Monday, July 05, 2021

Unvaccinated people are letting their bodies become "variant factories"? A serious moral question about personal agency?

 

PA near Blue Mtn, 2021-7

The latest moralizing is that unvaccinated people in the US are allowing their bodies to become factories for variants of the SARS_CoV2 coronavirus that may one day nullify vaccines.

CNN and Sciencealert both have such stories.

These interpretations would raise questions about body autonomy much more fundamental than, say, abortion.

As a matter of principle, young adults could think they are expected to take a small risk of serious harm (perhaps unpredictable) in the long run from a vaccine, when established science insists their personal risk is much greater if they get infected, which might be unavoidable (unless you could enforce a “rapid test” regime). 

It seems to me that if you were fully vaccinated and got a superficial breakthrough infection with trivial short-lasting symptoms (perhaps after going into a bar), your body would learn to recognize the variant and start becoming immune to it, specifically recognizing different codons in making new antibodies. Yet some warn that a breakthrough infection with few obvious symptoms could still lead to long Covid. .

There is also a potential problem that vaccinated parents could become asymptomatic carrier of variants to unvaccinated children under 12. 

CNN asked a young black woman why she didn’t want the vaccine, and she said that she didn’t trust the government because of past experimentation with blacks (Tunguskee).  That poses an ethical question about whether a white vaccinated person must take special care not to expose someone who does not want to be vaccinated?

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