The COVID-19 pandemic has caught us all by surprise. While we were busy going through our usual routines, we were struck by an unimaginable catastrophe that put our world in a kind of limbo. For a long time, we self-quarantined. We wore masks. Countries closed their borders.
Still, the virus spread in all parts of the globe. So far, it has infected 169 million people and claimed the lives of more than three million worldwide. Medical front liners worked hard to save those with severe or critical conditions. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical experts expedited vaccine research and production.
After a long wait, we now have COVID-19 vaccines at our disposal. Governments and private institutions have begun administering prescribed doses to those willing to get inoculated. Those not willing could use some convincing. So let’s try.
COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective
One of the most common arguments why people refuse to get vaccinated is the belief that these vaccines’ production has been rushed. Rushed is not the most appropriate term to use here. Expedited is more like it.
The production was expedited because there’s a need for it. That does not mean scientific experts cut corners in developing these vaccines. What happened was bureaucratic procedures were relaxed. That is to ensure that no unnecessary red tape impeded the production of these vaccines. In terms of the scientific protocols required, no compromises were made.
Even if you’re the healthiest person you know, you cannot predict how the COVID-19 virus will affect your immune system. Keep in mind that perfectly healthy and active people have already succumbed to the disease. You can’t afford to be complacent.
Especially now, with new variants of the virus sprouting like wild mushrooms, it’s best to stay safe than sorry. And the best way to stay safe is by getting inoculated. Sure, you might experience some mild side effects, but that’s perfectly normal. Even babies who get their scheduled vaccinations go through side effects. It’s also possible that none of these side effects manifest after you get your doses.
Protect your loved ones
You do not want to bring home the COVID-19 virus. Getting vaccinated diminishes the risk of you contracting or passing the disease. That should be enough to convince you to get your prescribed doses.
If you live with older adults, the more reason you have to be careful. Senior citizens are more vulnerable to COVID-19. That’s because they have weaker immune systems. Also, most of them already deal with other illnesses. Comorbidity exacerbates the body’s reaction to infections.
Safeguard those with comorbidity
Consider the call for vaccination as a partnership with a patient advocacy organization. Remember that we share public spaces with people living with chronic illnesses. We interact with immunocompromised individuals daily. If they get the COVID-19 virus from you, they’ll have a more difficult time fighting the disease. Their lives will be in danger.
It’s your moral responsibility to protect them from COVID-19. That’s most true if you’re fit and your immune responses are still reliable. Take one for the team, as they say. One day the universe will reward your selfless deed. Plus, you’ll sleep better at night knowing you did your part in the fight against COVID-19.
Contribute to herd immunity
Experts are still arguing whether the 70 percent benchmark for herd immunity is accurate. While they debate about the extent of the population that needs to get vaccinated for herd immunity, the most we can contribute is by taking our small part in that project. That means getting vaccinated. You’re just one person, but you make a difference.
Think of the things that will happen post herd immunity. It will become safer to go out. You can once again do the things you enjoyed doing. You can hug your loved ones. You can go to concerts. Basically, things will be back to the old normal. And you have the power to make these goals a reality.
It’s perfectly normal to feel ambivalent towards vaccination. But we must allow ourselves to conquer ambivalence and have faith in what scientific experts have come up with. The vaccines we have now gone through the same stringent process required of vaccines produced in the past.
Remember that the global fight against COVID-19 will only be successful with everyone’s active participation. And now, the best way to participate is to say yes to inoculation. Remember that many parts of the world have yet to gain access to COVID-19 vaccines. You’re quite privileged to have a choice. Make the right one.