Published in El Pais, 13 March 2021.
With more and more people vaccinated against COVID-19, the world is waiting for the pandemic to end soon. Many people who have already been vaccinated think that they are untouchable and can do what they want, because nothing is going to happen to them. But, people who have received the first dose of the vaccine must take care of themselves and respect the distancing measures until they receive their next dose and even longer for it to work. Furthermore, the effectiveness of most vaccines is only around 90%.
First, the efficacy may be 90%, but this is only achieved a few weeks after the second dose. So it can last up to six weeks until one is well protected. During this period, one can become infected, one can become ill, and has some chance of dying.
Second, you really do not know if you are well protected, and you are not going to get sick. The effectiveness can be 90% but this is an average and like every average there is a variation. There are records of people who have become seriously ill after their vaccination. So far, we don’t know exactly all the reasons. It can be due to the biological characteristics of the person, due to a mutation of the virus or due to bad luck. However, I do not think it is worth taking unnecessary risks.
Last but not least, it is believed that vaccinated people can still transmit COVID-19. They probably won’t get sick, but if they get infected, they can infect other people. So, if you have been vaccinated and you are at a party thinking that nothing is going to happen to you, stop to think that the contacts you have later are in danger of being infected.
Of course we all want to have the vaccine to feel safer, but do not use this feeling of security to take more risks. It is important to keep wearing a mask and try to avoid crowds. It will not be long until enough people are vaccinated for COVID-19 to be under control. If you are one of those who has already been vaccinated, enjoy your safety with responsibility.