This week, I received my very first flu jab, which was unexpectedly painless. In fact, I was so euphoric afterwards, I logged on and purchased £5k worth of Microsoft licences.
In all seriousness though, it is a toughie to comprehend that one of the primary anti-vax rationales is a conspiracy theory that we are all being injected with control-chips. On the COVID front, Bill Gates must be creating havoc now he can control 90-year-old Margaret from Enniskillen.
Now, there are concerns about side-effects, but were that a showstopper, then no medication would ever have been approved, ever. Following medication – given the pathological variability of mankind – somebody will always feel nauseous, break out in a rash, or sprout a third breast.
But pruning the gobwaffle down to the main branches of argumentation, one point makes crystal opaque by comparison – the confirmation bias of any turd who thinks that 1.5 million deaths can be outweighed by reports of two allergic reactions from two people with a medical history of allergic reactions.
Of course, the pace at which the COVID vaccines have been approved has rightly piqued apprehension. But ponder this: a large chunk of that chronological timeline can be legitimately offset by a stratospherically voluminous injection of resource hours into the research stage, as it indeed has been. Under normal circumstances, much of the time taken to develop new medication is determined by the limits on available, qualified researchers and by their cost. Drug development odysseys must typically adhere to stringent investment models, yet the COVID response has hoofed through a paradigm shift on that front.
And to boot, there will be a lengthy queue for the jab, so any doubters can have just a little longer to double-check that their nearest and dearest have not joined the legions of the six-toed.
As per the direction of travel in our post-fact universe, the most severe reactions to the COVID vaccine are psychological rather than physiological. The reaction to the concept of a quickly produced vaccine, wrapped up in self-absorbed, snowflake, psychosis. In other words, everything about the speedy turnaround challenges our individual schemata of vaccine development that is dominated by the notion of an extensive stretch of linear time. Add a few flaky dimwits into the mix, and you have a nailed-on recipe for fake news.
This is no criticism of concerned citizens, who quite rightly wish to interrogate the product and process and what Nursey will be spritzing into them. That is merely fact-based critique from those who as laymen are posing precisely the same questions as the scientists did in their technical development of the product. That is a world apart from the professional foghorning fannies spouting baseless conjecture.
The greatest challenge now will come with any review of take-up over time. If a successful vaccine marks our most effective means of disease control, what will happen if not enough citizens opt for the jab?
Stand by for compulsory vaccination, which might be the trade-off for which even the naysayers might need to roll up their sleeves in exchange for the return of a normal life.
But surely, any competent government would be cranking up their information output and winning the argument with the cranks?
Indeed, they would.