Black doctor vaccinates female patient


The Vaccine Makes Me A Bit Nervous, But I Go To The Experts For Reassurance

Jan 12, 2021

December was a big month in the fight against COVID-19 in Canada. While many of us are feeling defeated and discouraged by the alarmingly increasing rate of infection, it also feels like the end of this terrible pandemic is getting nearer.

Earlier in December the Canadian government approved Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine, and shortly before Christmas Moderna’s vaccine was also approved. On December 14 the first Canadians received the vaccine; an emotional moment that the entire country watched — some more enthusiastically than others.

I know that my three daughters have their own, child-like hesitations about the vaccine. My youngest is afraid it will hurt, while my six- and eight-year-old daughters are nervous about what is inside of the vaccine. My eldest even asked me if the COVID vaccine could give her the coronavirus. When my children voice their concern about the COVID-19 vaccine I don’t dismiss them, I address what their fear is with facts — just like I have with my own fears.

Have questions about the vaccine? Here are some answers.

I’ll admit that when I first heard that the vaccine was ready, and so quickly, I felt hesitant. What exactly was in this vaccine, I wondered? It felt like on every online media post there were naysayers that had all kinds of theories about why the vaccine wasn’t the answer.

"People want to know about the ingredients in the vaccines, and whether the live virus is going to be injected into them."

Instead of falling down the rabbit hole of social media and armchair experts, I decided to look to the real experts fighting to end the pandemic. I’ve made a point of following popular epidemiologists and infectious disease experts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. That way I’m not constantly consuming auntie Aida’s anti-government rants — don’t worry, I don’t actually have an auntie Aida, and none of my real aunts are anti-government.

Plenty of reputable medical websites have articles dedicated to the question: Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe? The Ontario government has published material that directly addresses some of the most common questions. People want to know about the ingredients in the vaccines, and whether the live virus is going to be injected into them. There are plenty of really strange, and some more believable rumours swirling around. I found it helpful to have reputable organizations address these questions, and there is ample literature from medical experts out there.

One thing I understand is how mistrustful our country has become of our government. I’m irritated at the federal and provincial government, too. I don’t understand why government officials are vacationing abroad during a pandemic, or why travellers are coming in and out of our country. None of this bears any weight on my decision to get the vaccine or not.

Natalie Romero's family have been following the stay-at-home guidelines and maintaining physical distance since the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19. But not everyone does. Here's that story.

I think it’s typical to be cautious about vaccines, but things get murky when we listen to conspiracy theories or sources that are not reputable. We all have a right to know as much as possible about the COVID-19 vaccine, but there is ample information out there available to us. The government and the producers of the vaccine aren’t hiding this information, even if your neighbour thinks they are.

By now I feel confident in my decision to get the vaccine as soon as it is available to me — because I trust science — and I understand the myths surrounding this vaccine are untruths that are not worth my time.

Article Author Brianna Bell
Brianna Bell

Read more from Brianna here.

Brianna Bell is a writer and journalist based in Guelph, Ontario. She has written for many online and print publications, including Scary Mommy, The Penny Hoarder, and The Globe and Mail.

Brianna's budget-savvy ways have attracted media attention and led to newspaper coverage in The Globe and Mail and The Guelph Mercury.

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