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COVID jabs - Why have a booster?

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

I am told by the NHS that they will offer me a booster for the Covid vaccinations that I’ve already had. I can think of many reasons for declining their offer.

I’m going to list some of them, not to try and persuade anyone of anything, but so that someone can point out where I’ve gone wrong.

1 None of the vaccines stop one getting the disease, or passing it on to others. (Hence, incidentally, the absurdity of having to show evidence of vaccination – now less common.)

2 The vaccines have adverse side effects, mercifully rare, but they do include death. (Over 2,000 people have died in the UK following vaccination.)

3 Most of us, me included, have had Covid, giving us more protection than what is given by any vaccine.

4 The vaccines are relatively untested – they haven’t been through the Phase 3 test that is required normally before any vaccine (or medication) is available for public use. This is because they were originally approved only on an emergency basis when we feared that Covid might be more serious than it turned out to be.

5 Because of this and because the vaccines were only developed recently, long-term side-effects are necessarily completely unknown.

6 As indicated already, Covid is now, mercifully, very unlikely to be life-threatening. We all know of people, including those perceived to be vulnerable, who have had the disease and (happily) survived.

The only reason put forward against what I’m saying, as I understand it, is that a booster will help preventing one getting the disease badly. In the case of anyone who has had Covid (like me), this can't be right. No one, surely, can suggest that a vaccine gives more protection than having the disease itself.

But even in the case of anyone who hasn't had the disease, is there any evidence for thinking that a booster gives any meaningful protection? I was in this situation earlier this year. I had not had Covid. I had had two jabs last year, but no boosters. I got the disease in the shape of a mild cold. How can anyone know whether the vaccines stopped me getting it worse - particularly when we are told that they become ineffective after a few months and need to be boosted? Or whether I would have had it even more mildly had I been boosted?

So far as I’m concerned: Thank you, NHS, but no thanks. Where am I wrong?

15 June 2022

Tony Herbert

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1 Comment

John Fisher
John Fisher
Jun 18, 2022


Many thanks for your post. I have a more fundamental question. Is a fourth booster in the summer necessary? I have no idea. I am about the same age as you but I have not been offered a booster. History seems to suggest that these diseases-SARS, MERS, the Plague etc flair up and then become endemic and nobody really bothers about them. Is Covid like this now? I would like to know but nobody seems to know.

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