OPINION: Not getting the vaccine has dire consequences


Illustration by Mattheau Faught/The Et Cetera

As the coronavirus continues to mutate and the delta variant fills our hospitals to capacity, it just makes sense to me that everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 should. We need to protect ourselves and our children who are not old enough to get the vaccine.


Nothing is foolproof, but if everybody was vaccinated it would decrease the coronavirus’s opportunity to mutate into yet another variant, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical advisor. That alone should be enough to encourage Americans to get vaccinated.


Yet there are so many who still refuse to take action. Many anti-vaxxers speak of conspiracy theories or the vaccine being rushed as reasons they do not wish to take the vaccine. Honestly I started to question my decision to vaccinate myself and my family when I listened to some of their concerns.


Some believe that the virus it is not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. When Gov. Greg Abbott refuses to require a mask mandate, even after contracting COVID-19 himself, I can see how one would question the severity of the pandemic.


But after watching various school districts take a stance against Abbott and require their students to wear masks and listening to the hospital’s reports on how they are running out of beds in the intensive care unit, I am really concerned. The fact that we have surpassed the number of people who were infected with the virus from the previous year lets me know we are not remotely close to being out of the pandemic.


Being a person with underlying medical conditions, I was afraid not to get vaccinated. Even though breakthrough infections do occur, the data shows that people who are vaccinated have much better protection than those who are not.


A high school friend recently contacted me to let me know she was admitted to the hospital with COVID-19. She shared with me how she hated that she waited too long to get her vaccination.


Everyone has different variables in their personal life, including mental or physical health, that influences their decision on whether to get vaccinated or not. No one should make you feel pressured to do something you are not comfortable doing. But if you don’t wish to get your vaccine, at least be willing to wear a mask and social distance to aid in keeping everyone as safe as possible.


Last week the DFW Hospital Council announced there were no available pediatric ICU beds in North Texas. When I see that type of data, I am convinced that getting vaccinated was the best option for me and my family.


Choices must be made on how to eradicate this virus. I know individuals want it to be their choice to get vaccinated, but what will you choose?


When COVID-19 originally hit we didn’t have anything in place to offer protection. Now at least we have the vaccine.

—Chantilette Franklin is the photo editor.