Sean Hannity Keens, Wails, Moans, Weeps About Tyranny Of Annual COVID Shot
The Food and Drug Administration announced Monday a new streamlined approach to COVID-19 vaccinations. The government will offer a single, updated booster shot each year, just like the annual flu shots that a majority of Americans receive without developing any Elvis Presley-style leg spasms.
The FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) will meet Thursday and vote on the agency's perfectly sensible proposal. It's an improvement, I think, from the present system, where if you're not fully vaccinated, you have to get two shots of the OG vaccine spaced several weeks apart. Then two months later, you're eligible for a booster, which is currently the bivalent shot.
The new process would simply advise most people to get the updated version of the vaccine each year. The vaccine remains free and usually available wherever you buy condoms and Robitussin. You wouldn't have to worry about how many jabs you've already received and when. This is not a scam but is pretty much identical to how the flu shot is updated annually based on whatever strain is dominant that year.
Fox News host Sean Hannity brought up the FDA's proposal Tuesday night during a segment attacking vaccine mandates. He seemed to think it was all a scam.
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"You can be fully vaccinated, fully boosted, have all the booster — booster 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. You can have natural immunity but you can still catch COVID," he whined. "You can still get it and get sick. You can still transmit the virus to others. That’s what the science tells us."
That's true. However, vaccine mandates are still a good idea, especially for the armed services. Hospitals filled with troops on ventilators won’t improve military preparedness. While a vocal minority might complain the loudest about mandates, studies have shown that they significantly increased the pace of vaccinations. A recent study also showed that vaccines prevented at least three million deaths in the US and more than 18.5 million hospitalizations.
Of course, you can't prove that Hannity, who's 61 and fully vaccinated, is one of the millions of Americans spared death or an extended, debilitating hospital stay. So he's free to continue minimizing the vaccine's effectiveness. After all, people still get COVID, right?
“Look at the recent findings that show that whether you’re vaccinated or not, you can still get the COVID variants that are out there today," he said. "They’re both omicron variants, new ones, even if, yes, you’re vaccinated, boosted and even have natural immunity. Now despite all of this, the FDA is sadly proposing COVID shots now annually despite more and more evidence that vaccines and boosters do not work as they have told us."
"They" — or at least the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention — warned us about breakthrough COVID infections back in the summer of 2021. Yes, the Biden administration annoyed Wonkette's Editrix and said we could all start partying without our masks if we were vaccinated, but the Delta variant crashed that party like the surprise guest in a Poe story.
The Delta variant was perhaps a fatal blow in the battle against vaccine deniers. Americans preferred a "Star Trek" cure. Republicans and Democrats alike wanted to just take a shot and forget COVID ever existed. Who can blame them? But the current reality is no tragedy. It's just too complicated for dummies. I'm grateful for the vaccine and will continue to take any necessary boosters. Yes, I will still potentially catch another version of COVID, but if the result is no worse than a really bad cold, I'd much rather curl up in a blanket with Chinese takeout and watch old movies than wave goodbye to my family from behind glass in the hospital.
People were dying painfully and alone in 2020. Hannity and far too many others want to pretend we weren't there, but we were and we're not going to forget. We owe that much to the people who aren't here today.
So, go get your damn booster.
[NPR / Media Matters]
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."