This morning Stuff published an article discussing the calls from The Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology to immediately pause the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Their concern? They believe it may not be effective enough to create herd immunity.
The article is filled with comparisons between the AstraZeneca jab and the mRNA options and examines why one group might be better than the other in terms of their magical "efficacy" percentages. But all the chatter fails to properly investigate this sentence, buried half way down the piece as if an afterthought:
"It remains unproven if any of the vaccines can prevent transmission of coronavirus."
That's a pretty hefty elephant in the room. What, precisely, does "efficacy" mean if it doesn't refer to the outcome of preventing the spread of infection?
In December the WHO's Chief Scientist, Dr Soumya Swaminathan stated:
"At the moment, I don't believe we have the evidence on any of the vaccines, to be confident that it's going to prevent people from getting the infection and passing it on." 
This sentiment has been widely echoed by many scientists and health authorities in the media. So, why are we continuing to talk about herd immunity as if it's a done deal? Aren't we meant to be evidence-based? Where is the evidence to support a global campaign of mass vaccination in the name of herd immunity and 'getting back to normal'?
If the vaccines haven't been shown to prevent infection or transmission, only the reduction of symptoms, are we not potentially creating a situation whereby the vaccinated become wandering COVID Marys?
We've been primed over the past year to accept the idea of taking certain actions not for ourselves, but rather as a duty to others - the elderly & vulnerable. We've been told we need to protect these people from the rest of society by taking an experimental vaccine. This includes the healthy and immune, who are now instead referred to as asymptomatic spreaders - potentially dangerous to all and necessitating the removal of individual and collective rights and freedoms in order to combat the "problem" (despite a lack of evidence to back the claim). However, in a situation where infection is not prevented, are we not possibly placing these vulnerable people at greater risk? And when is this issue likely to be discussed by our "Health" Ministry?
It's like we are living within a dual reality where we are meant to simultaneously accept statements from the likes of Fauci and the WHO about not being able to return to normal even in a post-vaccine world, whilst also falling into line to accept a jab so that we may return to normal. It only works if we don't think about it.
What are your thoughts on this matter? Let us know in the comments.
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