Does evangelical resistance to getting the COVID vaccine make us look like we don't care about broader society?

I have read about how 45% of evangelicals are refusing to take the COVID vaccine.  We are described as the largest demographic of non-vaccinators. You can read one such report from the New York Times here

Of course the world cannot distinguish between various versions of Chrsitianity, much less the distinctions between evangelicals, conservative (doctrinally oriented) evangelicals, and fundamentalists.

I will be getting my second shot this Friday, and could not wait until I was could get my vaccine.  One relative, who is not an evangelical believer, discussed how he was glad to get the vaccine -- not for his own safety -- but to help society get over this thing by doing his part.  It seems to me that mentality is lacking in the evangelical world.  And I think that is a shame.

So what do you think?  Is this an earned black eye?  Or are others wrong to look down up us because we are primarily concerned about ourselves and our families only, and not our society?

Feel free to opine: a lot of worthwhile rabbit trails possible here!

 

Yes, it is shameful, extreme health conditions excepted.
28% (7 votes)
It is somewhat embarrassing, but most evangelicals are team players with their communities.
12% (3 votes)
No, there is nothing shameful about this, just the world picking on believers.
24% (6 votes)
No, for other reasons.
24% (6 votes)
Undecided
12% (3 votes)
Other
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 25
2655 reads

There are 34 Comments

josh p's picture

I will probably get one but I think it's a personal decision and wouldn't criticize someone else for not doing so. Overall, for those that trust the vaccine, I see it as a good way to love our neighbors. 

Mark_Smith's picture

many of these Christians are choosing to not get the vaccine is because they do not perceive COVID as that serious of a threat, which totally baffles me. I think the danger of the vaccine itself is not the real reason people are choosing to say no.

josh p's picture

Statistically speaking, it’s of very little threat to me personally but, since it’s very dangerous to a lot of the population, I’m getting it. I suspect many feel the same way.

pvawter's picture

Since 41% of black adults between 18 and 44 said they would not get the vaccine, does this make them look like they don't care about the rest of society? 

Maybe it has nothing at all to do with the nebulous category of "evangelicals" and more to do with the desire to pigeonhole a particular group within the broader society. How about we just let people decide for themselves and stop making things a test of love?

Ed Vasicek's picture

Pvawter wrote:

Since 41% of black adults between 18 and 44 said they would not get the vaccine, does this make them look like they don't care about the rest of society? 

A few comments:

1. Many blacks are considered evangelical, and 

2. One criticism of some black movements is that they are not about the broader society.  Certainly, there are some people in every demographic who are about themselves or their group (we probably know some self-centered people ourselves).  

3. Whether this is a real issue or not, I do think this group is open to criticism for that statistic. The difference, of course, is that we are to be noted for our desire to do good for all and to have a good reputation among those outside the kingdom; these other groups have no such mandate (although the Jewish people tend to be meticulous about image, participating in the community, and these sorts of things, having been a persecuted minority for a long time).

4. Perhaps no demographic should be criticized, which is partly the question of this poll.  It seems that this is your opinion, and I certainly respect it.

"The Midrash Detective"

Ed Vasicek's picture

Josh P wrote:

Statistically speaking, it’s of very little threat to me personally but, since it’s very dangerous to a lot of the population, I’m getting it. I suspect many feel the same way.

Josh, that is great. It doesn't bother me if people first consider the benefit of the vaccine to society but opt out because they are convinced, for reasons real or fake, that it is not in their best interest. What is troubling is when people never even seriously think about getting the vaccine out of concern for society. Individualism has to be balanced by social concern.

 

"The Midrash Detective"

pvawter's picture

Ed Vasicek wrote:

Pvawter wrote:

Since 41% of black adults between 18 and 44 said they would not get the vaccine, does this make them look like they don't care about the rest of society? 

A few comments:

1. Many blacks are considered evangelical, and 

2. One criticism of some black movements is that they are not about the broader society.  Certainly, there are some people in every demographic who are about themselves or their group (we probably know some self-centered people ourselves).  

3. Whether this is a real issue or not, I do think this group is open to criticism for that statistic. The difference, of course, is that we are to be noted for our desire to do good for all and to have a good reputation among those outside the kingdom; these other groups have no such mandate (although the Jewish people tend to be meticulous about image, participating in the community, and these sorts of things, having been a persecuted minority for a long time).

4. Perhaps no demographic should be criticized, which is partly the question of this poll.  It seems that this is your opinion, and I certainly respect it.

Yeah, I'm definitely in the #4 category. I just don't see any clear, logical connection between any of these demographics and these vaccines. There's a lot of speculation to be sure, but how much is meaningful I can't really tell.

Ken S's picture

I do think that Christians appear not to care about broader society, and not just for the vaccine. It also includes the way that many Christians have handled covid in general: mask wearing, avoiding gatherings, etc. And that's not even to mention other big issues in society over the last year. I've seen Christians talking about "their rights" almost every day.

Much/most of what I have seen seems to be un-Christlike at best, and in my view is antithetical to the way Jesus lived and died and not in line with Biblical principles. I do realize there are many different reasons why Christians have made the choices they have made and some are quite reasonable, but overall it has been very disappointing to me. As far as the general public, I've spent quite a bit of time reading comments on various news articles and on Reddit over the last year in response to Christians' behavior. The comments have been extremely critical. You could say they are just picking on Christians, but in my opinion they have a pretty solid basis for their criticisms.

Bert Perry's picture

....is that as far as I can tell, too many people do not really understand that the reason you get vaccinated is not really to protect yourself from the disease.  Well, yes, that tends to work most of the time, but the big reason you get vaccinated is so you don't share the disease with others.  There's also the question of whether health authorities actually give the data that shows the vaccines work well--I see a lot of appeal to authority, but not a terrible lot of evidence.

So in one way of speaking, the refusal to vaccinate is simply because the case hasn't been made.  

And that's bad, but what's worse is that when the case isn't made, those who are not familiar with the data are an open field for deception. 

Where I do think evangelicals are culpable here, though, is at the times when we fall for claims that are quite simply nonsense, and we really ought to know.  I don't know what the portion is of vaccine resistance due to that, but my experience suggests it is significant, and it really does at certain points need to be confronted.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Larry's picture

Moderator

I do think that Christians appear not to care about broader society, and not just for the vaccine. It also includes the way that many Christians have handled covid in general: mask wearing, avoiding gatherings, etc. And that's not even to mention other big issues in society over the last year. I've seen Christians talking about "their rights" almost every day.

Or maybe the way they have handled COVID in general has been because they do care about society at least as an institution. It is possible to care for society in a way that resists much of what has happened in the last year. They care about the individuals who have lost jobs, incomes, etc. They care about civil liberty, not just for themselves but for others.They care about governmental overreach and totalitarianism. They care about the loss of jobs and businesses. They care about the future beyond the pandemic.They care about a culture that is being created right now--a culture of a soft totalitarianism where the government gives permission or takes away permission and the historic rights of our society are being trampled on.

Reducing everything to taking the utmost cautions to prevent illness is unwise. The cost of these things has to be considered. It could be argued that if you care about society you would fight back against these rather draconian measures of the last year and if you don't fight back it is because you don't care about society. 

So there is at least another side to consider. 

Andrew K's picture

Larry wrote:

I do think that Christians appear not to care about broader society, and not just for the vaccine. It also includes the way that many Christians have handled covid in general: mask wearing, avoiding gatherings, etc. And that's not even to mention other big issues in society over the last year. I've seen Christians talking about "their rights" almost every day.

Or maybe the way they have handled COVID in general has been because they do care about society at least as an institution. It is possible to care for society in a way that resists much of what has happened in the last year. They care about the individuals who have lost jobs, incomes, etc. They care about civil liberty, not just for themselves but for others.They care about governmental overreach and totalitarianism. They care about the loss of jobs and businesses. They care about the future beyond the pandemic.They care about a culture that is being created right now--a culture of a soft totalitarianism where the government gives permission or takes away permission and the historic rights of our society are being trampled on.

Reducing everything to taking the utmost cautions to prevent illness is unwise. The cost of these things has to be considered. It could be argued that if you care about society you would fight back against these rather draconian measures of the last year and if you don't fight back it is because you don't care about society. 

So there is at least another side to consider. 

Agreed (and I'm strongly pro-vaccine here).

I would love to believe that following the pandemic, all our civil liberties will be promptly returned, and the emergency measures will be shelved.

But look at our recent history: how many of you really believe that will happen? E.g., how many "emergency 9-11" safety measures were rolled back? Can you still take a pocket knife on a plane? Even the TSA said it was fine to do so, but they had to back down because flight attendants just didn't feel "safe" with my two-inch Swiss Army blade discreetly in pocket.

Joeb's picture

Stalwart Trump Evangelicals are refusing to get it.  Especially in the rural areas.  I think there is a position that they are not getting it  for Donald and because Tucker Carlson and the rest of Fox News is still making people question it.  If it was not for the fact they can spread it to others especially innocents I'd say fine let them do what they want.  If they chose to go home to glory early so be it. 

in regards to it not hitting young people the variant in Brazil is mostly putting people in the hospital that are 40 and under.  

The above being said I got my first dose last week. Also I don't blame people for being suspicious about how safe it is   From that perspective and not getting it for Donald I do understand people being fearful.  
 

 To get a quick appointment I went to a Trump area to get it.  A coal town above Pottsville PA called Shenandoah.  I actually enjoyed the trip up.  Surprisingly the Downtown looked like they were fixing it up.  Nice place.  In fact there is a Polish Family Owned shop that makes Sausages and has been doing so for 100 years   Next time I go for my second shot Ill get some and Bert I'll let you know if it is any good   That way if you and the Bride decide to come down and do the Yuengling Brewry Tour you can stop there to  

The above area is the only active Anthracite Coal Mining area in the Country and you can tour a Coal mine to   For those tea totalers on SI just to let you know the Yuengling Family have been Republicans for 160 plus years and are currently big big time TRUMPERS and Trump donors  

 

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I think a sizeable portion of it is a mild form of conspiracy thinking. By "mild" I mean, not full blown "Hitler's brain is alive in a jar giving instructions to world leaders via computer screen"... not even full blown QAnon "world is run by secret cabal of ritual pedophiles." But conspiracy thinking has some attitudes that fuel it/make it fertile ground for the more extreme versions we all see as bonkers. And the attitudes are widespread.

  • Overdeveloped/out of balance sense of suspicion toward government and science and experts in general. Origins/dynamic of this is complex, from my point of view.
  • A tendency to fill in all motivational information gaps with hostility/malice. I.e., when they don't know or can't verify what is motivating a decision they don't like, they assume the intent is hostile/sinister. Rather than landing there reluctantly when evidence requires, they begin with that assessment and seldom question it (but often cherry pick evidence to confirm it).
  • A strong sense of victimhood: what's going wrong in the world is because of them doing things to us. (Never us defeating ourselves, or ordinary unintended consequences, or good intentions paired with faulty assumptions.)
  • Attitude of being "in the know"/"not deceived." The attitude is, "The many may be fooled, but not me. I see through this clever plot/mass deception.... We few know what's really going on!" Maybe this piece is mostly a response to fear. I've definitely encountered more than one conspiracy-minded Christian who mocked the supposed "fear" of the masses while quite clearly being terrified themselves. The "I have it figured out and I know the real story," thing was clearly a desperate bit of teddy bear hugging on their part. But it's idolatrous, because it values certainty over truth.

Another piece, that really doesn't go under conspiracy thinking, but is a close cousin and often meshes with it: people lack the skills to verify facts. So, rather than hear claims and do some digging and find out what's true, they default to distrust and express the feeling that there's just "no way to know." Of course, sometimes there really is no way to know, but about 99% of the time I've seen/heard this claim, it wasn't particularly hard to verify the information. People just don't know how... or they're being lazy. This is a sad situation for Christians (though I think we're not worse than the general population on this score... we're just not better. And we ought to be).

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Mark_Smith's picture

fight FOR the creation of the COVID vaccine? To develop it in record time? Why are Trump and his supporters now not in favor of it? Did I miss an email or text or something?

Ken S's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

fight FOR the creation of the COVID vaccine? To develop it in record time? Why are Trump and his supporters now not in favor of it? Did I miss an email or text or something?

 He did, and as much as I disapprove of the former President, it's a credit to his administration that we have several effective vaccines available in such a short time.

Larry's picture

Moderator

fight FOR the creation of the COVID vaccine? To develop it in record time? Why are Trump and his supporters now not in favor of it? Did I miss an email or text or something?

Maybe because you have fundamentally misunderstood the issue. Most Trump supporters weren't blind Trump supporters. They supported Trump, to whatever degree they did (and it was a very tepid degree in many cases), because they believed he was more in line with them. As with so many, they supported a politician who agreed with what they already believe. So there is no reason to expect them to support everything Trump did.

Remember when many on the left were saying they would never trust a vaccine developed under Trump? 

It is interesting that no one is blaming that for the resistance. And it is interesting that the people who are resisting it aren't those who said they wouldn't trust it because it was developed under Trump.

It's a strange world we live in where everything has to be an attack against another person or side.

Mark_Smith's picture

Larry wrote:

fight FOR the creation of the COVID vaccine? To develop it in record time? Why are Trump and his supporters now not in favor of it? Did I miss an email or text or something?

Maybe because you have fundamentally misunderstood the issue. Most Trump supporters weren't blind Trump supporters. They supported Trump, to whatever degree they did (and it was a very tepid degree in many cases), because they believed he was more in line with them. As with so many, they supported a politician who agreed with what they already believe. So there is no reason to expect them to support everything Trump did.

Remember when many on the left were saying they would never trust a vaccine developed under Trump? 

It is interesting that no one is blaming that for the resistance. And it is interesting that the people who are resisting it aren't those who said they wouldn't trust it because it was developed under Trump.

It's a strange world we live in where everything has to be an attack against another person or side.

So why do you oppose the vaccine?

Larry's picture

Moderator

So why do you oppose the vaccine?

Where did you get the idea I oppose the vaccine?

Mark_Smith's picture

Larry wrote:

So why do you oppose the vaccine?

Where did you get the idea I oppose the vaccine?

Have you gotten it?

I figured it was reasonable to assume a person who supported the vaccine wouldn't take time to answer a post wondering why people who supported Trump who developed a vaccine but then opposed the vaccine. Nevertheless, do you support the vaccine and have you gotten it?

Kevin Miller's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

I figured it was reasonable to assume a person who supported the vaccine wouldn't take time to answer a post wondering why people who supported Trump who developed a vaccine but then opposed the vaccine. 

I think it's reasonable to assume that a person can answer a post giving their understanding of an ant-vacc position without being an anti-vaccer themselves. My wife is opposed to the vaccine, and I've asked her if she would have a problem with me getting it. She said she would. So would I be disrespecting my wife if I got it? I've already had covid, so I'm in no hurry to get the vaccine, but I'm not opposed to it either. I do have concerns about the short period of time in which it's been in existence, but I wouldn't classify that concern as outright opposition. If it becomes required in order for me to continue with my ministry work, I would take it.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Your post illustrates why it's a good idea not to assume things. No matter what I believe, I try to understand what people on other sides of an issue might believe so that I can explain it in a way that they would recognize and agree with.

When it comes to the vaccine, I don't really care. I haven't gotten it but I haven't been eligible to get it. I likely will not get it. But if others do get it I am fine with that. I am agnostic and ambivalent about it.

 

Andrew K's picture

I have gotten the vaccine (the Chinese one, in fact).

And I strongly encourage others to do likewise, whichever one is available to them.

I have also seen, however, that virtually every powerful American institution has trashed their credibility throughout this pandemic: politicizing everything, sometimes switching script mid-sentence to do so, while fear-mongering, concealing the truth, spreading half-truths, and outright lying; crushing small businesses, while endorsing violent riots... It's absolutely insane. I never thought I'd see this kind of thing in my own country.

Is it any wonder that your typical white, rural, red-state voter smells something? His instincts have going haywire. His facts may be wrong, but his gut is screaming at him that something is off. That makes him easy prey to every conspiracy theory that comes down the pike.

By all means, though, let's go ahead and shame him out of it. That always works.

Mark_Smith's picture

Larry wrote:

Your post illustrates why it's a good idea not to assume things. No matter what I believe, I try to understand what people on other sides of an issue might believe so that I can explain it in a way that they would recognize and agree with.

When it comes to the vaccine, I don't really care. I haven't gotten it but I haven't been eligible to get it. I likely will not get it. But if others do get it I am fine with that. I am agnostic and ambivalent about it.

 

So in other words you responded to my post just to be a jerk? Yep.

Ambivalence is the worst thing. So many Christians running around not getting the vaccine. Meanwhile, Christians who want to go to a live church service but jerks who do not want be careful are ruining it for everyone. Who wants to sit in a 15 by 15 foot room with their Sunday School class when you know 2 of the people routinely drive across the country without wearing masks? Or still try to shake your hand when you know they don't wear masks or be careful at all. It it truly is tragic.

Bert Perry's picture

....except having heard bad things about at least one of the Chinese vaccines (e.g. "doesn't work real well"), I'm not quite sure I can affirm that.  Hoping and praying that the one Andrew got works, of course.

Where I am is that whatever the origins of the fetal cell culture they use to make vaccines and test other drugs, they're not aborting more children to keep it going.  OK, clear by me.  How effective are the vaccines?  Well, the national infection and death rates show a huge decrease, so any reservations one might have about the FDA studies are mitigated by that.  Perfect chance of a solution?  Not by any stretch of the imagination--we put the kibosh on infections and deaths in medical care and in nursing homes with the vaccines, but it appears there's a baseline level of infections and deaths that may be poised for a "breakout" if it gets traction.  

Worst case is that the baseline becomes a nifty new mutation that really bites us hard.  Obviously we cannot predict that, but that's the monster behind the curtain.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Larry's picture

Moderator

So in other words you responded to my post just to be a jerk? Yep.

No, not at all. You asked a question that I thought I had a bit of insight into so I answered it. From that answer, you made a wrong assumption which I corrected. There was nothing "jerk" like about my post. I responded to it to offer an answer.

Ambivalence is the worst thing.

How so? I am fine with people getting it. I am fine with people not getting it. I don't care one way or the other at this point. I think it would be worse to actively campaign against it. I think it would be worse to try to force everyone to get it. I think it would be worse to call people jerks just because they disagree with me about it .Again, remember that most people are not at serious risk for this and it is mitigated by very basic simple steps. And remember that even with the vaccine, people are told to still wear masks and social distance. 

Jerks who do not want to be careful are a problem even without the pandemic. But there are probably relatively few of those.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Kevin Miller wrote:

...I'm in no hurry to get the vaccine, but I'm not opposed to it either. I do have concerns about the short period of time in which it's been in existence, but I wouldn't classify that concern as outright opposition. If it becomes required in order for me to continue with my ministry work, I would take it.

Exactly, thanks for expressing this.  And for you, Mark, this is where a lot of us are.  I've also posted that I'm not opposed, but that it's not on my priority list to get it.  Those that really need protection because of risk factors should get it, as well as those who really want it.  So do so.  If I'm ever required to do it for my work, or for essential travel, I will too.

That's the way vaccines work, anyway, right?  It's always been understood that they protect those who get them, except for the very small percentage of people that *can't* take the vaccine, which makes sense for *very* dangerous diseases.  The fact remains that Covid isn't Polio, or smallpox, or the equivalent of an airborne version of rabies or ebola.  If you want to lecture me for not immediately thinking there is an emergency need to go out right now and get the vaccine to turn a 99.7% survival rate into 99.8%, when anyone who really needs it can go out and get the vaccine now to protect themselves, go ahead, but if you're just going to moralize, or berate me, rather than presenting evidence that would actually convince me, you're just wasting your time.

Dave Barnhart

Bert Perry's picture

My take on whether younger, healthier people ought to take the vaccine is that it has a lot to do with playing the odds.  At this point, most older people who want the vaccine have been vaccinated, and that means that we're going to have limited effectiveness keeping the disease from influencing those who are still susceptible.

That leaves, at this point, the question of what happens as the disease goes through the rest of those who can contract it, but will not die from the current strains.  Does it mutate into something very interesting?  And in light of that, we would infer that the more people who get it--and the length of the chain from "patient 0" to them--the more likelihood of a "doomsday strain" (say something that attacks the young & strong) we have.

And in light of that, the fact that I theoretically have good immunity (due to getting the disease and then getting the vaccine) greatly reduces not only the likelihood that I'll get it again, but also cuts short the "chain" to get to those doomsday strains.

Really, though, the big deal I see now is that the U.S. cases are increasing slightly, but international cases are skyrocketing--we might almost suggest that the best thing to do is to ask people to send our doses to those countries, as that's, statistically speaking, where a doomsday strain would come from.

(if our government is incompetent, however, and that seems to be the case in any given year, we might just do well to take the vaccine and pray for the best, as we're not likely to get those vaccines to those who need them most)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Andrew K's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

....except having heard bad things about at least one of the Chinese vaccines (e.g. "doesn't work real well"), I'm not quite sure I can affirm that.  Hoping and praying that the one Andrew got works, of course.

Where I am is that whatever the origins of the fetal cell culture they use to make vaccines and test other drugs, they're not aborting more children to keep it going.  OK, clear by me.  How effective are the vaccines?  Well, the national infection and death rates show a huge decrease, so any reservations one might have about the FDA studies are mitigated by that.  Perfect chance of a solution?  Not by any stretch of the imagination--we put the kibosh on infections and deaths in medical care and in nursing homes with the vaccines, but it appears there's a baseline level of infections and deaths that may be poised for a "breakout" if it gets traction.  

Worst case is that the baseline becomes a nifty new mutation that really bites us hard.  Obviously we cannot predict that, but that's the monster behind the curtain.

Thanks, Bert! 

Worse case scenario, total protection is just over 50% -- that's what I've read, at least. That still meets accepted requirements for a vaccination, I understand, though barely. Partial protection, e.g., preventing hospitalization and serious disease, is said to be significantly higher, however.

It's based on old, fairly stable vaccine technology and used, uh, monkey cells (*ook!*).

Anyway, I thought it was worth the risk. And it's the only one available where I currently live. I'm not that old yet, but I got special access as a teacher.

Mark_Smith's picture

Andrew K wrote:

Worse case scenario, total protection is just over 50% -- that's what I've read, at least. That still meets accepted requirements for a vaccination, I understand, though barely. Partial protection, e.g., preventing hospitalization and serious disease, is said to be significantly higher, however.

Not sure where you are reading that total protection is only 50%. Its way better than that.

Moderna is about 90% after 6 months and 95% against severe disease even after 6 months. Though upon reread maybe you are talking about a Chinese vaccine.

Mark_Smith's picture

Since several people have said they do not think the virus is a threat to them, and that causes them to not get a vaccine, what about the vaccine causes you alarm? I presume you got the MMR vaccine though most who get measles are fine. Many people get shingles vaccine though it rarely if ever kills anyone (it can sure hurt though!).

So what about the COVID vaccines do you not trust?

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Mark, this isn't a new idea, and it's been posted on a number of threads by various people, but for many of us, the calculation is simply risk vs. reward.

There's probably not any issue with the Covid vaccines, but given the amount of time they have been in existence, there have been no long-term safety studies as to the possible side-effects of the vaccine.  For those in high-risk categories, the long-term risks fade in importance, but for those in low-risk categories, the calculation then becomes more complicated.  If my chances of survival with no long-term effects are high, then I have to consider carefully whether the gain is worth the risk.  As I said before, if it were required for essential travel or to stay employed, then that figures into the calculation as well.

If I were to get bitten by an animal suspected of being rabid, I'd immediately take any available vaccine, knowing that >99% of people who get rabies die.  Any possible dangers of the vaccine pale in importance.  It's not so simple with diseases with much less serious consequences.  If you ask a random sampling of people if they take the flu vaccine, you will find that many (I'll bet it's greater than 50%) do not, even though 30,000-80,000 in this country die from the disease each year (except for this year, of course!), including children, who are far more at risk from the flu than from Covid.  Covid is more serious than the flu for adults, but much less serious than rabies.  So, the results will show that many more will take the vaccine (I think I read that over 100,000,000 in the U.S. have had at least one dose) than would take the flu vaccine.  While the absolute numbers for rabies are low, I suspect that >99% of people that are told to take the rabies vaccine will, because of the consequences.

Since vaccines are to protect the one taking them, and since the consequences of Covid are not in the same realm as even SARS/MERS, and since the vaccine is now available to every adult, all some of us are saying is that it should be our choice whether to take it or not, and if you try to preach that those of us who don't are not caring for society, we can simply point out that if you are worried or at risk, go get it, and you'll be as protected from Covid as it's currently possible to be.  It's really that simple.

As to the rabid anti-vax types, there is probably no argument that is going to convince them, as their trust level is in conspiracy-theory territory.  Some may find it worthwhile to try, but I personally would find that a waste of my time.

Dave Barnhart

Mark_Smith's picture

dcbii wrote:

Mark, this isn't a new idea, and it's been posted on a number of threads by various people, but for many of us, the calculation is simply risk vs. reward.

There's probably not any issue with the Covid vaccines, but given the amount of time they have been in existence, there have been no long-term safety studies as to the possible side-effects of the vaccine.  For those in high-risk categories, the long-term risks fade in importance, but for those in low-risk categories, the calculation then becomes more complicated.  If my chances of survival with no long-term effects are high, then I have to consider carefully whether the gain is worth the risk.  As I said before, if it were required for essential travel or to stay employed, then that figures into the calculation as well.

If I were to get bitten by an animal suspected of being rabid, I'd immediately take any available vaccine, knowing that >99% of people who get rabies die.  Any possible dangers of the vaccine pale in importance.  It's not so simple with diseases with much less serious consequences.  If you ask a random sampling of people if they take the flu vaccine, you will find that many (I'll bet it's greater than 50%) do not, even though 30,000-80,000 in this country die from the disease each year (except for this year, of course!), including children, who are far more at risk from the flu than from Covid.  Covid is more serious than the flu for adults, but much less serious than rabies.  So, the results will show that many more will take the vaccine (I think I read that over 100,000,000 in the U.S. have had at least one dose) than would take the flu vaccine.  While the absolute numbers for rabies are low, I suspect that >99% of people that are told to take the rabies vaccine will, because of the consequences.

Since vaccines are to protect the one taking them, and since the consequences of Covid are not in the same realm as even SARS/MERS, and since the vaccine is now available to every adult, all some of us are saying is that it should be our choice whether to take it or not, and if you try to preach that those of us who don't are not caring for society, we can simply point out that if you are worried or at risk, go get it, and you'll be as protected from Covid as it's currently possible to be.  It's really that simple.

As to the rabid anti-vax types, there is probably no argument that is going to convince them, as their trust level is in conspiracy-theory territory.  Some may find it worthwhile to try, but I personally would find that a waste of my time.

I didn't ask you to analyze what others are doing or thinking. I asked what YOU think is risky about the vaccine. You call it a risk vs reward. What's the risk?

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Mark_Smith wrote:

I didn't ask you to analyze what others are doing or thinking. I asked what YOU think is risky about the vaccine. You call it a risk vs reward. What's the risk?

I've posted on this myself (plus, you'll notice I said "many of us," thus including myself, above).  The risk for me is this: no long-term safety studies exist yet.  I'm sure you have heard of some of the many FDA-approved drugs that have been recalled (some decades later) after discovering very unpleasant side effects, include birth defects, kidney failure, etc.  You can do the Google searches yourself.

As I have also previously posted on SI, I'm not convinced that such dangers exist with any of the Covid vaccines.  However, because they were all developed and tested quickly and under pressure, no one has any idea of the possible long-term side effects of having used them.  Neither you nor I know that risk for sure.  Anyone can guess, like I do, that the risk isn't high.  However, until I absolutely NEED to be vaccinated, there's no need for me to take on any risk at all.  This isn't a choice between either taking the vaccine or dying sometime next week.  If that were the case, then kidney failure 30 years later is something to deal with when that comes.  Since the risk of dying of Covid is extremely low, I don't have to make that calculation yet.

Dave Barnhart

Andrew K's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

 

Andrew K wrote:

 

Worse case scenario, total protection is just over 50% -- that's what I've read, at least. That still meets accepted requirements for a vaccination, I understand, though barely. Partial protection, e.g., preventing hospitalization and serious disease, is said to be significantly higher, however.

 

 

Not sure where you are reading that total protection is only 50%. Its way better than that.

Moderna is about 90% after 6 months and 95% against severe disease even after 6 months. Though upon reread maybe you are talking about a Chinese vaccine.

Yes.