Remember When Ring Vaccination Was a Thing?
The Vaccine Wars Part XLIV
It is not enough for a policy to be an improvement over the status quo in order that it be a good policy. It must also be preferable to the obvious and implementable alternative policies.
According to Wikipedia,
This strategy vaccinates the contacts of confirmed patients, and people who are in close contact with those contacts. This way, everyone who has been, or could have been, exposed to a patient receives the vaccine, creating a 'ring' of protection that can limit the spread of a pathogen.
Ring vaccination requires thorough and rapid surveillance and epidemiologic case investigation. The Intensified Smallpox Eradication Program used this strategy with great success in its efforts to eradicate smallpox in the latter half of the 20th century.
In other words, the idea behind this strategy is that if we protect the vulnerable, which turn out during the pandemic to be the elderly, the already hospitalized, and people who suffer from a small handful of conditions, then everybody else can go about their life just fine. There might be a little risk, but life is full of tiny but real risks such as getting killed by lightning strikes, shark bites, trauma suffered during reruns of the Oprah Winfrey Show, or bee stings.
Come to think of it, this means that a risk-benefit analysis of the experimental mass vaccination program should examine the marginal benefit of the program above the alternative of a ring vaccination program, which authorities are confident they can pull off. I assume that the CDC and the FDA have such a policy comparison document, but I haven't seen it yet. Please, do me a solid and drop a link to such a document in the comments below. Thanks in advance.