Article by Francis William Dunn.
Now that an effective vaccine for COVID-19 has been developed, the goal for health care experts is to help ensure public confidence in the vaccine. There’s also the need to emphasize that the benefits of the vaccine greatly outweigh mild potential side effects or inconvenience.
There are huge logistical issues around finding a vaccine, proving it to be safe, and then producing and administering it to the world’s population. Even if those issues are resolved, the pandemic has come at a time where there is another growing problem in public health: vaccine hesitancy.
The COVID-19 vaccine will help keep you from getting the virus.
COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in clinical trials and have been approved because those studies show that the vaccine significantly reduces the probability of contracting the virus.
COVID-19 vaccine is an important tool to help stop the pandemic.
Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available. Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines work with your immune system, so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.
The vaccine really works!
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 95% effective. The Moderna vaccine is similarly effective. This is absolutely stunning! It seems that the vaccine produces a potent, consistent, and hopefully durable protective immunity. This is an early Christmas present!
COVID-19 vaccine is a safe
Although it was developed fast, the studies leading to the FDA Emergency Use Authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (and Moderna) were done right. They followed the same stringent processes required for any drug or vaccine. They were able to do it so fast because they had nearly unlimited funding and resources. I know some of the people who did this research or who advised the FDA. They are people of integrity. They are crazy smart. They care about people. They are really good doctors who want to do right by their patients. I trust these people.3
The vaccines do not affect or interact with our DNA
The COVID-19 vaccines are a new type known as mRNA (messenger RNA) vaccines. These mRNA vaccines give instructions to our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the spike protein. The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus. COVID-19 mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where DNA (genetic material) is stored. Once the instructions are inside your muscle cells, the cells use them to make the protein piece, then the cells break down the instructions and get rid of them.
Should it be made mandatory?
There is a strong case for making any vaccination mandatory (or compulsory) if three conditions are met:
- There is a grave threat to public health
- The vaccine is safe and effective
- Mandatory vaccination has a superior cost/benefit profile compared to other alternatives.
Each of these conditions involves value judgements.