Thursday, May 06, 2021

How much risk is too much?

The amount of risk I'm willing to take depends on how bad the alternative is. And it's completely subjective.

If the danger (or pain) is great enough, I'm willing to do extreme things-- even really risky things-- to alleviate it. It's pure desperation.

If a fireball is chasing me down a hallway I might be willing to jump through a window, not knowing what's on the other side.

Similarly, I would be willing to try experimental mRNA treatment for something like cancer, but not for an over-hyped cold. The risk/reward in the Covid-19 situation is completely upside-down in my subjective opinion.


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  1. Fortunately for those who distrust the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna), there's already one alternative (Johnson & Johnson's vector vaccine, a technology previously used versus ebola) and another one coming soon (Novavax's subunit vaccine, a technology previously used versus hepatitis B, acellular pertussis, pneumonia, meningitis, etc.).

    Of course, there's also a risk/benefit calculation to make with those other vaccines, but at least they remove some of the "long-term effects unknown" factor.

    1. Of those I know who got vaccinated, none were given a choice of which version they could get. It was more like "This is what we have; take it or leave it."

      But, again, I'd have to be a lot more worried about the virus before I'd be interested in taking any vaccine for it. Partly because I hate needles.

    2. I've heard it's that way in a few states. In most states, so far as I can tell, you choose which vaccine you want, then call around until you find a pharmacy offering it and make an appointment. My wife got Pfizer, my neighbor got Moderna, I know at least one person getting Johnson & Johnson, and I got Novavax for no other reason than that I'm a volunteer in its Phase III clinical trial (it's not approved yet).

      I understand completely why someone might not want any of those vaccines, or any vaccine at all. Your choice, as it should be.