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jca2's avatar

If your friends say they don't want the Covid vaccine because the long term effects are unproven, do you try to talk them into it?

Asked by jca2 (13659points) February 22nd, 2021

If someone told you they don’t want to take the vaccine because the long term effects are not proven, would you try to talk them into it?

A friend on FB who is in her late 50’s and overweight with diabetes posted that some relative told her that the long term effects are not proven so she is not taking the vaccine. Someone else posted a list of the “Worlds 10 deadliest viruses” and he made a comment about how the media doesn’t talk about them and he referred to “sheep.” I looked at the list. The first one is one I have never heard of, the other top ones (not in order) include smallpox, HIV, Ebola, rabies and the flu.

It would be easy to explain how Covid is not similar to most of the top “deadliest” but I don’t know if I should bother.

Of course, if someone said they couldn’t or wouldn’t take it for a legitimate reason (which they are not obligated to disclose, I understand that), or if they said their reasons are personal, there would be no discussion or debate.

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30 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

In the case you describe, no. In fact, in most cases, no. It’s been a year. People know what they know by now. If someone chooses to make decisions about themselves, fine. It may result in me making the decision to not hang around them, or only under very specific and controlled circumstances.

janbb's avatar

Luckily, all my friends are scrambling to get vaccinated so I’m not facing that dilemma. If it were someone I care about, I might say that we are pretty clear about the possible effects of getting COVID and the vaccines have been widely tested so I’ll go with the best odds I have.

Kropotkin's avatar

I don’t have stupid friends.

chyna's avatar

No. I have finally figured out that it’s hard to change anyone’s beliefs once they’ve made up their mind. If they were on the fence about it, I would try.

JLeslie's avatar

Usually I say something like, “it’s a scramble to get the vaccine now anyway, so if you want to wait a few months by then it should be easier to get the shot anyway.” Then, depending on their response and their objections I might add, “so far it looks good, maybe if you’re concerned about the mRNA you might feel more comfortable with the JNJ if that gets approved.”

I basically support people who want to wait while trying to give facts regarding any of their paranoid or irrational fears. I think why push now when lines are long and it’s hard to get an appointment. Let the people who are desperate for the shot get theirs.

I have more than one friend who is afraid because they had anaphylactic responses to something in the past, so I don’t think that’s irrational to be worried. Same with the GBS situation. Maybe eventually we will have more data regarding those things.

I’ve seen the sheep comment and talk of other viruses and that’s from the anti-vaxxer playbook. I sometimes give statistics, depends how deep into the crazy the person is. If they don’t realize it’s alt-right anti-vaccine material and usually are sane then I might provide some information.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t think it’s my business to push and shove my views onto other people. I’d have to be a lot more confident of being right about everything than I have the arrogance to be.

When it comes to my own health and safety, though, I would avoid people who don’t care what effect their choices have on me. If they don’t mind exposing me to a deadly virus, I don’t mind doing without their company.

flutherother's avatar

We’re just lucky a vaccine was discovered and produced so quickly. It is going to save a lot of lives. Uptake here seems very good and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to be inoculated. However, if someone chose not to get the jab I wouldn’t try too hard to convert them, though the more people who think that way the less effective the vaccine will be from a public health point of view.

The results of a study carried out in Scotland show that of 8,000 people admitted to hospital with Covid only 58 had been vaccinated. All the rest had not been vaccinated. That is pretty clear evidence from the real world that the vaccine is highly effective.

JLeslie's avatar

@flutherother 58 had been vaccinated? That is unexpectedly high in my opinion.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@jca2 Get friends that graduated – -pre-school – - grammar school – - high school. J.K.

Nobody died last year from smallpox.

About smallpox “The WHO eventually declared smallpox eradicated in 1980, making it the first human disease to be eliminated through human efforts.” CNN 6:55 PM ET, Tue December 22, 2020

KNOWITALL's avatar

Never, it’s a choice. Anti-vaxxers, hippies and lots of anti Big Pharma types will never willingly get it.

canidmajor's avatar

@JLeslie, 58 is less than one percent of 8000. Really, not bad at all, considering that the vaccines are touting a 94–95% efficacy.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Jeruba Off the grid dwellers, yes.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor Those are hospitalizations not cases. The UK is just doing one shot, so their vaccinated population is more like 80% protected probably now that I think of it. They are on lockdown right now. My girlfriend in Scotland had to close her restaurants.

canidmajor's avatar

@JLeslie: Do the math, it’s still not a bad number. Nobody has claimed that the vaccines are 100% effective against cases that require hospitalizations.
I’m sorry your friend has had to close her restaurants, but it is really not germane,here.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor It is germane to whether the virus has opportunity to spread easily. I didn’t argue with your math, why are you so defensive? Ugh.

si3tech's avatar

It should be a choice.Not mandated.

cookieman's avatar

No but I won’t be inviting them for Thanksgiving.

Jeruba's avatar

@KNOWITALL, oh, boy, I sure would not equate those two groups. They conjure up polar opposites in my mind, even if superficially somewhat similar. What a difference in perceptions we must have, don’t you think?

stanleybmanly's avatar

I’m astonished at the number of people who apparently want no part of being vaccinated. The implications in this are truly terrifying. Can you just imagine where we would be had 30% of the population refused the smallpox and polio vaccines? What sort of age are we living in? Global warming denial, then Trump and now this? The real epidemic is galloping stupidity.

YARNLADY's avatar

Actually, I had to talk myself into it because no one is sure about the long term. I’m going ahead anyway. My first appointment is Thursday.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly You would have to double check my numbers, but the death rate for smallpox was something like 30%, in children it was over 50%. Polio in adults was around 25%. Polio in children I think was less than 5%, but the illness was terrible and another percentage left children paralyzed as I’m sure you know.

COVID19 death rate for known cases is much lower and the deaths are hitting the over 50 age group the hardest, so especially young adults will rationalize ignoring it.

They are vaccinating pregnant women now, and so far it’s looking safe, so that eventually should lead to more young women willing to get vaccinated.

I’m not defending the people who refuse the vaccine, I’m just saying the death rates were so dramatic for the other two diseases that people saw the risk equation in different terms.

stanleybmanly's avatar

This is my point. The pool of people allowed to forego inoculation will be the petrie dish for this disease to mutate into more virulent strains, and they are the GUARANTEE that this will happen. More to the point, this pandemic just foreshadows our very near future. With China’s emergence from isolation, and the world’s population crammed ever more tightly, exotic and new diseases are in our future. They are going to increase exponentially in both frequency and severity, and as our half million dead should surely demonstrate, this is no time for the rest of us to find ourselves at the mercy of interminably STUPID people.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly For sure more mutations and diseases will be coming our way. The biggest problem in the modern age is travel. We have the UK strain now in America. Why is that the case when people who travel internationally are supposed to be quarantining? Has anyone in the news even talked about that?

elbanditoroso's avatar

No, not worth the effort. If TV, radio, newspapers, celebrities, and politicians haven’t shown them a reason, I won’t be successful either.

Vaccine – all of them, not just this – are a calculated risk. I think that calculation makes sense, but that’s me.

raum's avatar

Unless it were my parents, I wouldn’t bother to try to change their minds. I’d just adjust how I’d treat or hang out with them accordingly.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Jeruba Being rural, we have a very wide variety of people who live by their own rules.
This may blow your mind but one of the hippie crowd, handfasting wedding, mother earth types, was one arrested for being inside the Capitol.

Jeruba's avatar

Alas, @KNOWITALL, it takes something a lot bigger than that to blow my mind these days. Nut cases do come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and T-shirts.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

I try hard to avoid people like that. But if I did run across some one with that mentality, then oh well. If they want the vaccine well and good, but if they don’t want it that’s their problem. Not worth arguing about. People like that are so easily swayed by conspiracy theorizing that you’ll never convince them any way.

janbb's avatar

I wouldn’t care at all except that the more of us who get vaccinated the more effective we are at stopping more mutations and transmission. There really does need to be a public in public health; your choices here can effect everyone. But having said that, we know that at this point in the pandemic there is no changing minds. Luckily, as I said above, most everyone I know is trying their damndest to get that shot in the arm.

And some of those who are resistant are in communities that are suffering the most from the disease. I think there is a responsibility on the part of community and church leaders and the Government to make the vaccine easy to get in the hardest hit communities and encourage people to get it.

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