Health

Doubt and distrust before the Covid-19 vaccine


When the FDA approved the mass vaccination of the Pfizer vaccine, the atmosphere of anxiety and division still shaded the United States, which was ravaged by the pandemic.

During a family gathering in Truckee, California, Lopez said there was one topic throughout the conversation: the Covid-19 vaccine would soon reach the American people, hoping that the pandemic would eventually end.

Enrique Lopez, 46, owns a snow removal business. When some of his staff became skeptical of the vaccine, he tried to convince them the vaccine was safe. His wife, Brienne, 41, a middle school teacher, became infected with the virus and contracted Covid-19 in September. She was looking forward to the release of the vaccine. Their two daughters want to know if the vaccine will bring them back to pre-pandemic life.

“I know a lot of people are scared. They don’t know what the side effects are going to be,” said Lopez, who saw half of the people in the company were infected with nCoV. “It’s a risk we have to take. The vaccine will make us safer and get back to normal.”

After months of anticipation, the vaccine finally emerged, covering a country ravaged by the virus and deeply divided in all aspects.

The Lopez family in Truckee, California, hopes the Covid-19 vaccine will provide a normal life. Image: NYT

The first Americans will get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the coming days, and authorities are expected to also approve other vaccines. Health officials are trying to eliminate public doubts about the safety of the injections, stressing that 60 to 70 percent of the population needs to be vaccinated to achieve public immunity.

Stephanie Bennett, a mental health nurse in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said she understands the importance of vaccines and is expected to be vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available. However, she is torn by the thought of getting a vaccine, while her child hasn’t.

Even so, Bennett feels a double responsibility as a nurse in vaccination to help ease suspicions about the neighbors’ vaccines.

“There’s a lot of distrust in the community,” said Bennett. I want to prove to everyone, at least in my family and neighborhood, that this is safe.

However, even if some people know how much devastation the virus causes, they remain cautious.

Maria Isabel Ventura, 59, who lives in Blythe, California, a rural area near the Arizona state border, saw the virus’s danger on November 22. That was the time when she rushed her husband, having difficulty breathing, to the emergency room. Her husband, Alfonso Velazquez, a farm worker, spent two weeks on Covid-19 treatment.

She asked: “Why not vaccinate the president and the people who developed this vaccine first? I fear this vaccine more than anything because we don’t know how it will react? a few months, we will know more.

An Associated Press poll, published this week, found that half of Americans are willing to get the vaccine. However, 6 out of 10 Democrats say they will be vaccinated, compared with 4 out of 10 Republicans who will. A recent survey by Gallup (a prestigious polling institute) found that 63% of Americans now say they are ready to get vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration, compared with just 58. % in October and 50% in September.

Authorities are working to dispel doubts about the safety of vaccines, concerns that have long been raised over the historical misuse of the US health system. In particular, the African-American, Latino and Native American communities remain vigilant, even though they have been heavily influenced by Covid-19.

Adam Wyatt, 38, pastor at First Baptist Church in Leakesville, Mississippi, decided to sign up for Moderna’s vaccine trial, after one of his parishioners died of Covid-19 in August.

Wyatt considered visiting patients in the hospital one of his most important duties as a pastor. But he recalled feeling helpless when standing with the church family in a hospital parking lot, forbidden by pandemic preventive measures.

He didn’t tell much of his decision after signing up for the trial in Hattiesburg, about an hour’s drive west of his small town. “You’re going to hear many times that vaccines are the mark of the monster. Or that’s Bill Gates’ way of controlling the population. You’re going to have microchips in your body.”

The vaccine is in the process of making it widely available. Wyatt is preparing to go public with his participation in the trial, in the hopes of alleviating public anxiety.

Aesha Mahdi, 42, who lives in Gwinnett County, Georgia, also knows about the dangers of the virus. She was infected in April and must be treated for a long time. Now, she still suffers from symptoms such as a fast heartbeat and difficulty breathing while walking upstairs. Her rheumatoid arthritis was getting worse and worse, sometimes she even had difficulty walking.

Ms. Mahdi, who wants to be vaccinated, now works to track exposure, helping to slow the spread of the virus. She has been warned that family members have fallen victim to misinformation campaigns that vaccinations are harmful, especially conspiracy theories circulating on Facebook and YouTube.

Aesha Mahdi eagerly awaited her vaccination.  Photo: NYT

Aesha Mahdi eagerly awaited her vaccination. Image: NYT

For others, the emergence of the Covid-19 vaccine creates ethical challenges. Pat McKeage, 85, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, says she understands why older people are expected to get vaccinated before others, given the many risk factors and emergency rooms around the country. about to overload. However, she found “unethical” when being vaccinated in front of people close to her care. “I told her I lived most of my life and she didn’t. She was only 30 years old,” she said.

Others who wish to be vaccinated worry about them being last on the priority list. LaMont C. Brown II, a bus driver in Detroit, said the pandemic had shown him his career was overlooked. While police officers, firefighters and medical staff are seen as heroes, he hears little praise from drivers with a lot of public exposure.

Now, he worries that a similar situation will happen with the vaccine.

I’ve heard that medical staff and other emergency personnel will be given priority. But he never heard of drivers being vaccinated anytime soon. “We are basically second class citizens,” he said.

The emergence of a vaccine is also raising hopes for a return to normal life. Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, California’s chief justice, said she was envisioning how vaccines could change things for the nation’s largest court system, which is grappling with a large amount of backlog, as Many important proceedings are posted online.

“If you picture the Supreme Court, all the doors are open, everyone in the hallway leaned against the door, talking, chatting and laughing,” Judge Cantil-Sakauye told reporters on a call. Zoom this week. “It’s gone now and the place is quiet.”

She and her colleagues have debated whether judges and other court officials should be given vaccination priority. After all, no one denies that the court is an essential function of society.

But Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye said she eventually believed that judges could not “stand up for their name” and were vaccinated against ambulance workers and nursing home residents.

“We think others need to get vaccinated first,” she said.

Bryan Diaz, 15 years old, of Nuevo, California, also aspires to return to a normal life. Distance learning was difficult with his 7-year-old brother, Kevin, and he himself hadn’t been able to play video games and play soccer with a friend he hadn’t seen since the beginning of the year.

“I’m glad we were able to go back to school,” he said.

Bryan, whose father is a mechanic and his mother is a housewife, knows that several people, including his godfather, are infected with the virus. But his parents, Mexican immigrants, are skeptical of the vaccine.

“We have discussed this, but my parents don’t want their children to get vaccinated when the vaccine is 100% safe,” he said.

David Leavitt, a novelist and professor of English at the University of Florida, said the prospect of a vaccine coming out gave him the feeling: “Well, this is going to end. I really don’t. ever let me think about how it will end “.

When the pandemic ends, Leavitt wishes to travel again to the Italian book fairs. But he suddenly thought again. After all, Italy thought it had conquered the virus after a deadly spring, and that, says Leavitt, turned out to be just a “dream”. He doesn’t want to make mistakes.

So while waiting for his turn to be vaccinated, he lives up to the motto in his favorite movie “Twelve chairs“:” Always hope for the best but still be ready for the worst “.

The unborn (According to the NYT)

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