Scientific reasons for waiting to get the COVID vaccine
I voted for Donald Trump twice, but that has nothing to do with my hesitancy to get the vaccine. I'm a Christian, and that has nothing to do with it, either. Even the fact that I had COVID and should be immune doesn't matter to me. My reason is based on science and science alone. It's still an experimental vaccine; it doesn't have FDA approval; and although mRNA vaccines have been studied for years, they were not used before.
My biggest fear of the vaccine is that I can't get any information about why mRNA vaccines were not used before COVID. I can Google plenty of information about how wonderful the vaccine is, but I can't find anything at all about why mRNA vaccines were not approved for human trials before.
There is a lot of invective directed at people who are hesitant about getting the vaccine. I have been called a murderer for being hesitant, and I have been accused of refusing to get the vaccine because of my political leanings. I've also been called a religious fanatic. I don't think asking about the science of mRNA vaccination means that I am a Jesus freak, a Trumpanzee, or a serial killer. When I am called these names, it doesn't make me think I should agree with the name-callers and run out to get the vaccine. It makes me think that if I am being treated hatefully for asking scientific questions, there must be something wrong with the science of the vaccine.
Is mRNA unstable and likely to cause unwanted side effects? Does it create an unacceptably strong immune response? Was it some technical problem, like delivery system problems, that caused mRNA vaccines to be restricted? I'm not opposed to getting the vaccine if I have reason to believe that it is safe and will not harm my health in some unforeseen fashion.
Since I can't get any information at this time on these points, I will wait until FDA approval of the vaccine. I'm not interested in adding to the pool of subjects that have been created by the millions who have rushed to get the vaccine. There are enough people who have been vaccinated under emergency approval protocols. They don't need me to swell their ranks, nor do I need to risk my health with an experimental vaccine. I prefer to wait until there are enough long-term data to scientifically show that the vaccine is safe.
Pandra Selivanov is the author of The Pardon, a historical novel about the thief on the cross. You can find that book and more great reading here.
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