Why I Am Not Getting a Vaccine At This Time
In this article pertaining to how physical inactivity kills more people per year than the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — and no one talks about it — I replied to a comment in which I wrote that “I do not get the vaccine for influenza either, Jackson Waterson — nor do I feel the need to get one for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus at this time…
Why I Am Not Getting a Vaccine At This Time
“…and before anyone accuses me of being anti-vaccination, I have been vaccinated for yellow fever at least twice, among other vaccinations”.
In response to my comment, Brian CoVid — who is a reader of The Gate — wrote the following comment:
Can you elaborate on why you would get the yellow fever vaccine if you were not visiting South America or Africa? Have you visited countries which require yellow fever vaccine?
I can only make assertions based on the information you provide. I’m now on my 3rd message with you about how you are masking getting a yellow fever vaccination as proof that you’re pro-vaccines. You just keep dodging the issue and not providing concrete statement or evidence on your position. Saying you received a yellow fever vaccine is just you virtue signaling and trying to cover up that you are anti-vaccine.
If you are pro-vaccine, and care about trying to protect yourself, your loved ones, friends, neighbors, and society in general, why not get a Covid vaccine? If you are willing to get the yellow fever vaccine, through no official requirement or “force” as you claim, why would you avoid any Covid vaccine?
Figuring that answering that comment would be significant, I decided to respond in the form of an article.
First, I did get the vaccine for yellow fever — at least twice in my lifetime — because I was preparing to visit Africa. No one wakes up in the morning and says, “Gee, I have nothing better to do today. I am in the mood to get a vaccination — just because.” People receive vaccines because they believe that they need them to protect themselves — not because they want them…
…so yes — I have visited countries which require the vaccination for yellow fever.
Second, I do not believe in “virtue signaling”, which is defined as the action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue. Janice — who is a reader of The Gate — asked “What are you doing for your community? What have you done during this pandemic to address mental health concerns and suicidal ideation of those in crisis? Specific examples, if you please.” I chose not to answer because the many things which I do for my community, I do for the people — not to extol my virtues — and thus did not feel was germane to the discussion. In most cases, I choose to keep that personal and private — although some readers believe that I should state what I do in my public profile.
Third, I neither support vaccinations — nor do I oppose vaccinations. I believe that vaccinations serve a purpose in promoting better health for members of society worldwide in general to help prevent the spread of viruses and diseases…
…but the main reason why I choose to not get a vaccine at this time is because I am not completely convinced that it is effective despite the assertions of trusted health organizations that getting one is safe and effective — nor do we know what side effects may result in the short term and long term. If you wish to be vaccinated at this time, that is your prerogative.
I do believe that Airgypsy — who is a reader of The Gate — expressed similarly to how I feel rather well:
Not everyone who refuses the Covid vaccine is an anti-vaxxer. Can you appreciate the fact that some of us have safety concerns about these Covid vaccines that are currently only authorized for EMERGENCY use (EUA) and not yet FDA-approved? There is currently no FDA-approved Covid vaccine.
You know, I would take all my childhood vaccinations again if given an opportunity to choose. I know most of them are effective. I have a friend who recently tested positive for measles antibodies from her childhood measles vaccination. For most of those vaccines, once you get them, then there is almost no question that you’re protected and that you cannot contaminate other people. Can we say the same for these mRNA Covid vaccines- when they’re saying yes, you’re somewhat protected but we don’t know for how long, and yes, you can still get the virus, therefore, you must behave as if you have the virus, so you do not contaminate other people?
And I’m not saying these mRNA Covid vaccines are not effective or that they are unsafe for the long term. My point is, no one really knows at this point. Even the ‘experts’ don’t know because it is too early to tell. And while it is true that they have gone through multiple phases of studies/trials and that most data point to positive results, some of us, for valid reasons, have an aversion to taking an emergency-use vaccine that has not been FDA-approved, and so this should not be taken against us.
I am hoping for the best for all of those who have taken the vaccine. They have taken one for the team, so to speak, and I am saying this with all sincerity. By the same token, I wish that those who pressure others and those who deride those who choose to wait out of precaution, would just stop, and accept that an individual can and should make his own decision about his own body. The day that the government, or other people, can mandate what we put into our own bodies would be the end of our medical freedom and the beginning of health tyranny. Slippery slope.
Every time I received the vaccine for yellow fever, I experienced no side effects at all. It is a vaccine which has existed for at least 84 years — since 1937, to be more precise. Unlike the vaccines which are available for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, the vaccine for yellow fever has proven over time that it is safe and effective.
Speaking of the vaccines for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, at least three are available in the United States, where I reside. Which one is the best or the safest or the most effective vaccine — the one developed by Pfizer, by Moderna, or by Johnson & Johnson?
Although a vaccine is likely to help control the spread of a virus or disease, no vaccine is guaranteed to be 100 percent effective for 100 percent of the people — and the side effects can potentially be significant.
Although evidence has recently been released that at least one of the vaccines for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus has demonstrated that it may possibly protect other people, the main purpose of a vaccine is to protect the person who received it.
One might view the earliest recipients of the vaccinations — which were developed in less than one year, which is typically not enough time to truly test everything we need to know about the vaccine — as guinea pigs in a live test as to the effectiveness of the vaccines. I choose not to be one of those people…
…and although I have been scolded by a few readers of The Gate for not receiving a vaccine for influenza, I still do not plan to get one. After all, I have not contracted influenza — not even the common cold — in years. Why in the world would I want to get a flu shot?
Those are my reasons why I choose not to get a vaccination for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus at this time — not because I do not care about the health and well being of other people; not because I do not care about the health and well being of myself; not because I oppose vaccinations; and not because I am engaging in some sort of “virtue signaling”.
We already have more than enough issues which have contributed to the sharp division between people in general in recent years. Let us not have the debate over vaccines be yet another one of those issues. You have a right to choose when, where, and why you want to receive a vaccine — if you even choose to have one, which is your choice.
Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.