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Should we take the COVID-19 vaccine?
Written by Amy Park | Published. 2021.11.22 19:06 | Count : 140

 

 

After the SARS-CoV-2 virus was identified in 2020, many countries such as the United States, England, Russia, and China invested billions of dollars to develop vaccines. Finally, in 2021, vaccines were released by Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, among others. While people around the world have been waiting for the vaccine for a long time, some people are unsure of its safety and effectiveness. For instance, in the United States, only 57.2 percent of the country’s population is vaccinated even though the government has provided vaccines to every state for free (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/public-health/states-ranked-by-percentage-of-population-vaccinated-march-15.html). The situation was no different in South Korea. While the adult vaccination rate is almost the highest worldwide, only 44.1 percent of teenagers have reserved a vaccination (https://www.hankookilbo.com/News/Read/A2021100914450003726). As someone who got vaccinated without a second thought, I was very confused about this situation. To find out why so many people are not getting the vaccine, I interviewed Mary Kim, who decided to get the vaccine, and Andy Park, who decided not to get vaccinated, to understand their different perspectives. 

 

{Screenshot of interview with Mary Kim; photo credit: Amy Park}

 

First, I asked Mary Kim about her immediate thoughts when the vaccines were first released. She replied that she was happy because it would reduce the high numbers of positive cases, yet she worried about the side effects. Although Mary was nervous, she did not hesitate to get vaccinated since all of her family members encouraged her to do so and the vaccines did not have many serious side effects. She said, “After I got vaccinated, I felt safer, even though getting vaccinated does not guarantee that I will not get COVID-19.” She added, “I don’t regret my decision at all,” showing how good she feels about being vaccinated. When I asked her whether other people should also get vaccinated, Mary seemed a little skeptical. “I would definitely recommend it if you are a traveler, but it should not be mandatory.” She is especially worried about some severe side effects that she heard about. However, overall, she feels positive towards getting vaccinated. 

 

 

{Screenshot of interview with Andy Park; photo credit: Amy Park}

 

Andy Park, who decided not to get vaccinated, has a different perspective. “I can only trust the vaccine until it is proven to be safe for everyone,” Andy commented. He is scared that his decision might lead to him getting sick with COVID-19 since he believes that he does not have a strong immune system. Andy also spoke about the news, saying, “I heard many cases of people dying on the news,” showing that he does not want to risk this just to get the vaccine. In addition, he is worried that he will have to miss school because of vaccine side effects. “I do not want to be late on any assignments or tests because this will make me procrastinate,'' he said in an angry tone. Different from Mary, he also said that he thinks other people should wait at least until next year so that everyone can be safe. Lastly, Andy commented, “I do not think we should necessarily hurry to get vaccinated. Safety is more important!”, emphasising his decision to not get vaccinated. 

 

Of course, there is no right or wrong answer regarding whether or not people should get vaccinated. Yet, hearing different views on the vaccines can help individuals make the best decisions for themselves. As Mary Kim and Andy Park both said, it is important to recognize your health status and be aware of the side effects that vaccines can have.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amy Park

Grade 11

Seoul Foreign School

 

Amy Park  hsr@dherald.com

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