The Pandemic and Vaccines

Photo by Anna Shvets on

The past year and a half have been an interesting study of human behavior. Nearly half of our country’s population are in complete denial that we are genuinely in a pandemic and lack the willingness to wear masks, social distance, and get vaccinations.

I have family members and friends who fall in this category. They insist that Covid 19 is a hoax, and they will be damned if they are going to wear one of those stupid masks and forget about getting those nasty vaccinations. And their reasons for the latter run from believing that Bill Gates is the mastermind of creating the shots, which includes a microchip that tracks your every move (they don’t stop to think that the smartphone in their hand already does that) to these vaccines were not FDA approved (more about this in a minute) to “the vaccine will make me sick and I don’t want to be sick.” What do they think contracting Covid 19 will do, other than possibly fast-track your way to the ICU and a ventilator. Plus, Covid 19 tends to cause long-term health issues, while the vaccine usually doesn’t. I have had both of my shots of Moderna. I had no problems with either one, not even a sore shoulder. Same with the flu shot, pneumonia shot, or tetanus shot.

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on

As far as FDA approval, it is true that they don’t have that yet, but they do have an emergency usage approval.

“CLAIM: “Not one [COVID-19] vaccine is FDA approved. […] They are all experimental. You are in the experiment””

“Social media posts, such as this one, claimed that COVID-19 vaccines are experimental and didn’t receive approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is the federal agency responsible for vetting and approving of drugs and vaccines. These claims implied that the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines haven’t been demonstrated yet. However, this is misleading as it fails to mention that the vaccines were authorized for emergency use only after they were shown to be safe and effective during clinical trials.”

“Emergency use authorization allows a vaccine to become available prior to full approval in the case of public health emergencies. The FDA can revoke the EUA at any time.”

“The vaccines met FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization.” 

“FDA approval of a drug, which requires a rigorous and structured process, means that data on the drug’s effects have been reviewed by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, which rules on whether the drug’s provided benefits “outweigh its known and potential risks for the intended population.”

Three COVID-19 vaccines are authorized for use in the U.S. as of 29 March 2021. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was authorized by the FDA on 11 December 2020, the Moderna vaccine on 18 December 2020, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on 27 February 2021. All three vaccines received the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), which is distinct from FDA approval.

The FDA describes the EUA concept as follows:

“Under an EUA, FDA may allow the use of unapproved medical products, or unapproved uses of approved medical products in an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions when certain statutory criteria have been met, including that there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.”

This description illustrates that the EUA is specifically designed to address serious public health threats, such as that posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, when a swift reaction is needed. An EUA can only be issued if the government declares a public health emergency, as was done by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services on 31 January 2020. An EUA is limited and ends when the declaration of a public health emergency is terminated or revoked.”

Standard testing and approval tend to be linear… one part is completed before the next part. But for emergency use, the different phases were conducted in a more simultaneous process.

Those fearful of the vaccines tend to neglect researching the vaccines to see if their fears are valid.

But what surprises me the most is the lengths the local and federal governments will go to bribe people to get their shots. Free beer. Free football tickets. A lottery for a million dollars as well as other prizes like a new car. Then there is West Virginia who is giving away guns to anyone who gets their vaccination. Why do they think this makes any sense? A shot for a shot????

“On June 1, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice said, in a sense, hold my beer. He announced a new vaccine lottery program — one more robust than its predecessors that concentrates on men and the young. The initiative will begin on Father’s Day of this year and conclude on August 4. Up for grabs is a treasure as diverse as it is countrified. Pickup trucks are included in the winning pot; as are lifetime hunting and fishing licenses. For the under 25 and vaxxed, in- and out-of-state college scholarships are a possibility. Then there is everyone’s favorite motivation: cash. The highest purse in West Virginia’s vaccination lottery program is $1.6 million. One may view this as a big-picture investment; others as political money being thrown at a health problem.

The offering that makes West Virginia’s new lottery most singular is what makes it potentially the most costly. Firearms are also on the state’s vaccine incentive list. Seriously — the state is offering five custom hunting rifles as well as five custom hunting shotguns to 10 residents who’ve received at least one shot.”

And speaking about guns, apparently, they are the solution to all things Covid, such as the man in Georgia who was pissed about being asked to wear a mask in a store, so he took out his gun and shot the cashier, killing her. Oh, yes, prison is so much better than the ICU…. no covid in jail (cough, cough). 

It should be no surprise that Trump-following red states in the south have lower vaccination rates than other states. 

“Trump won 17 of the 18 states with the lowest adult vaccination rates. Many of these states have high proportions of whites without college degrees. The top 22 states (including D.C.) with the highest adult vaccination rates all went to Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. 

And in Texas, one hospital:

“More than 150 health-care workers who did not comply with a Houston-based hospital system’s vaccine mandate have been fired or resigned, more than a week after a federal judge upheld the policy.”

Yet dozens of people picketed the hospital with signs screaming tyranny, but guns, mass shootings, and kids killed in schools, churches, and malls are not tyranny. Anti-vaxxers who say “my body my choice” don’t support that same idea when it comes to abortion.

Of course, we have to give credit where credit is due: Donald Trump. Yes, some of this attitude existed before Trump ran for office, and he certainly voiced his opinion on a lot of this long before. But he really ran with it when he saw the response he got from followers. And embellished. And lied. And lied some more.

“It’s hard to talk about Donald Trump’s record on COVID-19 without sounding hyperbolic. That’s because the documented facts are so awful: Trump constantly deceived the public and interfered in every element of the government’s response, leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths that were, according to his own advisers, unnecessary. Every new examination of this catastrophe yields more evidence of the former president’s perfidy. The latest revelations, unearthed by Washington Post reporters Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta, show how Trump, behind the scenes, tried to conceal the crisis to protect his image.”

I don’t know the answer to this. I’m not sure if there is one.

I’m reading a variety of books about Christianity, the Bible, and Atheism. Based on these and my own experiences with religion and my own paranoid fears when I was on drugs, I know and understand why they have these fears. That doesn’t mean I’m condoning their beliefs or their behavior.

People are conditioned only to believe what others tell them; people who they trust, like parents, clergy, and teachers. They are trained to have faith and not ask questions, especially not to learn about any subject, whether religion or science.

As long as we have these attitudes and behaviors, Covid 19 will be with us for a long time.

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