Something to consider surrounding COVID19 vaccination
I want to start this post with a small disclaimer: This post is not an “antivax” post. My goal is to get people to think about their decisions, not necessarily to influence their decisions in a certain way. Furthermore, this post only applies to the COVID19 vaccination programmes, not for any other vaccine, past, present or future.
In general, this blog is for ideas and thoughts only. I will never report on anything as if it is a fact and all opinions expressed here are not related to my university or anyone besides myself. Lastly, one should always assume that I am in disagreement with all opinions expressed by myself.
When considering whether or not to get a vaccination, many factors may be taken into account. From my personal experience, three factors dominate the process for most people. These factors are health, convenience and solidarity.
Usually people who are either older or in poor health get vaccinated to protect their physical health. Most people who do not strictly need the vaccine for health related reasons mention convenience as their main motivator. With convenience I generally mean people who get the vaccine for travel or leisure activities. Lastly, some people are motived from a position of solidarity meaning that they get vaccinated in an attempt to protect others.
For me personally however, there is a factor that not many people consider, that being principle. Health, for me, is not an issue, principle outweighs convenience and solidarity is a strange concept to base personal protection around.
During the COVID-19 lockdowns, I resided primarily in The Netherlands. The Dutch government (like many others) decided that the best approach to tackle the virus was restricting everyone's freedom until a cure or vaccine was found. This is an approach that I largely disagreed with as I found it to be ineffective and disproportionately limiting.
Furthermore, I have been dissatisfied with the exact reason why the infection rate has to be low. When the lockdown was introduced, all politicians and “experts” spoke of lowering the curve and preventing overflowing hospitals. The aim gradually changed (as we scaled up medical capacity) to “saving lives”. The idea of this approach was that when weak and old people get sick from the SarsCov2 virus, they may die, which is unacceptable in today's culture. As these people got vaccinated, the aim shifted again to preventing mutations which could cause overstressed hospitals and deaths in the weaker members of society.
Now that I displayed the lens trough which I saw this “pandemic”, I can move on to the question of vaccination. In particular, I do not see the vaccination question as a health question, but rather as a political one. I am capable of approaching it in this light because I am in excellent health and have been infected with the virus without feeling any sickness. Trough this political lens, getting a vaccination is in a way a political vote.
If you get vaccinated, you are voting “yes” on the hypothetical bill asking if the reduction of freedom during the lockdowns was acceptable. Furthermore, you are voting “yes” on the bill asking if we can keep reducing the freedoms of non-vaccinated people. In some countries you might even be voting “yes” on the question if we can demote non-vaccinated people to second class citizens.
In other words, following the government plan of “lockdowns followed by vaccinations”, is agreeing with it. Or, perhaps more accurately, if you disagree with this strategy, you should not follow the plan. For, if everyone disagreed silently, yet went along, the strategy would be deemed successful. As soon as another “pandemic” rears its head, our governments will employ the “proven strategy” again.
If you have any thoughts, arguments, complaints or praises you wish to share with me, contact me. I plan to make a comment system some time in the future, but for now, emails will have to do. If you want you reply to be public however, tell me in your email and I will put your reply at the bottom of this post (alongside any reply I might give back).