flu about every ten years. He always seems pretty miserable for a week but refuses to learn.

I got my COVID shots as soon as I could. Hubs refused. I haven’t gotten COVID. Hubs did and was miserable for 3 weeks. He’s still not vaccinated and I will get in line for a booster if/when they are recommended.

The vaccination rate in my county is around 35% and Delta is running wild. I am masking because its my way of saying fuck you to all the disease ridden plague monkeys I have to come in contact with during the day. I might also be masking to try to protect my idiot husband, but I couldn’t protect him before so I’m not making that much effort for him now. I sure hope Maine Coons don’t go up in price in the next year, this year’s I told you so COVID cat was pricey enough.

The antibodies from the early COVID strain remain in the body for 7-9 months at least. The problem is, the delta variant doesn’t give a fuck. It evades natural immunity even more successfully than it does the mRNA vaccines.

Going by past experience, I’m guessing it will be about a year before he comes down with some variant, but I could be really wrong and it could be next week. I just checked our breeder’s webpage and he’s already raised his price another hundred. That means all the breeders I can get to without flying raised their prices another hundred. Maybe it would be best if he got sick again now before kittens go up another thousand bucks. The idiot.

I haven’t heard this. Cite?

Edit: referring to the claim re: evading natural immunity

The problem remains that it is not only those who chose to not be vaccinated who are affected. The first order effects are those who can’t be vaccinated, like children. But then there are second level effects: those of us who are vaccinated face increased risk the more the virus spreads among the unvaccinated.

The virus doesn’t care about what we consider to be “enough.” It didn’t care that we were tired of lockdowns. It doesn’t care that we’re tired of masking.

The same moral reason that dictated I should follow lockdowns, wear a mask, etc, seem to still apply. The anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers may not care about others and ignore the risk to themselves and those they care about, but I cannot.

I think the most we can safely do right now is hang out with other fully vaccinated people while unmasked. People we know and can trust are vaccinated. And even that may change as numbers go up.

(Note, don’t read the bolding above as yelling. It sometimes feel like my explanations can cause the main point to get a bit lost, so I’ll bold them for emphasis.)

A Johns Hopkins study from this past May stated 54% of transplant participants did not show evidence of antibodies 29 days after second vaccination.
A different study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine from last month added a booster to 30 transplant patients. Prior to the booster, 24 had negative antibody titers, 6 had low antibody titers:

We repeated antibody testing a median of 14 days (IQR, 14 to 17 days) after the third dose of vaccine. Of the 6 patients with low-positive antibody titers before the third dose, all had high-positive antibody titers after the third dose. In contrast, of the 24 patients with negative antibody titers before the third dose, only 6 (25%) had high-positive antibody titers after the third dose. Two (8%) had low-positive antibody titers, and 16 (67%) remained negative.

My hope was that a booster would make me like the rest of you fully vaccinated folk, but it doesn’t seem it’ll happen. I guess it’s a good thing a have a nice mask wardrobe, as I’ll be wearing them for the foreseeable future.

More likely to evade the protection conferred by prior infection or vaccination ? Check. Because SARS-CoV-2 antibodies target the version of the spike protein to which they were originally exposed, changes to its spike protein also make Delta better at evading the antibodies someone has produced in response to vaccination or previous infection with another version of the virus. Full vaccination appears to be significantly more protective than partial vaccination or prior infection, but all tested vaccines showed diminished effectiveness against Delta, compared to other versions of the virus.

Not trying to be alarmist, just realist (I have underlying conditions myself so I can somewhat relate). In your specific case, with the real potential of having reduced immunity, I would live life as if you were in the middle of the worst of the pre-vaccine pandemic back in January. It’s more contagious so I would be super cautious about trips outside your home. It’s a deadlier version of the virus in the sense that it produces a thousand times more copies of itself within a very short period of time. That ultra-high viral load explains why even brief encounters can lead to infection.

In my case, I work four in an office days a week. I don’t want to but I don’t want to give up my job and the health insurance that comes with it, so I reluctantly agree to go in. I’m around people who think ‘it’s over’ and it pisses me off. Each of us is making decisions every day that can potentially be life-altering, even life-ending. I’m tired of being limited by the pandemic too but I’d rather get through it alive, even if it means dealing with masks for another 2 years.

That’s pretty much what I do. If I’m indoors, not at home, mask on. As numbers are increasing again and barely anyone wearing masks, I’ve gone back to online ordering. I’ve some family members I haven’t seen since Xmas 2019, despite living only 20 minutes apart.

It just really sucks.

I feel ya. I’ve not seen my mom since December 2019 and she’s 80. I missed her birthday. I was going to see her this summer and I had to take full-time work and another project after being underemployed much of 2020. I had thought I’d get away toward the end of this month early next, and now I’m just not sure. I have a dental appointment I’ve been putting off until this week. And now I’m really not sure. But I’ve got a cracked tooth and bacteria can be just as much of a threat as a bad virus. I feel really uneasy right now, even worse than before being vaccinated because I felt like I ‘knew’ the risk. Right now, I have no idea what the real risk is. And that’s really the bottom line: we know that the delta variant is a game changer and has obviously pierced some of our protective layer. Yet we know that the protective layer offered by the vaccines is still good. We just don’t have quite enough data yet to really quantify or evaluate risk.

So far, I have never bothered to get the flu shot either. Like your husband, I typically get the flu roughly every 10 years or so.

But you know what? That’s not a big deal. Rounding off for convenience, there are 520 weeks in 10 years. One week out of that time is 0.2%. That’s not a very high burden.

On the flip side, I will take certain precautions to try to avoid Covid, because–even though I’m vaccinated for that–it still has a significant likelihood of being worse for me than the flu is.