April 27, 2022
People who don’t get vaccinated against COVID-19 put themselves at risk and also create a ‘disproportionate’ threat to the health of vaccinated people, even in places with high vaccination rates, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
The study by researchers at the University of Toronto used computer modeling based on the province of Ontario to predict infection rates when unvaccinated and vaccinated people mix to varying degrees. The researchers worked on factors such as vaccine effectiveness, baseline immunity in the unvaccinated, and recovery rates from infection.
Unvaccinated people were still at a higher risk of infection, according to the study. Vaccinated people had lower rates of infection when they mixed with other vaccinated people and lower rates when they mixed with unvaccinated people. The study found that unvaccinated people enjoyed a lower rate of infection when they mixed with vaccinated people because the vaccinated people served as a “buffer,” according to the study.
“We found that the choices made by people who forego vaccination contribute disproportionately to risk in those who do get vaccinated,” the researchers wrote.
“Although the risk associated with avoidance of vaccination during a virulent pandemic falls primarily on the unvaccinated, their choices affect the risk of viral infection among those who are vaccinated disproportionately to the proportion of unvaccinated people in the population.”
Research shows that not getting vaccinated isn’t just a personal decision, one of the study’s authors said in an interview.
“At the end of the day, this is a collective action. Unfortunately, in a communicable disease system, we are all connected and that is why we have to rely on public health for things like this,” said David Fisman, professor of epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public. Health from the University of Toronto. News.
“The decision to get vaccinated cannot be seen as a simple matter of personal choice, as it has implications for the safety of others in the community.”
Fisman told Forbes that the findings support the idea of mandates, vaccine passports and other legal measures to limit unvaccinated people’s access to public spaces. Restrictions have been imposed to limit the spread of other infectious diseases and even prevent people from smoking tobacco in indoor public places, the study notes.
Government leaders should take the study into account when developing policies in the future, according to the study.
“SARS-CoV-2 is unlikely to be eliminated, and our findings will likely be relevant to future seasonal outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 or in the face of emerging variants,” the study states.