As of today, nearly 40 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The reason to specify “one dose,” is, of course, that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine—which the FDA recently recommended pausing due to several recipients developing blood clots after receiving it—only requires one. While experts try to comfort the public by telling them that six people developing blood clots out of millions who received the shot without issue is nothing to worry about, people are, naturally, still panicking a bit. Or a lot – my mother got the Johnson & Johnson shot weeks ago, feels fine, but visited her doctor today simply because she heard the news about the recall, and was concerned.
Vaccines aren’t reaching people overnight. Yes, forty percent have at least one shot, but that’s less than half of Americans and many of those are only half vaccinated. It doesn’t help that many Americans are actively avoiding the vaccine. Anti-vaxxers have come out in hoards during this pandemic, and they’ve even had some highly educated minds on their side. How educated? Well, one ex-vice president of Pfizer was behind one report claiming the COVID-19 vaccine can cause fertility issues (this has since been debunked). There are a lot of feelings, opinions, fears, and hopes around this vaccine. After my husband and I received our second shot recently, I wanted to share our experience with getting fully vaccinated.
Judgment from high horses
Up until recently, vaccines in our area were only available to a select few groups of individuals, such as those over the age of 65, frontline workers, essential workers, healthcare workers, and those with compromised immune systems. My husband and I do not meet any of that criteria, but we found a way in the side door (to be covered in the next slide) to get our vaccines. And some of our family judged us. One particular member of my family accused me of stealing a vaccine from someone who might have desperately needed it – of even possibly being responsible for someone’s death because I took the vaccine. He’s deeply wrong, but would not hear me out. The vaccine has become another form of politics, in that it can tear families apart. I’m not ready to speak to that family member yet.