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,
Ring vaccination is a strategy to inhibit the spread of a disease by vaccinating those who are most likely to be infected.
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.
In case you're wondering, public health officials do brag about the success of the strategy, even in past eras of lesser technological tools for the purpose.
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.
This is a bad strategy in the current context.
Assume for the sake of this argument that there really is a novel, respiratory virus.
We know from empirical observation that only those with symptoms symptoms are effective at infecting others.
In this setting, it’s pointless ring vaccinating the contacts of a case, especially if the case displays no symptoms, because those contacts are not transmission risks.
Also in this case, “leaky vaccines” do not block transmission. So it will make no difference to the spread of an alleged pathogen.
The entire idea is doomed.
ring vaccination only works when you have a sterilizing vaccine, i.e. a vaccine that /prevents infection./
there is no evidence that the current inoculations du jour do that in any of the pHarmaCo studies from before or after mass rollouts of the shots. if anything, real world evidence suggests that the shots increase the infection rate, based on case counts of highly "vaccinated" areas vs areas who refused to comply with the push to consume the very profitable products.
none of their study endpoints included prevention of infection, only symptom reduction and antibody counts.
and the CDC had to nerf their definition of vaccine from "prevents infection" to "produces immune response" in 2021 just so people would stop claiming the inoculations du jour weren't vaccines based on the CDC's own vaccination standards.