Vaccinating the villages

Thawed doses of the Moderna vaccine await dispersal. 

Let me first say before you read this: This is data that I have found. I encourage you to think and do your own research and come to your own conclusions.

It seems as more and more people get vaccinated, the controversy grows also. Do I get vaccinated or not? Should my youth get vaccinated or not? These are questions only you can answer; however, there is data out there to help you make an informed decision. This does not take into account any personal medical conditions or religious beliefs. That is one great thing about our country: our freedom of religion and other things that we enjoy freedoms for.

At first, I was skeptical about getting the shot. It was developed too quickly for me. I put it off. Then I decided for my own personal reasons to get vaccinated. I had talked with my brother-in-law and friends who are in the nursing field along with my doctor, and I did other research and decided it was a good thing. Disclaimer: I am not saying you should get it; I am saying do your research and come to your own conclusion as to whether or not to get it.

Over the past months I have heard it said that businesses are bullying if they require face-coverings, and that “I have my freedoms.” Yes, I agree we have our freedoms, but businesses have theirs, too. We have a right to go somewhere else if we don’t want to abide by the rule. I have one volunteer who refuses to wear a mask anywhere except for 4-H. She values the program and will support it, and I respect and appreciate that. We now have new guidelines for face coverings from the CDC, and the University of Alaska is following those guidelines. This is an honor system. You can set an example to your kids of respecting someone else’s rights by respecting what they are asking.

Now back to the vaccine: CDC is now recommending that youth 12 and over should get vaccinated. Do you agree or not agree? Once again this is your time to do the research and make an informed decision for you and your youth. Here is the link for you to look up the CDC guidelines for youth: bit.ly/2S2B2oX.

Research is still ongoing about the virus and vaccination. Does the vaccine make it so you can’t get Covid? No, but it is much less likely that you will and if you do get it it won’t be as bad. Can the virus mutate? Yes, but that is less likely if it is under control, and under control means having the majority of the population in the world vaccinated. There are some great articles online about it and about the controversy over the vaccine and patenting.

The next big controversy is if you are vaccinated is whether you can attend certain things. Some states are passing laws for vaccine passports to be able to attend events, and others are banning them. This is a new thing to me and I don’t know how I feel about it. If it is a private business and not government-related, then once again we go back to our freedoms and the rights we have that private businesses also have.

We are not through this yet, and there will be much more controversy over it. What I wanted to do here is to get you thinking about it. I want you to do your research and to have good justifiable reasons for whether you and or your youth should or should not get vaccinated. I didn’t want it, and I waited until I was able to and then I had to take it seriously at that time. So I did my research and came up with personal reasons why I should get it.

I will leave you on this note. When people talk about bullying and making us do things, I think back to the seat belt law. Do you remember when we were kids we all rode around without seatbelts? Now the vast majority of us wear seat belts. When the law came into effect people were not happy, but through time we got used to it and now the majority of us don’t climb in a vehicle without putting one on. The majority of us don’t get flu shots until we are older and not everyone gets them, but the majority do. Will the Covid vaccine be the same? Only time will tell. I do know that Covid is not going away soon, so you need to decide what is right for you and your family and make an informed choice. As someone always says to me, stay happy, stay healthy, and good day and good health.

4-H is a youth organization for youth K-12 that helps youth learn about certain items of interest to them, but also teaches them life skills. 4-H has a club structure with leaders who are adult volunteers with current background checks. To learn more about the local program, contact Marla Lowder, Tanana District 4-H agent, at 474-2427. You can also check out our web page at www.alaska4h.org/fairbankstanana-district.html. 4-H is a part of the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.