A Different Way of Looking at the Covid Vaccine

Misinformation will always be an issue we have to contend with in society. How many Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners broke out in heated arguments over politics this past year? Families who came together are divided based on the information they are getting online, on television, from friends and newspapers. Social media sites give us information faster than anyone, but it’s also information that they display to us with the hope that we will take an interest. Facebook isn’t going to show projects of the upcoming NFL draft to a 72-year-old grandma who has never once showed an interest in football.

We are fed the information we are going to have an interest in. However, the sad part is that there are many who doubt the actual existence of the coronavirus and even more who are skeptical of the vaccine. The leading cause for the speculation, and sadly the least reported reason, is that it was made too quickly. How can they really know what it will do to a person in five or ten years? Other medications now have class-action lawsuits against them and they’ve been around for decades. Their issue is that it’s impossible to know long-term effects of a medication.

Vaccine and Its Raliability

This was even my hesitation to take the vaccine as I questioned how reliable it could be. Two things changed my mind on whether or not to take it. The first was simply talking with medical professionals, not just reading what was said online. They explained to me that these vaccines aren’t perfect, but they are created by following a series of tests and production protocols that limit the chances for mistakes. Yes, we may not know the long-term effects, but short-term this vaccine is the best way to combat the virus and every medicinal professional I’ve spoken too are eager to get their shots and are encouraging everyone to get it as well.

The other thing that swayed my opinion was unfortunately the aggressiveness and negligence of others. Whether they consider themselves anti-maskers or not, the real reason the virus continues to spread is the people who are taking precautions but that one trip to the coffee machine at work or that one night out with friends ends up giving new life to the virus. It seems crazy to think, but how else can you explain spikes in numbers if so many people are being careful? Retail workers aren’t catching the virus from work but rather from family gatherings.

Fighting a Losing Battle

The ugly fact is that many of us are fighting a losing battle if we refuse to get the vaccine. Eventually, we will be the only ones walking around grocery stores wearing masks as the combination of those who have taken the vaccine and those who are willing to take their chances will outnumber those who respect the virus but are skeptical of the vaccine.

Justin Jacobs, an insurance advisor, has seen a major increase in questions about vaccine availability, costs, safety and effectiveness: “We’ve gone from focusing on medical insurance to medical information. While we cannot give anyone any information that isn’t public knowledge, we have noticed that many of our clients, including those enrolled in Medicare, are swamped with disinformation and not sure what to do. We’ve been working on providing more dependable outlets for people looking to stay updated on the vaccine and it’s availability throughout the state of Florida and our advisors are available to answer any questions regarding coverage or costs as well.” 

Oakland Park as a Reference of Vaccine

While there has been a lot of skepticism about the distribution of the vaccine, one area that seems to have their act together is Oakland Park, Florida. The Collins Community Center has not only been providing COVID-19 vaccines to seniors for over a month with little issue, but recipients have said there has been minimal wait time, excellent care including follow up. The hope is that this becomes the future of the vaccine distribution and other cities around the country take notice.

“If we can give people throughout the state the right information and make it a comfortable experience where you have minimal wait times, easy access to communication with those administering the vaccine and also providing the information about it, people will get on board. When you aren’t sure where to go and facilities are overwhelmed, it builds distrust in the distribution and people don’t trust the process. I know that Oakland Park and other smaller communities around Florida are doing it right and I hope as more doses become available that the larger cities adopt that philosophy as well”, says Justin Jacobs.

If you are not sure where to go to get the vaccine in your area or have questions about it, the best thing to do is to call your primary care physician.

In Oakland Park you can contact the City at 954-630-4335 to set up an appointment to take the vaccine. They will also provide transportation if necessary. Chen Medical Center, which recently opened in Oakland Park, is also offering COVID Vaccines. Contact them for more information.

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*LivingInOaklandPark.com is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.

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