Vaccine reluctance

Categories and tags:
From our Muslim chaplain

It seems like this world we’re living in, is a neverending lockdown with very little to look forward to for the foreseeable future. But I believe there is a glimmer of hope. Vaccines are being rolled out throughout the UK, and coming from a number of different manufacturers- we’re almost spoilt for choice as to which vaccine we should choose. And I believe this is root of the first problem. A number of people I have spoken to, have been questioning the ingredients of each vaccine, and because I also work in the hospital- they feel that I should know. The same people have never questioned me of ingredient in any other medicines! Secondly the sheer amount of fake news and so-called expert advice being shared so quickly, without corroborration is another problem fuelling our indecision. It seems like ‘if you hear a lie often enough, it becomes the truth’!

The truth…

“72% are willing to be vaccinated…16% of the population are very unsure about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, and another 12% are likely to delay or avoid getting the vaccine. One in twenty people describe themselves as anti-vaccination for COVID-19.” [source: Professor Daniel Freeman. University of Oxford]

Now, I will tell you as I reflect on getting the Pfizer vaccine for myself, over a week ago, and I was undoubtedly nervous. I couldn’t even tell you why I was nervous, shaking like a leaf and feeling like I am about to make a terrible mistake. Soon it dawned on me. It was because I had seen so many videos and read so many ‘articles’, and had been forwarded social media messages by people I trusted- that subconciously, I started questioning the motives and the objectives of the NHS and our Government. Boris Johnson’s handling of the whole thing didn’t fill me with confidence either!

The ‘what-ifs’ and the ‘whys’ were running through my head more often, and instead of being confident about my decison to vaccinate, I was hesitant. To make matters worse, I had read a few Facebook comments asking people what they thought about the vaccine, and many comments summarised this sentiment- “I will only take it, if I must”. This was astonishing to me, given that we were in a global pandemic- I thought people would be fighting to get the jab first. I realised that the sharing of mis-information has left us educated in the wrong way, and we may be foolishly excercising our right to not be vaccinated with the false understanding that we are protecting ourselves and our loved ones.

Another thing I keep on hearing is people comparing to previous catastrophic events and previous vaccination trials. Questioning how fast this CV19 vaccine was produced and questioning clinical trials and their efficacy. Leprosy (1100s), the Plague of London (1665), Spanish Flu (1918); all of which affected a sizeable proportion of the world population; are often quoted, but there are major differences to these past events and the current. The technology available to the world’s scientists at the time were not the same in each case. The number of people affected at the time were not the same in each case. The speed at which news and information could be shared were difinitely not the same in each case.

So reasons for the CV19 vaccines to be made in such record time include the fact the there are more people affected, therefore more volunteers available for clinical trials. There are more scientists working collaboratively across the world- round the clock, to share data. And of course, on the negative side more ‘fake news’ is easily and widely shared without controls or censorship. I don’t sit here and tell you what decision to make, nor do I suggest that you must take the vaccine. It is your choice. I simply say, if you are unsure of anything please consult a local professional such as your GP or Pharmacist. Thats all. After that base your decison on their advice. Not just from something you have seen online.

Further reading:


*I lovely video I came across that highlights this issue [please note: this is not an endorsement]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.