It is hoped that full government approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine will overcome the hesitation or resistance of many of the unvaccinated to voluntarily get the shots.
That’s unlikely, though.
The leery or the conspiracy-minded are not going to accept the word of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration any more than they accepted the word of medical experts, who for months have pleaded with them to get vaccinated. The resistant have been largely unmoved by the statistics of an irrefutable connection between going unvaccinated and significantly increasing the odds of serious illness or death from the virus.
If you are unwilling to believe the scientists, if you don’t trust your government, if you have closed your minds to what is reported in reputable, time-tested media outlets, then there’s probably not much that will convince you, save suffering from a bad case of COVID-19 yourself or having that happen to someone you care deeply about.
But what this approval will do is increase the number of institutions, public and private, that require vaccination of their employees and patrons.
While the coronavirus vaccines were all under emergency approval, employers were reluctant to impose mandates, even in those places where the case for mandates was the most compelling, such as nursing homes, hospitals and schools.
Now that Pfizer has received the full seal of approval, and with Moderna’s vaccine expected to soon receive the same, expect that reluctance by employers to fade. It gives them the scientific assurance and the legal backing to do what most public opinion polls are telling them their customers and the majority of their employees want: to be protected from the unvaccinated.
Once those mandates become commonplace, the unvaccinated will feel both financial pressure and social pressure to conform. If they choose to remain unvaccinated, it may cost them their job or shut them out from a host of gathering places: bars, restaurants, movie theaters and sporting venues, for example.
Ten to 25% of Americans will still balk, we suspect, but most will go along. If they do, there may be pockets of this country where the virus remains a major threat, but in most places, people should be able to return to the lives they had before the pandemic.
- The Greenwood Commonwealth