Jody Vance: As immunity from COVID vaccines wanes, it’s only natural to worry. But counterintuitively, the fastest path to safety is helping the rest of the world get their first and second doses – even if our third doses have to wait.
I must share my truth, even though it embarrasses me: I’m worried about waning.
Back in March the window between doses was expanded to four months by the BC Centre for Disease Control; at the time some saw it as political maneuvering, but it’s since been proven sound.
(As an aside, the unsung hero of this decision was Dr. Danuta Skowronski, Epidemiology Lead of Influenza & Emerging Respiratory Pathogens at the BC CDC. Dr. Skowronski had her research written up in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine with the discovery of how a longer delay between doses led to much greater immunity.)
Vaccines work in protecting people from severe illness, hospitalization, or even death by COVID-19. But the emerging problem is that no one knows for sure for how long, and that’s why waning is a topic we can expect to discuss a lot moving forward.
Back to me and my whining. At a family gathering last week, our first in years, a frontline healthcare worker relative said to me “you are likely the highest risk person here.”
Having had my two doses of Pfizer BioNtech in January and February, 28 days apart here I am worried (and maybe whining) about my waning.
It dawned on me as I stood at a table overflowing with delicious appetizers, while trying to calm my anxiety and frazzled nerves, I needed to find my own Middle this week.
Pining for a booster is not something I expected. I’m all in on doing what scientists suggest, including following rollout directives as they happen. When sparring with the anti-vaccine set on social media my mind often pivots to, “how can you possibly justify turning down a lifesaving vaccine? Don’t you know how many humans would march across broken glass for one?”
Now here’s my well-protected, double dosed self, whining about waning immunity? This is the COVID-19 equivalent of a first world problem. How embarrassing that my concerns over contracting COVID are eclipsing the simple fact that any dose makes us lucky. To have any immunity is a gift.
It feels as though clamouring for a booster to “travel freely” requires pause. How about staying tight, opening the economy and getting back to some normal while helping the second and third world countries catch up.
Nowhere should it be okay for otherwise healthy North Americans, with no underlying health issues, demand a booster in the name of extra immunity with millions and millions who would give anything – everything – for that single dose.
Back in January of this year, I took the first vaccine offered to me. If scientists tell me to get a booster, I will. Protecting ourselves, our community and our loved ones is a huge motivator for me — and yet.
And yet, here I am, just like in January I cannot help feeling suddenly selfish. The hint of waning immunity has spiked my concern over that spike protein!
As our Canadian pandemic-turned-epidemic experience heads into a second respiratory disease season, as our wants and needs becoming less restricted and our largest complaint is that we can’t dance. It’s a huge improvement from this time last year. I think it’s time to begin our philanthropic Canadian COVID chapter.
Let’s be like Oprah with that car giveaway … and instead get on a Global mission to get everyone their shot. You get a shot! You get a shot!
Jody Vance is a born and raised Vancouverite who’s spent 30 years in both local and national media. The first woman in the history of Canadian TV to host her own sports show in primetime, since 2011 she’s been working in both TV and radio covering news and current affairs.
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