I guess the national (UK) consensus is TAKE.
But consider this what I posted on my Facebook page a week ago …
“Like many in the vulnerable group, I am being urged to take the vaccine. But like some I am holding back because I have questions, partly because I read stuff “they” don’t want us to read and is not seen by most. I don’t want to be belligerent or a martyr but the one thing I have that I treasure is my conscience. I confess while I have read up on the subject including reasons for and against taking the vaccine, it is not enough and is why I appeal to friends to help me (which ever camp you are in). On November 19th 2020 I wrote my blog: “COVID-19 VACCINE – should we be concerned?” While some of my TEN questions have been partly answered, none have fully. It will be easy for me to go with the flow and take the vaccine but as of now this will not sit easy with my conscience. To make it clear too, I do NOT deny Covid-19 is a real threat and like most there are people I know and love, who have / are suffered or died because of Covid-19, but I am wanting answers so I can do the right thing, whatever that is.”
Then consider the latest in a long line of those encouraging me to take the vaccine exhortations – this is how one such, an email sent to me by NHS England two days ago, and it began:
“We are writing to you because new research commissioned by the Chief Medical Officer has recently enabled us to identify people who may be at increased risk of becoming seriously unwell from coronavirus. This is because of a combination of their individual characteristics and their underlying health conditions. This research means we want to provide vaccination more quickly for you, and also offer further advice and support. This letter explains why you have been included in this group and what advice and support is available to you. The easiest way for us to ensure your early vaccination is to include you within the list of people who are clinically extremely vulnerable (also known as the shielded patient list). The NHS may have been in touch with you about your vaccination already or will do so soon. The vaccine is likely to make an important contribution towards protecting you from coronavirus” … and it continues on advising what I now need to do.
Going back to my Facebook post, fourteen “friends” commented, which for me is a very good response. I was surprised (or should I be) the majority of these were women! Some other noteworthy observations is that they were split as far as take or not take was concerned, which says more about my friends than where opinion in the UK lies generally, which I would imagine veers strongly toward the takers. The second observation is people commented respectfully even when there were sharp disagreements among those making the comments (sadly showing respect is often is not the case when it comes to divisive subjects). I think, in this age of acrimonious polarisation, having exchanges on these lines is a good thing. While I found the assorted advice helpful, it was hardly enough to make up my mind. One link provided, this to an article titled: “UK Column News – 8th February 2021”, I found helpful, and it was one of many that have come my way to challenge the official narrative over the past several months. Whether we agree or not, it probable that coronavirus vaccine scepticism is widespread globally, and is why the hitherto missing, partly because media is controlled, honest debate involving those who know their stuff, whatever their conclusions happens to be, is needed.
I confess two things … Firstly, I have not researched as much as I would want, given there is not enough hours in the day, I have not got the interest or energy and there are other priorities. The second confession is the jury is out and while a lot of water has flowed under the proverbial bridge since I posted my “COVID-19 VACCINE – should we be concerned?” article back in November, I still have questions. Many have come round to the opinion that the “Virus” was man-made and some have come to a view that the notion it was a bio-weapon is NOT conspiracy theory. However, the idea the vaccine might be, even if the vast majority advocating and promoting it are well meaning, is likely farfetched, although as my straw poll showed, some wonder at its efficacy or side effects … and don’t forget all those skeptics out there!
So here is where I stand … I am with one of my Facebook responders “let’s wait and see”. I realise I will disappoint some by this response. While I accept, I may share that all too common human trait of masochistic martyrdomism, it should be noted it comes at a cost? As I don’t have long left, given the vulnerability mentioned in my NHS letter, it is unlikely I would lose out much personally and I might win in by keeping people happy, making normality come that tiny bit closer and being able to fly to see my loved ones the other side of the world (as well as avoid other penalties in the pipeline). Yet, at least in my case, it all comes back to conscience and if that goes then life is not worth living. My gift to the next generation is to ask those questions which are often not asked, or we are told what the right answers are, and where too often if we disagree, it is to our cost, yet may be the very thing that leads us down the path to tyranny.
So in tying up loose ends, the checking out of the arguments (to take or not to take) remains work in progress. Then I refer to another article I wrote (two days ago) “Christian unity in an age of Corona” where I express my concern from a Christian believer perspective. This was partly triggered reading articles sharing quite different perspectives on whether or not “the Pandemic” is God’s judgment on the world. In short, my response is we haven’t enough to go on to say one way of another, BUT Christian believers should be asking the Almighty what it is He is saying in all this, and repenting, dare I say – in sackcloth and ashes. While finding new ways of loving our neighbour is commendable, we should be turning the hearts of unbelievers to the Lord and praying to that end. As for me, it suits me to fit the caricature painted in my NHS letter, but when I think on the horrendous mental health and socio-economic implications, to name but two, of what is happening, I cannot be anything other than disturbed … but taking the vaccine because the government says so is NOT the right response!