Please get vaccinated

By YeOldeScribe ~ August 19th, 2021 @ 7:13 pm

This little corner of the internet has been dormant for quite some time. Since the last time we’ve posted, America elected a narcissistic, sexist, xenophobic, racist, shuckster of a president in Donald J. Trump (and thankfully voted him out of office four years later). Perhaps it is for the best that we weren’t posting during the Trump presidency – former President Trump is the antithesis of everything it means to be a progressive. Rather than to focus on the past of give any more publicity to that sorry excuse of a human being, we would instead like to focus on the present, and the issue of vaccine hesitancy.

We will be the first to admit that it is highly unlikely that a) anyone still reads this blog and b) someone reading this blog has the chance to get a vaccine and hasn’t yet. Americans might not realize this, but the reason why most countries don’t have high vaccination rates is because they don’t have enough of the vaccine to go around – not because they read some pseudo-science on a blog. Most people in poor countries will need to wait two years (until 2023) for the vaccine to become available to them, because 80 percent of the doses available have gone to high income and upper middle income countries.

But let’s assume for a moment that you do live in a country where the vaccine is available and you haven’t gotten your shot yet. Let’s break down – with science and facts – the reasons why you should get the vaccine, and let’s combat some of the misinformation that’s out there.

The Vaccine Wasn’t Tested

On face value, this one seems to be legitimate. We went from Covid being first diagnosed in late 2019-early 2020 to vaccines in late 2020, which were distributed in early to mid 2021. That’s a crazy short period for developing a vaccine from scratch, and were that the case, people would have a right to be concerned. But the vaccines that are being used in the US are primarily mRNA vaccines, which scientists have been working on only in the last decade or so. (For a not-so-brief history of mRNA vaccines, click here.) This was an incredibly new field of science that didn’t really exist until the mid-2010’s, so scientists have been studying it in-depth over the last five to seven years. To address the issue of testing, yes, all the vaccines that are available have been tested extensively. There are rumors going around that the vaccines were allowed to skip both animal and human trials – but Reuters has debunked both those claims easily. The confusion largely stems from the difference between Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and full FDA approval. Many people think that EUA is easy to get and requires no testing. That’s not the case – here’s what all goes in to an EUA according to the FDA. Tens of thousands of people went through trials in order to determine how effective the vaccine was and what the side effects were. So why don’t companies go for full FDA approval right away? Easy – they can’t (at least not to stop a pandemic). Full FDA approval takes years, and in case you haven’t looked at a Covid chart lately, we don’t have time to wait for years on end to get people vaccinated. Besides, some of the vaccines are already on their way to receiving full approval, making the argument against them totally moot.

The Side Effects Are Worse Than Covid itself

Many vaccine doubters will point to the fact that in the US, Covid has a 98 percent survival rate, so there’s no need for a vaccine. The 98 percent survival claim is actually accurate – the rest of the statement is absolutely not. For the sake of argument, let’s just say everyone in the US gets Covid. With our current population and a 1.7 percent mortality rate, that would result in 5.6 million deaths. All of the sudden, 1.7 percent mortality looks a lot worse off, right?

But this ignores the fact that death is not the only outcome of Covid. In fact, there are over 50 long-term effects of Covid, not to mention the short-term ones. Many people who survive Covid are still dealing with the after-effects – just ask Rick Banuelos about it. Make no mistake about it – Covid is a life-altering disease for all in both the short and long term.

So what about the side effects of the vaccines? Well, to be blunt, it’s virtually impossible they’re worse than Covid. Side effects include pain, redness or swelling when you get your shot, and tiredness, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea are all delayed symptoms which may appear within 48 hours of getting your vaccine. From a personal perspective, our writer’s reaction to the Pfizer shot was some mild tiredness after both the first and second doses, but nothing that kept him out of work. However, we’re well aware that not everyone was so lucky. For many of our colleagues and friends, a day off of work was needed due to the vaccine side effects. However, the side effects went away after a day or two. We are not aware of anyone in our circle who had a reaction that lasted longer than that. Now you might have heard that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was paused by the FDA. This is true – but the pause was lifted in April and the vaccine is safe. Scientists identified 15 cases of a rare blood disease out of 8 million injections. They did their due diligence, added additional warnings to people who might be susceptible to it, and the vaccine is available again.

The Vaccines Aren’t Safe for those who are Pregnant or Wish to Become Pregnant

When the Covid vaccines were in trials, they weren’t tested on pregnant individuals. This led the blogging community to believe that the vaccines weren’t safe for those who were pregnant or wished to become pregnant, and the pseudo-science gained a ton of traction – enough so that one of our writer’s friends believes this misinformation to this day.

The CDC found in preliminary trials that the vaccines would be safe for those pregnant or wanting to become pregnant all the way back in June, and have recently confirmed those results. In fact, the most recent research actually suggests that pregnant women experience fewer side effects than the general population. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the FDA, the CDC and every other alphabet agency that studies this stuff says they’re safe and they won’t harm your ability to become pregnant. Plus, you can even transfer antibodies in breastmilk for those too young to get a shot.

Bottom Line

Are there other conspiracy theories out there? Sure. Some people believe the vaccine is a government tracking device (it’s not, and if you use a cell phone or social media the government is already doing this). Some people believe this is all a part of Bill Gates’ plan to take over the world (and ironically, most of those people use Windows). People who believe this will not be convinced by a progressive political blog that the vaccine is safe so we’re not even going to try. But if you’re willing to listen to peer-reviewed data and evidence, maybe some of the points we’ve made here have had some effect on you. And if you want to know where to get vaccinated now that you’ve read all this, please click here.

For those of you who have already been vaccinated, thank you for doing your part. Continue to social distance and wear a mask in public (especially indoors) even if you have been vaccinated. And stay tuned for more updates from in the future!

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