During a pandemic we are grateful for any level of viral immunity, even to the point where we are willing to listen to Donald Trump recommend injecting bleach. However, there are other areas of life, where 80-90% safety would be worrying – particularly when it comes to contraception or roller coasters.
While 80-90% effectiveness may be enough for a vaccine to achieve herd immunity, the same level of success does not give a group of people jumping out of plane gravity immunity. Someone is going to end up splattered all over a field – and the law of dumb luck says it will probably be you.
A scientist explained: ‘People would be naturally wary if eating jelly had a 15-20% chance of death. Whereas. when you turned on the TV and you had an 80% chance of seeing something entertaining, you’d be amazed, as the normal rate is just 7%’.
There are a few other areas where we will tolerate an 80% success rate; for instance lottery tickets, multiple orgasms and snow at Christmas. Said one patient who had recently been vaccinated: ‘I’ve been told I’ve an 80% chance of immunity, a 90% chance of ignoring lockdown rules and 100% chance of feeling smug’.