I should start this post by telling you all that I am not an anti-vaccer in any way, shape or form. I fully support vaccinations and encourage people to get them. My view is that if the medical technology exists to protect us from nasty illnesses, why not embrace it? Why risk becoming sick and potentially dying from an entirely preventable disease?
I should also tell you all that I have received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. And while the second dose was admittedly a little rough, seeing me needing to take half a day off work and have an extremely restful weekend, I suffered no adverse effects.
With that in mind, you are probably expecting me to write that everybody should get vaccinated against covid. That I fully support the government lifting restrictions for vaccinated people before unvaccinated people. Thing is it’s not that simple…
Yes, I do believe that all eligible people should get the covid vaccine. I am enraged by the misinformation being spread about the dangers of these vaccines as these lies are costing people their lives and seeing this pandemic prolonged. The needless fear being cast into people by those who share untrue and dangerous comments and yes, I’ll say it, fake news, is infuriating.
But here’s why it’s not so simple. The vaccines do not stop you from getting covid. Yes, they decrease your chances of getting it. Yes, they are highly likely to prevent you dying from covid if you do catch it. But letting vaccinated people roam freely is a premature and foolish move. Because these people can still catch and spread covid.
While the government should incentivise people to get vaccinated, I do not believe this is the way to do it. Because it will not solve the pandemic problem. It will still run the risk of the virus spreading and throw more conflict into the minds of people who are already uncertain on whether to get the vaccine or not.
Some people will not even be permitted to do their jobs without getting the vaccine. Now I do acknowledge that some occupations have had similar rules in place even pre-covid (nursing and childcare for example), but people go into those jobs knowing ahead of time that certain vaccinations are a requirement. Now people in other industries that previously did not need to give any such thought to getting inoculated, are being forced to or they will lose their jobs. This is not incentivising. This is coercion.
Thus, the question, to jab or not to jab. I got the jab because I chose to. I’m fortunate that I’m not someone who has been felt coerced to do so by an employer. It was my decision and therefore I was comfortable. But even I, a strong pro-vaccer, felt conflicted at first. Because it felt to me like the government in general was being coercive. The commentary about keeping us locked down until a certain number of us had been vaccinated almost sounded like a threat. In truth, I feel much of the messaging from the government around covid has been poor and could have been handled much better from the start.
The government should focus on getting the correct information about vaccines out there. They should focus on making all varieties of the vaccine available to whoever wants it. And they should focus on continuing research into these vaccines to ensure ongoing safety and if even more improved versions can be developed.
Should you get the jab? Absolutely. But do it for yourself. For your family. For your loved ones. And to help get this pandemic under control. Don’t do it because I, or the government or anyone else tells you to. Do it for you.