Just like you, I want to get back to normal as soon as possible. I have a lot of hope for 2021, 90% because of vaccines (the other 10% because of what comes after vaccines). If we were chatting over coffee, this is what would I tell you. These vaccines are safe, super effective, and our way out of the pandemic. The sooner we can get to herd immunity through vaccination, the sooner we get to normal again (which includes normal school for our kids, normal business operations, normal travel, normal decisions, normal…).
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐟𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐮𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐩𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡 𝐢𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐡𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐨 𝐦𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐯𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐲 𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝟐 𝐯𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐬𝐚𝐟𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲, 𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐞𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞. I know there’s hesitancy due to medical reasons (but, those are rare and your doctor will tell you whether or not that is the case for you) or other reasons related to BIPOC history (we will talk about that this week) or faith beliefs (see source #14 below). But, MOST of the hesitancy I am seeing is not due to any of those reasons – it’s just simple fear or anxiety that is being fueled by social media or family members or too-much-info or 2020-decision-fatigue. It’s not one big fear or focused anxiety – it seems many of you are just nervous about something related to the vaccines even if you can’t name it. I don’t want to discount any fears and anxieties you might be having about getting the vaccine – with all of the chatter around the vaccines on TOP of everything else 2020 threw at us, it’s completely understandable that you could be nervous. Y’all, I get that. I hope this “virtual coffee post” helps give you some courage you might need to go get that shot.
𝐁𝐮𝐭, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐞 𝐝𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐲 𝐯𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐜 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐤𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐠𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠. 𝐀𝐧𝐝, 𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐧’𝐭 𝐰𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐬𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐧𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲! =) At this pace of the vaccine roll-out, normalcy won’t be here until fall 2021 or later. Ugh, y’all. I bet a few of you said that too. I don’t know about you – but, I’m ready to do whatever it takes to get over this pandemic. Vaccines are the most powerful and most ethical tool to do that (unless we want to do full lockdowns, which are not sustainable, long-term, or what any of us want – or if we want to ‘let it rip’ which is entirely unethical – see sources for more on that).
✅ From a data standpoint, there is a bit of urgency for people to get vaccines as soon as possible for 2 reasons.
1. Most of us epids are watching the new variant pretty closely. I wrote on that a few days ago if you want to read that post. In light of this post on vaccine hesitancy, I want to highlight another great article about this new variant – and, why we need to get vaccines out to people and accepted as soon as possible. It’s like a ticking time bomb if we waste time, because this variant looks to be quite a bit more transmissible. That means we will see an explosion of cases (on top of our current explosion) if this new variant gets a widespread hold in the US. *****TAKE HOME POINT – the more we can do now, the better off we will be if that happens. We need to put out the current fires. https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/12/virus-mutation-catastrophe/617531/?fbclid=IwAR3zypojmvcrNSldymPYuBcEbHt8IIsMU_FvFa8Ks7pdxwFHp81zdb95Ujg
2. Let’s also look at the alternatives: ***4.2 million vaccine doses have been administered since December 10. If these vaccines were not safe, we would have heard it by now and the FDA would have revoked the EUAs. ***In that same time frame, at least 5.5 million cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed, hospitals continue to be overwhelmed, and around 60,000 people have died from COVID-19.
✅ As always, talk to your doctor about whether or not you should get vaccinated – there are times that warrant waiting and your doctor would know those individual situations and personal health history. But, for the MAJORITY of us – the fears are unfounded. The viral videos of a nurse fainting (which is her reaction to any pain – including if she stubs her toe), the fake video circulating about Kamala Harris getting her vaccine with the weird needle, and other viral videos about reactions to the vaccine are fake.
✅ We need to ramp up vaccinations, web-peeps. Get those shots (cue Hamilton music)! Let’s not extend 2020 into 2021. This is a new year of re-building and re-everything. =) If you are nervous about it, that’s understandable with so much chatter about it. I hope this helped give you some courage and encouragement to get those shots, especially for those of you in healthcare. I’m going to link to what I’ve written about these vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) already if you want to look through the data again. If you have questions about vaccine ingredients, common myths (regarding fertility, 5G, microchips, changing DNA, and other myths), safety profiles, and discussions on herd immunity see the posts below.
-Friendly neighbor epidemiologist
A great resource is the CDC website on the COVID-19 vaccines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html
✅ VACCINE SERIES
1. Herd immunity and vaccines: Vaccines 101 – https://tinyurl.com/y27txvro
2. Vaccine distribution info and how well do the current vaccines work? – https://tinyurl.com/y2vte5lz
3. Whoa, these were made quick, right? How can we make sure they are safe? https://tinyurl.com/y2awosyn
4. When will I get the vaccine? Who decides who gets a vaccine first? And, a note on solidarity versus individualistic thinking. – https://tinyurl.com/y39cbptv
5. Myth-busters for vaccines (we talk about fertility questions, 5G/micro-chips, fetal cells, and why the mRNA won’t change your DNA) – https://tinyurl.com/y2woz462
6. Explaining the FDA review and talking about the final Pfizer study results. https://tinyurl.com/y22jd32f
7. Should we be worried about the side-effects seen in the UK? – https://tinyurl.com/yxvb36y4
8. Let’s talk about the FDA panel meeting- https://tinyurl.com/y6hzmcgt
9. Reflections on the EUA Pfizer FDA meeting – https://tinyurl.com/y4k2o6kc
10. Pfizer EUA approval, vaccine ingredients, and recommendations – https://tinyurl.com/yyvzeynx
11. Pfizer vaccine Q&A – https://tinyurl.com/y7e3jar8
12. Will I have to get a shot every two months? Should I worry about mutations? https://tinyurl.com/y83wd84k
13. Info on the Moderna vaccine – https://tinyurl.com/y7x2hvn8
14. Faith and vaccines – Can you be pro-life and still get the COVID-19 vaccines? https://tinyurl.com/yb5ydlf2