Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Why Many Conservatives Are Hesitant About COVID Vaccines

This is just my take on the topic.  But I really hate the media's implication that all Trump supporters are anti-vax or just opposed to the vaccine because of some Trump mania.  I am not surprised that polls find that up to 30% of Trump supporters don't want the vaccine and a similar number of evangelicals are also opposed.

While I am getting the shot myself, I think they have valid reasons for their positions.

First, there are all the reports of bad reactions and deaths following COVID-19 vaccination.  Sure, I did a back of the envelope statistical analysis that showed the number of deaths were not excessive considering the number of people vaccinated.  In fact, they were quite low assuming the percentage of people that would normally have died during the period when we've been vaccinating people.  But that does not make the stories any the less scary, and they certainly make you strongly consider what might happen if you get vaccinated.

Related to that is the ridiculous media and CDC reports that address those concerns.  They amount to "We, the CDC, have looked at the data on those deaths and adverse reactions and they are not related.  Trust us!"  As far as I can tell, not a single report details what they found and why they claim there is no relationship between vaccination and the reported deaths.  If anybody trusts the CDC or the WHO after the last year-plus of COVID recommendations, well I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell.  Still, my lack of trust in the CDC does not mean they are necessarily wrong, just that I cannot trust what they say.  Why would I expect others to trust them?

Then there are the many headline stories about the people getting COVID-19 after they are fully vaccinated.  Most of those seem to be Johnson & Johnson, but I won't rely on that here.  The reports of the trials indicated that Pfizer was 95% effective at preventing COVID, Moderna was 94%, and J&J was 66%.  Since then, Pfizer and Moderna seem to have dropped to about 90% effective.  That's a lot of percentages where they weren't effective at preventing COVID.  Sure, your chance of getting COVID goes way down, but you would expect some COVID cases with those numbers.  So why are individual cases getting headline news?  All it does is raise doubt about the effectiveness of the vaccines; especially when the news stories do not emphasize the efficacies that came out of the trials.

Then there are all the stories that show your chance of surviving COVID is 99.7% with almost all of the fatalities in people 70 or older with comorbidities.  Everyone by now knows a bunch of people that have tested positive, had some minor symptoms, and are now back to normal.  Then there are even more stories about how a COVID positive test may be a false negative because the tests use too many amplification cycles and reportedly find COVID where just a few dead viruses are present.  When you wonder about the safety of the vaccines from the stories, and the lack of effectiveness of preventing COVID, where do you see the advantages of taking the vaccine?

Then there is the fact sheet for (at least) the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.  It emphasizes that there is no FDA approved vaccine for COVID-19.  That the emergency use authorized vaccine may prevent you from getting COVID-19.  That there are a lot of possible side effects, including death.  And they include a link to a CDC app that lets you report side effects so you can help collect data on the 'not approved' vaccine.  You come away with the belief that you are a guinea pig in an experiment.

Also, the Trump supporters and evangelicals would mostly be found in red states where life either was not in lockdown or is now mostly reopened for normal functioning.  They don't have the lockdown 'stick' to drive them to feel the vaccine is necessary.

But, and I suspect this is the biggest driver, media and the Biden administration are going full blitz at how safe and necessary the vaccine is.  Conservatives have essentially watched the media lie to us 98% of the time for the last four years.  Until the election, Biden was warning how dangerous the short trial new vaccines were.  Most of use see how stupid and damaging most of Biden's actions have been since the election.  Are we now supposed to believe that the media is telling us the truth and the Biden administration is right on something?  I don't think so.  If I had to base my decision on what the media reports, I would simply not take the vaccine.

So what really surprises me is that only 30% of conservatives are opposed to vaccination.

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