They rejected the covid vaccine (Pexels/ Maxim Goncharenok)
His eyes were willing up with tears as he recalled that fatal mistake. He remembered advising his sick father not to take the covid vaccine, and how quickly the virus stole his father’s life thereafter. My father trusted me. He heeded my words and I let him down. How can I ever forgive myself?
He stumbled over his words and struggled to wipe his tears away. His emotions of regret and heartbreak crashed to produce sorrowful sobs that could never bring back the dead.
This man’s story is not a unique one. Many have rejected the covid vaccine since its launch. Still today, they are split between some admitting their mistake; and others refusing stubbornly to acknowledge the vaccine’s benefits.
These people believe they know better. They insist on relying on and regurgitating anecdotal stories of people experiencing “side effects lasting for hours or days!” Purposefully ignoring the tens or even hundreds of thousands of vaccinated individuals who saw no side effects at all.
This stance anti-vaccinators take up is not novel by any means. It is not only limited to the Covid-19 pandemic, or the argument against “a hastily approved vaccine.” Vaccines were always contentious.
Indeed, this is simply an extension of a school in medicine that does not favor vaccines and calls for natural alternatives. But people who reject the vaccines currently either do so out of fear of a needle prick, or the conspiracy theories circulating on WhatsApp and social media platforms. Some do it out of sheer stubbornness – as is the case in the United States and some European countries.
These people claim that being forced to take the vaccine to be able to travel or enter different spaces is a restriction to their freedoms. Neglecting that their freedom ends once it threatens other people’s freedoms.
Medical studies indicate that one out of every 100,000 recipients of the vaccine can experience complications after receiving it, which can on rare occasions result in death.
On the other hand, deaths among unvaccinated corona cases reached one out of every 1000. Which ratio is more notable then?
If we view the matter from a religious lens, Muslims are required to rationalize and do our best according to all available information. Vaccinations are a part of that, for they are humanity’s best route to mitigate the severity of this dangerous pandemic.
We must understand that vaccines are unable to prevent getting infected with covid again, as some seem to think. Rather, it has a very important role in mitigating the severity of the infection’s symptoms and mortality risk.
There is no doubt that life is in the hands of Allah, but Muslims have a responsibility to take care and protect themselves. “You owe a duty to your body,” says the hadith.
The issue of whether or not to receive the vaccine is not an issue that affects individuals alone. Society cannot achieve herd immunity against the virus unless it can vaccinate at least 75 percent of its population.
That is why some countries, much like Jordan, strive to provide incentives and such to those who get their vaccines. This is done in effort to encourage all to get their jabs, especially those who are hesitant do so.
The culture of respecting and adhering to health instructions correlates to the level of trust between the citizen and the official authorities in any certain country. But there is certainly no party in the world that wants to eliminate humankind, despite what conspiracy theorists may believe.
Ultimately, we must strive to educate citizens about the importance of safety instructions and vaccinations in every way possible. Without that, the pandemic will continue to devour human lives and the global economy.