Lim: Cold feet

Melanie T. Lim
·2 min read

THE vaccines are here but I sense cold feet everywhere.

Vaccine hesitancy has been on the rise globally since Andrew Wakefield created the perfect storm in 1998 with his now infamous paper in The Lancet claiming a causal link between the MMR (mumps, measles, rubella) vaccine and autism.

The study was found to be fraudulent leading The Lancet to make a full retraction in 2010. But the study had already turbocharged the anti-vaccine movement. And while Wakefield was stripped of his medical license, the damage had already been done. Today, anti-vaxxers still thrive.

Will I get the Covid-19 shot when I finally get my turn? Yes — unless I’m otherwise advised by my doctor. Which vaccine will I get? I will listen to my doctor.

Am I wary of the vaccine? Yes. After all, its long-term effects are unknown.

But do we actually know the long-term effects of everything we put inside our bodies? Not really. But we imbibe, anyway — because we desire the touted benefits — whether they be supposed good health, wellness, beauty or bliss.

What about the possible allergic reactions?

Have you ever been vaccinated as an adult? Flu shot? Pneumococcal vaccine? Tetanus or Hepatitis shots? If you experienced no adverse reaction to any of those shots, chances are you won’t have any with the Covid-19 vaccine. But check the vaccine ingredients and consult your doctor.

Afraid of anaphylaxis? Who isn’t? But this severe potentially life-threatening allergic reaction is rare and not without remedy. Epinephrine will be on hand together with other reversal drugs, remedial agents and assistive devices at vaccination centers. Observation periods after inoculation will also be established.

As with all types of medical interventions — whether it’s an ordinary popping of a pill or a nerve-wracking going under the knife experience, everything entails risk. But we do it, anyway — because often, it is urgent, necessary and life-altering if not life-saving.

Getting vaccinated is not without risk but the risk of getting Covid-19 and infecting others now looms large as the virus continues to spread globally, uncontained. The only way to end the pandemic is for a vast majority of people to get vaccinated.

Measles was largely stamped out due to widespread vaccination. Why is it back? Because people stopped having their children inoculated. Diseases cannot be globally contained without collective action.

Unless otherwise advised by your doctor, getting the Covid-19 shot during your turn is your chance to make a meaningful contribution to global health.

God demands from each of us, now, the ultimate sacrifice — to do what is urgent, necessary and life-saving not just for ourselves, our loved ones and our community but for the world.

Cold feet never saved any lives.