There are plenty of celebrity goofs about COVID. We've seen Nicki Minaj's COVID debacle and the rise of "My cousin's friend" meme. Trinidad's health minister even spent a full day trying to track down the person... There was no such case.
But when an NBA star publicly announce that he believes he has natural immunity and refused to get the vaccine, antivaxxers rallied behind him because "freedom!" when his team barred him from practice for refusing the shot. In fact, Kyrie Irving will lose about half of his salary, because Brooklyn Nets have to follow the city mandate of any pro athlete at a public venue needs to be vaccinated, and half of the games are "home" games played in New York.
And guess what Kyrie said about his decision?
"It's just about the freedom of what I want to do."
He said he wants to play, but he's not willing to get the shot in order to play. His "freedom" to NOT get the shot is more important to him than playing or helping the team.
The fact that NBA has so far refused to issue a league-wide player vaccine mandate has left teams confused, as so far, only 3 cities (SF, LA, and NYC) have vaccine mandates that apply to their 5 NBA home teams. And some NBA players have voiced vocal opposition to getting vaxxed... a small minority. According to ESPN, only 10% of players are holding out, and all NBA officials and staff that work with players are required to be vaccinated.
At least one NBA player in San Francisco has finally gotten vaxxed... because Andrew Wiggins wanted to play more than he wants to hold out over this issue.
And even Lebron James has gotten the COVID vaccine, after initially refusing.
NBA so far has only posted that the teams don't have to pay the players who hold out and thus ineligible for playtime, probably afraid of antagonizing the player's union, but that's beyond the scope of this blog post.
Instead, I'd like to address a different topic... Andrew Wiggins claimed he already had a bout of minor COVID earlier in the year, and his family is so healthy he doesn't even take OTC medication, which is why he's refusing COVID shots unless he's forced to. In fact, most of the vocal holdouts in NBA claim either they have natural immunity from prior COVID infections, or they question WHY get the vaccine if you can still be infected.
Let's address both here.
Is natural immunity a good substitute for vaccine immunity?
First, let's be accurate. This is not natural immunity. This is disease-derived immunity or post-infection immunity. The person survived the COVID, a disease that kills 1 in 63 infected.So basically, if you chose not to vaccinate, you are risking 1/63 chance of dying outright.
Second, you can still get COVID, albeit milder symptoms, due to delta and other variants, even after you get vaccinated. This is, in jargon terms, called "breakthrough infection".
Three, there are three things you don't know about post-infection immunity:
a) more than 1/3rd of COVID cases resulted in NO protective antibodies created. In other words, surviving COVID may not give you ANY immunity at all.
b) post-infection immunity fades quickly, esp. with mild COVID cases, when compared to vaccine-derived immunity. If it's been months since you last suffered COVID, you may have little to no protection against the delta or later COVID variants.
c) reinfection rate is HALVED after vaccination for those who survived COVID. That's right, having the jab, even if you survived COVID, makes you HALF as likely of catching COVID again versus without the jab.
Yet "natural immunity" has been an antivaxxer talking point for decades, as a natural extension of naturalistic fallacy, i.e. "natural is better" (never mind the science). In fact, some antivaxxers started referring themselves as #pureblood after a Tiktok meme gone viral. Never mind the Harry Potter and Nazi Germany references.
Getting the COVID vaccine has multiple advantages, according to science:
* You don't have to suffer through the illness
* You won't face the 1/63 chance of death
* You get longer-lasting protection
Yet there are antivaxxer COVIDiots who continue to hold out for no other reason than "freedom!" (from mandates)
Don't be a COVIDiot who refuse to see reason.