Recently Northwestern hosted their second vaccine clinic. So far, this clinic has gone over better than the first one. As many remember, the day after hundreds of students were given the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a report came out stating that the J&J vaccine could cause blood clots. Luckily, those blood clots were found to be extremely rare, especially in younger people. Northwestern then tried again this fall, opting for the Moderna vaccine and its two-shot system.
On the first of September, a vaccine clinic was put up in the cafeteria, trying to be as convenient for students as possible. Students were able to get their first shot over their time at lunch, and the college even greatly incentivized the vaccine, giving students $50 for each shot they received (maximizing their profits at $100 if they got both doses of the Moderna vaccine).
Of course, students readily made fun of the vaccination campaign efforts around Northwestern. I believe that we were all told, multiple times, that you could get 60 tacos from La Juas, 32 razzles, pay ten parking tickets, etc. Northwestern started out only offering $25 per shot but then quickly upped it to $50 per shot to try to get more people to get vaccinated.
It is easy to make fun of Northwestern for trying so hard to get their students to take the vaccine, but they do have a legitimate reason for why they need to try so hard. Evangelicals, which most students at NW are, remain the group that is most likely to refuse the vaccine under any circumstance, with 22 percent of evangelicals stating they will never get it according too a US News poll. Moreover, Whites, Republicans and rural residents, (which largely make up the population of NW) all have lower vaccination rates than their counterparts according to NBC News. This is not to say that all students at Northwestern are refusing the vaccine, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of students getting the vaccine at the clinics, and the 18 to 34 age range is doing a better job at vaccination than the 35 to 49 age range nation-wide (NBC News).
What does worry me, though, is the remaining vaccine hesitancy among evangelicals. I have heard claims that people don’t want the vaccine because it was made too quickly and isn’t FDA-approved. All vaccines have emergency authorization, Pfizer is completely approved, and Moderna will likely be completely approved very soon. Others say they are worried about adverse health defects from the vaccine. Serious side effects from any COVID-19 vaccine is extremely rare. There have been 363 million vaccine doses, and 0.0019 percent of these doses have resulted in death (Mayo Clinic Health System). Just a reminder, COVID-19 will have killed 650,000 people by the time you read this article. The vaccine does still allow the chance you could get COVID-19 (although this chance is greatly diminished), but it almost completely eliminates any chance that you could die from the coronavirus.
I think you could even look at getting vaccinated as a way of loving your neighbor. Getting vaccinated and preventing yourself from easily passing on a deadly disease to another person can be seen as an act of love. Especially with the Delta variant becoming much more prominent and being more than two times as contagious (CDC), and potentially more deadly (CDC), I think it would be wise for people to get vaccinated.
On a different note, could someone please give the people who are already vaccinated some money? I don’t need the full $100, but it would be very nice to pocket $50. I think it would behoove the college to give the students who were Responsible Raiders on their own time a little ‘thank you’ of sorts.