Trying to decide if I should talk about my views on vaccine advocacy, it's a contentious issue that feels like stepping into a minefield, but here goes

I'm pro-vaccine. Back when some were casting aspersions on it, I was advocating trust & confidence

polimath.substack.com/p/operation-wa…
My foundational question about things like vaccine passports is "what are you trying to achieve?"

I think people think they are trying to achieve one thing (lower case counts, lower deaths) but it looks like they're really trying to achieve compliance
If they were looking at just lower cases/deaths, then they'd be pretty flexible around exceptions for the previously infected or not so zealous about pediatric COVID vaccinations

The focus would be on those at highest risk w/ decreasing worry as the risk decreases
Instead, it often sounds like they are trying to boost a metric simply b/c that metric is a checkbox they want to see marked. Especially when people dabble into "you're stupid" or "we need to punish those people", that myopic attitude is pronounced
What I genuinely want to see is this: human thriving

I think most humans thrive when they are alive and not sick and I think vaccines help us achieve that, so I like that

But we also thrive on self-determination. Being coerced into something feels shitty, I'd like to avoid it
Almost all my vaccine writing has been an attempt to help people make an informed and positive decision about vaccines so they could feel confident and safe
When we started seeing breakthrough cases, I argued that we should expect to see this if we continue routine testing of asymptomatic individuals, but that the vaccine does great work protecting against severe symptoms

polimath.substack.com/p/dont-fear-br…
Yes, I want people to get vaccinated, but that really isn't the most important thing in life.

Treating people with dignity, giving them agency and freedom, letting them make that decision on their own, given their own set of circumstances is vital.
I often hear from people who caught COVID & feel like people are railroading them into getting a vaccine that has low marginal value for their specific situation

That's frustrating, it says "I don't care about your situation, just check the damn box"
I bristle against the coercive strategies to increase vaccine adherence but delight in the positive strategies that tip the scale for the vaccine hesitant

The first strategy holds people in contempt, the second invites them to a party

polimath.substack.com/p/a-time-to-pa…
COVID is a terrible disease, yes, but I think it's myopic to squeeze an additional 5-10% of vaccinated population if the way you do that is through punishment and coercion. People resent that & that resentment can run deep. It's corrosive and breeds distrust.
I'd love to exit this pandemic with everyone feeling like they are getting their lives back, like we did this together

My vision of that is "please get vaccinated, it will protect you" along with welcoming anyone who demurs for whatever reason or wants to wait and see
I've been vaccinated and have confidence in my immunity. If I hang out with an unvaccinated friend & end up as a breakthrough case, that's fine, I'm still well protected. I don't need them to be vaccinated for me to exit the pandemic with relief.
I hope that my confidence in the vaccines helps convince, but something tells me that it's actually the grace that helps keep that door open.

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More from @politicalmath

21 Jul
Reading the surveys on vaccination attitudes, I lean towards "yes, the FDA absolutely needs to give the vaccines full authorization" b/c that's the #1 thing that the "wait and see" crowd is nervous about
On the other hand, the #1 reason for not getting vaccinated is "The vaccine is too new" and the #4 reason is "Don't trust the government" so you can see how there is a sort of "damned if you do, damned if you don't" thing going on here

kff.org/coronavirus-co…
Which makes for a dilemma:

Different groups have different reasons for being vaccine hesitant. Should you aim at convincing group A? or group B?

B/c one action may convince group A while pushing away group B.
Read 4 tweets
20 Jul
This is a really solid article critiquing the CDC's very blunt approach to pediatric COVID vaccinations

Quite frankly, it's a damning indictment of CDC messaging that, even at this late hour, is clumsy, smug, and intentionally deceptive

archive.is/w8xnp#selectio…
The CDC combining the risks profile of girls and boys in order to intentionally minimize the myocarditis risk is inexplicable and quite an ugly look (imo)
I continue to believe that people can get good information and make reasonable choices. Studies continue to be done that give really solid results.

But the CDC's messaging is not often a reflection of the full picture. It's like they don't even care that people don't trust them.
Read 4 tweets
19 Jul
Every time someone from The B*lwark attacks me, I'm going to flog Sonny's podcast

I try to avoid talking about them b/c Sonny works there and I don't want to bash the outfit he works for

I just wish his co-workers would stop getting such a hardon for attacking me
(here is the context, I can't link directly b/c this person has blocked me... which I find super weird since I don't often block people and then religiously follow their twitter looking for things I can be angry about)

a friend brought this to my attention. Me being who I am, I can't simply not say anything about it.

But it seems so damn weird to have people care so much about everything I say. What I said was clearly true when I said it. Are they angry that the world changed after I tweeted?
Read 4 tweets
16 Jul
Genuine Question: Why don't the "screw those unvaccinated people, they're awful" ever get upset with the FDA?

It's been a consistent feature of the KFF vaccine survey that full approval from the FDA is the biggest self-reported issue for "wait-and-see" people
Now, here's the thing: I'm not sure I support an expedited "full approval" from the FDA simply b/c having the FDA rush through an approval is exactly the thing that *Democrats* thought was worrisome last September

polimath.substack.com/p/operation-wa…
I do confess that this issue does make me take a step back and look at myself

Why do I appeal to Democrats for what modes of thought are appropriate? I'm basically saying "Look, if Dems were worried about this, that proves it is a valid thing to worry about"
Read 6 tweets
16 Jul
It is a truism that when people say "we need to punish the unvaccinated" they think they are talking about rural white people when they are also talking about young people, black people, and people without a college degree
The people who want to punish the unvaccinated just angry helpless people who need the faults of the world to reside in a group they can hate and punish

I try not to despise this, but to understand this expression of helplessness is how they get by
A very big chunk of the unvaccinated are in a "wait and see" category

I can't imagine that telling them "a vaccination might not protect you against variants" is helping to move the needle in a positive direction

Read 5 tweets
14 Jul
I wrote about lockdowns and how I'm pretty unconvinced by people declaring that they unambiguous forces for good

polimath.substack.com/p/lockdown-bai…
My first major complaint is just the way we play this ridiculous talking point game.

This has never been a game and it's still not a game, but people are out there trying to score points by showing that actually my team made all the right decisions Image
Smart but amoral people are self-consciously authoring studies and writings pieces with the clear intent of bending the narrative for moral brownie points and to impact future policy decision making Image
Read 11 tweets

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