Let’s talk about Covid and “vaccine passports” from an immunocompromised perspective

Before we begin, this is a friendly note that this blog talks about Covid 19 and vaccinations, but (surprise) I am not a medical professional. I'm just an obsessive gal with skin in the game and a lot of time on my hands. 

The information below is not medical advice and should not be taken as medical advice. Please contact your family doctor or healthcare provider if you have any personal medical questions. 

I did many, many hours of research on this, using as reputable sources as I could find. This was started at the beginning of September (before anxiety set in and I had to pause for a while) so please keep that in mind when reading if the numbers have changed. Also, I have not added sources cos I'm not a journalist and that would have taken me foooorever. Sorry.

Lately, I’ve definitely noticed that my echo chamber social media feeds and general conversations are particularly pro-vaccination and a lot of my friends and family are going out and getting the Covid jabs. That’s their prerogative – I’m also one of those people.

But I also see a few sentiments that are anti-vaccination, or at least anti-Covid-vaccination. They seem concerned about “vaccine passports”, the safety or efficacy of them, the implications/effects of the vaccines and/or the “slippery slope” it could lead to.

Having dated a guy with a very opposite view on these vaccinations to myself, I’ve come to learn some of the very valid reasons people are worried, and also some of the reasons that I can’t find decent information to back up (or what I consider to be double standard takes or takes that don’t line up).

I’m not gonna lie and say I’m unbiased. I have literal skin in the game – not super keen on dying from this disease since I’m high risk and all that. Living with a primary immunodeficiency and a lung disease wasn’t fun before this pandemic… now it sucks even more.

In the aforementioned relationship, we had a standard rule about not discussing vaccines or masks after I had a few panic attacks when we tried (it’s literally life or death feelings for me). I also consistently frustrated the living bejesus out of him by struggling to fully hear his own personal, thought out beliefs.

Both of us cared too much about the topic and completely disagreed with each other. It was never going to be easy to find common ground when we were both upsetting each other too much to be able to properly listen.

However, I’m writing this now because it’s been some time since then and I’ve chilled out a lot about the topic (which isn’t saying much tbh).

I’m always interested in backing up my beliefs properly, and accepting that as a basic rule, even some of the most extreme opposite views (that people might rule out off the bat) often have an underlying point that I actually do agree with.

So here we go…

This is super long, even for me

So TL;DR is at the bottom, but in this blog, I’m going to cover:

Then a bit about my own personal perspective if you make it that far 😘

Covid 19 only affects a minority of people

I’m also acutely aware that the young, immunocompromised, high-risk perspective is very regularly overlooked because when people talk about the “minority that is most likely to die from Covid”, they’re thinking about an ✨abstract statistic✨, not a person.

Maybe some faceless, nondescript, elderly sick person that they’ve never met before and have no emotional attachment to.

The 1%. Just a number. A statistic.

Probably not them.

They’re often not thinking about their own grandparents, or their colleagues that look exactly like them. Their friends that they complain to about vaccinations, whose entire life safety relies on herd immunity and NOT getting sick.

I actually do get it to an extent. It’s very self-protective to distance yourself from something as scary as dying of a respiratory disease. It’s very easy to think, that ONLY happens to *other people*, and they probably did something to deserve it in some way.

They’re chronically ill, they’re immunocompromised, they’re elderly. They probably don’t have a good quality of life right now as it is. Why should my quality of life be affected for people who should be staying at home where I don’t have to think about them??

Good question! Do sick people deserve rights? Do they deserve to feel safe? Should they be able to work? Can’t they just get groceries delivered? Do they really NEED a social life? To be loved and have meaningful friendships and relationships? Should they be allowed to drink, party, make mistakes, have fun?

Could I be one of those people one day? Surely not, I’m a good person. Bad things don’t happen to good people, right?

I’ve had people go into full denial and decide that I’m lying when I say I’ve never been a smoker, and, in fact, I’ve never smoked a cigarette. That’s not the reason that my lungs are damaged.

They’d rather block their ears and drown me out when I say that I had years of back-to-back chest infections, bronchitis, laryngitis, glandular fever, pneumonia, all while eating pretty healthily, exercising regularly, working full time, and doing nothing different to my friends. I had an undiagnosed immune deficiency and my doctors ignored my concerns, and that’s why I now have permanently damaged lungs.

But they’d rather think, “nope, she’s a liar, she chose to smoke and now she’s living with the consequences of her actions” than see that I didn’t somehow deserve it.

It’s a lot easier to believe that there’s a positive moral value attached to your good health and a negative one attached to those without it. Otherwise what does it mean? That *I* could become disabled or chronically ill at any moment? That’s a fast way to find out that you’ve been dehumanising real, normal people this whole time.

It’s a very mortal feeling, to feel vulnerable to fate and luck.

And I hate to break it to you, but sadly, anyone can become disabled and high risk at any point. It could happen to you tomorrow. You’re not invincible. You’re not immortal.

And that’s an awful feeling, I get it. We like to think we have control over our lives and people that got dealt a rough card must have done something, somehow to deserve it. But we didn’t. People can smoke all their life and be completely fine. Others might get cancer. It’s very much luck of the draw out here.

But anyway, I just thought I’d get that bit out of the way.

Now let’s talk about some more crunchy topics! I did some research, and I just wanna chat with you all 😌

Firstly, let’s talk about my click bait headline – “Vaccine passports”

I’ve annoyed myself by doing that, but the Spinoff did it so I figured I’m allowed to as well.

I think the concept of a “vaccine passport” has been named that so it sounds exceptionally scary, and a brand new thing being forced on us by the powers that be.

However, “vaccination certificates” have long been, and continue to be, a thing.

And I see that this version looks more like it’s going to be digital and in app form, which is completely expected for anything happening in 2021 tbh. But yea, that’s a change and change can be destabilising as we adjust so I’m not surprised there is discomfort about it.

The apps are giving ✨Black Mirror✨. But like, so did QR codes. And Facebook. And Google Maps. And FitBits. I can see my doctors medical information about me in an app on my phone. We can pay for things using our phones now. Our algorithms know us better than we know ourselves.

We already have vaccination certificates, drivers licences, gun licenses, passports, travel visas, birth certificates, police records, tax records, our credit scores. There are, and have always been, ways that we have to prove that we meet certain requirements for all sorts of things.

In terms of vaccination certificate requirements that ALREADY exist…

  • Getting a Yellow Fever vaccination is required to enter certain Sub-Saharan, Central African, and South American countries in which there is a risk of transmission. It’s also required to enter certain countries like Australia if you’re returning from one of those countries.
  • The Meningococcal vaccination is required to enter Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage.
  • A valid International Vaccination Certificate with proof of Polio vaccination is required from all travellers planning to stay in Pakistan for more than 4 weeks. All residents and long-term visitors must provide proof of vaccination upon departure from Pakistan.

I honestly didn’t even know Polio was still a thing in some countries until I read this… you know why? A successful vaccination rollout eliminated it from New Zealand from 1962, Australia since 1972, and, honestly, the majority of the world by now.

Would you travel to a country where Polio is still endemic without getting a vaccine? Or want people from those countries to come to NZ without proof that they’re vaccinated? Considering that if you get it, there is a 1 in 25 chance of developing meningitis, and a 1 in 200 chance of paralysis if you contract it. It can still affect you decades later with post-polio syndrome.

Also, yes it does appear that we’ll be requiring booster shots going forward as the virus continues to mutate and come up with new variations, but this is not a new concept. This is the exact reason we’re recommended flu shots every year.

Other vaccines that require boosters are; tetanus, hepatitis B, polio and whooping cough. And I’m pretty sure I got all of them before travelling without even thinking.

Honestly, I don’t understand why suddenly we’re scared of the Covid vaccine certificate requirements that are being rolled out. It seems completely understandable during a global pandemic to curb the transmission as much as possible just like we have always done with different diseases.

And what about countries that don’t have any Covid 19? Places like the Cook Islands have had zero confirmed cases, and also have a rate of over 96% of eligible adults being fully vaccinated.

I know I personally would not want to be patient zero on a beautiful tropical island with limited medical facilities – particularly in the outer islands. That’s big Christopher Columbus ✨coloniser✨ energy and that’s how you kill innocent people.

There are also already a bunch of reasons we are careful when we travel

Captains of planes are allowed to refuse travel to sick passengers based on whether the person “is fit to travel, needs medical attention or presents a danger to other passengers and crew or to the safety of the aircraft.”

A lot of people with Covid 19 are asymptomatic, and therefore would be a danger to other passengers, particularly those that are higher risk.

If we were to go back to “normal”, a vaccination certificate would suggest that you’re at least LOWER risk than if you haven’t been immunised.

In terms of travel insurance, you’re better off getting the recommended travel vaccinations (which will likely include Covid 19 going forward) as your claim could be reduced or invalid if you don’t and then catch any of them. This already exists – insurance companies will take any reason to invalidate your claim and no one wants that, especially with a highly contagious disease!

I would know this, I have to pay exorbitant amounts for my travel insurance to cover my pre-existing conditions of an immunodeficiency, a lung disease and a bowel disease. I could catch literally anything and it could be blamed on one of them so I have to disclose them. We’re all out here doing the best we can. Welcome to the party 🙃

Travelling internationally and opening borders, feels like a pretty good reason to get vaccinated. It’d be nice to be able to open up our borders and let tourists back in, and even better, family and friends who are stuck in other countries or can’t afford the quarantine.

And I’m not sure about everyone else, but I’d quite like to be able to travel again. As good as it is travelling around NZ (when we’re allowed…), I wouldn’t mind going somewhere new and exciting!

I feel like it’s inevitable that that’s going to happen soonish anyway, so we’re better off doing that WITH a highly vaccinated population (herd immunity ftw) so if people do happen to come over with Covid but are vaccinated, they’re less likely to transmit it as far, and we’d be less likely to contract it.

“But won’t someone think of those who medically aren’t able to get vaccinated?”

This is quite honestly the most frustrating thing I’ve seen people say as a reason to not need vaccine certificates for Covid 19.

This is what I would consider concern trolling.

It’s pretty infantilising and ableist to talk on behalf of these hypothetical people and act as if you care about them while opposing something that is literally in place to keep them safe. I really don’t get it.

They can speak for themselves. Their medical practitioners can speak for them. Their families can speak for them. They’ll be considered by the vaccine certification people, it’s their job. It’s not the job of a person who doesn’t know one of these hypothetical people, to make assumptions about them, then suggest something that is dangerous for them with no actual understanding of this.

Because my immune system doesn’t work, I can’t medically get live vaccines because of the increased risk of getting the illness from the vaccines themselves. Therefore, I can’t get yellow fever vaccines, however, I could travel to a yellow fever hot spot if I wanted to as I can get a medical exemption for that. It’d be a risk that I could choose to take.

I don’t believe there are many people in the world that *can’t* get the Covid vaccinations anyway (I couldn’t find specific conditions in my research beyond being allergic to specific ingredients in the vaccines).

Regardless, people who can’t get them for medical reasons would literally benefit from being around people who are provably vaccinated…. Herd immunity and all that.

And of course people who can’t get the vaccine should be able to travel with a valid medical exemption. The problem that you’re looking to solve here is actually systemic ableism. We should be making the world MORE safe and accessible for chronically ill and disabled people, not stopping something BECAUSE the world is ableist. *sigh*

But isn’t the vaccine dangerous? More people have died from that than Covid in NZ

Firstly, exactly what do we think doctors and researchers do? Do we go to the doctor for the flu and get told to sleep outside with no blanket? Nope, it’s not exactly in their best interests to make people MORE sick – not a very good look.

Comparing the vaccine to Covid is like comparing apples and oranges. It’s all relative, and comparing raw (and also unconfirmed) numbers out of context is dangerous and misleading.

Covid is an awful, contagious virus that I think we can all agree that we’re avoiding, that’s why case numbers are LOW. But the death rate is HIGH because it’s bad.

Vaccines are something people are volunteering for in NZ – it’s not mandated. It’s completely opt-in, the dosage numbers are in the millions and the death rate is almost negligible (doesn’t stop any deaths being concerning and sad).

I’ve not talked to a person who had Covid who said it’s comparable to the flu – they all say it’s much worse – and let’s be honest, I’ve seen and experienced how pathetic we can all be with a flu.

These vaccines are designed to slow the spread of this disease, lower your risk of getting it, lower the effects of it if you are to get it, and help protect the higher risk groups in our community.

I spent hours looking up and comparing different numbers and I couldn’t for the life of me find anything that suggested that the seasonal flus were worse than Covid 19, or that vaccines were worse, or too dangerous to get.

Even using worse case scenarios for flus and vaccines vs best case scenarios for covid, I genuinely couldn’t recreate that sort of result.

I’ll start with comparing the actual viruses…

Comparing influenza and Covid 19

The worst seasonal influenza outbreak in recent years in the US was 2017/2018. They had 45 million people reported as getting the flu, 810,000 people hospitalised with it, and 61,000 people died.

Thats a 1 in 800 chance of dying from influenza. Pretty bleak.

Aotearoa has a significantly lower death rate from Covid than a lot of the world, so let’s crunch those numbers in comparison

3,813 confirmed cases, 219 hospitalised, and 27 people died from Covid as of 7 Sep 2021.

That’s a 1 in 150 chance of dying from Covid 19 in the country with some of the toughest lockdowns and minimal cases.

Also consider that we didn’t have prior knowledge of Covid 19, and that low death rate is while having full national cooperation with weeks/months of lockdowns and taking pretty extreme precautions.

1 in 800 people died of the flu on a bad year in the US vs 1 in 150 of covid in one of the safer countries.

I don’t know how to make that statistic look worse for Covid to be honest.

My Facebook currently has 885 friends (humble brag), so if we all got these illnesses, statistically 1 of us would die from the flu, but 6 of us would die from Covid.

Probably me tbh, but don’t let that stop you from getting vaccinated 😇

Fun fact is that globally, the death rate of Covid is actually about 2%, which is a 1 in 50 chance. Don’t want to be super bleak, but that would bring the death number within my Facebook friends up to about 18. Eighteen!

I quite like you guys, I’d prefer that not happen to us.

Also, in terms of raw numbers, in the US, it looks like more people generally get the flu than Covid (almost double), however, on average over a year, the number of people that have died from Covid is nearly 7 times more.

This shit is serious, guys.

Comparing Covid and the Covid vaccines

How dangerous is the Covid vaccine? Because we know that sadly, a woman recently died in NZ, likely from myocarditis, which was connected to the vaccine. This is pretty scary knowing most of us are going out to get two shots of Pfizer ourselves.

So let’s look at the numbers.

About 3.9 million doses of the Covid vaccine have been given out in Aotearoa, with one confirmed connected death.

That is literally a 1 in 3.9 million chance, or 0.00003%.

Comparatively, you’re 4 times more likely to die from skiing/snowboarding.

But say you’re concerned that that is playing down the likelihood, because we know there are 31 deaths loosely connected to the vaccine.

(These are unconfirmed to be caused by the vaccine, so this is just playing devils advocate to look at a worse case scenario.)

This would bring the likelihood up to a 1 in 130,000 chance, which is still very, very low. And that’s assuming the unlikely event that that each death was directly linked to the vaccine.

I just crunched some more numbers, and to make this even more dark, the average rate of people in NZ who died from family violence between 2009-2012 was around the same…. So you’re about as likely to be killed at home by a loved one as you are by this vaccine.

Sad but true, and not very surprising to me unfortunately.

Ok, now let’s look at the serious side effects of the vaccine

So far, 425 serious side effects had been reported in Aotearoa (as of 7th Sep 2021). Individual people can report more than one side effect, so the actual number of people affected would likely be lower.

However, again, let’s take the worst case scenario that potentially each reported serious side effect was an individual.

That is a 1 in 10,000 chance of serious side effect. Again, assuming worst case scenario.

I’d have to have a lot more friends for any of these to have an impact on my measly 885 Facebook peeps.

I’ve had a bad reaction from the meningococcal vaccine when I was a teenager. Not necessarily “severe”, but a rare reaction and I was extremely sick for a few days. It was awful, not gonna lie, but I didn’t once regret getting it considering that is much better than getting meningitis!

It didn’t even cross my mind not to get another vaccine again, and I’ve had many jabs since then, particularly for travel cos I’m not super into the idea of getting rabies in Bali…

Somehow this Covid vaccination has been made into a political issue when I know that most of my friends would have lined up blindly to get 10 random immunisations if that’s what the doctor told them to do before going to South East Asia.

The benefits of the Covid vaccines

Now we’ve talked about how you’re about as likely to be killed by your family than the Covid jab, let’s talk about something a bit less grim.

Why would we all get these vaccines in the first place?

There feels like a million reasons to me, the main reasons are:

  • You’re less likely to get Covid-19 than if you’re unvaccinated, even with the Delta variant which is even more contagious than the OG variant
  • This helps stop the spread within the community as the virus can be passed onto others before you know you have it – from up to two days before symptoms develop
  • If you do happen to get Covid after being fully vaccinated, you’re more likely to be asymptomatic
  • If you are symptomatic, you’re less likely to get severe symptoms or get hospitalised, or die
  • We can feel more comfortable to open borders and travel, and have people come here again

I personally feel like people downplay the symptoms of Covid 19. To me they sound genuinely terrifying, and if anyone suggests that it’s the same as the flu, I would say to them, you sound like a lucky person who has not experienced prolonged shortness of breath from illness.

My personal experience of having multiple lung infections and pretty long lasting pneumonia in 2015 was genuinely traumatising. Struggling to breathe is awful and terrifying and all of those infections permanently damaged my lungs. I do not recommend it!

To me, that’s enough reason to get vaccinated. The thought of avoiding a ventilator had me booking my appointments the second I was able to.

I would get into long-Covid here, but I don’t have the energy. Just want to add that over a third of Covid-19 patients in a recent study were later diagnosed with at least one long-COVID symptom. The study is linked above, or you can read this more digestible article for more info.

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Protect yourself, and protect the community

I’ve heard a lot of the mentality that, “the vaccine doesn’t even 100% protect you so what’s the point?”. But like, you can die while wearing a seatbelt, or a helmet, or any safety device if something goes wrong. However, they’re far, far, far more likely to save you, which is why we use them.

There’s also, “if you’re so sure that the vaccine works, why do you care if I get it? Aren’t you protected? Or don’t you trust the vaccine?” Like, I’m so sure of it that I actually want you to be protected. I also want the potential knock-on effect to be minimised if you do get it, to protect others.

I’d say that the primary reason to get the vaccination is to protect yourself from getting Covid 19, definitely. But the secondary, and about as important, reason is to protect the community.

It’s definitely important to look at the effect the vaccine will have on you personally, but it’s also important to remember to look at the other reasons that the medical experts are recommending that 90% of eligible people get it.

We live in a community. Humans are tribal creatures. An important part of being in a society is that we adhere to a sort of unwritten social contract. I’m not talking about the government, laws, mandates, I just mean the basics of human decency that we do for each other with the understanding that someone would do it for you too.

If I saw someone slip and get knocked out on the footpath, obviously I’d check on them and take steps to call an ambulance and see that they’re as ok as possible. Even if I was running late to something super important, the responsibility I have to uphold basic human decency overrides that.

And I would assume another person would do the same for me if they were able to, even though legally it’s not required of them (NZ doesn’t have duty to rescue/good samaritan laws), there is an inherent moral obligation.

There’s a reason we’re not supposed to drink and drive. Sure, it’s to help protect the driver from crashing and hurting or killing themselves. But just as importantly, if not more so, to lower the risk of them hurting or killing innocent passengers/bystanders.

We have a base responsibility to think beyond just ourselves while existing in this world.

“Convenience isn’t possible without responsibility. Responsibility is what gives our lives convenience. And it’s what gives us a sense of certainty and community, too.”

“The responsibility you take for yourself is the rent you pay for the privilege of being a part of this society.”

Matt Hogan

So it’s important to keep in mind while making your decision that a segment of the community don’t build as effective an immune response to the vaccines, even if we get them, (me, again 🤪) because our immune systems aren’t as awesome as the average person.

Immunocompromised people, medically vulnerable people and those with serious respiratory conditions can do everything required of them, but they mostly rely on other people in our society reducing the spread to avoid getting it because they are extra susceptible. Far more susceptible than most.

It’s very scary to exist in a world knowing you’ve done all that you can to be safe and it is probably still not enough to avoid hospitals, or worse, ventilators, or being one of the “minority of deaths”, if the people around you don’t meet you halfway.

Being high risk is just so fun.


Honestly, I can understand some of the fear around these things

I spent hours and hours trawling the internet for relevant comparable numbers in order to write this blog. And I really truly did try to disprove my own opinion when I did. It’s why this sort of ended up like a dissertation.

I would rather make a point that feels real than just parrot some numbers that someone else found. And I didn’t want to say, “vaccines don’t kill people, diseases do”, because that sounds disingenuous when I know there are plenty of websites online saying lots of scary things about vaccines.

I searched hard to try find “unbiased” information that could prove that they were bad (that wasn’t written by my second aunt’s best friend’s puppy on Facebook). And I know that “unbiased” is an extremely relative term because technically everything is biased when a human is at the helm.

But honestly, there was no way that I could find that vaccines could in any way be more dangerous than Covid 19 or even the flu. Or that the flu could be more dangerous than Covid 19.

I looked up web pages and statistics/research that were posted years before we even knew that Covid was a thing, to reduce the likelihood that the flu numbers were minimised for whatever reason.

I looked up multiple numbers on multiple websites and worked out the rates of everything. And compared multiple “rates” of whatever, to further back the sources I already found.

One thing I’ll say is that I found it very frustrating that there is next to no numbers that I could find about deaths from Covid vaccinations anywhere outside of NZ. Even just general mortality rates of any vaccinations. I can see how that looks dodgy to some people.

However, there are plenty of websites that talk about side effects of all sorts of vaccines, some that can be really super awful. So, I feel that if they’re saying specifically some of these rare but terrible side effects, it doesn’t seem like they’re hiding anything. Still frustrating though.

I actually do think that probably the mortality rates are so low that they become essentially irrelevant and are deemed unnecessary information.

Once you’re like 5 decimal places in to show a 1 in 3.9mil chance, I can see how that is like suggesting that getting a vaccination can be correlated with slipping on a banana skin later that night. The number is so low that it’s not very helpful.

In saying that, I do feel like a bit more transparency on that potential outcome, no matter how unlikely it is, would be actually helpful in terms of peace of mind for people who are scared.

I’d personally prefer someone tell me that yea, you could die from it, but you are a millions times more likely to live, than feel gaslit and told, “no, you won’t die, trust me.”

I’ve signed my life away to go bungee jumping, sky diving, caving, all sorts of things that are faaarr more dangerous! I’ve ridden a motorbike, driven a car, jay walked across a busy road, eaten street food in SE Asia, slept with my phone under my pillow, drunk my friends’ home brew spirits, traveled alone in Mexico and Guatemala, eaten sushi that’s sat out for a little too long, caught a tiny boat across the Mekong River without a life jacket (that was scary tbh). I’ve had sepsis, and also a rare parasite that tried to kill me.

I think I can handle being told there is a teeny, tiny, baby chance that you could die from the vaccine, but you’re more likely to win first division lotto (one in 3.8 million). Just saying.

I’m not saying not to question things

I think that it’s important to have a healthy questioning of the government, politicians, the medical system, and the other powers that be. And also not to hold too much ego in our opinions or dislike of them to not be able to change our minds or hold more than one opinion about them.

No one person is always right, nor are they always wrong. All good. Or all bad. We’re all much more complex than that. Even the worst people you know can make some good points if you listen to them as you’d like to be listened to.

I don’t think it helps any of us to make decisions based purely on fear and the assumption that all higher-up decisions are designed to hurt or control us.

Just like it doesn’t help any of us to make decisions based on blind trust and the assumption that all higher-up decisions that are in our best interests.

We need to critically think, take many things into consideration. Sometimes, it actually does turn out that the sheep are going in that direction because the next field over has some mad juicy grass, and can go to festivals at New Years and make out with strangers.

I’m chronically ill and the medical system has both ignored my health concerns for years, and also quite literally kept me alive and made my quality of life indescribably better.

I always do my research when I’m going through the health system. I get second opinions etc and I like to understand what is happening and why. The risks vs benefits. And tbh, they’ve been pretty good to me. I’d definitely be dead without the help of the medical system. Herbs, oranges and jogging only get you so far.

Some communities have good reasons to feel untrusting

Certain groups in Aotearoa, particularly Pasifika and Māori people, have a pretty justified reason to distrust the state. The systemic issues with race in NZ make that pretty understandable. And unfortunately that distrust has already caused a disproportionate effect of Covid on those communities.

The problem is that they are already among the most vulnerable (lol I’m Pasifika too, pick a struggle, amirite?!) and this distrust appears to adding to that.

Think about it though, if the rich and famous, people of all sorts of privilege and power, on both sides politically, were the first to get the vaccines. If it was that potentially dangerous, they would have rolled it out in poor communities first, to make sure.

And you also have to admit that the low vaccination rate among Pasifika and especially Māori people isn’t stopping the level changes and easing of restrictions in Auckland, even with the spread in those communities. Notice how many more cases there are in Counties Manukau?

I doubt this would have happened if the more predominantly white and privileged communities had a lower vaccination uptake 🙃

The rights for fancy people to go back to Ostro and Prego will come before the lives of already oppressed people. Awful, but you gotta admit, true.

The gift of the ongoing effect of colonisation and the suspicion it brings just keeps on giving.


I know this was super long, and I’m very impressed if you made it this far, so I’ll just summarise the main points:

  • The “minority of people” that could die are actual humans that deserve consideration as if it could be you (it could be).
  • “Vaccine passports” already exist and are called vaccine certificates. Vaccinations and booster shots have also existed for a long time.
  • Travel has always had many requirements, and I feel like we all want to be able to travel again and have people come here.
  • Can we also prioritise making the world more safe and accessible for medically vulnerable people and those who medically aren’t able to get vaccinated.
  • The vaccine is considerably less dangerous than Covid 19.
  • Covid 19 is considerably more dangerous than influenza.
  • The benefits of the vaccine faaaaar outweigh any potential side effects.
  • We all have as much of a responsibility to our community as to ourselves. We do have an unspoken moral obligation to consider people around us as much as they should consider us.
  • In saying all this, I do see that it can be quite scary and frustrating knowing what to do out there with so many strong opinions flying around.
  • Also, don’t stop questioning authority, but leave ego and preconceived ideas at the door helps to consider all things as critically as possible.
  • Sometimes you gotta look at what the rich, white men are doing. They’ll always put their own needs first, before the lives of others… just saying.

While I’m wrapping up, I’ll get personal.

Obviously, I’m pro-vaccine and I would personally want everyone who can to get both shots. Vaccines don’t even properly work for me so of course I want that – because if I can’t get it… I really do need herd immunity to keep me safe.

I also understand that people have freedom of choice, and are allowed to come to their own personal decisions.

Just as I will likely only feel safe around people who are vaccinated and who take appropriate precautions around Covid. I will probably be choosing to avoid anyone who doesn’t. Not because I have a problem with them, but because I’m terrified of ending up on a ventilator or dying from something avoidable.

If we don’t get to herd immunity because people choose the individual approach over the community approach, I don’t know what it means for me. I guess that I can’t feel safe again and would have to move out of the city to somewhere more remote?

What will a workplace look like for me if we don’t reach herd immunity? I don’t know.

I understand the concern around mandating vaccines for workplaces, restaurants, shops, festivals etc. However, without mandates, people will still be actively, knowingly be excluded from those places.

The difference is that one group has a choice and the other doesn’t…

But you do you boo. I can’t control you.

I also want to ask a genuine favour of everyone to PLEASE stop saying that “Covid 19 only kills [insert group here].” Take a quick second to think how you’d feel if you were in that [group]. It’s bloody awful hearing people say they don’t care if you die, on the regular.

And also maybe chill out a little on vocally worrying about the economy over actual human lives? Money is just a societal construct. Overthrow capitalism instead of killing us? Just print more money 😌

I feel like I’m living out here with a gun to my head and asking people to unload it in case it goes off and kills me. But they’re questioning whether they want to do it or not because it’s inconvenient for them.

I won’t lie… it’s terrifying, and it hurts. But that’s just life for a medically vulnerable person.

Also, remember that not all immunocompromised and high risk people are as vocal and annoying as me, so you never know who you’re hanging out with whose life you could seriously put at risk if you aren’t careful.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to share if you think anyone would read alllll of this hahah.

Lots of love from,
Your medically vulnerable, 1%er, high-risk friend 😘

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One thought on “Let’s talk about Covid and “vaccine passports” from an immunocompromised perspective”

  1. Preaching to the converted but well done in making such a logical assessment. Because of your illness this is very important to our family but what I find hard to comprehend is that almost anyone in NZ will know of someone in their life who has or has had cancer and any treatment severely compromises their immune system. Is that not a reason in itself for the vast majority to GET VACCINATED.
    Stay strong Charlie
    I wish somehow your blog could make it on mainstream media because you have made just a sound but non confrontating argument

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