Courier editorials – Dear New Brunswick; it’s time to get vaccinated

On today’s front page you’ll have seen the story depicting where we stand as a province in our attempt to begin the shift to the Green phase of recovery. Haven’t read it? The Coles notes is we’re exactly nowhere in the process, as there was a crucial benchmark for jumpstarting the shift that we missed; 75 per cent of eligible New Brunswicker’s with a first dose of a vaccine on board.

And kudos to our government for setting the goal in the first place. It’s a stealthy move, really. It shifted the onus from them to roll out the program efficiently to us to navigate it effectively. The government hasn’t failed to push us into the first 0f the three phase plan to put us in the Green phase of recovery, oh no, we did that to ourselves.

Frankly, it verges on genius.

At press time, the province sat at 70.3 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers with a first dose. And as close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, 70.3 may as well be 10. The mark was missed, the lifting of some restrictions put on hold.

I’ll take a moment here to say my life has been largely unaffected by the restrictions and protocols, and there are some I will quite frankly miss if we do manage to make it fully to Green (where all restrictions will be lifted, mandatory emergency order rescinded). I love my 2 metre exclusion zone. I love working from home. I love that I can watch the handles of grocery store trolley’s get wiped down before I take one, and I thoroughly enjoy the order of one way aisles in shops.

I do however miss travel. I miss cheaper groceries stateside. But that’s about it. Granted, I really do miss travel, but I’m confident that will rear it’s head again soon, but with a caveat; a vaccine passport.

And that brings me back to the situation here in New Brunswick. Look at the infographic on the front page and you’ll see where the issue with vaccination lies; with our younger (under 30) demographic.

And my question to that age group is why? Why are you not rolling-up your sleeves and getting vaccinated? Do you not want to take selfies on the beach in the Maldives? Because prior to the pandemic it seemed to be a significant pastime for many of you, and I suspect those days are over if you aren’t fully vaccinated; see mention of vaccine passport above. Being 25 doesn’t make you invincible, and while you may fancy your chances against the virus, you could carry it to someone whose chances aren’t so bright. This isn’t about you, it’s about everyone. Remember that.

I was reticent in the early days. A vaccine created in such short order seemed dodgy to me. But I’ve since learned the vaccine was created quickly because so much basic groundwork on creating such vaccines had already been done. Moderna, Pfizer and the rest didn’t start from scratch, the dough was already proofed when they started working with it.

And no, contrary to the ramblings of madmen I’ve seen on Facebook, these are not experimental vaccines, they are not expired. They are not injecting nanotechnology into our veins, there is no mind control serum involved.

The comments of it being experimental are the easiest to combat. There have now been hundreds of millions of doses of a vaccine put into the arms of hundreds of millions of people worldwide. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to know it’s over 1 billion…it would almost have to be.

Hundreds of millions of people have been vaccinated without issue and that puts these vaccines outside the realm of experimentation. There is no FDA protocol on the planet that would require that many test subjects prior to approving a vaccine or drug. This is not experimental, it is proven; you just have to look at the current case load in the U.S. to see vaccination works against this virus. Our neighbours to the south are experiencing the lowest case numbers they’ve seen since the start of the pandemic over a year ago, because they have vaccinated so many individuals.

And yes, if you read the list of ingredients, it seems like scary stuff. Have you read the ingredients list on your pain reliever of choice? How about the potential side effects? I take a prescription which has a laundry list of ingredients and potential side effects that make it seem almost worse than the condition for which I take it. The list of ingredients in most medical products could be terrifying if you allow it…but so could the ingredients in your favourite cheese dip, or gummy sweets. Frankly, processed meats like hot dogs have trace amounts of carcinogens in them and they get tossed on the barbecue easily enough, so just stop with the paranoia. Stop.

My point? You know I like to take my time to get there. It’s this: Get vaccinated. Unless you have a medical reason not to, just go do it. You are no more at risk from the vaccines than you are from headache tablets or diet drinks. Yes, there are potential risks, but there are with all the items I listed above. The same people who complain about restrictions and protest mask wearing are also those who are refusing to be vaccinated. Well, dude, if you don’t want to wear a mask or live under restrictions, there’s a really easy path forward to all that being behind us, and it involves rolling-up your sleeve.

To book a vaccine, call your local participating pharmacy, or go to www.gnb.ca/bookavaccine

Krisi Marples