Compassion Needed to Ensure Widespread Vaccination

Skyler Simpkins ’23

Opinion Editor

The time has come for us in Connecticut to make appointments for our coronavirus vaccination, but we must not forget the patience it requires. Of course, there is patience with regard to our own appointments but also in regard to others. Some people may choose not to get vaccinated or wait until they are confident in the vaccine. While I for one—like most of us—would like to get the vaccine as soon as I can, we must not forget that not everyone thinks the same way I do.

Vaccinations are a very interesting debate in which those opposed are quite often alienated and unanimously called out for their decisions. I must admit that I have been one in the past to poke fun at these anti-vaxxers and make fun of their essential oil-enhanced life. We must acknowledge that vaccinations, like all medical procedures, produce varying degrees of fear in most people, so we must be patient with those who do not want to get vaccinated instead of calling them out and making them feel alienated. Compassion and understanding are required to get everyone vaccinated. If someone wants to wait until more data is released about the vaccine, let them, but tell them that they will have to continue with life restraining COVID protocols if they are to wait. Pressure is not required for ensuring nationwide vaccinations, but there must be value attached to receiving the vaccine—and this value needs to be shared throughout the nation. The value, of course, is going back to our usual pre-COVID lives.

There is unfortunately another branch wherein individuals resist getting the COVID-19 vaccination as part of a political agenda. COVID has become a heavily politicized topic that often means that one radical side takes COVID precautions to the extreme while the other political extreme disregards all COVID safety and continually puts their community at risk. With this, the latter extreme resists getting the vaccination due to their political preference. This is not a political ploy. COVID is a pandemic, not a partisan invention. Pressure is never required as it will make no one more willing. Instead of telling them about the value of the vaccine (as this will probably have no impact on their decision), we should show them what COVID-19 has done to families and businesses. To those that resist getting the vaccine due to their political preference, we must not pressure, but we need to show them the toll COVID has taken on America and the entire world.

Alienation is never the answer to bring about a common, unanimous understanding. Many may argue the exigency of the COVID vaccine and why this explains and compensates for aggression against those who do not want to be vaccinated. This should not be the plan of action. If the situation is so exigent, should we not instead find a common understanding so that they will agree willingly? Forcing something upon a reluctant party will only build resentment and might result in an anti-vaxxer forging vaccination papers, thereby bringing much more danger to the community. To ensure the safety of everyone, we must be patient and spread knowledge of the value of the COVID vaccine. Patience is needed in all of us during these trying times.

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