It’s official, y’all! Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine is safe to use. It will lessen your chances of contracting coronavirus, or at least have less severe outcomes. Most of us already knew that. But the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) giving the vaccine the green light means change is coming — long-overdue changes, mind you. The changes I’m talking about do not include throwing other precautionary measures like masks and social distancing out the window. These changes are going to be even more uncomfortable (for some) than those pesky masks.
Slowly but surely, we’ve been seeing more and more employers and businesses mandating vaccination of their employees and patrons. I mean, it’s a simple ask (except for those with legit medical or religious concerns). Hell, our president and vice-president got the damn vaccine, and they’re doing just fine. Even your formerly-fearless (read: foolish) leader got the vaccine. As someone who never claimed him or anything about him that could be touched with a 10-foot-pole, I had to giggle about his most recent ask to his followers about getting the vaccine. Mostly about their reaction, which was pretty much to be expected.
Ahh, but I digress. Like it or not, this is a huge step forward to life returning to something that resembles normal.
What This Might Mean for Anti-Vaxxers
Regardless of what you think your rights should be around remaining unvaccinated, the reality of the situation is the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine was just the moment many businesses were waiting for. Even though, according to an article on CNN, “Businesses didn’t need full FDA approval to mandate a Covid-19 vaccine — they already legally can.” So stick that in your pipe and smoke it. Actually, I lied, don’t smoke. It’s bad for your health and will only make you more susceptible to lung disease and subsequently, Covid.
What I mean to say is that people who refuse to get a vaccine might be looking at the unemployment line. While some businesses are allowing their employees to submit to regular Covid testing instead, many will say (and have said) get your shot or start searching for new work. Not to mention all the places where folks learn, eat, and hang out — even prior to FDA approval, venues in many states, from colleges to concert halls, were requiring proof of vaccination. Now that the “I don’t trust a vaccine that isn’t FDA approved” crowd doesn’t have a leg to stand on, the logical conclusion would be that more of these venues will be following suit.
Alternatively, it could be so much easier and safer for everyone to just get the vaccine. Normally, I’d cave to a “you do you” mentality, but for fuck’s sake. Look where that has us. Literally, part of the reason the Delta variant has ravaged through this country the way it has is because we let people “do them”.
People didn’t vaccinate. Fine. I don’t agree, but I can understand your reservations about a vaccine that doesn’t have FDA approval. But here’s the truth about those people: They haven’t remained unvaccinated solely because they didn’t trust the science. They haven’t gotten the vaccine because they don’t want to. These same people also don’t want to wear a mask. They challenge social distancing by standing six inches from a stranger in the grocery store. They may or may not have been asymptomatic and could care less about who they infected or what that person’s outcome was. Well, guess what? We don’t want to put up with your tomfoolery anymore.
Fingers Crossed That Vaccine Mandates Help Us Get Back On Track
The hope is this FDA approval will encourage those who have been sitting on the sidelines to finally take the leap and get their vaccine. Honestly, at this point, nothing but good things can come from this. Unfortunately, even with an increase in vaccination, only a little over half of Americans are fully vaccinated. Worse yet, the failure to jump on the opportunity to get vaccinated back in the beginning has resulted in the Delta variant running wild through our communities.
Once again, we find ourselves in the predicament of hospitals and ICUs filling up faster than they can be staffed. Not to mention all of this space dedicated to patients sick with Covid-19 is pushing back other surgeries and life-saving treatments because there just isn’t space. Y’all, we’ve been here before. It wasn’t pretty then, and it is even worse now. Because now it’s not just our immune-compromised coworker or our elderly neighbor–it’s our kids. Little kids who are unable to get their vaccine. They rely on the adults in their life to do the right thing by wearing their mask, socially distancing, and getting the damn vaccine.
Having FDA approval should be sufficient enough to prove the vaccine’s safety. I know, I know; everyone is a scientist or a doctor these days. Exhibit A: The insanity going on Mississippi. But if you’re willing to take a drug meant for livestock, I don’t understand why you can’t give the Covid-19 vaccine a shot (see what I did there?). In all seriousness, it’s unclear whether or not Covid-19 will be around indefinitely and just be a part of life like the flu. So let’s cross our fingers, keep calm, and vaccine on in hopes that someday we can get back to a more normal routine.