Apparently there are a lot of people out there who don’t want to take the vaccine. A small but significant number of NBA and NFL players, potentially up to 83,000 health workers in New York, and more elsewhere. Resistance is in the minority, but that minority is pretty serious about it. So here’s my take on the question:
While there’s a chance that COVID-19 could cause you to be hospitalized or even die, the odds are ever in your favor if you don’t happen to be in a high-risk group. I’ve known people who have caught it and died. I know people who caught it and it was a vicious flu-like illness. I know people who caught it and it was like a bad cold.
Natural immunity post COVID is apparently significantly better than any vaccine can produce.
No vaccine is ever risk-free. The negative outcomes are rare, but not non-existent. There have been no long-term trials. (Remember when all the “experts” said it was impossible to get a vaccine out in less that 3-4 years? That’s why.) We really don’t know what happens after a year or ten.
So you have a low, but non-zero chance of having a bad reaction to the vaccine. You have a low, but non-zero chance of getting sick enough from COVID to need to go to the hospital, or even die there. But if you don’t have co-morbidities, that risk is pretty low. You have a low, but non-zero chance of negative long-term effects.
Now, if you DO get sick, you run the risk of passing it on to others. Vaccines don’t work that way. That risk is to you only.
If you do get vaccinated, you can still get sick. Your odds of being hospitalized or dying is decreased, but not eliminated. And while sick you can be infectious. The vaccine doesn’t completely prevent infection, the normal primary case for vaccination.
There are no “solutions,” only trade-offs. If I were young and healthy (like a professional athlete), I would probably not get vaccinated and hope that when (not if) I catch it, it’s no worse than a mild cold and afterward I would have a robust immune response. But I’m not young and healthy, I’m 59, obese, and a dual-organ transplant recipient on immunosuppressives. I got vaccinated.
However, I’m absolutely opposed to vaccine mandates. If my work requires me to show proof of vaccination or get weekly tests, well, they can decide whether or not they want to fire me. I’m pretty certain I can get another job. Not everyone has that option.
As in all things, YMMV, but I fear government overreach more than I fear a virus.