COVID-19: VACCINE SHOULD BE A CHOICE
The year 2020 brought with it the worst global crisis the world had ever faced. Little was known about this virus and this caused many misconceptions resulting in a rapid spread of the disease. The whole world was placed under lockdown and a new norm of working from home started. Many precautionary measures were introduced like social distancing, going out only when necessary, regular sanitization and a mask mandate. These precautions were followed by some, shunned by the others putting everyone at risk and causing an increase in Covid cases. Efforts were made to develop a cure as soon as possible but these hasty vaccines caused side effects. This essay will present an argument against the Covid-19 vaccines as it was developed in a very short time frame and have not been tested extensively.
11th March 2020 marks the moment in history when WHO declared the Covid-19 outbreak a global health emergency. On 4th January 2021, a vaccine named Moderna was made available in the United States and AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine in the United Kingdom. Later more vaccines like Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen, mRNA and Viral Vector vaccines were made available to the public. Availability of these vaccines made the public rejoice as this meant that the pandemic was coming to an end. However, these vaccines were not developed in the same way as the previous vaccines. Traditional vaccines introduce a small amount of the virus in the recipient’s body, giving the immune system a chance to fight the virus in a controlled environment and creating antibodies. This improves the body’s immunity against the virus but the Covid-19 virus is extremely unstable and unpredictable so it cannot be used in the development of a vaccine. This meant a new approach in making the Covid vaccine was needed and every vaccine developed for this purpose tackled the problem differently. Vaccination was initiated but after getting vaccinated reports were made of side effects. Now each vaccine comes with its own FDA warning.
Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have similar side effects that include chills, pain, fatigue, swelling, breathing issues and anaphylaxis. The warning label placed on these vaccines by FDA is “likely association with reported cases of heart inflammation in young adults”. Johnson and Johson’s causes fatigue, fever and myalgia and it comes with two FDA warnings (Virata). The first being; that it causes Guillain-Barré syndrome; a neurological disorder that causes the immune system to attack the healthy nerve cells.
The second warning states that it causes an uncommon but potentially dangerous blood clotting disorder known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (Bona). These are just a few examples of the side effects caused by Covid vaccines. These vaccines are maybe solving one problem but they are also posing more problems and the long-term side effects are not yet known. It is also not yet clear if these vaccines are effective because the individuals who had gotten vaccinated still caught the virus.
This is concerning for the people who do not understand the medical implications and their only source of reliable information is their doctors. Not nearly enough time was spent in the development of these vaccines and even the test runs were short. Previously developed vaccines for different viruses have no side effects and when the Ebola virus was prevalent in many African countries, vaccines were not administered. The reason behind this was that there were not enough tests done to know the effectiveness of the vaccines created. So how is it that Covid vaccines were made available under the same circumstances? Was it done in an attempt to reduce public panic? Or was it done to improve the government image? Surely public health safety has priority over political interest?
Another problem that is faced by the medical professionals against the Covid virus is that it keeps rapidly evolving. There are already eight known variants of this virus and currently, we are dealing with the Delta variant (CDC). This means that after some time these vaccines will no longer be effective against this ever-evolving virus. A better solution will be to give the people a choice regarding the Covid vaccine whether they want to get vaccinated or not, that is until an effective vaccine is developed through proper research. Yes, there is risk involved in this decision but getting these vaccines also comes with its risks. It is a matter of choosing the lesser evil. Social distancing proved effective against the spread of Covid-19 so while a better vaccine is being developed advise the people to take precautions against the virus. Those who want to get vaccinated should have the freedom to do so and the same goes for the ones that do not.
Covid-19 was here before these vaccines and it is still here after them. Vaccines are supposed to provide protection and make people safe; however, this is not the case with Covid-19 vaccines. Allow the people to feel safe by giving them a choice in this matter.
Bona, Robert. “Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST).” Yale Medicine, https://www.yalemedicine.org/conditions/cerebra-venous-sinus-thrombosis-cvst. Accessed 26 Sept. 2021.
CDC. “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 Feb. 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/delta-variant.html.
Virata, Michael. Comparing the COVID-19 Vaccines: How Are They Different? > News > Yale Medicine. https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/covid-19-vaccine-comparison. Accessed 26 Sept. 2021.