Life

Vaccine Ignorance is Becoming a Threat to Everyone

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For a while, seeing people displaying so much vaccine ignorance was cute. But with the Delta variant, the cuteness is quickly disappearing.

I wish all of the armchair epidemiologists on social media would stop pretending their COVID-19 vaccine ignorance is worth listening to. It’s the people who are refusing to take the vaccine who are now causing problems even for the vaccinated.

Ironically, while they complain so much about all of the restrictions over the past year, they’re the ones who are making them necessary all over again!

Let me get one concern out of the way fairly quickly.

Some people have valid medical reasons for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine. The World Health Organization’s website states this, however:

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe for most people 18 years and older, including those with pre-existing conditions of any kind, including auto-immune disorders. These conditions include: hypertension, diabetes, asthma, pulmonary, liver and kidney disease, as well as chronic infections that are stable and controlled. 

It advises people to check with their doctor if they live in an area where vaccines are in short supply or if you have any of the following:

  • A compromised immune system
  • Are pregnant or nursing your baby
  • A history of severe allergies, particularly to a vaccine (or any of the ingredients in the vaccine)
  • Are severely frail 

Consider this: Do any of the above conditions apply to you?

If not, then consider this: Do you get your medical information from a qualified doctor or from social media?

If you answered no to the first question and “a qualified doctor” to the second, I have one more question.

Are you still refusing to get the shot? If you answered yes to that one, then yes, you are part of the problem here.

What happened to herd immunity?

From the first discussions about vaccine development, we started hearing about herd immunity.

Even those who initially called COVID-19 a hoax started talking about herd immunity. Essentially, we reach that step when a majority of the population reaches immunity. That “immunity” though, depends on the virus, the ease of its transmission and whether there’s a vaccine.

The American Lung Association says herd immunity usually doesn’t happen without an effective vaccine. But what percentage do we need to reach for COVID-19? It estimates that figure to be between 70% and 90%, “and this is assuming lasting immunity is possible.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest data shows only 57.6% of U.S. residents 12 and older can be considered fully vaccinated.

You reach “fully vaccinated” status two weeks after your last vaccine dose. If you take the two dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, that’s two weeks after the second dose. If you take the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, that’s two weeks after that single dose.

Only 57.6% reached that point so far.

We’re not there. We’re not close to being there. Too many people still refuse to take the shot because of vaccine ignorance.

That prevents herd immunity.

Here’s an example of vaccine ignorance false logic.

I saw someone post this on Facebook the other day. It goes something like this:

If your vaccine works, why would I need to take it?

If your vaccine doesn’t work, why would I want to take it?

On the surface, you may think that makes sense. It doesn’t.

The vaccine “works” — but perhaps not in the way too many assume it works.

Just like the annual flu vaccine, you can get the shot and still get the flu. The COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t guarantee that you can’t become infected with COVID-19. No one ever said otherwise.

What multiple test results show — yes, the vaccines have been tested — is that the vaccines prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death. That in itself would strike me as reason to get the shot.

You get the shot to get us closer to herd immunity. But you also get the shot to protect yourself and your family. It can protect your health and it can also protect your savings account. Would you like to imagine facing a hospital bill from a prolonged stay in an intensive care unit connected to a ventilator? Even with insurance, you’ll pay a fortune for that. But then maybe you have money to burn.

Trump supporters’ refusal to take the shot makes no sense.

It was the Republicans who quickly made the COVID-19 pandemic a political fight. That should never have happened. It worsened a public health crisis.

Initially, Trump suggested COVID was a hoax. Some of his supporters still maintain that COVID-19 is a hoax.

But Trump himself caught COVID-19. If it’s a hoax, how did he of all people get it?

Whenever Biden or a Biden Administration official mentions the vaccine, I see Trump supporters on social media react. They so clearly want to badmouth the Biden Administration, they start commenting, “Thank TRUMP for the vaccine!”

If they believe Trump should be thanked for the creation of the vaccine, then they must believe it’s a valid vaccine. If they think the vaccine is fake but they want to thank the former president for expediting its existence, they’re some of the biggest liars on the planet.

COVID-19 is either real or it isn’t.

The vaccine is either valid or it isn’t.

Trump either did a good thing in fostering its development or he didn’t.

You can’t have it both ways…though many of them want to.

Vaccine hesitancy has an obvious side effect.

At least, I thought it would be obvious. Apparently, it doesn’t seem to be as obvious as common sense might make it.

The longer it takes for herd immunity to happen, the more people get infected. As more people get infected, the virus spreads. As the virus spreads, it mutates.

That’s what viruses do, after all.

We’re now facing a new wave of cases thanks to the Delta variant, one of those mutations.

The CDC is already suggesting that vaccinated people should start wearing face coverings again because of the increasing spread of the Delta variant. That’s not because the vaccine isn’t effective. But the Delta variant is supposedly more transmissible. As I’ve already said, being vaccinated doesn’t mean you can’t get COVID. We hope those of us who have been vaccinated will have less of a struggle with it if we do get infected.

We wouldn’t face such a problem if people would have gotten the shot sooner.

Which do you trust least?

I heard an interesting discussion the other day about the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA issued Emergency Use Authorizations for the three approved vaccines here in the United States.

Contrary to what some would have you believe, an EUA is not issued on untested vaccines. Before the FDA will issue one, they review data from tests.

It is absolutely false to claim that the vaccines aren’t tested.

At least some of the people making that claim surely know that this is false information but continue to spread it anyway because it fits their agenda.

But since COVID-19 is a new illness, the vaccine isn’t the only thing that’s new here. The treatment protocols that have shown promise are also administered under an EUA.

So if you’re going to make a case that you don’t trust the vaccine because it’s under an EUA, I have an immediate follow-up question.

Given that the vaccine that prevents serious illness and the treatment that treats that serious illness once you are ill enough to be hospitalized are both under EUAs, which do you trust the least?

Wouldn’t you rather have a vaccine while you’re healthy to prevent yourself from getting that sick?

Would you honestly prefer to put all your trust in a treatment that’s also under what you consider to be “untrustworthy” when it’s too late to avoid being in the hospital?

Does that reasoning make sense to anyone?

If you won’t get the vaccine, that’s your choice. But if you choose not to, don’t let me hear you complain about a new round of restrictions. You’ll be the reason they’re there.

2 Comments

  1. I have a summer place on the tip of Cape Cod and the first week in July it was a madhouse up here. Provincetown is a hot spot and on Facebook it showed the lines from nightclubs wrapped around the buildings and at a Tea Dance it was packed with unmasked 20/30 year olds and Commercial St. the main street though the town was crowded with wall-to-wall people on the 4th.

    I haven’t been to P’town since June except for the Stop & Shop grocery store; the town is way too mobbed for my tastes. Many of the towns around have also started requiring mask and the National Seashore has closed their Visitor Centers, but the beaches are open and packed.

    I went back into hunker down mode limiting going in public spaces and using only take-out.

    As of today there are over 900 cases attributed to P’town and the newspaper says that 75% are vaccinated. It was the Provincetown cases that changed the CDC warnings, they found that vaccinated people can transmit the virus to others.

  2. I am 82 and did NOT hesitate to get the two Pfizer vaccines once I got a confirmed date, time, and place!
    I did home lockdown for a YEAR! Even now I wear a mask indoors, although I tend to stand out at the grocery store!
    I have many people in denial, some are workmen, others are friends. I always greet them wearing a mask. Why gamble!

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.