The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority banned Ryanair’s two “Jab & Go” commercials “saying it encouraged the public to act irresponsibly once they have received a coronavirus vaccination shot.” According to the U.K. government,
We considered this could encourage vaccinated individuals to disregard or lessen their adherence to restrictions, which in the short term could expose them to the risk of serious illness, and in the longer term might result in them spreading the virus. As such we considered the ads could encourage people to behave irresponsibly once vaccinated. The ads must not be broadcast again.
While the ‘jab and go’ message wasn’t nuanced, it’s far more true than false. At a minimum, once you’ve waited two weeks past your second dose of either of the two currently-approved mRNA vaccines in the U.S. (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) – the jab part – you can consider the ‘go’ part.
The biggest reasons for a majority of people not to go are the hassles of what activities may not be available at your destination and the increased time and cost of testing, where required.
The coronavirus vaccines aren’t 100 percent effective. Vaccinated people may still be contagious. And the virus variants may make everything worse. So don’t change your behavior even if you get a shot.
As this New York Times piece summarizes, “The evidence so far suggests that a full dose of the vaccine — with the appropriate waiting period after the second shot — effectively eliminates the risk of Covid-19 death, nearly eliminates the risk of hospitalization and drastically reduces a person’s ability to infect somebody else. All of that is also true about the virus’s new variants.”
Vaccines do reduce transmission, studies continue on the extent to which transmission is reduced. People can still get the virus but for vaccinated people that largely means getting a far more common respiratory infection (which for some people at a certain age and with certain conditions can be dangerous).
[T]he accumulated scientific evidence suggests the chances are very small that a vaccinated person could infect someone else with a severe case of Covid. (A mild case is effectively the common cold.) You wouldn’t know that from much of the public discussion.
Getting access to vaccines in the U.S. has been a post-apocalyptic scavenger hunt for the past couple of months but that should be changing as more supply comes online, and the people most motivated to get vaccinated have increasingly done so. Soon we’ll be pivoting to trying to get people to take a vaccine rather than not having enough for those who want it.
There’s risk from variants, and the AstraZeneca vaccine in particular appears to have the greatest reduction in effectiveness against the South African strain, but the good news is that to the extent it isn’t more infectious it’s not as likely as the British B.1.1.7 strain to become dominant.
The good news is that South Africa is back to its pre-B.1.351 baseline in covid cases. There's no proof this variant is more infectious. Its immune evasion is enough to explain how it took off. And the descent occurred without vaccines. pic.twitter.com/koLJn0iAFr
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) February 21, 2021
There is a chance of another bump in cases in April but this summer is likely to be very low virus spread in the U.S.
Just because a variant becomes the dominant strain does not automatically mean we will see a repeat of Fall 2020.
Let's look at UK and South Africa, where cases have been falling for the past month, in unison with the US (albeit with tougher restrictions): pic.twitter.com/Nirsdr17Ws
— Youyang Gu (@youyanggu) February 18, 2021
“I think if there’s going to be a normal time over the next 12 months, it’s likely to be this spring and summer,” @ScottGottliebMD says, stressing the U.S. recovery from the pandemic will not be a “linear progression.” https://t.co/yg38FgYLQJ pic.twitter.com/STHpgcfumv
— CNBC (@CNBC) February 22, 2021
If anything, this piece is overly cautious. I think we’ll be at that point by Memorial Day. https://t.co/we6eH2JCaf
— Conor Sen (@conorsen) February 23, 2021
Covid-19 will probably become endemic and manageable, rather than be eliminated. With advances in treatments and with vaccinations (including modifications for new strains and booster shots), the virus doesn’t seem likely to overwhelm the health care system again. And that means we should look to lifting restrictions, educating people about risks, and allowing them to once again make their own decisions. For some, that’ll mean ‘jab and go.’