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Covid-19 Vaccines, the Elders' Thoughts?
Written by Amy Park | Published. 2021.02.08 16:22 | Count : 210
[Covid-19 Vaccines. https://pixabay.com/photos/vaccine-cure-medicine-virus-5897391/]

With the Covid-19 pandemic ongoing for more than a year, there was considerable demand for COVID-19 vaccine. As a result, by the end of 2020, seven countries have developed vaccines and announced that they would also export them to other countries worldwide. Since South Korea could not develop a vaccine, they planned to export them to the country.The South Korean government has arranged to buy 20 million doses from AstraZeneca Plc (90% efficiency), Pfizer Inc (95% efficiency), and Moderna Inc (94% efficiency), and another 4 million doses from Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (about 90% efficiency) starting from next month (February), which covers up to 34 million people. With these rapid changes, there have been various opinions regarding the vaccines soon coming in South Korea in all age groups. To closely examine a specific age group’s opinion, I interviewed three elders (aged more than 65), who are the highest risk in Covid-19, on their opinions about the vaccines. Because they had different views on Covid-19 vaccines, they were willing to share their opinions. 

[Interviewing with Bokhoon Jeong; Photo credit: Mi Young Park]

Bokhoon Jeong, 67 years old, has stated that she feels more nervous than excited to get the vaccine. “As one of the first people to get the vaccine in South Korea (because elders are in high risk of getting Covid-19), I do feel a little insecure mostly about the side effects”, she said. Since barely anyone in South Korea has received the vaccines, she is unsure if these vaccines will be safe or not. During the interview, I noticed which brand of vaccine she will be getting makes a significant difference in whether she is anxious or glad to be one of the first people to get the vaccine. “I most prefer Pfizer Inc, which has the highest accuracy so far”. However, because she does not have the option to choose which brand she wants, this has been her biggest concern recently. Although she is aware that it would be almost impossible for the government to let everyone choose their own vaccine brands, she wishes that the government either brings the vaccines with the highest accuracy or let citizens choose their own. 

[Interviewing with Park Doo-cheol; Photo credit: Mi Young Park]
[Interviewing with Chun bog Yu; Photo credit: Mi Young Park]

On the other hand, Chun bog Yu and Park Doo-cheol, 66 and 70 years old, have opposite opinions with Bokhoon Jeong even though they are all in similar age groups. Despite my expectations that they will be nervous and scared about getting the vaccine, they surprisingly want to get the vaccine as soon as possible, which mesmerized me. “I believe that everyone should get the vaccine promptly for themselves but also for everyone’s health and safety” said Park Doo-cheol, who firmly believes it is beneficial for everyone to get the vaccine quickly rather than to waste time debating how the side effects will harm people. Furthermore, they convey that Coronavirus vaccines are very similar to normal vaccines that people get every year, such as the flu vaccine. They argue that it is safe to get the vaccine. “I personally did not experience any unusual reactions in my body after getting any vaccines in my life” Chun bog Yu said, “Coronavirus vaccines are just one of them! Some people may experience some side effects, but getting the vaccine is better in the long term for everyone”, she added on. Essentially, all they want the government to do currently is to spread the vaccine fast, not regarding which brand. 

After examining both perspectives about the Coronavirus vaccines, I would say that both agree that they should receive the vaccine. Yet, one person is nervous, while the other two people want to receive the vaccine soon. Like this, there are myriad of opinions regarding the safety of vaccines in any age group. Whether or not we agree or disagree, it seems that the vaccines are our only hope to end this pandemic. All we can do is trust the vaccine and follow the government for any instructions. 

Amy Park
Grade 10
Seoul Foreign School

Amy Park  student_reporter@dherald.com

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