Don’t decline, the vaccine is fine


Photo used with permission from Google Commons

Vaccines provide immunoprotection against viruses like Covid-19.

In a year full of lockdowns, social distancing and masking wearing, it has been difficult to find any semblance of hope, as people did what they could to stay safe. Finally, after months of anticipation, a Covid-19 vaccine has finally been announced and will be administered in the coming months. With all of this exciting news comes a lingering thought in the back of the minds of much of the general public: Is the vaccine safe?

It is highly unlikely that a flaw would exist in a vaccine, considering all that must be done before its release to the public. The FDA establishes strict guidelines for vaccine developers like Pfizer and Moderna to follow. This, combined with the sheer amount of time a vaccine is tried and tested before its release, equates to a product that is gold standard.

To ensure their utmost safety, vaccines continue to be monitored and tested even after their release to the public. This is only assuming that an issue somehow went undetected through months of observation. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “If there are problems with [a] vaccine, they are most likely to emerge early in the testing process when they can be identified and addressed.”

It’s safe to say that nobody wants Covid-19; the symptoms are terrible, you can’t be near anyone and to say it’s an unpleasant experience would be an understatement. By getting the vaccine, you would be significantly lowering the likelihood of contracting the virus, benefitting both yourself and those around you. But even if you were to somehow contract the virus, according to the CDC, “Getting a Covid-19 vaccine also helps keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get Covid-19.”

Another important issue to consider is the health and safety of others, rather than just what benefits you. Put yourself in the shoes of an older or immunocompromised person, and the weight of the situation becomes clearer. While the worst you may experience is a few fever-like symptoms, it may cost others their lives.

It’s great to social distance and wear masks, but these precautions alone simply aren’t enough to stop the spread of Covid-19. The vaccine gets to the root of the problem by assisting your immune system in its effort against the virus. To stop a pandemic of this magnitude, we need all the help we can get.

Throughout this past year, it’s been difficult to direct focus away from Covid-19 onto something more positive. With such a big breakthrough like the announcement of a vaccine, it’s become easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel. When making the decision on whether to get vaccinated, think about how this decision would affect you, your family and everyone around you. With all of that being said, the answer is clear: get the vaccine.