The Overwhelming Uncertainty Surrounding the COVID-19 Vaccine


Natalie Gerstein

With March being only two months away, we have endured almost a full year of sanitizing everything we touch and gasping at the knowledge of another person being infected. However, COVID-19’s “approaching birthday” means that many more resources are now available to us. One of the most popular topics in the news recently has been the development and distribution of a vaccine. This vaccine will be life-changing and it’s availability is crucial to people around the world, including millions of first responders and medical workers. While many pharmaceutical companies are working tirelessly on new options for vaccination, the only ones currently being offered to the first round of citizens have been created by Pfizer and Moderna. Now, the question circling around is whether or not everyone will get the vaccine. 

Personally, I am not interested in getting the vaccine right away. While it is everyone’s first concern to be careful and look out for ourselves first, it is also extremely important to look out for others. Locally and across the nation, there are many frontline workers spending all day at work, time away from their families, and risking their lives during a global pandemic to save others and keep everyone else safe. These are the people who deserve to get the vaccine first. If it means they will be able to save more lives without having to risk their own, I am happy to wait my turn and receive my own dose of the vaccine later on. 

Considering COVID-19 had only been discovered a little less than a year ago in the United States, the scientists in charge of developing the vaccine have been working on it for not very long at all. Under normal circumstances, vaccines are created, tested, and researched over years. It is unprecedented that such a powerful immunization has been approved for widespread distribution after only a few months. Desperate times call for desperate measures, but I am still hesitant on receiving it right away. Since it is so new, the long term effects are still not known and that is a bit frightening to me. I would like to know what the side effects are and what could happen to my body before it is actually in me.

There is no argument on how challenging the pandemic has made life during the past year. The desperation behind wanting the vaccine to be distributed to the public as soon as it possibly can is completely understandable. The professionals in charge of the vaccine are working incredibly hard to bring the spread of this terrible pandemic to an end, but right now it is important to stay patient as we wait.