Real science is never settled, and anyone who has certainty on such things is not qualified to discuss it.
My wife acquired COVID 3.5 months after her second Pfizer jab, my unvaccinated brother is recovering from it (a rough ride for 5 days or so), and I finally seem to be emerging from an 18-months Long-Haul COVID ordeal, as I am able to ride my bicycle most days again, though sleep remains a time-demanding challenge.
UPDATE Dec 2: see COVID in the Family, One More of Us.
And then considering the vaccination, which is not risk-free. Anyone who tells you there is no risk is either a fool or a manipulator. And they have no skin in your game. It might save your life, and it might hurt you. Life is full of difficult choices.
If you have already had COVID and thus natural immunity, the whole thing is simplified: all science suggests that with rare exceptions, you’re 'good'. Since half the country or so has such immunity (including a probable super majority of children), the whole vaccine thing has become a mass hysteria, IMO.
Risk assessment by guessing
But how much risk of what kinds and duration (both vaccines and infection)... the data is highly suspect IMO, and I think the only fair thing to say is that it is poor data and poor science heavily influenced by those who stand to benefit financially, but also that the vaccines probably saved lives.
But if that is true, why are there far more deaths in 2021 vs 2020 after the weakest of us succumbed early-on, and nearly all high-risk people are now vaccinated as well as a super majority of the population along with a super-super majority of vaccination+natural immunity? It makes no sense. My bullshit meter is pegged-out at redline. Statistical sleights of hand by the CDC are not going to persuade me that we have a net gain on this one until at least two years have passed.
But again to repeat: for some people vaccination is a no-brainer, as their bodies are not likely to withstand COVID. Everyone else? That’s a far more complex question.
The disbanding of the control groups was/is terrible 'optics', as it works great to hide problems, relegating us to the scientifically sketchy area of observational studies over time. Two months of data to authorize a vaccine is absurd. And no control groups for even a one-year control along with a 55-year schedule for releasing the documents. Calling that out as possible scientific fraud is entirely justified, because it sure looks like it.
Which is not to say the vaccine is bad, or more risky than COVID for many, but maybe it is for some. The only thing you can know for sure is that you cannot trust authorities to be truthful, let alone be proactive in seeking truth. They would have to unfollow the money and offer-up mea culpas. They are not going to do that until safely dead.
We cannot rule out that vaccination of healthy people will cause inferior toy-grade immunity that results in far more harm in the next several years. Very much like how modern medicine treats disease—hook 'em on a little of X, add more X, then add Y and Z, for a lifetime of expensive bandaid treatment and steadily declining health. Very possibly the vaccinations will turn out to follow that proven “care” model. And maybe not, who can say yet?
Immune response is far more complex than just some proxy test of antibody levels! Natural immunity is surely far superior, since it involves all the mechanisms of the immune system. All credible evidence supports that notion and it is obvious that the vaccines have failed to stop COVID or even slow it down. You can argue about net harm/gain and for whom but it’s clear that vaccines are a failure in terms of what a classical vaccine was expected to do (durable and rigorous immunity).
Vaccine effectiveness is now acknowledged to fade rapidly in a few months. No one disputes that; with only minor quarrels of how much benefit if any remains after six months (some, apparently, but far less than needed for the infirm). Boosters are proof of the marginal results.
When doing risk assessment, no one in authority that I am aware of has objectively factored in the risks of vaccination and weighed that against the very short-term protective duration, particularly the young and healthy with long lives ahead... the equation is far less obvious. Maybe the vaccines would never have been generally approved had they been studied for six months? But now they are gifts to us, which we are fools to refuse, so we’re told. Life is never that simple.
What it comes down to is guessing at whether COVID itself will cause more harm than the vaccine for you as an individual. The science on that is pathetically bad with at best modest persuasiveness for the young/healthy (even if you trust the statistical sleights of hand of the CDC). Experts will quote you epidemiological data which is by definition a crude probabilistic guess when applied to an individual, and one that ignores all risks of vaccination. Ignore the harms (don’t ask / don’t tell) and consider only the benefit = fraud. How significant it is no one can yet say with certainty. Maybe nothing, maybe something nasty yet to come, and something no one has foreseen—doubtful but not ruled out.
So what is really comes down to is letting the authorities mandate your decision in a one-size-fits-all approach. We are now so degraded in humanity that our own individual circumstances and psychology are grist for The Machine. And that is a real harm that no one is acknowledging.
You can never trust the government or Big Pharma. Yet I would caution against using that as the only reason in deciding about vaccination, because vaccination might nonetheless be your smart move, for your particular situation.