Tuesday, January 25, 2022

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Opinion: Anti-Body Passport

Jim Perdue | Guest Columnist

What’s an antibody passport? A term I made up to describe what I believe a person should get if they test positive for antibodies. If someone who has recovered from a COVID-19 infection and chooses to go to a clinic to get an antibody test, and the test comes back positive, I believe that person should get a card similar to the card I was given when I got the Moderna vaccine, and it should offer that person the same privileges I have because I have proof of vaccination. That person has proof of immunity. They should be able to go to a Broadway play in New York, hop on a plane to Hawaii, go to a concert, play professional basketball in New York, or go to any function that requires a “vaccine passport”. I don’t believe a person with known immunity to COVID-19 should be required to get vaccinated. What’s the point, unless they choose (not forced) to do so to get that extra protection?

There’s a study out of Israel that’s saying people with natural immunity had a better immune response to the Delta variant than those with vaccine-induced immunity. This study also says those with the most robust immune response were those who had natural immunity and received one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. That one dose seems to be acting like a booster for those who had recovered from a COVID-19 infection. It’s important to point out that this is just one study, and scientists don’t like to put all their eggs in one basket. I should also point out that this study hasn’t undergone peer review, where a group of scientists reviews the study looking for flaws. The CDC, on their website, mentions a study out of Kentucky that says vaccine-induced immunity is stronger than natural immunity. So for me, the jury is still out regarding which form of immunity is better. Either way, immunity is immunity, and it’s probably the best tool we have to slow the virus down and keep people out of the hospital. 

I think there are some legitimate concerns by some people about the vaccines. How fast they were approved. Although mRNA vaccines have been used in cancer research for several years, this is the first time they have been made available to the public. Some wonder if there will be any negative long-term effects. For this reason, I believe that any vaccine mandate should offer an option, such as unvaccinated individuals be tested regularly. Which is what the NFL does. 

I think it comes down to risks; what’s the risk if I get COVID-19 vs. what’s the risk if I get the vaccine? For me, it was easy, because of my age and underlying health condition I chose the vaccine. My advice for anyone on the fence, if you’re not certain if you want to be vaccinated, talk to your doctor. Discuss the risks with someone you trust. 

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