Vaccinations can be scary. Misinformation surrounding COVID vaccines circles the internet and rears its ugly head constantly. Misinformation instills suspicion, fear, and anger and spreads as easily as the most contagious, pandemic ensuing, virus.
Many of us are still very divided about COVID vaccines. After months in and out of quarantine and hidden faces, we’re further separating ourselves into the “haves” and the “have-nots” with regards to the new vaccines. Vaccination has even become a popular addition to profiles on dating apps. Never mind interests and occupations. The hot topic now is whether or not you’re vaccinated and whether or not you trust the vaccines at all.
With all the suspicion and confusion, it’s important to know, understand, and disseminate the facts rather than the misinformation.
Speed of development
The speed of development is perhaps the number one thing that leads to suspicion about COVID vaccines. It usually takes 10-15 years to develop a vaccine. With previous records being a few months for the H1N1 vaccine, 3 years for the measles vaccine, and 4 years for the mumps vaccine. It’s easy to see why the speed of COVID vaccines would fall under some scrutiny and mistrust from the general public. However, there are a few reassuring things to keep in mind.
COVID vaccines did not have to be formulated from scratch. They were built on research already done on other coronaviruses, and in a collaborative effort with many scientists, globally. Clinical trials and vaccine approval were pushed through quickly by government agencies and materials for these vaccines were already available. The medical community and scientists assure us that fast-tracked vaccines still go through the same clinical trial process as vaccines with a slower development time, and fast-tracked vaccines are still safe.
Doctors and scientists also reassure us with answers to some other questions and concerns about the COVID vaccines. Stating that they will not cause autism or weaken our immune systems, but they will protect us from COVID-19. The vaccines cannot give us COVID, as they contain no viral material; they are still necessary even if you’ve already had COVID, but they aren’t mandated anywhere in the US.
Skepticism is to be expected, especially after the year we’ve all experienced together. However, it doesn’t have to delay or prevent us or our communities from moving forward to a healthier, less isolated future.