Covid-19 vaccine - a matter of choice or pressure?

Sourced from Dan Gelernter’s article on American Greatness, “Why I’m not getting the vaccine?

Health officials and infectious disease experts agree that a coronavirus vaccine is your best chance to end the pandemic and get back to something that resembles everyday life, but are you willing to take the shot?

According to a poll conducted in late October, 42% said they would not get a vaccine even if the US government gave it for free. In November, the New York State Bar Association recommended that the state consider vaccinating all residents except those doctors exempt. There is cautious optimism that a vaccine might be available by the end of the year, but what happens? When a significant number of people refuse to be vaccinated?

A third of Americans in a CNN poll said they would not get the coronavirus vaccine even if a vaccine is widely available and affordable. This number remains stable in other surveys as well. Seventy-one percent of Americans said the coronavirus was a real threat, but 35 percent said they wouldn't get vaccinated. Resistance to a COVID-19 vaccine is particularly strong in black communities. A study by the Pew Research Center published in June 2020 found that 44 percent of black adults said they would not receive a coronavirus vaccine if one were available.

To be truly effective, vaccines must create herd immunity where enough populations are immune to stop the spread of infection. The National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases found that herd immunity is less likely when only two-thirds of the population is vaccinated.

Many Americans have never seen measles, mumps, diphtheria, or polio and consider these vaccinations unnecessary. The current crisis reflects widespread suspicion of vaccines and is more alarming as COVID-19 has already killed more than 184,000 Americans instead of a thousand measles cases a year.

You can talk about how we are sure this vaccine is completely safe, but if we are honest, only time will tell. Only time can tell its effectiveness and success.

If the vaccine means you no longer have to wear a mask in New York or on the plane, that would be a real incentive, but there is no such incentive. It would at least show a level of practical confidence in the vaccine that the government has not yet demonstrated.

Another cause of concern presented by the vaccine is that the immunity might not last long. As scientists try to understand better the immune status of people recovering from Covid-19, much remains unknown. Given the widespread confusion about the immune status of people who have recovered from the infection on their own, scientists fear that the actual effectiveness is even less specific.

Do lower antibody counts indicate the collapse of immunity? How do these antibodies react when exposed to the virus again, and are antibody levels higher in people with a severe infection?

The skepticism reflects a distrust for the pharmaceutical industry or the government. It is hard to persuade someone to take a small step, such as taking a vaccine owing to the pointers mentioned above, to cease the spread of Covid-19. Such campaigns can, however, face an alarming challenge from skeptics.

It would be interesting to note if people are taking the vaccine because they think it is a good idea or simply because the government has pressured them.