Vaccination rate and math-education

June 25, 2021, – 100 days to offload countdown #85

Are positive news having a bad effect?

It is with great concern that I read news about more and more appointments for the second shot of Covid-19 vaccines getting canceled or silently irgnored here in Germany.

I’m wondering if the very good news, that the first shot already improves the outlook in case of an infection considerably, is leading people into a false risk assessment, i.e. a false understanding that “every shot increases the risk of side effects, so getting only one is the best-case scenario”. If this is true, it is again a concerning sign that people in general have a hard time reconciling probabilities. They see the chance of side-effects and getting infected with covid 19 as almost balancing out, while in fact the probability of serious side-effects of the vaccine is orders of magnitude smaller than an infection with serious progression.

Given that this behaviour also endangers friends, family and colleagues, as the probability of passing the virus on is also considerably higher when not fully vaccinated, I really hope this trend gets broken and these second shots are received eventually, otherwise I’m afraid of the situation once the fall starts to aproach.