3 Things You Should Know About The COVID-19 Vaccine

In all honesty, some level of skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccine is warranted. As a country, we've never experienced a situation such as this. In recent history, there has never been a virus as deadly and contagious as COVID-19. Moreover, there has never been a vaccine developed at such a swift rate.
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3 Things You Should Know About The COVID-19 Vaccine

In all honesty, some level of skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccine is warranted. As a country, we've never experienced a situation such as this. In recent history, there has never been a virus as deadly and contagious as COVID-19. Moreover, there has never been a vaccine developed at such a swift rate.
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Has The COVID-19 Vaccine Been Rolled Out Too Quickly?

On December 11th, 2020, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued the first emergency use for a vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19. While the vaccine is currently only available for front-line workers, the elderly, and those with auto-immune disorders, the approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine has spiked a conversation regarding its safety.

Vaccines are definitely a touchy subject. Just look at The Cutter Incident in 1955 where a polio vaccine ended up containing the live virus and caused an outbreak. What about the link between the swine flu vaccine and cases of Guillain-Barre? We often make fun of the anti-vaxxer sentiment, but in reality, much of it is warranted. Vaccines are much more complicated than we realize. That's why many Americans are skeptical of the lightning fast production of a COVID-19 vaccine.

According to a recent survey by Pew Research, only 29% of American adults say they "definitely" plan to get a vaccine. But where does that leave the remaining 71% of the population? Similarly, in an AP-NORC poll in mid-May, fewer than 50 percent of Americans surveyed said they would commit to getting a coronavirus vaccine whenever it becomes available.

Operation Warp Speed, while necessary, does not come without its concerns. While it is an amazing feat that pharmaceutical companies were able to facilitate the production of multiple vaccines within ten months (as opposed to five years), there are many consequences that many reveal themselves without long-term testing. Let's not forget that each of these pharmaceutical companies are competing with each other. They want to be the first to market with a vaccine, so what's stopping them from cutting corners in the process? Even in the short-term, four Pfizer vaccine patients developed Bell's palsy as a side effect, resulting in paralysis in half of their face.

Another strong argument against taking the COVID-19 vaccine is the possibility of losing our freedom—"medical tyranny," some call it. As we begin to reopen, what's to stop certain governors, the travel industry, or even private businesses from mandating that everyone show proof of vaccination? With Biden set to be inaugurated in January, who's to say that he won't instate a federal vaccine mandate?

Thomas Jefferson once said, "If the people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medication they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Freedom in this country is quickly dissipating and the quicker we give in, the quicker we let our government know that we are no longer willing to fight.

That being said, COVID-19 presents overwhelming challenges and must be dealt with accordingly. But we urge those considering the vaccine to think about the many serious risks that the vaccine may possess. Everyone wants to "get back to normal," but is this really the best way?

Do you plan to get the COVID-19 Vaccine as soon as it is available to you?

Is The COVID-19 Vaccine Safe?

Last week, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was approved by the FDA for emergency use. Americans knew this day was going to come, but now that it's here, many are not sure how to react. Under Operation Warp Speed, the COVID-19 vaccine was developed and tested at an unprecedented pace, leaving many skeptical about it's safety. While national health experts such as Dr. Anthony Faucci has reassured the public about the diligence of all research and development, it's safe to say that many Americans are not convinced.

The anti-vaccine movement has only grown stronger in recent years. In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) named vaccine hesitancy one of the top ten threats to global health. A growing vaccine hesitancy movement has contributed to decreasing vaccination rates in the US, especially among cloistered communities who are more vulnerable to misinformation campaigns.

However, skeptics of the COVID-19 vaccine aren't often an "anti-vaxxer," but just vaccine hesitant. What's the difference? The anti-vaxxer movement is largely misinformed by outdated studies that touted false claims about the side-effects of vaccines. The most well-known argument from this movement is that vaccines can cause autism, which has been extensively debunked since a bogus study linked the MMR vaccine to an autism diagnosis in 1998.

In this case, arguments against vaccines largely go against scientific evidence. With the vaccine-hesitant, however, are people who are reserved about being vaccinated, but are still open to being assured that the treatments are safe. According to a IPSOS Mori poll published earlier this year, only 53% of respondents said they were likely to take the vaccine. This means that many Americans are most likely hesitant towards a vaccine due to potential side effects that may result from the rushed development process.

Still, there are many strong science-backed arguments that reinforce the safety of the vaccine. For example, while it might appear that the vaccine was developed in record time, ongoing research behind mRNA vaccines have been studied for more than two decades. The recent application to the COVID-19 virus is the result of many years of testing and development.

Moreover, receiving the mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA or genetic makeup in any way. There is a fear that vaccines can interfere with human genetics, when in reality, this is unfounded as the vaccine is not able to reach the area of your cell where DNA is stored. Similarly, the vaccine will not give you COVID-19 as there is no live virus used. If you do get any side effect like fever or chills, it's simply a sign that your body is generating an immune response to the virus.

Other distrust in the vaccine is tied to a larger distrust in big pharma companies among the general public. Big pharma is not exactly one to be trusted between controversies such as the legacy of Martin Shkreli and the infamous opioid crisis. However, nine organizations have signed a pledge to only seek approval for a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. It's obvious that these companies are desperately vying to be first to market with a vaccine, but they're also under intense scrutiny from the Food and Drug Administration.

As the first vaccines are rolled out across the country, only time will tell how effective they are and what the potential side-effects may be. Still, we need to remember that this virus didn't just come out of nowhere. It is the result of an intensive and rigorous testing and development process that is predicated on accountability and trust. While fostering trust is no easy feat, it is the only way we can survive this public health crisis.

Do you plan to get the COVID-19 Vaccine as soon as it is available to you?

Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe?

This is an extraordinary scientific achievement, but is it safe?

The average vaccine takes approximately 10 years to develop. There are currently two COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna) that will likely be authorized and released to the public within a year of the discovery of the virus. How can a safe vaccine possibly be developed so fast?
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Follow the Science - Accepting The Temporary During COVID-19

And how do we apply the principle of "the temporary" not only to science but to our daily lives?

On a daily basis, we hear that we should "follow the science" with regard to COVID-19. What does that mean in the context of COVID, exactly? Moreover, based on humanity's lived experience of "following the science" what does that mean in general?

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What does hope look like if our society is incapable of facing reality?

A 2020 study published in the journal Nature Climate Change shows that polar ice sheets are melting in line with "worst-case scenario" climate models.

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How To Interpret COVID-19 Statistics

How are the powers that be twisting the facts?

Mark Twain once observed, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." Those in the legal profession might say: "There are three kinds of liars: simple liars, damned liars, and experts."

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Coronavirus Updates: Can Asymptomatic Carriers SpreadCOVID-19?

New evidence suggests asymptomatic transmission is less likely than previously thought.

On Monday, a representative from the World Health Organization called asymptomatic transmissions of the coronavirus "very rare." This was quickly bolstered by conservative lawmakers to call for the end of social distancing guidelines and the mandatory wearing of face masks. Many health experts and scientists questioned WHO's statement, citing a lack of evidence.
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