Why I'm not getting vaccinated — yet

I think the new mRNA COVID vaccines could be a wonderful breakthrough — maybe a whole new way of treating disease.  Researchers are talking about the technology possibly being used for immunizing against malaria and curing viral cancers.  After all, some of the best new medical advances have come in times of duress.

I just don't yet know that it is the best thing for me for now.  I'm in the right age group.  I nevertheless want to wait a year, see what happens in the longer term to those who got vaccinated, and then make an informed decision.  I think that's my right, and I will fight anyone who wants to take other rights from me for exercising that one.

What bothers me is that the vaccines are being offered as a gigantic drug trial, a fact people tend to forget or ignore.  They've each been approved by the FDA on an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).  Nobody knows if, or what, the long-term effects will be until there's been time to study them.  I have no desire to be a guinea pig.

Nevertheless, the at-risk, the elderly, the terrified have compelling reasons to get vaccinated.  What a relief, to be protected against this awful virus!

What I object to is the push to vaccinate everyone, regardless of age or risk.  This seems reckless.  The push is so strong, the pressure so great, that even colleges and universities here in California are mandating that their students take the jab before returning to campus.  Why subject youths to such an experiment, when this is a disease that primarily harms the elderly?  Is that not counter to medical ethics?

I also doubt whether every single person needs vaccination.  For instance, why vaccinate someone who had COVID already?  Don't they have antibodies?

According to the medical powers-that-be, immunity from a case of COVID "may" last a shorter or longer amount of time — but they're all seemingly united in betting on it being shorter, and COVID survivors benefiting from immunization, at least getting one of the two shots.  They really don't know, do they?  Nor do they know how long the immunity from the vaccine lasts (and how many times have I heard that, maybe, the vaccine doesn't really keep you from getting a COVID infection; it just keeps your symptoms mild?).  From Marc Lipsitch, director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health:

If the true impact on infections was very high, it would be great news because that is what we need for herd immunity[.]

Not a rousing endorsement of certain knowledge!  The article points out many unknowns.  We tend to forget how many there are when it comes to COVID and vaccination.

I've read all the scare literature, and what bothers me is how quickly it's discounted.  Yes, there are clotting disorders for some people after the shots — which have apparently killed quite a few, but maybe the shot didn't do it (they hope).

Coincidentally with that (in the sense of happening at the same time, not the other meaning), there are many reports of women with ultra-heavy, painful periods after the shot.  How and why does the vaccine do this?  Has anyone explained what the problem is?  I haven't heard an explanation.  Isn't it time to figure it out?

Beyond all the online stories that may or may not be true, I see the reactions to the shots from those around me.  Most get sick for a few days, describing the symptoms as flu-like.  Some have had more severe reactions, like pounding heart rate that won't calm down for hours, or anaphylaxis.  This set of inoculations is not without side-effects for most people.

From the beginning of the pandemic, I've questioned the decisions the "authorities" around me made.  I always thought the prohibition on fresh air and sunlight (my town closed the parks; the coast of California closed its beaches for months) absurd.  Sunlight is the best disinfectant, after all.

I never could understand why we could crowd the aisles of the grocery, but we couldn't sit in a restaurant and dine, or an office and work.  I never figured out why when I can touch the vegetables and fruit in the supermarket, I can't at the farmer's market.  I never have figured out why kids need masks, period.

So I am a skeptic.  It's a condition I can live with.  As long as I know that if I get COVID, I can get treatment, I'll continue my skepticism.  At least until I see all the people who are immunized get through next winter.  Until I can make an informed decision, based on observable data.

Image: Vaccination by Angelo Esslinger from Pixabay.

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