29th December 2021
Had my first covaxin dose today.
In the end I assessed that there were potentially higher benefits (even though only temporary) than costs at my age. The vaccine will supposedly bring down my risk of severe covid disease (which remains a potentially lethal but modest disease – overall – from all known data) to the level of risk faced by someone 20 years younger. On the other hand, there is a small risk of side effects, including death.
We are dealing with relatively small numbers all around, given the official UK IFR of covid of 0.1%.
I’ve taken flu shots all my life without thinking too much about them, but there was never before a vaccine for coronavirus. That is what has made things more complicated in this case.
While I might have taken the vaccine at this stage anyway given the data, this decision was not truly based on informed consent.
I’d have liked to wait longer but totalitarian governments have boxed the unvaccinated into a corner as part of their disproportionate response everywhere except in Sweden.
For instance, from 1 January 2022 I can go practically nowhere in India – proof of double vaccination will be demanded everywhere.
To get back into Australia I will need 2 vaccines else will have to pay for a 14-day quarantine. And that won’t be where the thing ends.
Even the private sector is involved in imposing high costs on the public. My Australian travel insurance doesn’t insure for covid so if I land up in ICU here in India the cost can go into the tens of thousands of dollars very quickly. The risk of such a thing was very low and is now even lower – given India achieved herd immunity by July 2021. But the fact that covid must be self-insured adds to the pressure.
Overall, the principle of genuine informed consent has been breached and the way governments have acted and continue to act remains a matter of eternal shame for each politician and bureaucrat who has participated in this breach of human rights.
India is extraordinarily incompetent in 99% of the things that governments are supposed to do, but on covid vaccine they seem to be pretty competent: everything was managed electronically and certificate issued electronically immediately.