Monday, September 13, 2021

Vaccine Hesitancy. Why?

1. They are lying to us again.  This Tablet article really captures the loss of trust in the official media:

Imagine you’re a normal person. The year is 2016. Rightly or wrongly, you believe most of what you see in the media. You believe polls are broadly reflective of public opinion. You believe doctors and scientists are trustworthy and independent. You’re a decent, reasonable person who follows the rules and trusts the authorities.

Imagine your shock, then, when Brexit, which you were assured couldn’t happen because it was a fringe movement led by racists for racists, happens. The polls, which widely predicted it wouldn’t happen, were wrong. The experts and pundits who told you day after day that it wouldn’t happen were also wrong. “Oh well,” you say, “these things happen.”

Imagine that soon after Brexit, Donald Trump is running for president. You are told by the most trustworthy media outlets that he is going to lose. Some experts say his opponent has a 99% chance of winning. Imagine waking up the morning after the election to discover that the pollsters, experts, and politicians you still trusted were wrong again. Now the racist monster who you were told would never get near the White House is the leader of the free world.

“How did this happen?” you ask yourself. How could everyone I rely on for good information be so wrong? “It was the Russians,” they tell you. “The Russians did Brexit, and they got Trump elected too.” Imagine that for the next three years, day after day, the media and politicians you still trust keep you up to date on this story of Trump’s collusion with Russia. They tell you the how, when, where, and why: the dossiers, the whistleblowers, the peeing prostitutes. Imagine your desperation for things to somehow make sense again.

Here comes the Mueller report. Hard evidence of foreign meddling in Brexit and the 2016 U.S. election is coming to set the world right again.

Imagine your shock, then, when you discover that Brexit had little to do with foreign meddling, and Robert Mueller has very little to report about Trump and the Russians. The collusion story, which dominated your news intake for the better part of three years, slowly dies down. Then it’s gone. No one talks about it anymore. Imagine that bit by bit, you’re starting to feel that the events you were told would not and could not happen not only happened, but happened without some sort of malign interference. Instead, millions of your fellow citizens simply voted for them. In the American case, it turns out many of your fellow citizens who simply voted for Trump come from states that have been devastated by an opioid epidemic enabled by a corrupt system of incentives involving the Food and Drug Administration, doctors, and Big Pharma. (You might want to take note of this. It will come up again later.)

2. Anecdotal Evidence is All Most People Believe

This is not specific to medicine.  Almost everyone puts more credence in personal experience than reports and statistics, especially when it is reported by the liars discussed in #1.

I would guess that most Americans are like me.  We know several families who got sick from COVID.  They were either really miserable (like a bad flu) or sometimes not that sick, and they recovered.  Because so few people have died (a few hundred thousand out of 328 million), very few people have any friends or relatives who have died of it or even been hospitalized for long.  So how serious is it?  The liars in #1 have discredited themselves.  Are there any reliable sources?

3. Antivax sentiment is strong.  There has been a lot of it for years, and antisocial media has spread it faster than COVID.  Yet the antisocial media companies try to suppress differing opinions.

4. Hostility to Big Pharma has been strong for a long time, with lots of claims that their greed caused them to push expensive treatments to the detriment of cheaper ones.  (This is likely true.  They are suppressing a one pill cure for cancer?  No.  The insurers would not tolerate that.)  But so many people on the left hollered about how greedy Big Pharma is, that many people now see the vaccine makers as cashing in on a problem, especially because some alternatives are being or have been used with varying levels of success.  The Rolling Stone ivermectin fraud just adds #1 to #4.

5. The politicization of the issues. 

Now you wonder why Trump supporters do not trust Biden and Fauci?

6. Changing Truths

At the start, we were told masks would do no good for the general population; then everyone needed to wear masks.

The lockdown would be a few weeks to get medical system capacity past the peak, then it became indefinite.

No one directly promised that the vaccines would give permanent immunity, but it was certainly implied.  Now it turns out to good for six months or so. (It still reduces risk from delta.)

Even if all of this reflects the everchanging nature of warfare, it has not provoked much confidence.

Marijuana stores were essential industries but houses of worship were not.

7. "My Body, My Choice"

For years, this was the leftist mantra.  Now it is a sign of antisocial sentiment.  If you really believe that individual rights must sometimes take a backseat to community needs, that is a perfectly reasonable claim, but after 40 years of screaming "My Body, My Choice" do not expect everyone to get in line behind your ordering people about.

8. I Do Not Follow My Own Rules

French Laundry, Obama birthday party/super spreader.  If it is really a crisis, then act like it is a crisis.

Now do you understand why so many people are pushing back?

Go ahead and get vaccinated but let's get back to work and living.


  1. 9. Natural Immunity

    Around 20% of the population has already had COVID. There is no point for those individuals to get the vaccine, given that natural immunity is far superior to artificial immunity. It's all risk, no reward. That alone could explain the vast majority of the "hesitancy" right there.

    1. I would be curious to know what the percentage of the refusedniks are in this group.

    2. 10% of the population has recovered. If all of them are refusedniks that would be close to 20%. Of course some large percentage of the vaccinated thinks they were chipped.

  2. Oh so much of what I, and probably vast numbers of others, have been thinking all along but nover all at once and all in one place. Excellent post. Thank you.

  3. 9: What are the long-term side effects of mRNA jabs? No one knows. The last time there was a significant trial of mRNA jabs, all of the animal subjects DIED. The FDA/CDC allowed the COVID jabs to be rushed through without animal testing.

    1. Source? says animal test subjects were killed for autopsy.

  4. One more (11?): The vax-makers are immune (heh) from liability. if the drugs were so safe, then they wouldn't need a shield from liability, would they?

    1. Immunity is because the swine flu vaccine in the Ford Administration led to lots of suits claiming various problems. All vaccines have side effect risks. Generally, these risks are lower than the disease.

  5. Also consider that the virus is mutating quickly (normal for a virus) and natural selection is obviously increasing the prevalence of mutations like mu that evade the vaccines nearly completely. This will become more common over time, rendering the benefit of the vaccines less. At the same time, the mRNA vaccines are quite different than standard vaccines and the long term effects are unknown. This presents a much higher risk than a typical vaccine against a declining reward.

    I got the vaccine because I have to travel for work, and I assumed I would get the disease at some point due to that exposure. The risk of the vaccine, while higher than typical vaccines, appeared to be less than the risk of the disease. At this point with all the new variants popping up I don't think it would be worth taking it. The data does show a far higher rate of issues with the mRNA vaccines than with normal vaccines.

    Almost all the people I know who have decided to avoid the vaccine are medical professionals. A few others work in pharmaceutical development. All of them cute the poor level of study and unknown long-term risks as the reason to avoid them. None are anti-vax.