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This is a short post encouraging all people that are eligible to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
I got the Moderna vaccine, so I received the second shot one month apart from the first. I got the first in mid-April and the second in mid-May. I didn't even notice the first shot. The second shot made me ill for a few days as expected. The side effects were unpleasant and I did nothing but lie down until I got better and that was the end of it. I was happy to get it over with.
But I get it. Nobody likes being ill. Nobody likes getting shots. But getting your vaccination is a matter of personal and public safety. You're not only putting your own life at risk by not getting the vaccine, you're also risking the community by being a potential host for a more dangerous variant of Covid. The super-contagious delta variant from India is now spreading throughout the world. It's only going to get worse the more people that put off getting vaccinated.
According to the CDC, only 66% of American adults are vaccinated. Dr. Anthony Fauci's guess was that 70-85% of the entire US population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, but that was before the delta variant. It's likely higher now making it even more important for you to get vaccinated. If you still think "waiting to see what happens" is the safer bet, consider that you might catch Covid and die while waiting. It's not clever or safer. You're just playing Russian roulette with a dangerous virus.
Many people have heard that the vaccine is experimental, risky, and that people have died from it. So let me address those concerns directly.
The Covid-19 vaccines are new mRNA vaccines. mRNA vaccines do not contain the virus as other vaccines do. mRNA vaccines instruct cells to make a protein. The immune system recognizes that protein as not belonging in the body and makes antibodies for it. Then you're protected against Covid-19 without ever catching it. As the CDC website explains, these vaccines are new, but they are not unknown. Researchers have been studying mRNA vaccines for decades.
The vaccines available to the public have gone through months of trials being tested on hundreds of thousands of people with no indication that they are unsafe. Hundreds of millions more have been fully vaccinated since, still with no indication that the vaccines are unsafe.
Even if you're still unsure, keep in mind that the vaccine doesn't need to be perfectly safe. It just needs to be safer than Covid. There's a reason the vaccines were granted emergency use authorization. With Covid spreading rapidly and making people dead and disabled, it was imperative to roll out vaccines as fast as humanly possible to prevent the loss of life and the loss of quality of life.
Imagine the researchers that put hard work into creating a safe vaccine for everybody knowing that a delay of even one day would mean thousands more dead. Imagine the months it took to get it emergency approved while people sacrificed their mental health not seeing friends or family while social distancing. Imagine the thousands of people that took the real risk in those very first trials. All of that sacrifice for a third of the general public to decide not to take it?
In summary, we have this amazing technology (mRNA vaccines) that can train the immune system against viruses. It has been studied for decades. There's no indication that it's unsafe even after hundreds of millions have been injected with it. There's every indication that whatever risk is associated with taking it is by far less than the risk of Covid. So unless you have a special medical condition, you have every reason to get the shot(s). If you haven't got it yet, what are you waiting on?
1: CDC Covid Data Tracker
2: mRNA Vaccines Explained
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© 2019-2021 Nicholas Johnson