Now that the vaccine is coming to the Philippines and in fact has landed in other countries – the debate is now on, whether one get the vaccine or not. The vaccine is becoming more a reality than just a dream, and some people suddenly started to have “cold feet” and is wary in taking it. They call it in the States getting a “spike or a jab” and people are sharing news (whether fake or not) to convince people to their side.
In the latest survey of Pulse Asia 47% of Filipino will not take the vaccine, while 32% plan to take the jab while 21% remain undecided. What could be the possible reasons why people will not take the vaccine?
Those against it, have various reasons because of the many messages floating around in the social media such as for example that the vaccine could change their DNA, microchips barcode might be planted in their arms through the vaccine to keep track wherever they go which are all confirmed as NOT TRUE by www.snopes.com – a leading site to confirm if the news is fake or not- and which were also all denied by Dr. Anthony Fauci (world leading authority in vaccines and Director of National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Disease) in an interview in YouTube.
The explanations by www.snopes.com are quiet lengthy but I should say, adequately backed up by valid scientific evidence so if you are curious to know , I suggest that you take time to read why these are fake news, to make a more rational decision. Relying on forwarded readings or videos or messages is something one must avoid since there are so many fake news proliferating around. Some of these allegations can sound funny or preposterous and misinformation could indeed carry serious repercussions as to keep people from being vaccinated and thus, preventing the country to attain herd immunity which is needed to completely get rid of the virus.
One reason some people are also adamant in getting the “jab or spike” is that they doubt whether it has undergone full study since in such a short time they were able to come up with the vaccines (a year?) while other vaccines takes years to develop. Dr. Anthony Fauci explained that “the speed is really a reflection of the scientific advances that have allowed us to do things in a matter of months that would have formerly taken years. And that’s the reason why we have a vaccine now in less than one year from the time the virus was identified. That isn’t reckless speed; that’s sufficient speed based on scientific advances” (npr.org dated 12.15.20).
On the other hand, UNICEF explained the swiftness of the development of the vaccines as “to the unprecedented investment in research and development and global cooperation, scientists have been able to develop a vaccine against COVID-19 in record time, while still maintaining robust, evidence-based and rigorous regulatory standards (https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/what-you-need-to-know-covid-vaccine).
Another worry is the serious side effects of the vaccines. Recent development is the death of 33 senior citizens aged 75 years old and above in Norway who were all vaccinated against Covid19. This contributed to the scare of being injected. However, in a latest report, “health authorities in Norway say there’s no evidence of a direct link between the recent string of deaths among elderly people inoculated against COVID-19, and the vaccine they received”(bnnbloomberg.ca dated January 18, 2021). According to this report, these elderly had already underlying illnesses and it is a case of 1 for every 1000 since there were already 42,000 people in Norway that were vaccinated with the first dose including the elderly in all nursing homes. Apart from the usual side effects of fever and nausea which is a possible common side effect of any vaccines, there were no other serious side effects for most of the people vaccinated.
If you are undecided – study, research and know more about the facts rather than decide not to take it right away. Your decision could be a matter of life or death. But still the decision is yours – will the benefits of the vaccines outweigh the risks? That is the question you should ask yourself. Another thing to consider is the decision you make could affect the health of other people, too. So think hard.
For the meantime it is important to continue observing the protocols as precautions such as social distancing, regular hand washing and wearing masks.
(Wilma Miranda is a Managing Partner of Inventor, Miranda & Associates, CPAs, and Chair of the Media Affairs Committee of FINEX, Treasurer of Negros Outsourcing Services, Inc., and member of the Board of Directors of KPS Outsourcing, Inc. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinion of these institutions.)