Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by this author are their own and do not represent the official position of the Barbados Today Inc.
I am not afraid to tell anyone who asks that I refuse to take the AstraZeneca vaccine currently available to Barbadians. It is not because I am an anti-vaxxer. It is simply because it is my decision to make, and I do not think that the public health officials in Barbados have done enough to convince me that it is safe.
Even though I have done my research, I do not think it is necessary at this point. I am a healthy 38-year old male who has never tested positive for COVID-19. I hardly ever get sick, and I follow the protocols to a T. As a matter of fact, I dislike Western medicine in general and prefer to live as naturally as possible.
My entire family, except my younger sister, is vaccinated, and I am happy for them. They have made their choice based on what is best for them. When people try to argue with me about my own decision, I do not even bother to engage them. Now, I am not going to go around the place with signs and placards and a document to garner signatures about the right not to take the vaccine. Whatever people choose to do is fine with me.
My oldest child is 18 years old, and I informed her that she is free to make her own decision concerning the vaccine, and after speaking with her doctor, she has received both doses of the vaccine. When my other children are old enough, I will encourage them to make their own choices. Maybe by that time, there will be more cutting-edge research that will finally convince me to take the jab.
Of course, the news about the adverse side effects of the various vaccines is not comforting. It is hard to believe that scientists have come up with a solution of sorts in such a short space of time, and people are supposed to trust it. I know that the vaccine does not make you immune from the virus, but then, what is the point? Anyone can get sick and die from COVID whether or not they take the vaccine, and regardless of pre-existing conditions. I know people who were as healthy as horses and still died. My take is that COVID is an unfortunate game of luck and chance, and vaccines have nothing to do with it.
You want to take the vaccine? Fine. But it seems to me like there is a vaccine agenda where people who are not comfortable with the idea are being frowned upon. I believe that we are focused on the wrong things. We need to focus on getting our numbers down and effectively police our borders and quarantine protocols, especially for international visitors. Then, and only then, we will be in a better place with regards to COVID.
This article appears in the April 26 edition of COVID Weekly. Read the full publication here.