We have an incredible opportunity right now. Maybe you’ve seen it also? I’ve noticed lots more talk about vaccines on social media in the last few weeks, and much of it isn’t coming from the usual sources. Back in January and February when coronavirus news was picking up, there was some talk about them. But now, you can’t avoid the vaccine talk especially when government officials claim that things can’t go back to normal until a vaccine is available.
From California to New York, governors are making bold statements about their state’s future. They are also putting a lot of faith in a product that’s yet to be fully safety tested or licensed:*
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced this week that, while California will move into the next phase of reopening its economy this week, it is “not going back to normal” until there is a vaccine.
“This virus is still very dangerous, and it still poses a great threat,” the governor said. “Until there’s a vaccine, unfortunately, we will not be able to go back to life as we knew it, in Oregon or, frankly, anywhere.”
"Until we get a vaccine, until we get a way to prevent this, things are not going to be totally normal. But we're going to ease into it," DeWine said.
Cuomo said the state has to “build a bridge from where we are to the reopening of economy,” which he said will be a “new normal.
It’s over when we have a vaccine. It’s over when people know I’m 100% safe and I don’t have to worry about this,” Cuomo said. A vaccine is expected in 12-18 months, and New York is “all in” to help expedite that process.
*Per the CDC, liability-free vaccine safety testing can “…take several years. Once testing in people begins, it can take several more years before clinical studies are complete and the vaccine is licensed.”
While some may wish those vaccine conversations to go away, I say let’s talk about them! More people are listening. And I’ve noticed a lot of them are not parents like you or I who have a child with a vaccine injury. High school classmates, former neighbors, moms I knew when my children were younger are all sharing the same thing – they’re against this vaccine. No way will they get it no matter how many will be available in a short 12 - 18 months. Several groups are “racing” toward what officials call the only solution, but these people I know will not be fooled.
The opportunity that’s in front of us is to add to the conversation the governors, the media and top officials have started. Close friends and supportive family may already know your story and your opinion about vaccines, but it wouldn’t hurt to talk some more. You don’t need to get too personal, but reminding them of just 3 simple facts would be a good place to start:
1-Vaccine consumers cannot sue vaccine manufacturers if they encounter a problem with a vaccine. Not being able to take legal action is an unfortunate truth.
2-That’s because the government granted, and continues, to grant indemnity to vaccine manufacturers. Manufacturers are allowed to make and to sell potentially harmful products, products that come with risk and that have extensive side effects, that are known to cause adverse reactions and that have no guarantee. No other product or manufacturer can get away with that. None.
3-An excise tax, paid by vaccine consumers, is used by the government to compensate vaccine injury claims. That tax exists because our government knows that vaccines can cause injury and death. Those who’ve lost a loved one due to a liability-free vaccine can file a claim. But like vaccines, there are no guarantees that their claim will bring positive results.
If I had to guess why some people are strongly against a COVID vaccine, I think it’s because they know that the ones “selling the panic” are the same ones selling the vaccine. They are the ones who saw how the narrative quickly went from closing for 2 weeks “to flatten the curve” to “stay closed until a vaccine is developed”. They feel that some who are pushing for a vaccine have motives that are questionable. They are also be tired of hearing officials contradict themselves and have grown tired of seeing other officials put themselves above everybody else.
I haven’t asked anyone yet why they’re deadset against a COVID vaccine. What I do know is that they’re seemingly regular, every day folks who’ve been quick to see how absurd a COVID vaccine would be. They aren’t the only ones who recognize that and who are already ready to say no. One-third of Americans also don’t want one also.
No matter one’s opinion, when vaccines are the topic, it’s hard to avoid seeing chatter about them. Several of my friends are as conservative as I am, but others lean very much to the left. Political views aside, I believe they all agree that instead of the government pushing a vaccine for an illness we’ve yet to fully understand, the government should be doing everything it can to protect our rights, including the right to choose. Let those who want to risk getting a fast-tracked, limited tested, liability-free pharmaceutical product the chance to get it. But also give those of us who wish to give future COVID vaccines a hard pass the same opportunity.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.