In the Interest of Emotional Fitness®, Should I Ask the Question: “Have You Been Vaccinated?”
During this Covid-19 era, this is no doubt a question we have all considered or perhaps even been asked ourselves! While this short editorial perspective will focus primarily on “vaccine hesitancy”, we all recognize that Warren Redman’s 9 Steps to Emotional Fitness laid the groundwork for those of us seeking greater personal fulfilment, ready to experience great relationships so we can become emotionally fitter than we have ever been. We have learned that, through Emotional Fitness, our lives, relationships, careers and our general health improve so that we can become free from fear and live the lives we have dreamed. How then does that align with today’s focus on Covid-19 vaccinations, our core values and our future?
A July 1st US News & World Report article indicates the reasons for vaccine hesitancy in that country are provided as follows:
• 50.6% are worried about side effects
• 47.6% do not trust vaccines
• 38.5% do not trust government
• 35.6% do not feel they need a vaccine
The highest rate of vaccine hesitancy occurs in the 25 – 39 age group. For further information, this article can be referenced at best articles.
In her book Vaccine Hesitancy: Public Trust, Expertise, and the War on Science, philosopher Maya Goldenberg provides insights into vaccine hesitancy, its genesis, rationale and potential solutions using a multi-disciplinary approach to ground her arguments. For further information, a Media Watch review of Goldenberg’s book can be referenced at Vaccine Hesitancy.
One of the most interesting research articles on this topic comes from Johns Hopkins Medicine and succinctly lists “12 Things You Need to Know”:
1) Getting the Covid-19 vaccine can prevent you from getting sick
2) People of color are especially vulnerable to severe Covid-19
3) Getting vaccinated for Covid-19 helps others in your community
4) More vaccinations for Covid-19 mean a chance to return to normal
5) Though the Covid-19 vaccine development was fast, it did not skip steps
6) Diversity in Covid-19 vaccine testing helped assess safety and effectiveness
7) Side effects of the Covid-19 vaccine are temporary and do not mean you are sick
8) Do you have allergies? You can probably still get the Covid-19 vaccine
9) Here’s what we know about pregnancy, breastfeeding and fertility concerns with the Covid-19 vaccines
10) If you’ve already had Covid-19, getting the vaccine will add extra protection
11) Covid-19 vaccines: Time is of the essence
12) Vaccines can’t save lives unless people get vaccinated
These 12 points might in fact seem quite simple. They are well explained in detail in the full article, which can be accessed at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Here in Canada, a CTV news report in late May outlines new research that surfaces underlying worries about Covid-19 vaccines that include concerns regarding safety, political skepticism, conspiracy theories, medical illiteracy and misinformation. This information can be accessed at Vaccine hesitancy in Canada.
Most of the reasons cited for vaccine hesitancy are not supported by truth or facts. We live in a country that is safe and secure, with access to terrific medical care. As a Baby Boomer myself, I find it interesting that my generation has keenly accepted vaccines because we grew up in the shadow of polio and smallpox, both of which are almost completely eradicated thanks to the creation of safe and effective vaccines. As we enter into the next stage of this pandemic, I encourage readers to do their own research … not just these articles but other scholarly and reputable sources to learn more. Then we have to return to that fundamental question of asking our friends, co-workers, associates and other contacts “Have you been vaccinated?“
Dr. Richard A. Vaillancourt