Our Civic Duty



With the Covid-19 vaccine starting to be administered globally, the future is looking up. The light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter day by day, as more and more become vaccinated against the disease. Although with this hope there rises a new fear, the fear that there will not be enough widespread vaccination for herd immunity to occur. Herd immunity is a term used to describe what happens when enough members of a population are immune to a disease, either naturally or through inoculation, that the disease is essentially eradicated from the population entirely. This has happened and continues to happen with many other diseases. Measles is a great example of herd immunity. Measles used to ravage through schools and communities throughout the mid 1900s. Before the vaccine was invented in 1963 there were between 3-4 million children being infected every year. With a large scale vaccine rollout, the CDC was able to drastically reduce the infection rates, and now measles is officially eradicated in the USA. With the vaccines continuing to be administered to this day we keep this herd immunity and there are still almost no measles cases in the USA. We could achieve this same effect with the Covid-19 vaccine but it would take a large percentage of the population to get innoculated, which polls are predicting will be an issue. There are two groups when it comes to those unwilling to take the vaccine; those who are against all vaccines and those who are nervous and afraid of how quickly the Covid-19 vaccine was manufactured, compared to other vaccines in the past. The former is not who I am preaching to as they base their knowledge off already debunked studies and false information. But the latter group has valid concerns. The Covid-19 vaccine was manufactured much, much faster than other vaccines, but there are valid explanations why. There are two main things that affect the development of vaccines: funding and previous knowledge of the virus. Funding was not a concern as there was unprecedented amounts of money being put into this vaccine from governments all over the world. There was also lot of research already done on coronaviruses. SARS had been being researched for years before the Covid-19 pandemic. Another concern people have with this vaccine is that it uses mRNA instead of viral proteins but this process is not new, just never used on a scale this large before. mRNA behaves very similarly to DNA and there has been plenty of research on DNA in vaccines so mRNA technology was given a great jumping off point. With all the points of concern taken away there should be no reason people should refuse to take this vaccine. It is our civic duty to take this vaccine to protect those who we love and care about. It is a truly selfish thing to refuse to take a FDA approved vaccine, endangering hundreds of thousands by helping keep America away from herd immunity. This vaccine has the potential to end one of the worst years in human history. All we have to do is trust the science.