COVID Vaccine Misinformation: Could Y’all Stop?

I wish people actually knew what the hell you were talking about so you’d stop spreading this vaccine misinformation.

Unfortunately, as of this writing, I’m one of the people who has to rely on herd immunity because I (currently) can’t be vaccinated against COVID-19. Why? Well, I happen to be one of the exceedingly rare people who actually had a bad, allergic reaction to a flu vaccine that I received back in 2019 so I was actually advised by my doctors not to take the COVID shot.

And I can already hear people gearing up to say some bullshit like “Oh, so the vaccine is good enough for us but you won’t take a chance on it?”

It’s not that I won’t, it’s that I can’t. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 vaccine is similar in composition to flu vaccines and I can’t risk taking it because of that similarity. People who have previously had a bad reaction to the flu vaccine have been expressly advised not to take the COVID-19 vaccine. When I heard this, I decided to double check with my doctors and they told me that I shouldn’t take a chance on it.

When I say I suffered a bad reaction to a flu vaccine, I don’t mean I got a runny nose or ran a fever for a day or two. That’s normal, and it goes away within a couple days. My immune response was so strong and so debilitating that I was literally bed-ridden for a couple days and suffered serious muscle aches and weakness that persisted for about two weeks and I was still feeling in some capacity a month and a half later.

Go Google Guillain-Barre Syndrome for a primer on what I’m referring to. I admit, it was bad. But I recovered. I have Sickle-Cell Anemia so I’m already immunocompromised and was thus more prone to having something like this happen to me than the average person. Nonetheless, I was still caught completely off guard by this reaction to the flu vaccine. I’ve been vaccinated against the flu nearly every year prior to that happening and in my (at the time) 32 years of life, I’d never had a reaction that bad.

But despite that happening to me, I still trust vaccines. I know, to some folks, it might sound insane that I’d still trust a vaccine and be willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine after suffering like that but I also know that vaccines have a proven track record of several decades of widespread use and hundreds of millions if not billions of safe, effective administrations.

Yes, there are proven cases of injuries and even deaths occurring from the use of vaccines but we’re talking thousands of cases compared to, again, hundreds of millions if not billions. It’s not even comparable.

You don’t think I’d take the COVID vaccine in a second if I could? I can’t travel, I have to double-mask everywhere and I’m all but literally confined to the house because of COVID and people like this are screwing up the one chance I have of getting back to any semblance of normalcy by spreading misinformation and scaring people away from the vaccine.

But cases like mine are actually extremely rare and I still take other vaccines. I just haven’t taken one kind of vaccine because of a verified allergy. The vast majority of people aren’t going to be like me and will be just fine after taking the vaccine. You literally have a higher chance of getting into a car wreck or being killed by a cow than being seriously injured or dying from a vaccine but I don’t see any of you trading in your cars and taking the bus or walking everywhere.

Man…I wish you people could go back in time and see what measles, polio and smallpox were doing to people before we had vaccines for them. This generation has been spoiled by vaccines because our parents were smart enough to have us vaccinated against a wide range of diseases early in our lives and, as a result, these highly injurious, deadly diseases have been nearly eradicated in our lifetimes.  

But now, measles and the mumps are making a comeback because people are sharing anti-vax nonsense about things they haven’t done anywhere near enough research to understand. Because of this anti-vax nonsense, COVID cases, hospitalizations and, most distressingly, deaths, are exploding among the unvaccinated (and, yes, even among some who have been fully inoculated) due in large part to the Delta Variant.

I’m going to see my doctors again next month and I plan to ask them again about taking the COVID vaccine because, even though I’ve done my own research and I think I know a bit more about vaccines than the average person, I’m also smart enough to know when to defer to the experts. I’m comfortable deferring to doctors because they know far more about this than I do, and certainly far more about it than the vast majority of people presently sharing anti-vax memes on Facebook and Twitter who haven’t spent a single day in medical school, much less dedicated years, if not decades, of their lives to immunology.

If you don’t want to take the vaccine, then, fine. Don’t take it. I’m not here to tell you that you must take the COVID-19 vaccine. You ABSOLUTELY SHOULD take the COVID vaccine because (and I cannot stress this enough) the side effects are not worse than the disease, but I’m not here to demand that everyone reading this take the vaccine. because there are some people, who are like me and can’t be vaccinated against COVID right now, just like all other vaccines.

Above all else, what I’m asking, no, what I’m begging you to do is to stop sharing anti-vaccine memes and other misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine unless you have actual, independently verifiable proof of widespread injury caused by it. Not some documentary you found on YouTube or some blog you found on the internet; I mean actual, hard evidence. And not of a couple of isolated cases. I’ve already admitted that those exist and that they’re going to happen, I mean widespread cases of vaccine injury or death.

And here’s the thing about that. That evidence does not exist. Period. If it did, we’d have heard about it by now. Don’t come to me about global conspiracies and new world orders because I guarantee you, world governments are not as competent as you think they are, and certainly not capable of keeping a lid on an actual global conspiracy like the one you all seem to think is going on here.

So, if you’re not going to stop driving a car because of the potential for injury or death in a car crash, then you shouldn’t be avoiding vaccines either just because of a handful of cases.

Penicillin, the first real antibiotic, is responsible for saving countless lives throughout history since its discovery nearly a century ago, yet it also causes a small but predictable number of deaths every single year due to anaphylaxis caused by people having an allergic reaction to it. Should we stop using it too because it causes those deaths, despite the millions of people it saves every year? If your answer is yes then…you’re more unreasonable than I thought, but if your answer is no, then you should feel the same way toward vaccines. Their potential for good far outweighs the bad, and it’s not even close.

About Justin McBride

My name is Justin McBride and I’m a guy who enjoys writing, playing games and writing about playing games. Sound lame enough yet? Well, I have other interests as well such as hanging out with friends, watching TV, going to the movies from time to time, surfing the internet, listen to good music, drive at speeds I shouldn’t be driving at and so on. The problem is, that’s all stuff everyone likes to do, so why write about it? Oh wait, seems I just did. Oops.

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