Saved 20 Million Lives!

The Economist reports that the Vaccines for Covid-19 probably saved more than twenty million lives worldwide. That’s quite wonderful.

But I’m prompted to wonder how many more might have been saved if there had not been so much doubt and fear generated by the anti-vax people. The right to express one’s own opinion carries responsibility for the consequences of others trusting that opinion and relying upon it to make a life or death decision. It’s a moral obligation, and maybe it should carry consequences for the purveyors of fear. It looks to me like many of the anti-vax leaders are in it for the attention and money it gets them.

Covid-19 still kills about 400 a day in the US despite vaccines. Vaccinated people with other health issues can still become gravely ill, and unvaccinated people are still something like ten times as likely to have a bad outcome from infection. If you are old or frail you need to continue precautions even though most people are lowering their guard.