Vaccinations Deserve Careful Thought
By Tom Herrin
As the world has awaited the confirmation and distribution of a safe and effective vaccine for a devastating pandemic, the time will be approaching in which many will have to make some thoughtful decisions. While many are welcoming the products of new and highly anticipated research, many will still have to give pause. They will ask questions about just how safe are these vaccines and should they consider taking one early on. There are some who are determined on both sides, and then there are many who would truly like to take advantage of opportunities to create another buffer between them and a serious illness.
Vaccines have a mixed history. On the one hand, the first real vaccine was a simple one for smallpox. Its discovery and development literally changed human history in many places. Smallpox had shown the ability to devastate communities. Once it was found that a related disease could provide immunity, many areas adopted the vaccine as a routine practice. Some places required them as the mortality rate was around 30 percent. Since it is a virus, and not a bacteria, it cannot live long without a host, or infected individual. As a result, it virtually disappeared from the face of the planet. In the overall scheme of things, it was a tremendous success.
Vaccinations are not without risks. Anyone who has had to sign a consent form to receive one has surely pondered the possibly bad things that could happen. At the very least, many people experience pain and soreness at the site of the injection and, sometimes, they have a mild illness. In some extremely rare cases, people have died. It is not uncommon for some to have seizures. In children, this can be very unsettling. A few other problems include fever and insomnia.
Decisions Are Better Made Ahead of Time
No matter what the issues, it is always better to think through any health situation well before it is time to do something. For some, weighing the alternatives can make the choice simpler. With the general odds in favor of taking the vaccine, they go for it. For those who have had, or known of, bad experiences, they prefer to wait. Letting someone else try it first may allow time for watching from a distance. As I look at the results of trials, I will likely go ahead and try it. If I had young children, I am sure I would have reservations at first. Either way, we will all be wise to begin weighing our choices and collecting information.
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