Ever since the COVID-19 disease emerged, many individuals have had different theories around infectious diseases and the importance of vaccination. Many people have died in the wake of the pandemic, while others who survived had to adjust to a different life. For instance, since the disease is transmitted faster through contact, companies had to reduce the number of employees. Individuals had to walk wearing masks that others described as uncomfortable. Education could not be conducted in a physical classroom setup, and religious events were canceled. All these changes made people’s lives seem different, and thus, solutions had to be developed on how to bring things back to normal. After much research by various scientific groups globally, the vaccine for the COVID-19 disease was found and approved by the World Health Organization.
Vaccination promised things to go back to normal since vaccinated individuals could be accepted back into their jobs. A good example is sports athletes who were given a chance to practice and compete again; however, despite the vaccine offering an opportunity to bring back normalcy, a section of individuals in the world advocate against the vaccine. Some people claim that it is not safe and has long-term adverse effects. Others have religious beliefs that go against the vaccine as they see it as a sign that associates with the biblical enemy. Individuals need to learn that the vaccine is safe and helps the body fight against coronavirus infection. This paper highlights the various opinions against the COVID-19 vaccine and why adults need to receive the vaccine.
Opinions against COVID-19 Vaccine
The most heard comments or opinions against the COVID-19 vaccine have their foundation on a lack of trust in the governments which organize the vaccination programs. A previous study reveals that individuals hesitate when vaccinated because they do not trust the government, as suggested by (Hwang et al., 2021). It is essential to pay attention to the government’s role in the communication regarding the vaccine. The way people in any country view their government determines their beliefs and willingness to be vaccinated. For instance, according to (Machingaidze & Wiysonge, 2021), in countries such as Poland, individuals have the lowest level of trust in their government. Poland is not the only country as others, such as the United States, have people who have refused to be vaccinated for the same reasons.
There is a conspiracy theory suggesting that governments are inserting microchips into one’s body during the procedure to spy on the citizens. Governments, such as the United States, have been accused of spying on their citizens, which the anti-vaxxers are using in their fight against the COVID-19 vaccine. Despite violating people’s privacy, this action is the opposite of democracy as the government might prevent people from expressing themselves freely. Various individuals opposing the administering of the vaccine have stressed that individuals need their privacy, and allegedly inserting the microchips in their bodies during vaccination goes against that.
Another anti-vaccine opinion suggests that the COVID-19 vaccines are harmful to an individual’s health. It is a common argument by the anti-vaccine groups that aim to create fear. Through social media, these individuals have used emotional narratives, as well as fear-associated data that significantly attract their target audience’s responsiveness. For instance, as the first doses were being administered in various countries, some individuals claimed that there were people who have died soon after receiving the vaccine (Rosenblum et al., 2021). Others claim that the vaccines can result in individuals contracting other health conditions (Rosenblum et al., 2021). Such ideas aim to cause fear among people that they cannot trust the vaccine anymore.
Social media users usually express that they do not want to be vaccinated due to a free choice that should not be limited. This comes in the wake of rules and regulations against the unvaccinated (Machingaidze & Wiysonge, 2021). For instance, in the United States, individuals are not allowed to attend events that consist of many people, especially in an enclosed venue in some states, such as a sports arena (Machingaidze & Wiysonge, 2021). Such states include California and New York, whereby unvaccinated players such as basketball players have been denied a chance to play in the states. NBA player Andrew Wiggins had to be vaccinated to continue being part of the Golden States Warriors team because the team’s home arena is in California. Another unvaccinated basketball player, Kyrie Irving, has failed to appear for home games for the Brooklyn Nets since the team is in New York. These individuals believe that the state governments are denying them a chance to choose through the rules and regulations, which suggests that there is something wrong with the vaccine.
Another opinion against the COVID-19 vaccine is that researchers developed it intending to generate profits for some pharmaceutical corporations and not because of the health of individuals. The argument is interesting since it was announced that AstraZeneca would not profit from the COVID-19 vaccine (Rosenblum et al., 2021). Apart from caring about people’s health and developing various drugs and treatment options, the pharmaceutical industry cannot run without finances. It means that the industry is also a business that targets to make profits. This can at times result in some companies developing drugs not ideal for a health condition but for generating revenue. Such examples create fear among individuals and make them choose not to trust the intention of corporations such as AstraZeneca producing the vaccines.
Another section of the anti-vaxxers claims that the vaccine was developed too fast and without proper testing. Such doubts arise from the speed of clinical experiments as well as registration. Public health authorities need to stress that the vaccines have undergone proper testing before being recommended for human use. The fast development of vaccines has been witnessed before, especially during the swine flu. The vaccine for this disease was presented as safe for human use, but in countries such as Sweden, there was an increase in narcolepsy cases even after vaccination. Such issues make it hard for individuals to trust the safety of the vaccines and thus, advocate against them.
Benefits of the COVID-19 Vaccine
It is understandable to feel some anxiety concerning getting vaccinated. However, whereas the vaccine was developed plus approved faster than the average vaccine, safety and precautions were not ignored to accomplish outcomes. COVID-19 is very infectious and can be very dangerous, too, as suggested by (Dhillon et al., 2021). The elderly plus individuals having underlying health conditions are at a higher risk of contracting severe symptoms and death. According to Dhillon et al. (2021), vaccine-induced immunity combined with natural immunity is an ideal way of preventing the disease. Receiving the vaccination is an excellent way of building protection. The vaccine aids in protecting an individual by establishing an antibody reaction without the person having to feel sick. From the last two years, it has been evident that the disease can have severe consequences. For instance, contracting the condition can lead to worse health conditions or death even among kids.
Contracting the disease can also lead to health issues in the long term. Even individuals who do not have the symptoms when they first get infected can develop ongoing medical problems (Hwang et al., 2021). It is also essential to understand that infected persons can infect others amongst friends and family ineligible for the vaccine. For instance, young kids are not eligible for the vaccine; thus, infecting them threatens their lives (Hwang et al., 2021). It shows that despite the vaccine protecting the vaccinated individual; it also helps protect people around them. People have been heard claiming that they received the vaccine to protect other individuals they work with.
Whereas COVID-19 vaccines were produced quickly, every step has been taken to guarantee their effectiveness and safety. Many people, especially in the United States, were vaccinated under one of the most intensive safety monitoring initiatives in history. In most circumstances, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest an MRNA COVID-19 vaccine based on an up-to-date risk-benefit evaluation (Haynes et al., 2020). Before recommending the vaccines for children over five years, the scientists carried out clinical experiments with many adults and kids (Haynes et al., 2020). The outcomes of the experiments showed that there should not be any safety concerns.
Recent information suggests that COVID-19 vaccines become less effective over time for individuals aged sixty-five or older. It is the main reason for the booster shots being recommended and administered for individuals twelve years or older who have already undergone the primary vaccination series, as suggested by (Hwang et al., 2021). Despite the vaccine’s effectiveness decreasing with time, it continues to reduce the danger of hospitalization as well as death when individuals contract the disease. Individuals with specific health issues or medications that weaken their immunity may not have complete protection even after the primary vaccination series. Some individuals who are immune-compromised need to receive an extra primary COVID-19 vaccine dosage as well as a booster shot.
Diseases can hinder individuals from performing their daily duties and responsibilities. For instance, individuals who contracted the COVID-19 disease had to be quarantined and administered treatment. Many people in different sectors missed extended periods because of contracting the disease, as suggested by (Andreadakis et al., 2020). Even when individuals get better and go back to work, their productivity is not the same as before (Andreadakis et al., 2020). It, in turn, affects the companies as they depend on the employees to generate profits. Receiving the vaccine helps ensure that an employee’s body fights against COVID-19 while they continue performing at the required level since they cannot experience the symptoms.
Apart from helping to maintain the productivity of persons at different work positions, the vaccine helps prevent the financial strain that comes with individuals getting sick. As mentioned earlier, ill individuals are required to get quarantined and stay away from work. This means they cannot earn the money they would while at work, especially when not all sectors can work from home. Additionally, as per (Andreadakis et al., 2020), when an individual is sick, they spend money on various treatment options to deal with the symptoms. In the end, the individual faces financial strain since money is spent without another being received. Many individuals during the pandemic have complained about their financial situation, which could be prevented if individuals get vaccinated.
There is information that pregnant women vaccinated against the COVID-19 disease create antibodies to the coronavirus. They then pass these antibodies to their unborn babies via the placenta, as suggested by (Chavan et al., 2021). Mothers are also shown to pass the same via breastfeeding. It indicates that the newborns have immunity against the disease, which is essential, especially as young kids are not eligible for the vaccine. According to (Chavan et al., 2021), even though the vaccine directly impacts the one who receives it, it also affects the lives of those they care about. A pregnant woman cares about the welfare of her unborn child. If the woman gets infected, she can pass the virus to the baby, who has low immunity, which means less chance of surviving. But if the mother gets vaccinated, she not only protects herself but the baby too.
The paper shows two sides regarding the idea of the COVID-19 vaccination. The first group supports it while the other has reasons against the vaccine. To prevent further infection, governments have implemented rules and regulations that aim to encourage people to get vaccinated. Even with such measures, there are still people who cannot tolerate the idea of vaccination. Some of the reasons for their stance have a foundation in the history surrounding vaccines and pharmaceutical corporations. For instance, the COVID-19 vaccines were developed and administered quickly. This makes much doubt whether they are safe for human use. History suggests that when vaccines or treatment options are produced at such a speed, there is a high chance that they may not be effective. For instance, vaccines generated for the swine flu were not effective as cases of narcolepsy kept on rising in Sweden even after vaccination.
Despite this, the pharmaceutical industry has proven to be cautious enough to produce booster shots if the COVID-19 vaccine becomes ineffective over time. Governments must educate the masses on the issue instead of forcing the vaccine onto them, as it can lead to more resistance. Some of the reasons raised for not taking the vaccine are due to a lack of adequate information. For instance, some believe that the government uses vaccines to insert microchips into people’s bodies to spy on them. Such information is false but has also scared many from taking the vaccine. And with the power of social media to reach more audiences, wrong information can spread widely. Adequate education on the topic can prevent such theories from vanishing. It is a better world when individuals care about the welfare of others and being vaccinated shows that one does that. One can take care of their colleagues at work and friends and family at home too.
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