Yesterday I got an text message (yes these things still do exist) from the Flemish government with the message that I do have 2 hours to reserve a spot on the vaccination list of today! This is due to the fact that I did register myself on the reserve list! So there was no time to waste!
In Belgium we are currently using the Astra, Pfizer and Moderna vaccine. We normally also should be using the one of Johnson, but a big chunk is locked up due to quality inspection. Depending on your age you will have more change to get one of the three.
I did write a few days ago that Belgium will stop with the Astra vaccine and only do give it to people older than 41. This age prediction is really statistically defined, like we try to define most things in life based on figures and stats.
It is not the case that this vaccine is less dangerous for people below 41. The stats just indicate that getting no vaccine is more dangerous in stead of getting Astra. The older you are the more risk on complication when you do get Covid, so that is the only real explanation for this 41 benchmark.
Due to the fact that I am over 41, jumped the line (the vaccination line which will give my me shot is currently serving birth year 72 or 73). I did expect to get the Astra vaccin. Almost I the people I do know did get Astra, so why would that differ for me?
Still for some reason or the other I do have more faith in Pfizer.
After logging in to the platform and picking my timeslot, I was pleasantly surprised that I will receive Pfizer.
Why am I happy with Pfizer
Just like the decision makers I do base my judgement, besides sentiment, on statistics. First of all I am not an expert, don't work in the health sector, .... So, I am just a regular John Doe when it comes down to this. I do base my opinion on the journal, newspaper and the internet.
And Pfizer does seem to have lesser side effect the first days after the shot. Also the protection rate of Pfizer is slightly higher against the new covid variants.
Why do I think that everybody should get their shot?
First we do have to understand that the first 10 to 14 days after you first vaccine the immune system is still more or less not capable of fighting against a Covid infection. This is like planting a seed, you don't expect it to turn into a flower overnight. Don't you?
In those first 14 days, the immune system of the body is building up an army to fight a possible Covid infection.
All producers do claim a protection rate of around 90%, but what does this mean exactly?
This means more or less that you do have 90% less change to get infected with Covid in the first place compared to someone who isn't vaccinated.
After 14 days or so, the changes that you will get symptomatic Covid does decrease with 50 to 70%. Symptomatic Covid is when you do get sick but not it will feel more or less like a cold or flu.
Doesn't seem a lot doesn't it! But it also does decrease the change of ending up in the hospital during a Covid infection with 75 to 85%. So it is worth the risk according to me.
After the second vaccination your immune system is even better armed againt Covid, resulting into a even further decrease of the risk.
If we look at the Coid variants, the protection is a little bit lower but still reaches in most cases 80% protection.
So why is it important?
The more people who do get their shot, does decreases the chances of the Virus to spread out. The more people who are immune the lesser people who can spread it.
And then the politics do start. Every country started to fight for the vaccinations but now that the Western world does seem to have enough it dawned to them, that the virus can't be controlled until around 70% of the world population is vaccinated.
And then this does start the debate about the licenses. Should we lift the patents on the vaccines or not. This is a tough decision for sure in the western world. On one side you do need to get enough vaccines as possible to save the day, but on the other side you don't want to take away the rewards for the one who did create the vaccine. Like I said a tough decision.
If you would take away the vaccines, would the medical world jump massively on finding a cure in he next pandemic? Not sure about that.
Well getting my first shot is a next step towards so called more freedom. But not a lot of things will change. Firstly my wife also does need to have her shots. I like to wait until 10 to 14 days after I did get my first shot and so on.
Still this was some great news for me personally!