Are You Still Fully Vaccinated?

The anti-covid vaccines have not provided as good protection against the virus as had been hoped. They are mainly useful for mitigating the severity of covid symptoms, not for stopping the spread of the disease. And they wear off quite rapidly, with effectiveness diminishing markedly after about six months.

Despite that fact, a lot can hinge on being “fully vaccinated.” President Biden’s orders seeking to require “full” vaccination are being held up in the courts and likely will never go into effect, what with being illegal and all. But, for example, when we were in New York not long ago, we had to show “vaccine passports” showing full vaccination in order to check in to the place where we stayed, to visit a museum, and to go out to dinner.

With booster shots now available, many have asked whether we continue to be “fully vaccinated” without them. You could see this coming a long way away, but today on CNN Anthony Fauci confirmed the obvious:

Leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that changing the definition of fully vaccinated to include booster shots is a matter of “when, not if.”

“I don’t see that changing tomorrow or next week, but certainly if you want to talk about what optimal protection is, I don’t think anybody would argue that optimal protection is going to be with a third shot,” Fauci said on CNN.

But according to Fauci, the term fully vaccinated is merely a “technical, almost semantic definition,” calling it a description of requirements related to things such as attending classes or working in a workplace.

So you may be fully vaccinated today, but not next month. The obvious question raised by this development is, how long does this go on? The shots provide only temporary protection. If it takes three shots to be fully vaccinated in 2022, will it take four shots in 2023? Five shots in 2024, and so on?

Covid is mutating in the usual direction, that is, becoming less dangerous but likely more contagious. Before long I think it will be more or less indistinguishable from the seasonal flu of years past.

The seasonal flu bug kills tens of thousands of Americans every year. Nevertheless, until now, no one thought it would be either reasonable or constitutional for the federal government to require annual flu shots. Nor has anyone suggested that those who have not gotten the annual flu shot should be barred from access to jobs, restaurants and public venues. Until now, any such suggestion would have been more or less inconceivable. But that is the reality that is now upon us.

This is one more instance of how government at all levels has used covid as a pretext to extend government power into the hitherto-private sphere of everyone’s health. If you thought your body was your choice, government is about to disabuse you of that notion. Whatever you think about booster shots–I’ve gotten one–this is a philosophically and constitutionally perilous trend.