Warning: this might be a bit of a controversial post (something I don’t really do anymore these days!)
Like everyone else, I’ve been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. And like everyone else, I’d just love to get my life back.
I don’t think COVID is a hoax. I’m not really into conspiracy theories. I am a very run-of-the-mill person. I vaccinate my kids (with a slightly delayed schedule for newborns).
But I would still rather wait a while before lining up for a COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s why.
In the past months, the world has been pretty much obsessed with the upcoming vaccines and when oh when we can get them, and whether Pfizer’s or Moderna’s is more effective. There’s been a lot of indignation about knowing that there won’t be enough vaccine stock for everyone at once, and a whole lot of arguments about who gets first priority.
There’s been a lot of talk about “emergency approval” (fancy word for cutting corners with trials and testing) and doing it all fast, fast, and FASTER.
The comments from more cautious people saying, “but wait, maybe we need more trials” are pushed to the bottom of talkback lists and the people writing them are labeled as whackos.
The novel vaccines (actually labeled “revolutionary” by their makers) were judged as being “safe to use” with suspicious speed. And there has been talk about making them mandatory.
I doubt anyone will be coming to round us up and tie us to chairs to get us vaccinated. But people who would rather wait a bit before trying a new, only recently tested vaccine might find themselves facing serious limitations in travel, employment, and their children’s education.
When you Google “covid vaccine side effects” you get the typical list of vaccine side effects (swelling, redness, slight fever, etc) but nothing about longer-term possible implications. Why? Because there simply hasn’t been enough time to test them yet. COVID has been with us less than a year.
I’d like to wait at least a year to see some conclusive, nonbiased research on the effects of various COVID vaccines on pregnant women, children, and immunocompromised groups. We’re being told that governments and the WHO have given the green light. They claim it’s safe.
But the thing is, they really, really, REALLY WANT it to be safe.
Governments want to reopen the economy with no limitations. They want to make sure the hospitals aren’t overwhelmed. They want the unemployment rates to go down. They think in global terms.
As an individual, I would rather live another year or two with masks and social distancing than take the risk of an insufficiently tested vaccine. Why do I say “insufficiently”? Because there simply hasn’t been enough time.
Here is one of the few articles I’ve found with a safe, balanced approach towards the COVID vaccine. Neither an “avoid all vaccines like the devil” nor “let me be the first to get it”.
So I’m just going to do something very conservative. Wait and watch. And I know many people around the globe are thinking along the same lines, though we might be a bit of a silent group.