Why vaccination should be a choice

Emily Waite is a senior reporter for The Prospector.  This is her first year on staff.

Amanda Kerrigan

Emily Waite is a senior reporter for The Prospector. This is her first year on staff.

Emily Waite, Reporter

Although I don’t believe the COVID-19 vaccine is overall a bad thing, I personally choose to not get the vaccine for multiple reasons.

The first Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine was issued on December 11, 2020. This first EUA for the Pfizer vaccine was issued to individuals above the age of 16. This was just eleven short months after the first COVID-19 case was reported in the United States. Vaccines are typically tested for 10-15 years before they have officially gone through all of the necessary testing, trials, and approvals to be given to the public.

Even though the Pfizer vaccine became available in Colorado for all individuals above the age of 16 and Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines were limited to above the age of 18 as of April 2, 2021, this was only thirteen short months after the pandemic was officially declared on March 11, 2020, by the World Health Organization. This is well below the average of 10-15 years; it is typically required before releasing a new vaccine.

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations do not work like other vaccinations. “Many other vaccines use a piece of, or weakened version of, the germ that the vaccine protects against. This is how the measles and flu vaccines work. When a weakened or small part of the virus is introduced to your body, you make antibodies to help protect against future infection.” said the CDC.

The Pfizer and Modera COVID-19 vaccines are messenger mRNA vaccines. According to MedlinePlus, this type of vaccine works by adding a piece of mRNA that resembles the outer shell of the COVID-19 virus. This is then reproduced throughout the rest of the body’s cells. As an immune response, the cells know the mRNA isn’t supposed to be in the body, so it creates proteins called antibodies. 

The biggest issue with this type of vaccine is that it alters the mRNA in your body to create this immune response. The long-term effects of this vaccine are not yet known since this vaccine was developed in under a year. Since it was developed in this short amount of time, it didn’t have enough time to see the long-term effects of the vaccine. So, considering this information, it implies that the individuals who currently have the vaccine are the trial runs and are currently waiting to see these long-term effects. 

Another issue with the COVID-19 vaccine is that it is causing some people to lose their jobs if they choose not to receive the vaccine. This is a violation of a person’s right to their own body. If an individual chooses to not put a substance into their body, because they do not feel comfortable with it, then there is a possibility in certain careers that they can be terminated from their positions. Even though, in the United States of America, adults have the right to personal autonomy in matters relating to their own medical care.

I personally do not believe that this should be okay. While I do understand why some individuals would like the vaccine, I do not think that it is okay to make it mandatory to receive this vaccine or have the possibility of being terminated because you choose not to receive the vaccination. I believe it should be a choice to receive this vaccine just as every other vaccine is and should not have major consequences if chosen to not receive it, such as being terminated.

I made the decision not to receive the vaccine based on my own research. If it makes other people feel safer to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, then I support their decision just like I would want other people to support mine.