‘I would like to wait until there isn’t any other option’: These Lincoln students don’t want the Covid vaccine

‘I believe teachers, supermarket workers, and other key sectors should be moved up the vaccine list’

When the first COVID-19 vaccine was taken in December of last year by 91-year-old Margaret Keenan, many of us saw what we believed to be the beginning of the end of one of our most challenging years. Now, at the beginning of March 2021, around 20 million people in the UK have had their first dose of one of the Covid-19 vaccines. As summer looms, with it, comes the promise of a new chapter for us all. One in which we can visit our families when we please, or… wait for it… go to the pub after a long day at uni?

It’s predicted that by the end of July, all adults will have been offered the vaccine. In a recent poll we put on our Instagram story, 97 per cent of students said that they would be getting the vaccine. However, three per cent of students voted that they would not be getting a vaccination against Covid-19.

We spoke to those students who voted no to getting the vaccine as well as their thoughts on the potential vaccine passports. The majority of responses said they would rather more vulnerable people got it the coronavirus jab, but others have expressed concerns about the vaccine.

Photo by Ivan Diaz on Unsplash

One student initially said she would not be getting the vaccines due to her concerns surrounding fertility. She said: “It [was] actually some of my friends who started discussing about [fertility issues] and then made me aware.”

“It is mainly social media influences… it makes me scared. In a few months or years, women could start showing bad reactions when trying to get pregnant. I would eventually end up getting the vaccine, but I would just like to wait until there isn’t any other option, I am pretty safe anyway and responsible with restrictions.”

Dr Edward Morris, President at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “We want to reassure women that there is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines will affect fertility. Claims of any effect of Covid-19 vaccination on fertility are speculative and not supported by any data.

“There is​ ​no biologically plausible mechanism by which current vaccines would cause any impact on women’s fertility.  Evidence has not been presented that women who have been vaccinated have gone on to have fertility problems.”

Similarly, Professor Lucy Chappell, a consultant obstetrician specialising in women with medical problems in pregnancy, has stated: “I can see absolutely no basis for concerns about any of the Covid-19 vaccines that are licensed in the UK and fertility.”

Another student who responded said: “Hypothetically, if I got the offer tomorrow I’d decline so someone else could benefit.” He continued to say: “I had the virus back in October and was completely asymptomatic so if I could increase the chances of someone more in need receiving it, I believe that’s a better use. I have no problem with taking the vaccine and if I’m offered once the majority is done, I will accept”.

Although, when the possibility of a vaccine passport was suggested, he said: “My opinion might change due to ongoing talks about a ‘vaccine passport’ that might limit what I’m able to do.” When asked if all younger people should hold off on the vaccine, the student said: “Everyone reacts differently to the disease. I think they should continue prioritising those at a higher risk although I believe teachers, supermarket workers, and other key sectors should be moved up the list, although everyone should try to get it eventually for herd immunity.”

Another student told the Lincoln Tab: “Covid isn’t a threat to me and the elderly will need revaccination so it’s a waste.” He said: “I am totally pro-vaccine and advocate that those who want the vaccine should take it to protect themselves.”

This student is taking the decision to not have the vaccine as he believes “as a young healthy male who has played sports for years, that I’m not in a position of threat from coronavirus should I catch it.”  As for how he thinks we should use the vaccines, he said: “I would rather research focus on updating the vaccine to protect against new strains and be readily available to revaccinate if needed rather than me take a shot for a virus which won’t kill me.”

When asked about his thoughts on vaccine passports, he said: “I think people have been in hysterics about the vaccine and I believe they are becoming dangerously over politicised too.

“People demanding a vaccine passport also puts me off the idea of taking the vaccine because I think that is a march towards medical fascism.”

For information on the Covid-19 vaccines, you can visit the NHS and the gov.uk website.

Featured image credit before edits: Hakan Nural on Unsplash

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