Sunday, October 24, 2021

Why are some people afraid to get vaccinated?

THIS is not a medical or scientific article but rather a light feature that peeks into the decisions of some people who choose not to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

According to an article published on Healthline, the idea of vaccination opposition is not a new thing. When the smallpox vaccine was introduced in the 1800s, it was criticized based on sanitary, religious and political reasons.

Unfortunately, this mindset of not vaccinating one’s self or their children does not only affect themselves but their community. If there are a number of unvaccinated people against an infectious disease, there is a likelihood of a reemergence of that particular disease in that area.

The case of polio

A joint press release by the World Health Organization on June 11, 2021 stated how the Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) announced a polio outbreak on Sept. 19, 2019, after 19 years of being polio-free.

After a “comprehensive outbreak response” which included “intensified immunization and surveillance activities,” the DOH was able to officially conclude its successful response on June 3.

“WHO and Unicef Philippines on behalf of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative commend the Department of Health (DOH), government agencies, partners and civil society efforts that have ended the polio outbreak in the Philippines.”

For context, “polio is a highly infectious, crippling and sometimes fatal disease that can be avoided with a vaccine,” stated WHO in the article.

Fact vs fiction

In spite of widely available scientific and historical evidence of vaccines and their use for the greater good, there is still vaccination opposition from some, most especially against the deadly Covid-19.

According to Worldometer, there have been approximately 4.5 million deaths reported due to the coronavirus outbreak. In an analysis published by the Associated Press on June 30 entitled “Nearly all Covid deaths in US are now among unvaccinated,” it stated that “only about 150 of the more than 18,000 Covid-19 deaths in May were in fully vaccinated people. That translates to about 0.8 percent, or five deaths per day on average.”

Vaccination opposition could be traced to the following common reasons:

Religious beliefs. Some religious communities believe that getting vaccinated is an act that shows a lack of faith. Unfortunately, some people who are afraid to get vaccinated for medical reasons hide behind their religious reasons.

Although, it is enlightening to know that most mainstream religions are okay with believers getting vaccinated. The leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, recently urged people to get jabbed against Covid-19.

“Getting vaccinated is a simple yet profound way to care for one another, especially the most vulnerable,” he said. “Thanks to God’s grace and to the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from Covid-19.”

Mistrust in Science. Some people have expressed their doubts about the scientific community, its intentions of developing and selling vaccines, and their safety.

Again, historical and medical evidence have shown that the medical gains massively outweigh the risks. While it is true that not all people are the same, that is the reason why doctors are available for consultations; even online these days.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on its website: “Vaccines are continually monitored for safety, and like any medication, vaccines can cause side effects. However, a decision not to immunize a child also involves risk and could put the child and others who come into contact with him or her at risk of contracting a potentially deadly disease.”

Role of social media

Social media has served a noble purpose during these modern times through information dissemination that helps in the coordinated response against the coronavirus. However, just like a double-edged sword, there are unfounded and outrageous claims about vaccination, leading to unnecessary fear among the public ranging from dying due to a side-effect or the vaccinated turning to flesh-eating zombies.

It is important for people to share facts and refrain from spreading misinformation or fake news about vaccines. For any questions, consult your doctor.

For people who are now considering vaccination, head on to to register for free.


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