15 Reasons Why I Will Get a Covid-19 Vaccine

And why I hope you will, too

Photo: Daniel Schludi/Unsplash

Have you been enjoying Andy Slavitt’s coronavirus updates? He’ll be discussing the future of the pandemic with Elemental editor-in-chief Sarah Collins on December 8th at 4pm ET. Visit this link to register for this (free!) event.

By December 13 or soon after, vaccines for Covid-19 will likely be ready to roll out. Tens of millions will be ready to go, month by month. First to health care workers, then to nursing homes, then to other high-risk populations.

There are milestones to get there and data to review, but preparations are underway. I recently talked with scientists and distributors. There is an impressive level of preparation to make all the logistics happen.

But the vaccines’ effectiveness isn’t dependent on the scientists alone. It’s also dependent on us. So, what should we do and why? Here’s why I am going to get vaccinated.

  1. I’m going to take the vaccine for other people: pregnant women, younger kids, and the 7% of adults (immunocompromised) who won’t be able to take a vaccine early. If I don’t take it, I’m endangering them. They are counting on us or they are in real danger.
  2. Tens of thousands of brave, healthy people around the world agreed to participate in these clinical trials. Over 90% effectiveness compared to people who didn’t. That’s frankly great. It will honor their participation to follow—and keep us from getting sick!
  3. The spike protein in the virus turned out to be an easy target for the vaccines to attack. I don’t know why I would want to get sick to get immunity.
  4. Long-haulers — I have met and talked to so many. They would tell you, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” Take this vaccine. You don’t want this virus. (Anyone know where we’re supposed to look a gift horse?)
  5. I prefer science to Scott Atlas. Sorry, Scott, I’m not willing to let people get sick and just “live their lives.” Scott, you and your Great Barrington Manifesto are welcome to be last in line.
  6. I love the Fourth of July. Many Americans are going to barbecue either way, but many more of us will if it’s safe. If 70% to 80% of us take the vaccine, you can pretty much invite anyone you want. (Scott Atlas, the Rudy Giuliani of medicine, is not invited.)
  7. Because in the end, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) avoided Trump’s attempts to play politics with our safety. Thank you to the FDA career professionals.
  8. Vaccines are our greatest inventions. As much as viruses are scourges and will always be here, vaccines are our friend. Before the measles vaccine, that disease killed millions of kids every year. About that gift horse we should not be looking at.
  9. Because 1.4 million deaths are too many. Let’s stop this madness.
  10. Because it will be a communal and healing experience: to wait our turn, to make sure the people who need it the most get it first, to do something as a country all at once, to watch the herd immunity build in all of us. To crush this bug, we need to all do it together.
  11. Because we will be the first generation to take a giant bite out of Covid-19 so other generations will have it easier. Stomp this out so the future doesn’t have to worry about this. Nip this thing in the bud. But still, about the gift horse, still don’t.
  12. Because doctors and nurses have been carrying the load. Because “essential workers” are being abused. Because every moment we wait puts other people at risk. I’m vaccinating for them, and it’s literally the least I can do.
  13. There looks to be early evidence that the vaccines likely reduce contagion.
  14. Almost every complication shows up within two weeks. So far, the mild side effects are the ones you want.
  15. If these vaccine candidates had failed, we would be in a tough spot. If we had 50% effective vaccines, like influenza, we would have been disappointed. Immunity would have taken much longer.

Vaccines are something we do for each other as much as ourselves. Sure, I’m going to look at the data. Yes, I’m going to invite experts on In the Bubble to evaluate and analyze it. I’ll be the first to scream and holler if there’s risk or something that doesn’t look right. I will have people examining every aspect of distribution, and after the evaluation committee meets, I will have Anthony Fauci on the show.

Some people don’t trust anything. I don’t live that way. Some people believe in wild conspiracies. I’ve seen the machine, and it’s not clever and coordinated enough to hide a conspiracy.

Vaccines aren’t politics any more than masks are politics. They are part of a social pact when done the right way and all the information is public. This is an individual choice but with society-wide consequences. It will show what we’re made of.

This was pulled and lightly edited from my November 25 Twitter thread.

Former Medicare, Medicaid & ACA head for Pres. Barack Obama. https://twitter.com/ASlavitt

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