“The good news that the vaccine programme is gaining momentum is tempered somewhat by the number of people who say they will refuse it. The speed of the roll-out has clearly unsettled many and allowed conspiracy theorists and people who oppose vaccines to unsettle them still further.
What many may not realise is that a huge amount of research on coronaviruses and vaccine delivery was taking place in the years before covid-19 struck. It’s because scientists know that this family of viruses causes pandemics. A lot of the basics on which to build were already in place. The willingness of countries to share information allowed research to accelerate, as has the rapid release of data for evaluation.
So much research has been done in so small a time frame that it’s hard to keep track. A simple statement taken out of context by mischief makers makes it easy for them to play on people’s fear. Yet there are a number of reliable sources on-line allowing people to check the facts for themselves.
To me, it’s a matter of what risk level are individuals prepared to accept. At which point would you accept the risk is just too great?
It doesn’t exist. It’s only flu. I’m unlikely to catch it. If I catch it I’ll only have a mild infection. I might have a rough few days. I might get it but I won’t suffer long-covid. I might be hospitalised. I might need intensive care. The NHS staff will still be there to look after me. I might pass it on to my family. I might never be properly fit again. I might die.
So what can getting a vaccine mean, bearing in mind the ones on offer have gone through rigorous procedures before being approved.
I am most unlikely to have a bad effect from it. It will prevent me from catching covid-19 or becoming seriously ill even if I do. It will help prevent the virus from spreading as long as people still observe ‘hands, face, space’ rules etc. It will allow ‘lockdown rules’ to be lifted sooner and social life to resume. It will prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed. Key workers will have a huge burden lifted.
No vaccine can be guaranteed 100% safe or effective for everyone and some people with a history of allergic responses or pre-existing conditions may not be suitable recipients. The rest of us have a choice. Mine is to get the vaccine, and the sooner the better. I would urge those who are hesitant to do the same.”