Johnson: Vaccine? Or bust?

Columnist Matthew Johnson argues in favor of getting the vaccine. 

Matthew Johnson

The rollout of the new COVID-19 vaccines continues throughout the world. Companies such as Pfizer and Moderna have started dispersing their vaccines among the public. It almost seems as though the pandemic is almost over and we can go back to normal, right? Wrong. There is a big problem regarding the vaccines. Many people don’t trust that it’s safe to get.

Many individuals in the U.S. are reluctant to get the vaccine. In fact, 34 percent of Republicans said they would definitely not get the vaccine. Another 30 percent of independents say the same, along with 10 percent of Democrats. Numbers aside, there seems to be distrust across the board about the new vaccines. It’s hard to blame people for not trusting it, given that most vaccines take about five to 10 years and sometimes longer to develop. But at the same time, it’s time we put an end to this pandemic that has caused severe hardship for many individuals across the world.

In an effort to curve this mistrust, it’s time we address people’s concerns about the vaccine. There are many reasons why one wouldn’t want the vaccine. For example, Black people are less likely to take the vaccine due to distrust in our government. For decades now, Black Americans have been victimized by structural racism. So, it isn’t at all surprising why they would be more reluctant to take the vaccine. Just 42 percent of Black Americans say they would get the vaccine when made available to the public. The U.S. government has been experimenting with new (sometimes unsafe) drugs on Black Americans.

Another reason there is distrust in the vaccine is for political reasons and skepticism. Republicans are the least likely to be vaccinated for a few different reasons. One being, some Republicans don’t believe that COVID-19 is a thing despite all of the lives lost due to the virus. That could be because they don’t know anyone who has had it, or they could be part of the QAnon conspiracy group. QAnon followers believe the vaccine contains a microchip that will be used to spy on the public.

On Wednesday, Kim Reynolds announced the vaccine will be available to everyone starting April 5. This will be a good opportunity to see how many people do or don’t trust the vaccine in the “Cyclone” state.

With all of that being said, it’s about time we find a way to rectify the reasons of mistrust. One way we could do that could be to offer informational seminars about the vaccine to the public and offer in-depth reasoning as to why it’s important to get vaccinated. We can’t keep going in this direction, or individuals will continue to die and face severe illness due to COVID-19, and our economy can’t withstand any more blows at this time.