The anti-vaccine movement still argues that remaining unvaccinated is a matter of personal bodily autonomy, and that it is their right to take the risk with catching coronavirus if they choose.
Anti-vaxx videos usually mention something about your 90%+ chance of surviving a coronavirus infection. In that case, they say, why take the risk with the vaccine?
This keeps the debate at the individual level. It is all about them and their rights, they say, and nobody else, because even vaccinated people transmit the virus to others; right?
In fact, there is more and more evidence that the vaccines do reduce the risk of transmitting the coronavirus. “They absolutely do reduce transmission,” says Professor Christopher Byron Brooke at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“Vaccinated people do transmit the virus in some cases, but the data are super crystal-clear that the risk of transmission for a vaccinated individual is much, much lower than for an unvaccinated individual.”
The delta variant has been infecting people who have been vaccinated. This created the conditions to test the efficacy of vaccines in preventing transmission between vaccinated people and their family members.
In a Dutch study, vaccinated people were 63% less likely to transmit their virus to their family members who were unvaccinated. If the family member was vaccinated, they were 40% less likely to have the virus transmitted to them thanks to their spouse’s vaccination, in addition to the usual level of vaccine protection.
This is not nothing – vaccinated people can transmit the virus and should still wear masks. But it is enough to make this more than just a matter of personal bodily autonomy too.
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