To the editor:

I read the “Excelsior!” opinion about New York’s use of a vaccination pass. Not mentioned was the pass expires after 90 days.

The explanation of why it’s temporarily valid is: “COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease. Given the ongoing presence of COVID-19 transmission in New York, passes are only temporarily valid to protect everyone’s health. After a pass expires, you will need to follow the requirements for retrieving a new pass.”

My immediate reaction to a vaccine pass was a terrific way to get back to normal and encourage vaccinations, but passes could be used politically. Some bureaucrat in New York decided vaccines are only good for 90 days and can control refreshing or cancelling the pass.

A study concluded the Pfizer vaccine is strong after six months so far, so 90 days doesn’t even follow the science. A national vaccine pass would give the administration in power (either party) regulatory power over the validity of the pass regardless of the science, for political or other purposes.

We know 11 days after the first shot of Pfizer or Moderna, we are 80 to 90% protected, and 11 days after the second shot, we are 90 to 95% protected. Yet, the guidance tacks on 3 days to each as the public health rule, which doesn’t follow the science.

The seasonal flu shot is only 50% effective, a far cry from the COVID vaccine's efficacy. Pre-COVID, we felt protected by the flu shot at 50% efficacy, but the validity of a 90 to 95% effective vaccine is being limited to 90 days in New York.

Sure, it’s early on with these vaccines, but the divergence bears watching.

There is a difference between something being possible and probable. The messaging doesn’t distinguish the difference.

Chances of becoming infected after vaccination is possible, but given the efficacy, the chance of catching (and infecting others), is far less probable.

Some mandates don’t make common sense, like wearing a mask outside with no one 6 feet (or far more) nearby as an example.

The cost to our society and economy has been significant. We’re likely less than three months away from these infections dropping to very low levels, though I wonder how quickly restrictions will lift.

I’m writing this as a human being, not for political purposes. We should endeavor to respect the practice of using common sense and civil disobedience in the coming months together, in my opinion.

John Demeritt

Newburyport

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