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Why I Got the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

I just received my COVID-19 vaccination, a complete turnaround from when the vaccine was announced. I thought some people who are on the fence might want to know why I changed my mind after months of questioning whether it was a good idea.

After over a year about writing about the coronapocalypse, I’d say I’m fairly familiar with the damage it’s inflicted on the world and no matter how you feel it started, most people would agree that it’s more than a minor problem. I contracted the ‘rona last March and was thankful I had a mild case with fever, aches, loss of taste, and loss of smell I know several people who have had it and fared much worse ranging from hospitalization to hitting the Grim Reaper Highway.

COVID-19 has been a nightmare for people thanks to government incompetence (what a surprise) and the fact that like any health crisis, society tends to be reactive rather than proactive. I don’t care if you think the pandemic was the plandemic, whether certain individuals capitalized on the chaos caused by the coronavirus to solidify power, whether it was a man-made virus or one of the diseases that pop up from time to time.

The biggest reason I’m getting the vaccine is to try and reduce the risk of it mutating further. The more people that are vaccinated means the less people there are for the virus to infect and possibly mutate into a more virulent strain. The recent strains that were more infectious shows that things can get worse. Society has been fortunate that the disease isn’t affecting people more severely. If the mortality rate were to go up, we could see more shutdowns and more problems.

The biggest reason I didn’t want to get the vaccine was due to it being new and quickly developed. Most vaccines take five to ten years to develop and as we know, the current vaccines were produced at warp speed. There’s also the concerns over the RNA-based vaccines. I know some people are concerned with the vaccines changing their DNA but the major factor keeping me from getting one is that they are the first RNA vaccines being used on humans. RNA vaccines have been in development for several years but I’m uncomfortable with trying the new technology. My research indicates the vaccines don’t have the necessary ingredients to affect DNA but I’m not sure what side effects might occur.

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is more akin to a traditional vaccine and is not an RNA-based vaccine. Like the other vaccines, it was quickly developed and that’s my biggest concern. Back in the 1970s, a vaccine was hastily produced for a swine flu pandemic that never happened. As noted in an article at The vaccine ended up causing serious side effects in people as they contracted Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological disorder causing muscle weakness, tingling in the extremities and paralysis. An article at Discover Magazine notes “Of the 45 million people vaccinated against the 1976 swine flu, four hundred and fifty people developed the rare syndrome Guillain-Barré.” However, that was 45 years ago and research and development has come a long way, especially with the use of high-powered computers.

Am I confident that I won’t develop a side effect ten years down the road? No. The fact that the manufacturers are protected from liability means I might have no recourse should something bad happen. However, life is full of risks and after a risk assessment, I’ve decided I’m going to get the coronavirus vaccine. I’m not doing it out of pressure or because I want to travel (I am vehemently opposed to the so-called travel passports that have been suggested).

I can understand why some people are reluctant to get one, and I’m not going to say, get a vaccine. I will say to research the vaccines that are available and make an informed decision. Here are some of the materials I used in researching the coronavirus and the advantages and disadvantages of getting immunized:

Infectious Disease: A Very Short Introduction

The Immune System: A Very Short Introduction

The Black Death: The World’s Most Devastating Plague

An Introduction to Infectious Diseases

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History

No, the Moderna and Pfizer RNA vaccines for COVID-19 will not “permanently alter your DNA”

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About the author

Mike Rickard II

Retired bank robber and author of "Wrestling's Greatest Moments", "Laughing All the Way to the Bank Robbery, "Flunky: Pawns and Kings," and "Don't Call Me Bush Beans: The Legend of a Three-Legged Cat." Pro wrestling and hockey fan. Hired gun for several pro wrestling sites and a top 10 YouTube wrestling channel. Available in regular and extra-strength.

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