I got my COVID-19 vaccine, two weeks ago today. In fact, all of us who work in the clinic have now been vaccinated. The nurse who administered my needle asked me if I was excited about receiving the vaccine. I replied that I was neither excited nor worried.
What I am hoping is that all the hard work leveraged in creating this vaccine, and all the hard work of those administering it, will pay off with the desired result of easing of this global pandemic. My hope is that my small but significant choice will help alleviate this major health crisis that has touched us all for the past 15 months.
As a health practitioner, I’ve listened to a lot of people sharing both excitement and concern regarding the vaccine. Many people come to see me because Western Medicine has not been able to help them with their health issues and are therefore inclined to be sceptical about the vaccine. From my own perspective, the benefits far outweigh the risks. To date, more than a billion doses have been administered worldwide with very minimal negative effects and very high positive effects – reduced deaths and reduced hospitalizations.
I encourage you all to get vaccinated. As with most vaccines down the ages, the gains far outweigh the risks and protect societies from crippling diseases and major ongoing healthcare crises. I’d also encourage everyone to consider how the human race has actively created the conditions that induced COVID to survive and proliferate: habitat loss and destruction, environmental degradation, mass tourism and travel, and unsustainable resource use.
Rather than avoiding or resisting vaccination, I believe we should consider focusing on threats that will remain long after COVID-19 and all its variants are reduced to the common flu several decades from now, as occurred with the Spanish Flu. These more crucial threats include an epidemic of drug overdoses which killed significantly more BC citizens last year than COVID did . . . Air pollution, which kills more people worldwide every year than anything close to this current virus . . . Plastic pollution, which is wreaking havoc on our endocrine systems and threatening human fertility . . . And, of course, climate change.
All of this says to me that we need a whole lot more awareness, compassion, empathy, and determination to work towards building a safer, saner, and healthier community and planet . . . together!