By Jason Williams
Williams is Executive Director/Founder of the Taxpayers Association of Oregon and contributing writer to this blog.
I received my vaccination later than most (late May) and I wanted to share my personal thought process and my own journey and share it with the “undecided” vaccinated citizens in Oregon. Undecideds could be as as high as 10% (verses the decidedly no-vaccination population 10-20%).
As you may know, Oregon keeps missing its vaccination target. The Governor, instead of touring every county to meet Oregonians where they live to hear their concerns, take their questions and share her message directly with Oregonians, our Governor has instead been quite invisible to average Oregonians (and even towards lawmakers who just finished a 6-month Legislative Session). Having the State Health Director run for local political office while managing Covid was also a grave mistake. Oregon Government lost its trust with the people.
I want to step in and add my ideas to the discussion in a time when trust is broken.
Here is my checklist I gave myself to decide if I should be vaccinated.
#1. I got an antibody test. I wanted to see if I already recently had Covid so I went in an got a test. I tested negative. Check.
#2. I did my own research, listened to competing voices. I began to read various news reports on the vaccines, their effectiveness, their side-effects. I trusted mostly, the Wall Street Journal, which is according to surveys America’s most trusted newspaper by a large margin because of their fairness and professionalism. I talked to others about their experiences and heard stories of people who had serious side effects. Check.
#3. I watched the vaccine effectiveness against variants. I waited to see how the vaccine held against the variants and it performed excellent. Check.
#4. Internal debate. Although immunity and vaccination levels are high and cases are falling, there remains one worst case scenario (with low odds but real risks) that if Covid disappears too slowly it may give the disease enough time to create new variants which could prove more resilient against existing vaccinations. That means an unvaccinated population could be contributing to the weakening og the defenses that vaccinated people have erected to protect themselves. Ultimately any such scenario is complicated, debatable and limited in understanding at this point, but that scenario was important to me to favoring vaccination. Check.
#5. I picked my own vaccine. After my research I found the Pfizer was the most effective and had been in trail the longest. So I choose Pfizer. Check.
I encourage undecideds to formulate their own process, internal debate to making a decision. Please choose some of my points and adopt them as your own as you make your own decision.
State Government should not be using our tax dollars to offer cash prizes — especially when they spend so little time talking to their own citizens. On the otehr hand, when the private sector does their giveaways, I see it as a beautiful expression of creativity and community spirit.
I hope this article helps and that I can inspire other “undecideds” to get vaccinated or at least make a plan.