Covid-19 Vaccines May Cut Transmission as Well as Symptoms

Covid-19 Vaccines May Cut Transmission as Well as Symptoms

Our vaccination message should be more hopeful.

Once again, the Covid-19 health message is getting muddled. Even as officials and scientists urge the public to get vaccinated, they warn that after vaccination, we’ll still have to go on isolating and wearing masks.

It’s a mistake to oversimplify this way. We should be talking about using the vaccines to end the pandemic — not filling people with dread that they will be stuck with isolation and masks forever. The evidence is compelling that a strong, rapid vaccination campaign could render SARS-CoV-2 less of a threat than seasonal flu through building herd immunity.

Without herd immunity as a shared goal, some might skip the vaccine, influenced by scare stories about side effects and rare allergic reactions, especially if they are young and face only a small chance of dying from the virus.