I want to first preface that I am vaccinated and believe that it is important for our community to become fully vaccinated. With that said, I would like to share some insight in the minds of those that are not vaccinated in hopes that it will provide you the necessary information to rebuke their resistance.
I have friends and relatives who are not vaccinated and do not want to be vaccinated. I wondered why, since getting a vaccination was something my wife and I got as soon as it was available. Still, there are millions of people fighting against the covid vaccination, so I thought to put their arguments down, and there are many of them.
I begin by summarizing an unsolicited brochure I received in the mail with a strong Orthodox orientation that opposed getting vaccinated. The brochure listed testimonials of people getting sick after being vaccinated, statements from the medical profession that more research is need, potential side effects from the vaccination, quotes from various Orthodox rabbis opposed to being vaccinated, and a recommendation to take a drug given to cows and horses that the CDC has said is poisonous for humans.
Here are their arguments partly based on an article by Jessica Wildfire. I will speak for them just as if they were speaking themselves.
For me, it’s that we don’t know much about the vaccine and I don’t feel comfortable with something that could be dangerous for myself or my future children so I’d prefer to be as safe as I can with what I know and what has been studied with consistency/accuracy and time.
I have a lot of doubts about the vaccines. The control over telling me what to do about the virus is part of stoking the culture war. I resent anti-vaccine advice that is singling me out for death if I don’t follow their advice.
I am not following health guidelines simply because it’s being forced on me. The same goes for masks and social distancing. Putting mandates in place hasn’t stopped the virus from spreading, because people don’t follow the rules.
I don’t believe that the CDC or any other government agencies has the truth. Not enough is known about the virus, and there is conflicting information. I believe in TV stations I listen to and the Internet outlets I visit. These outlets agree with my point of view and I don’t have to consider another perspective. My opinion is as valid as anyone else’s opinion. I don’t have to accept what science has to offer, because the science on the virus is incomplete and can be wrong. Right now it’s an opinion, and not a scientific fact.
I believe that no one should tell me what to do. Just present the information and let me decide. I am in charge of my life. I believe that wearing a mask is taking away my freedom, even if it may be for the health of the community, but I don’t even believe that. I don’t think masks help. Some fabric masks are poorly made and won’t stop the virus, and even the best masks have not proven that they do any good in preventing you from getting the virus.
And if there is a scientific conclusion, people will not follow what needs to be done. People won’t follow the rules, and that is the case right now. There’s no point in trying to modify anyone’s behavior. If you’re going to try, you should be nice and non-confrontational about it.
Look, I am in good health. I am very careful. I do not expect to get the virus. I don’t like vaccinations. I have a doctor who told me that he can take care of me if I do get the virus. I am not worried about getting the virus.
In choosing between serving the community and serving myself, serving myself comes first. I don’t trust the data on vaccines, and I am not sure the vaccination works. I want the government to stay out of my life, leave me alone to live as I please, and let everyone else decide how they want to live. I believe in the formula, “What is mine is mine, and what is yours is yours.” You do what you want, and I’ll do what I want. For all of us, it is for the best. Let me decide without interference by anyone else. It’s my life, and I will live it my way.
I have another argument. No one I know has gotten the virus, so I doubt that they will get it. A lot of my friends have gotten vaccinated, so their vaccination is protecting me. If they are protected from the virus, then they are protecting me. I know I am depending on their protection, and that is a good thing. And by the way, I am quite healthy myself. I eat well, I exercise, I am physically fit. Even if I get the virus, it won’t have a serious impact on me. I know that most of the people who get the virus suffer very little, stay at home and recover in a few days. Even if I get the virus, the impact on me will be minimal.
Take the worst-case scenario that I catch the virus and get seriously sick. I am willing to accept that small probability. If it happens, that’s life. We all take risks. We could get killed driving a car, or having a serious medical condition. That just life. The virus is just another possibility that I will live with like all the other possible ways I could die. If it happens, that’s life and I will accept it. Of all of the things that can kill me, including the virus, they all have a small probability of happening. I expect to live a long and happy life.
As a person that believes in God, I put my life in the hands of God. If I get the virus, then it was God’s will and I will accept it. If someone else gets the virus, then it was the will of God too.
To sum up, these are my views:
- If a person gets the virus, it’s their problem. If they spread the virus, it’s not their fault.
- If a person dies from the virus, they should have taken better care of themselves, including unvaccinated children.
- The only proof of the virus will be measured by how many get sick and die, and even then I am not sure I can depend on the data.
- Let’s let everyone do what they want, and let’s see what happens.
- If you judge my position, you are being judgmental. It’s only your opinion, and you are being hateful. If you disagree with me, that’s fine, but leave me alone and I will leave you alone.
- And if I get the virus, I have the same right as you to receive good medical health care. Now let’s talk about other things.
Mask-up, get vaccinated, and help our community save lives.