When I visited China through a graduate school program in 2006, I learned that the majority of the country’s underground water supply was contaminated. My doctor suggested I take booster shots for typhoid and Hepatitis A. That was an easy decision.
When I told my doctor last year that I taught in a school, he asked me about my prior tetanus shot. I didn’t remember. I knew it wasn’t in the past 10 years. Another easy decision.
When I request a flu shot every fall, I know that there are lots of people who either don’t want it or don’t like anything about vaccines.
When I read surveys that up to 50% of Americans will refuse the coronavirus vaccine, I don’t understand the mentality.
I grasp that a brand new vaccine may not be safe. I get it. But, there are scientific clinical trials across the world for a reason. Those trials must meet established metrics for government regulatory approval. But if one doesn’t trust the government, then who or what should regulate a drug?
When vaccines are safe for manufacturing and deployment, I think that’s when face coverings and 6-foot social distancing can taper off. It could occur later this year. It will probably happen in 2021.
When I think about the long-term future of the coronavirus, I recall a refrain from virologists and infectious disease specialists that COVID-19 has no end in sight.
As the leading U.S. public health guru recently said:
“I think with a combination of good public health measures, a degree of global herd immunity and a good vaccine, which I do hope and feel cautiously optimistic that we will get, I think when we put all three of those together, we will get control of this, whether it’s this year or next year… I don’t really see us eradicating it.”– Dr. Anthony Fauci, July 22, 2020
The familiar refrain is that our society will probably take covid shots in the way we take flu shots. It will be offered to us either once a year or once every few years to maintain immunity for so long. The tetanus shot is good for a decade; and maybe a coronavirus vaccine can be built for a similar time frame.
If half of the country’s population refuse a vaccine, how is it truly possible to eradicate the coronavirus? Instead, we will adjust to life with another virus and we’ll adapt our ways to make the most of our time together.