The last time I wished I were a year or two older than I was… was a long time ago… back when I was 18, and had just gotten booted out of one of those charity casinos that Great Canadian used to operate out of the Sandman Inn on Howe.

I’m a few years away from 55, but I know a lot of people who fall into that 55-65 range, and I’ve been hearing from many of them. Half of them tell me they just got the AstraZeneca vaccine, and the other half ask me if I think it’s ok to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. My response to all of them is the same: “Hell yeah!!”

This story keeps evolving because every day there’s a little bit more to throw into the mix of information, misinformation, speculation and fact.

There’s a chance the AZ vaccine causes no blood clotting whatsoever. There’s a chance it does, in astonishingly low numbers. Those numbers are less low when other risk factors are thrown in… low platelet counts, already-present clotting disorders, being on birth control, and being young. Indeed, if there’s any commonality between any of it, it’s that it affects younger people. Therefore, whether it’s 55 in some places or 60 in others, some restrictions have been imposed. The old “abundance of caution” thing, because it looks like the numbers might go from one in more than a million… to one in less than a million (though still in the hundreds of thousands).

The most recent UK data counted 30 clots (linked with low platelet counts), including 7 deaths… out of 18 million people vaccinated. That’s a mortality rate of 0.000039%. One in 2.57 million. And that’s if you attribute the vaccine to those blood-clotting events, which is not a given. In any event, for the sake of this example, let’s pretend the AZ caused all of them, as small (or large, depending how you look at it) as those numbers are. Numbers like that are sometimes hard to visualize, so here’s a simple example.

Get a plastic cup. Fill it with 21 coins of your choosing… pennies, quarters, Loonies, whatever… it doesn’t matter, any mix will do, as long as you know what all the heads and tails looks like. Hold your hand over it and give it a good shake. Now fling all the coins out of there… watch them bounce all over the place. Now go look at the coins. As soon as you find two that are different, you’re good. This one is heads, this one is tails… and that’s it. You’re safe. It would take all of them to land identically to approach the risk of dying from the AstraZeneca vaccine, and that data included those who may be of higher risk. Take out younger women on birth control with low platelet counts… and anybody who’s had clotting issues… and you can add a few more coins into the mix.

Your chances of dying from the AZ vaccine are far less than dying on your way to get it, whether by driving or biking or even walking. Not bad, but it’s a risk… so, what’s the benefit?

By many orders of magnitude, you’re now two weeks away from never having to worry about Covid-19 again. Yes, you’ll still have to wear a mask till the rest of us catch up. You might get a little sick, with symptoms no worse than a common cold. Indeed, the next time you have the sniffles, it might be C19. You might not even know, and even better, you might not even care. You’ll worry about it in the future about as much as you worry about catching a seasonal cold.

Sounds good to me; I can’t wait to join you. And happy I can do so in a couple of months… not years.