The perceived argument from government leaders that regardless of getting the vaccine the nation will not reopen is not encouraging to those who are hesitant to get the vaccine.
By Emmanuel Simon
Most Americans have the opinion that people should get a COVID-19 vaccine since, to quote the CDC, “vaccines currently approved for use in the United States are effective at preventing COVID-19…. COVID-19 vaccination is an important tool to help stop the pandemic.” To paraphrase, the vaccines work. But lest one objects by pointing to the variants, the CDC writes, “current data suggest that COVID-19 vaccines used in the United States should work against these variants. For this reason, COVID-19 vaccines are an essential tool to protect people against COVID-19, including against new variants. [The] CDC recommends getting vaccinated as soon as [the] vaccine is available to you.” According to the CDC then, getting a COVID-19 vaccine is an effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19.
A person who trusts the CDC might think that since more and more people are getting the COVID-19 vaccine each day, it just makes sense to reopen the nation. We see, for example, that in Texas most businesses are open, masks are not required, and there are not any stay-at-home orders. One might think that Texas is bound to spike given its loose restrictions. However, the facts state otherwise. The Governor of Texas reopened the state on March 10th, where there was an average of 4,909 newly reported cases. As of April 10th, there was an average of 3,452 newly reported cases. Even with these loose restrictions, newly reported cases decreased rather than increased.
Yet still, critics against reopening the nation aren’t satisfied. Many critics point to how the CDC states that no vaccine is 100% effective and that the evidence is limited as to how the current COVID-19 vaccines work against the variants. Thus, they argue, though we should get the COVID-19 vaccine, it doesn’t follow that we should reopen the nation at the current rate.
What these critics don’t realize is that their arguments against reopening the nation are also arguments against getting the vaccine. If states aren’t to reopen at the rates they are because no vaccine is 100% effective, then with that logic, it also follows that no person should get the vaccine because the ‘experts’ aren’t too sure of the long-term effects of the vaccine. For example, the CDC has been telling us for months that U.S.-approved vaccines are safe. Yet just recently, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is being investigated to be the cause of blood clots in six women. So, if we should slow down America’s reopening process due to uncertainties, then why not also avoid taking all COVID-19 vaccines given the uncertainties of long and short-term effects? The critics who present such an argument against reopening are therefore inconsistent.
Let us take the position backed up by facts and science. The CDC, supported by a majority of scientists, says that the vaccines are effective. Because of this scientific fact, it makes sense why even though there are states like Texas that have practically fully opened, newly confirmed cases are on a decline. It is, therefore, both safe and commonsensical to reopen our America at current rates.
CDC on COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/effectiveness/work.html
Data on Newly reported COVID-19 cases in Texas: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/texas-covid-cases.html
Ryan Ford '23,