Opinion: On immunization discourse: get the vaccine

Della Johnson | Staff Writer

 One of my more remarkable moments would have to be when I had a panic attack on the floor of a Walgreens. 

I had come to get my flu shot, something I get every year. I’ve had moments at doctor’s offices where I’ve gotten five different shots at a time. Even still, every year I would see the syringe, the thin needle, and begin hyperventilating on the spot. I’m not even sure when this fear developed. One thing I know for sure is that I can’t remember a time where getting vaccinated wasn’t a personal source of tears, and the days leading up to the appointment weren’t filled with dread.

Now, with the recent announcement of the COVID-19 vaccine and thousands of people getting it nation-wide in the first few waves of distribution, I don’t think there has ever been a time more suitable for my fear to thrive. I can’t look at anything, go anywhere without seeing images of nurses holding arms, without hearing about the dynamics of the needle or the healthcare workers who are getting it. Even a few members of my family are in line to receive a dosage. 

So why is it that, in the eye of an immunization hurricane, with my ears and eyes filled with images of my most terrible fear, I’m entirely calm?

The answer is simple: I have common sense.

This coronavirus has grabbed the world by its collar and pushed it into a frenzy. People are losing their loved ones, their jobs, their homes. Releasing and distributing a vaccine–something we’ve all collectively yearned for since last March–seems like the only clear way out. 

That’s why I was so shocked when I heard that so many people are against getting it, calling it dangerous or crafting conspiracy theories about the way that the dosage will toxify your entire bloodstream. Saying that they aren’t sure what’s in it, because, you know, they’re absolutely sure of the contents of all the shots they get.

And I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be cautious when injecting substances. Obviously. That’s a given. But it’s not like the COVID vaccine that the friendly nurse shoots into you before she covers the wound with a rainbow bandage is going to be untested and unknown. Take it from a trypanophobic–if you’re refusing to get this vaccine due to some sort of reservation about how it’s “sketchy” or that it won’t work, and that’s your main reasoning, you’re being selfish. I can confidently say that my petrified self will sit right in that chair and take it, no objections voiced.

If we’re being offered a chance to eradicate this disease domestically, to potentially go back to life as we knew it, everyone should be leaping out of their seats and into clinics to get immunized. 

So, for the sake of everyone within a six-foot radius of you, get the vaccine.