RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released a report analyzing survey results about vaccine rates and attitudes in North Carolina. In the last six months, there has been a lot of movement in the public’s comfort level with the vaccine as more and more are inoculated and the ‘Take Your Shot’ push reaches an apex.
As you’ll see in the infographics below, however, a significant portion of the population remains hesitant (30 percent), wary of being a test subject for a new vaccine. That dynamic becomes more potent amid anecdotal stories of negative reactions, like we’ve just recently seen in Wake County.
Perhaps more remarkable is the reasons why people are warming to the vaccine, and what that implies.
Mostly, people just want to get back to normal and relax; if that means vaccination, as the pressure campaign has conditioned as the only way, then they’re rolling up their sleeves. Almost as many also agree that vaccination is their responsibility to for the collective good, another theme driven aggressively throughout public health crisis.
It’s a demonstration in narrative setting that cannot be underestimated.
Common defense and domestic tranquility are certainly desirable, even necessary, but the issues of COVID and vaccines don’t exist in a vacuum. The consensus narrative of what constitutes common good (or common threat) cannot supersede first principles and fundamental individual rights.
It remains to be seen if the overall trend toward acceptance and adoption of the vaccine will continue, or if a significant portion of North Carolinians will remain skeptical. Inevitably, with the stated goals of elected officials like President Joe Biden and Governor Roy Cooper looking more and more like a 100 percent vaccination rate, this becomes a political and social flash point, not least of which through whatever restrictive ‘vaccine passport’ system is pushed onto commerce and communities.
Of course, what’s lost in all of this focus on the vaccine is how many people have already had and recovered from the Wuhan Virus, effectively marking them safe and taking them out of the risk pool. Between those who’ve had the virus, those getting vaccinated, and those robust enough to not be at risk anyhow, we’re no doubt moving closer to heard immunity.
So why do they need EVERYONE — even children — to get vaccinated?
Reinforcing overt, submissive conformity? Much more likely.