After long and careful research and prayer, it has become clear to me that I must speak up.
I am convinced that the COVID-19 vaccine poses real risks, but I still got vaccinated as soon as I could.
Death from COVID is about as likely for me at present as death from cancer –I attempt to limit my risk of cancer, so of course I attempt to limit my risk of COVID. As someone taking sensible care of my own health, and concerned for the welfare of those around me, it was the only rational choice to make. As a Christian who trust’s God, and is trying to live for Christ in a complex world, it was the only faithful thing I could do.
There is a risk in every medication and every medical procedure: no medicine is totally safe. But over 6,000,000,000 COVID vaccines having now been administered. That’s a massive “sample” for analysing risks associated with the vaccine. The evidence is overwhelming that this is one of the safest medicines available. It is not only many times safer than other meds I take on a daily basis, it is highly effective against a debilitating and deadly disease I don’t want to get or pass on to others.
True, vaccination is not totally effective against COVID. About 5% of vaccinated people can still get ill with COVID, but it is less severe, and less likely to kill. Yet without the vaccine, it is highly likely I will get COVID sooner or later. When I do, I have a much greater risk of serious illness and death from COVID than from the vaccine. (2% of the 224,000,000 confirmed cases of COVID world-wide have died, but only 0.0002% of the 6 billion people vaccinated have died from a vaccine related effect.)
Myocarditis is among the known risks of COVID vaccination. 0.0001% of patients receiving a COVID vaccine get myocarditis, usually experiencing a few days of chest pain, breathlessness, fever, and chills from which they recover with rest and regular medical care. But I am 10 times more likely to get myocarditis from COVID itself, than from the vaccine. If I get COVID and myocarditis, the impact of the myocarditis will be many times more serious.
Aspirin is one of several medications I take every day, each of which has risks. When my doctor explained how aspirin significantly reduces my risk of heart-attack and stroke, and that the risks of taking aspirin were comparatively small, it was a no brainer! Of course I take aspirin every day. But taking aspirin is 200 times more dangerous than taking a COVID vaccine. So taking the much safer COVID vaccine is also a no brainer! Of course I got vaccinated, and I am thankful to God that he is using modern medicine to keep me safe.
I’ve had several surgical procedures. They each had risks too. The biggest risk in my heart surgery was death, (among other, less dramatic things). But as my cardiologist explained those risks and helped me balance them against the dangers of not having the surgery, I agreed to the surgery. It saved my life. So I again say, “Thank you God for your provision of modern medicine.”
Like most people, I’ve come across a tidal-wave of information opposing COVID vaccination. I find most comes from a very small number of conspirators who claim to have special knowledge of the secrets of science and medicine. Very little of their information is corroborated by peers in the wider scientific and medical communities; even less has been published by anyone apart from co-conspirators, and almost all use out-of-date stats in a narrowly selective way. (And yes, I’ve checked!)
I choose to trust those who have given me reliable information and good care in the past, rather than self-promoting shamans who have never offered me anything but fear. I’d be a total idiot to not trust those I know and who have proved trustworthy, and instead to put my trust in a handful of people I don’t know posting opinions on the internet!
All my life I have trusted the advice of the doctors who care for me: without exception they, and their professional organisations, recommend vaccination. I chose to trust them, and get the vaccination they recommended. All my life I have trusted the science that underpins the safety of the food I consume, the ways I travel, and the ways I use and enjoy God’s creation. That science overwhelmingly supports vaccination. I chose to trust the science that has worked for me in the past.
I got vaccinated as soon as I could. If you can, you should too.
Data sources: University of Ottawa 20.09.2021; University of Melbourne 23.09.2021; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 23.09.2021; John Hopkins University 22.09.2021; University of Oxford 23.09.2021 Medsafe 23.09.2021. Useful Links: Neil Shenvi 23.09.2021; Expert Panel Discussion 12.09.2021; COVID-19 Treatment 19.09.2021 Photo: Diana Polekhina on Unsplash 24.09.2021