We are now well into 2021, and if the coronavirus owned last year, it seems as though vaccines will reclaim this one. At the moment, about one in four US adults either have had at least one vaccine shot and are waiting to take the second, or they are fully vaccinated. President Biden was able to hit his goal of vaccinating 100 million US residents within his presidency’s first 100 days.
All of these are positive signs. There are three vaccines out now that the FDA has approved. The Johnson and Johnson one requires only a single shot, so those who get it can count themselves among the fully vaccinated even quicker than those who took the other two. However, in the U.S., the CDC has suspended the use of Johnson & Johnson because of some severe side effects.
Some People Are Worried About the Side Effects
There are more dangers out there in the world than some people even want to consider. For instance, the National Sleep Institute conducted a poll where 37% of respondents said they fell asleep while driving at some moment in the past. That’s terrifying, and it might make you think twice about getting behind the wheel.
When it comes to the vaccine, some individuals feel like if they take it, they might suffer severe side effects. All credible studies seem to show that what side effects there are remain mild in virtually all cases – except for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which has caused some rare blood-clotting.
Still, it’s scary to go to a vaccination site and have someone you never met before jab a needle into your arm.
It takes some degree of trust: trust in that person and confidence in the government who is partially responsible for the rollout. Some people just can’t seem to get past their fears.
Some Worry About Conspiracy Theories
Then, there are those who don’t want to take the vaccine because of considerably more bizarre and farfetched reasons. It’s reasonable to think about side effects, but some people have been spending time on conspiracy websites or falling down social media rabbit holes. They claim that Bill Gates is using the vaccine to implant microchips in people’s arms that he will then use the new 5G system to control.
Other theories contend that the vaccines will turn everyone gay, or they will turn people into lizards. It sounds wild beyond belief, but there are some people who have become involved with echo chambers where they keep on hearing more and more outlandish claims, and there is no one to tell them any different.
The GOP Tries to Rally Its Base
Polls suggest that more Republican voters are reluctant or unwilling to take the vaccine. Mitch McConnel tried to appeal specifically to male GOP voters.
He suggested that the conspiracy theories regarding the vaccine are just that, and there’s no logical reason not to get the vaccines now that they are becoming widely available. Still, it seems as though some of these individuals are too far gone.
This situation has led to strife in some families. You might have some family members with left or right-wing political leanings. Because the coronavirus and the vaccine have become such politicized topics, you sometimes have those on the right or left taking or not taking the vaccine in accordance with what their preferred political candidate told them.
Venues Opening and Accepting Live Guests and Fans
As we get further along into 2021, more venues are going to keep reopening. Movie theaters, restaurants, and gyms will open their doors. Some of them are doing so already.
Sports venues will reopen as well. All Major League Baseball parks are allowing in fans now, though only Texas is operating at one hundred percent capacity so far.
Each state is handling that differently. Some are only allowing fans into sporting events if they have vaccine cards indicating they got their shot already, and even then, they have to wear masks when not eating or drinking.
Raymond James Stadium in Tampa hosted WrestleMania this past weekend with thousands of live fans. It’s just one more indication that America feels like it’s turning the tide against the illness that has claimed too many lives and inflicted so much misery.
What Happens if Some Refuse to Take the Vaccine?
In the midst of all this, you still have the holdouts. There is probably at least some of the population who will refuse to take the vaccine at this point, no matter what friends, family members, or politicians might say.
These individuals might turn out to be fine. If they continue to risk Covid-19 exposure, they might catch it, and they may remain asymptomatic. They also may have some symptoms, but they might be minor.
On the other hand, these individuals could catch Covid-19 and die from it. There are definitely plenty of people who have died in this way over the past year. Even as doctors took them off their ventilators, they refused to acknowledge that the coronavirus was real or serious.
No one can actually force anyone to take the vaccine, and some individuals won’t do so. Regardless of whether they catch it or not, though, there is one factor they may not have anticipated.
Some companies are only letting people in who can prove they got the vaccine. We’re not just talking about baseball stadiums, either.
Some airlines are thinking about only letting on passengers who can show that they received the vaccine. A person who does not want to take it might find that they can’t catch a flight to visit their loved ones across the country. If nothing else will convince them to get a vaccine, perhaps that will.
It does seem probable that we will be able to achieve herd immunity at some point, but we still have a very long road to travel to get there. Still, despite the holdouts, there is reason for hope as 2021 continues.