COVID far worse than any vaccine side effects
Is COVID a serious health threat? Is it more dangerous to get COVID than to get a vaccine? Does personal freedom come hand-in-hand with personal responsibility?
Yes, to all of it, says Dr. John Froh of the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
Dr. Froh is the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Pandemic, and has been working with the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s Emergency Operations Centre for the past 18 months. He is also an Emergency Room physician, a trauma attending physician and a STARS physician.
He’s heard a lot about COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic, has treated it in patients, and has seen how the vaccine distribution among the population has helped. He’s previously reported, in a Faces of the Fight story, that he fears for the safety of the unvaccinated during this fourth wave of the Delta COVID-19 variant.
Angus Reid recently came out with poll results that stated the eight per cent of the Canadian population who still refuse to be vaccinated cite health concerns, personal freedoms, and that COVID-19 is not a serious health threat as their reasons for refusing the vaccine.
Froh, and many others who work within the health system, refute all three.
“In terms of health concerns, COVID-19 is an enormous threat compared to the possible side effects of any COVID-19 vaccine,” Froh noted. “The common side effects of the vaccine are fever, fatigue, headache and pain at the injection site. What happens when you contract COVID-19 as an unvaccinated person is a roll of the dice. You could lose your sense of smell for a couple of weeks, or you could end up needing a ventilator. Or you could die. Those are all very real possibly outcomes, the latter especially if you are unvaccinated and contract the Delta variant, which is nearly as contagious as measles, the most contagious disease out there. It’s so much safer just to get the vaccine.”
Young, old, physically fit, obese – COVID doesn’t seem to care. Not enough is known about it yet – it’s too new – for anyone to know the exact things that put someone at risk for developing a severe form of the disease. So if you think you could survive a bout of it, and because of that refuse a vaccine, you are literally gambling with your life. Because no one – not even the world’s foremost researchers – could tell you if you’ll live or die from it. Only COVID knows that, and it’s not telling.
As for the vaccines, they were available quickly, yes, but research into these types of vaccines has been ongoing for years. And they’ve passed all the rigorous tests set out by Health Canada, as well as their careful review process. Only vaccines that are proven to be safe, effective and of high quality are authorized for use in Canada. They can't give you COVID-19 because they don't contain the virus that causes it, and they can't change your DNA.
There have been some allergic and some other rare reactions to the vaccines, both the mRna versions and the viral vectors.
“It’s not unusual at all to have rare reactions reported to any vaccine,” Froh explained. “And there have been some to the COVID-19 vaccines available in Canada. However, these vaccines have now been injected into billions of people, so the chances of you having one of these reactions is, as it is stated, extremely rare.”
And yes, it is still your choice to get a vaccine. But with personal freedom comes responsibilities. You refusing to get a vaccine could not only harm yourself if you contract COVID, you could ensure it spreads to others who get sick and/or die, or be responsible for yet another mutation of the virus.
“We’re all in this together,” Froh said. “This is a global health crisis. Getting a vaccine is not about someone seeking to control you and your actions. It’s about seeking to stamp out this virus. Because the virus can live in all of us and be spread by all of us, we are all responsible for its eradication. Every living person is responsible for this. And the more we delay vaccination, the more chances the virus has to live on, to mutate, and to kill or harm more of us.”
The reported death toll from COVID-19 has reached five million worldwide.
“The vaccine is not about controlling the population, it’s about controlling the virus, and its spread,” Froh noted. “The sooner we accept that, as humans, it’s the virus we are fighting, not our governments, not our doctors or nurses, not each other, the sooner we will win. Vaccination is the way to win that fight. It’s a way for us to stand together against COVID.
“And it’s the only way out of this.”