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Some Thoughts About COVID Vaccinations

I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, and LGBT advocacy.

How Far Should A Jab Go?


This Is An Issue Of Science, Not Politics

Before I launch into what will definitely be a post that will probably get people fired up, let me be clear: I have had two Astra Zeneca vaccines. My husband "crossed the streams," to quote Ghostbusters, and had a Pfizer vaccine and a Moderna shot. Our oldest daughter, nearly 17, has had two Pfizer shots, and our youngest daughter, who's 12, goes for her second Pfizer vaccine in a short while.

I believe if you have the vaccine available to you, and you don't have any medical issues that would preclude you from getting the vaccine, you should get it not necessarily just for you, but with the sense that you're doing something really for the greater good of society. There are just too many individuals out there who are either medically fragile, or are generally immunocompromised, and that means that to keep COVID from spreading across all of us, vaccinations should be done to keep serious illness at bay.

I understand that the COVID vaccine in any iteration is not designed to stop anyone from getting COVID. That's no different than the flu vaccine not being designed to completely stop the flu from taking hold in individuals. Let me be clear: I am not saying COVID and the flu are alike. I am saying, however, that the flu shot and the COVID shot are not designed to stop either illness from happening. They are designed to prevent serious illness that could potentially send people to hospital if they were to become ill.

However, right now, the COVID vaccine is pretty much the best tool we have right now that I can see, and that's after speaking with various friends who work in the health profession whom I trust implicitly - that and wearing masks and maintaining proper hygiene practices.

There has been a lot of discussion on social media and likely around various water coolers, though, about the practice of mandatory vaccination that's more or less been implemented by many provincial governments in Canada recently. People have been quite upset about being forced to get the COVID vaccine and of being stripped of their choice surrounding the COVID vaccine.

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Even though I believe that I made the right choice in choosing to get vaccinated and in seeing the rest of my family get vaccinated as well, I still respect people's right to make that informed choice for themselves. I will continue to believe that regardless of any argument to the contrary because I am a grown-up who can make my own choices, just as the rest of the people who are the age of consent are as well.

I find it sad that the government feels we have come to a point where vaccinations against COVID must be made mandatory. As a woman, I've seen too many situations where governments feel they have the right to have a say over someone's body - ongoing legislation about reproductive rights, anyone? I do believe that people should have the right to make decisions about whether or not they get this vaccine because I don't believe that any government should require someone to get vaccinated. I believe that should continue to be someone's personal choice.

The problem is, we're in the midst of a pandemic. That's serious business - no one can deny that, particularly since there have been so many who have died as a result of COVID or COVID-related complications. If you've not yet chosen to get vaccinated when you are medically capable and you have it available to you, that is on you. We ultimately have to do what's right for society as a whole, and people protesting the vaccine is quite frankly getting a bit old.

I've heard the arguments against the vaccine - that it was rushed, that we need to look at what happened back in the 50s with thalidomide, for instance, or that there was not enough testing. There's no denying that we are definitely in what I've basically been terming the "guinea pig generation," but I also believe that there comes a time that we do have to trust the science. That's not the same as trusting the politicians who are supposedly echoing what the scientists are saying - far from it, and we all know that COVID has been highly politicized over the last 18 months. We need to support the science and trust that the scientists have done their work.

We also can't make those who have struggled with the idea of getting the vaccine, however that struggle might look, the enemy. Some individuals have very real fears and concerns about the vaccination process, and in some cases, rightfully so. I was violently ill after having my first Astra Zeneca shot, to the point where I had to get my husband to take me to the hospital for a shot of Gravol so I could stop being so ill. I knew, however, that in spite of my fear and how lousy I felt, I was still doing the right thing in getting the vaccination. It was my choice, though, and no one else's.

That's ultimately how it should be. Unvaccinated individuals who can get vaccinated should really get vaccinated, but without a government mandate forcing them to do so.

It's "for the people," not "force the people," right?

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

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