Requiring COVID immunizations
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Posted by jetermi

I just have a question.  If after you get the vaccination you can still get COVID and spread COVID, why would any organization require it?  The vaccination, as I understand it, will lessen your symptoms and allow you to recover quickly.  This doesn't protect anyone else from getting it?

Wouldn't a better standard be that if someone can show evidence of already having gotten COVID and thus having an immunity?  This actually protects other people.

Is my logic flawed on this?  If I am wrong I would like to know!

Posted by matthias9

Two problems.  At the risk of going down a rabbit hole on a public health debate...

1)  The current recommendations are that, even if vaccinated, you should still take precautions such as social distance and mask wearing.  However, this is not because we KNOW for certain that the virus can spread from vaccinated individuals.  It is just because we are erring on the side of caution.  WE DON'T YET KNOW IF THE VACCINE PREVENTS SPREAD.  Based on what we've seen for other vaccines, it is plausible that there would be a benefit.

But, definitely do not take my word for it - or anyone else's.  Here is some text from the CDC site:

"Will the COVID vaccine prevent me from infecting others?""The answer is, we don't know.""Clinical trials of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines found that both do a good job preventing symptomatic COVID-19 disease, including severe COVID-19. However, the trials did not measure whether a person who is vaccinated is less likely to spread the virus to someone else."

"Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. "[Emphasis on *MAY*.]
  
Bottom line is that there might be a benefit here, but we can't say either way right now.

2)  Even if we knew for certain that the vaccine doesn't prevent spread, an organization might want to require vaccinations for attendees for liability and safety reasons.  If you are vaccinated, you are definitely at significantly diminished risk of severe outcomes.  

Posted by mikeboozer jetermi

jetermi wrote:
I just have a question.  If after you get the immunization you can still get COVID and spread COVID, why would any organization require it?  The immunization, as I understand it, will lessen your symptoms and allow you to recover quickly.  This doesn't protect anyone else from getting it?
Wouldn't a better standard be that if someone can show evidence of already having gotten COVID and thus having an immunity?  This actually protects other people.
Is my logic flawed on this?  If I am wrong I would like to know!

Too my knowledge being immunized decreases the chance of getting significantly. 

Not sure how to make a convention out of people who only have had COVID...that standard won't work.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines.html

Mike

Posted by jetermi

Matthias, thank you for the response!  I appreciate a healthy discussion about this tough topic!  (see what I did there - dad joke)

I have been doing some research to try and understand how long you are immune once you get COVID.  COVID has become such a political issue that it is hard to get the facts, but from what I can tell there have been at least 4 studies on natural immunity time frames.  One was only 3 months long, but everyone still had antibodies at the end of the 3 months.  The others were all 8 months and showed ~98% still had antibodies at the 8 month mark.  The CDC is saying that your natural immunity will only last 3 months.  I find that information contradictory to the these studies?  I have heard of people getting COVID more than once, but only a few...these seem to be outliers.

I find it interesting that the CDC is recommending vaccinations for people who have already gotten COVID, but to wait 3 months after symptoms before getting it.  If we don't know if the vaccination lasts any shorter/longer than your natural immunity why would they recommend that?  Shouldn't we wait until we know the answer to this question before making recommendations?

As you pointed out, I feel like the CDC is making a lot of recommendations based on things that MAY be true.  As a scientific organization, I would like you to be able to tell me what IS true....not MAY be true.

Posted by jetermi mikeboozer

mikeboozer wrote:
jetermi wrote:
I just have a question.  If after you get the immunization you can still get COVID and spread COVID, why would any organization require it?  The immunization, as I understand it, will lessen your symptoms and allow you to recover quickly.  This doesn't protect anyone else from getting it?
Wouldn't a better standard be that if someone can show evidence of already having gotten COVID and thus having an immunity?  This actually protects other people.
Is my logic flawed on this?  If I am wrong I would like to know!
Too my knowledge being immunized decreases the chance of getting significantly. 
Not sure how to make a convention out of people who only have had COVID...that standard won't work.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines.html
Mike
The current mRNA vaccinations all create the spike protein.  You are not any less likely to get COVID with these vaccinations.  These are the only vaccinations currently approved.  Should organizations find out why type of vaccination you have received once other types are released?

I was not proposing a convention of people who have had COVID, more noting that it would actually be a more logical way to screen people and that a vaccine related paradigm is actually flawed based on the current mRNA vaccines.
 

Posted by mikeboozer

Well you all are welcome to discuss this topic as it applies to Gen Con but we will not be going down any other path.

Time will tell on all of this.

What you really need to know is: 

Gen Con has made no decisions. We are still way to far out to decide what we will do to insure the health and safety of a convention. 

Just like last years topic stated numerous times. We will decide what to do when we are ready to. You may speculate on that, you may and will of course want us to tell you what we are doing right now.

There are too many unknown factors for that to happen.

Mike

Posted by jetermi mikeboozer

mikeboozer wrote:
jetermi wrote:
I just have a question.  If after you get the immunization you can still get COVID and spread COVID, why would any organization require it?  The immunization, as I understand it, will lessen your symptoms and allow you to recover quickly.  This doesn't protect anyone else from getting it?
Wouldn't a better standard be that if someone can show evidence of already having gotten COVID and thus having an immunity?  This actually protects other people.
Is my logic flawed on this?  If I am wrong I would like to know!
Too my knowledge being immunized decreases the chance of getting significantly. 
Not sure how to make a convention out of people who only have had COVID...that standard won't work.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines.html
Mike
I was rereading your post and you are correct....being immunized decreases the chance of getting a disease significantly but this isn't an immunization.

I looked up the definition of Immunization:
Immunization - the action of making a person or animal immune to infection, typically by inoculation.

mRNA vaccines are NOT immunizations, so we need to be clear when we refer to them.  No one is currently being immunized and technically they are NOT being vaccinated either....even though this is the common nomenclature for it.  Vaccine's by definition (had to look it up, below) create antibodies to fight a disease.  mRNA only creates a spike protein that will help creating antibodies once the disease affects someone.  I suppose one could loosely correlate the two.

Vaccine - a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease.

I am learning as I go here...and have used immunized and vaccinated interchangeably in the past, but I'm going to try and use the right terminology moving forward.

Edit - I was writing this while you were posting the last post.

 

Posted by jetermi mikeboozer

mikeboozer wrote:
Well you all are welcome to discuss this topic as it applies to Gen Con but we will not be going down any other path.
Time will tell on all of this.
What you really need to know is: 
Gen Con has made no decisions. We are still way to far out to decide what we will do to insure the health and safety of a convention. 
Just like last years topic stated numerous times. We will decide what to do when we are ready to. You may speculate on that, you may and will of course want us to tell you what we are doing right now.
There are too many unknown factors for that to happen.
Mike
I'm with you Mike, we have way too many unknowns to make wise choices right now.

Sadly, I don't see us getting any big information without significantly more time and data points on how everything is working or not working.  This is me doing my part in speculation.  :)

Posted by chaoticneutral262

I'm not sure if requiring a vaccination is the right thing to do, because some people will have other health issues that preclude it, or are just outright opposed to them.  I could see Gen Con requiring a liability waiver.  COVID is believed likely to become endemic and therefore an everlasting part of the witches brew that we call "con crud".

The good news is that the COVID numbers are falling rapidly and vaccinations are rising steadily.  Let's hope some evil variant doesn't take hold and make matters worse.

As I understand it, the scheduled availability for vaccines by the end of June is as follows:

Pfizer .... 200 million doses / 100 million people
Moderna .... 200 million doses / 100 million people
J&J ... 100 million doses / 100 million people if approved

So that is basically enough to vaccinate every eligible person (children are not eligible) in the US a full month before the convention.  It is certainly too early to make a go/no-go decision, but perhaps by April or May the direction will become more clear.  Hopefully that leaves enough time to handle the logistics.

Posted by jetermi chaoticneutral262

chaoticneutral262 wrote:I could see Gen Con requiring a liability waiver.

Boom, I love this solution.  I am all in!

Posted by mollymolly

gen con survey asked if people would be more willing to come if vaccines were required.  i don't know if they released results, but if a live convention does happen, it could be a choice for them between people who checked "yes" to that, and people like jetermi, who apparently don't plan to get vaccinated.

also, a waiver probably does nothing.  the con needs to be safe.  even if a waiver would prevent your family from suing, but is there even any precedent for that?  and it'd still be pretty bad for the organization if they let people sign a waiver instead and then 6 of them died.

if liability waiver is your solution then your original question was never about your questions, it was always about the fact that you don't plan to get vaccinated.  that's a choice you can make.  but gen con still needs to do what it needs to do.  and so do state and local health officials.  personally, i think it is completely fair for them to require vaccines and i said as much in the survey.  but, if they do feel the need to do that, i hope it is part of public health recommendations rather than a pr move.  but perception is, i'm sure, a worry as well
 

Posted by jetermi mollymolly

mollymolly wrote:
gen con survey asked if people would be more willing to come if vaccines were required.  i don't know if they released results, but if a live convention does happen, it could be a choice for them between people who checked "yes" to that, and people like jetermi, who apparently don't plan to get vaccinated.
also, a waiver probably does nothing.  the con needs to be safe.  even if a waiver would prevent your family from suing, but is there even any precedent for that?  and it'd still be pretty bad for the organization if they let people sign a waiver instead and then 6 of them died.
if liability waiver is your solution then your original question was never about your questions, it was always about the fact that you don't plan to get vaccinated.  that's a choice you can make.  but gen con still needs to do what it needs to do.  and so do state and local health officials.  personally, i think it is completely fair for them to require vaccines and i said as much in the survey.  but, if they do feel the need to do that, i hope it is part of public health recommendations rather than a pr move.  but perception is, i'm sure, a worry as well

So yeah, full disclosure, I don't plan on getting vaccinated....I have an auto-immune disorder as does everyone in my immediate family, it is hereditary.  I have read numerous articles recommending against people with auto immune disorders getting the vaccine at this time.  I also had COVID 6 weeks ago, so probably wouldn't in light of that either, especially since we have no evidence that the vaccine would provide any stronger immunization than that which naturally occurs after getting it.

And now I am back to the original question.....

Facts from the CDC Website:
The mRNA vaccine creates a spike protein that will help you fight off COVID quicker once you get it.
The vaccination doesn't keep you from getting COVID or spreading COVID.

Why would Gencon require the vaccine if you can still get it and spread it?   How does this vaccine make the Con safer?  They do not based on what the CDC has told us about this vaccine.  Maybe I am being too analytical about this....so I wouldn't invite you to help me understand why my logic is flawed?

Posted by elvinlord jetermi

 
The "facts" from the cdc is that they don't know if you will still be able to transmit the virus after being vaccinated.

​​​​​​ No vaccine stops you from being infected with a virus, they prep the immune system to respond to a virus before it can multiple to the point you start having symptoms 

I really doubt gencon is going to want to deal with requiring proof of vaccination 

Posted by kar8a

Disney World should probably be the "gold standard" for what a Con should look at doing - re Covid.
They have deep-pocketed lawyers who figured out the best standards to put in place for event execution and the best language to include for legal waiver purposes everywhere in the park and on ticket purchase.

GENCON should study Disney and see how they can put in place what Disney does (and what they can't...or where they can do more), and then see if that still makes it possible to run their Con.

I totally think it does, especially since we'll be in Covid "down season" in summer (as we can tell this winter, there IS a seasonal component to this, even if it's definitely smaller than the flu's seasonal component).  

Posted by jetermi kar8a

kar8a wrote:
Disney World should probably be the "gold standard" for what a Con should look at doing - re Covid.
They have deep-pocketed lawyers who figured out the best standards to put in place for event execution and the best language to include for legal waiver purposes everywhere in the park and on ticket purchase.
GENCON should study Disney and see how they can put in place what Disney does (and what they can't...or where they can do more), and then see if that still makes it possible to run their Con.
I totally think it does, especially since we'll be in Covid "down season" in summer (as we can tell this winter, there IS a seasonal component to this, even if it's definitely smaller than the flu's seasonal component).  

I like where your head is at on this!

Posted by mikeboozer kar8a

kar8a wrote:
Disney World should probably be the "gold standard" for what a Con should look at doing - re Covid.
They have deep-pocketed lawyers who figured out the best standards to put in place for event execution and the best language to include for legal waiver purposes everywhere in the park and on ticket purchase.
GENCON should study Disney and see how they can put in place what Disney does (and what they can't...or where they can do more), and then see if that still makes it possible to run their Con.
I totally think it does, especially since we'll be in Covid "down season" in summer (as we can tell this winter, there IS a seasonal component to this, even if it's definitely smaller than the flu's seasonal component).  

Be assured Gen Con is studying everything as it pertains to our show.

Mike

Posted by jetermi mikeboozer

mikeboozer wrote:Be assured Gen Con is studying everything as it pertains to our show.Mike

Thanks Mike - I can't imagine the challenges Gencon has faced as a result of COVID.

I appreciate the hard work you and your team are putting forth to make Gencon happen again someday!

Posted by squirecam kar8a

kar8a wrote:
Disney World should probably be the "gold standard" for what a Con should look at doing - re Covid.
They have deep-pocketed lawyers who figured out the best standards to put in place for event execution and the best language to include for legal waiver purposes everywhere in the park and on ticket purchase.
GENCON should study Disney and see how they can put in place what Disney does (and what they can't...or where they can do more), and then see if that still makes it possible to run their Con.
I totally think it does, especially since we'll be in Covid "down season" in summer (as we can tell this winter, there IS a seasonal component to this, even if it's definitely smaller than the flu's seasonal component).  
Alot of Disney attractions are outdoors. Also they make alot more $ and could afford to place more resources on safety. I dont see them as comparable. I'd want to see what other conventions are doing such as Origins or comicon or the like.

As to having covid, you can get it again or get a different variant. So having a covid only show isnt 100% safe, even were something like that possible.

The vaccine is the best chance we have of an in person gencon. I've got my second shot upcoming in march and I hope everyone can get theirs soon. I wouldn't feel comfortable going without taking it, even if 100% of the attendees were masked. And I have no issue staying masked to prevent me from giving it to others, even if I'm no longer at risk of severe illness. 

Whatever Gencon decides, I'm sure it's going to be in the best interests of attendees health and safety. If that requires me to show I'm vaccinated, then so be it.

Posted by matthias9

I agree that Gen Con doesn't need to reinvent the wheel.  But, neither did Disney.  They took advice from "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and appropriate government agencies", which is the thing to do.   And I trust that Gen Con will do that.

Disney's main strategies are limiting capacity, face covers, temperature check.  As someone else said, dynamics and recommendations may be different if outdoors than indoors at a table with 8 people for 4 hrs.  Given those factors, speaking for myself, I'd take 'vaccines required' as an option if Public Health officials think that makes a difference.  

If you look at the number of vaccine doses projected, it seems like we are on track to allow everyone to be able to get one before the show.  I hope that happens.  Then it will come down to what the world looks like in a post-vaccine environment.  Do experts and attendees have the stomach for huge gatherings in that situation?  Personally, I do.  But too soon to tell.

Thanks to Gen Con staff for the work you have done and are doing.  I'll be with you in whatever form the Convention takes.

Posted by narzat

If you are planning to go to Gen Con and have related questions or comments about the vaccine, please use and refer to reputable information when making decisions and advising others. 
There is a large amount of misleading information on the internet, including farther up this thread.  I recommend going straight to the source rather than believing random postings here or elsewhere. 
Not that the CDC or other experts are infallible, but they are at least trying to study data and get it right. 

Here are urls to what the CDC actually says about the vaccine, including how it actually works, risks associated with various underlying conditions, and whether it can help you keep from getting COVID-19:  

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/about-vaccines/how-they-work.html 

I'm sure there are other good sources, but these are at least a place to start. 

Good luck, stay healthy, and I hope to see everyone in Indy in August!

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