Vaccine misinformation escalates conspiracies as more doses roll out

By adviser Mar 19, 2021
The McLean County Department of Public Health is holding vaccine clinics at Grossinger Motors Arena. Photo: Samira Kassem
The McLean County Department of Public Health is holding vaccine clinics at Grossinger Motors Arena.
Photo: Samira Kassem

With more and more people getting the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, things are starting to feel a little bit more normal–as normal as a post-pandemic world can even be. However, with the pro-vaccinators, comes the anti-vaccinators, those who do not believe in vaccines for one reason or another. 

One reason that anti-vaccinators are spreading is that the COVID-19 vaccine kills, not the virus, but the literal vaccine. My reaction to such a claim is this statement- I might be dumb but I am not stupid. But I enjoy playing the Devil’s advocate from time to time, so I looked into it. 

The New York Post recently reported on the sudden death of COVID-19 vaccinated Marvin “Marvelous” Hagler- a semi-famous boxer. Another boxer, Thomas Hearns, posted about Hagler’s death, stating “Pray for the king and his family.. he’s in ICU fighting the after effects of the vaccine!” Hearns is not a part of the medical community, nor did he cite any supporting sources for such a claim. He later deleted the post. 

Hagler’s wife, Kay, quickly shut down the rumor that her late husband died from the vaccine, “I do NOT accept to read some stupid comment without knowing really what happen,” and “For sure wasn’t the vaccine that caused his death. My baby left in peace with his usual smile and now is not the time to talk nonsense.” Personally, I will take the opinion of the dead man’s widow who was with him when he passed vs some washed up boxer. 

Sadly this is not the only case of people claiming that people have died from the COVID-19 vaccine. There have been several others, all with pre-existing conditions or unrelated causes of death that died after being vaccinated. Take this scenario: if a long term smoker gets the vaccine, then dies from lung cancer, are you going to say the vaccine caused his death? No, of course not, it is probable that the long term tobacco use led to lung cancer. 

Vaccines are preventive measures against sometimes-deadly viruses like COVID-19. No vaccine is 100 percent effective, but even 50 percent effective is better than zero percent. In order for things to fully get back to any sort of “normal,” there needs to be herd immunity against COVID-19. Herd immunity refers to the idea that if the majority of people in a group are vaccinated against something, those who are not vaccinated are still somewhat protected. The purpose of herd immunity is to protect those who cannot be vaccinated, mainly for medical reasons. Some children, people who are immunocompromised and others who cannot be vaccinated.

 Please note that I use the word cannot, not will not. I urge you readers that whenever you are considered eligible by the guidelines, get the vaccine. Even Walgreens is now giving out vaccines, with a helpful guide on their website and app to see if you are eligible and then book an appointment. Mclean County just went to stage 1B+, meaning people with conditions like obesity, diabetes and pregnancy are eligible. If any of those or the other approved conditions fit you, make an appointment. 

There is a Walgreens just down the street, within walking distance. I am not yet eligible but I know some of you are. Be a part of the solution to COVID-19. You can be a pro-vaccinator. You can increase our herd immunity and you can bring back a sense of normalcy. 

By adviser

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