Which COVID Vaccine Will You Trust?

Michael Strong

Mainstream science is solidly in favor of vaccination - opposition to vaccination is almost universally regarded as anti-science.  That said, COVID has created both a new urgency for the development of a vaccine as well as concerns about the corresponding health concerns associated with a vaccine that has been rushed through traditional approval processes.

Russia has announced the first COVID vaccine without putting it through standard clinical trials.  Putin has personally claimed it is so safe that he has administered it to is own daughter.  Western experts have almost unanimously been critical:

Francois Balloux, an expert at University College London’s Genetics Institute, said it was “a reckless and foolish decision”.

“Mass vaccination with an improperly tested vaccine is unethical,” he said. “Any problem with the Russian vaccination campaign would be disastrous both through its negative effects on health, but also because it would further set back the acceptance of vaccines in the population.”

A billion purchase requests have come through for the vaccine from 20 nations around the world, including Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and elsewhere.  But what if there are adverse reactions?  What if there are thousands, or millions, of adverse reactions?

This is only the first of many vaccines that will be announced bit by bit over the coming years.  We are all eager to go back to regular life, and we all hope that a vaccine will allow us to do so.  But how do you decide which vaccine is safe enough given your own risk profile?  Which vaccines should Americans be allowed to take?  Should we be allowed to travel to other nations to take vaccines not yet approved in the U.S.?  Would you take the Russian vaccine?