Who can deny that the Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has wrecked unimaginable havoc, destruction, and death throughout the world? Who can deny that there is urgent need for a long-lasting solution that can protect and save the lives of billions of people from all across the globe, who are all being adversely affected, one way or another (including, health-wise, economically, how we live our day to day lives, and handle human interactions, as well as work and business) in ways never imaginable, even in our wildest dreams?
Nonetheless, any solution that is proffered needs to be premised upon sound reasoning, and should never be made under duress, desperation, nor panic – no matter how the situation we are currently faced with appears urgent, catastrophic, and an emergency – as I have always believed that, decisions made under a sense of desperation are most likely erroneous, and may even lead to an even greater tragedy.
Only sober-mindedness, under whatever circumstances, has always been the most effective manner in dealing and resolving any situation – irregardless of its severity, or calamitousness.
In this regard, I am of the fervent belief that the way both the international community, and our own Zimbabwe, is dealing with this most tragic COVID-19 pandemic is less than confidence-inspiring, as the manner the vaccines program is being handled is nothing short of haphazard, shoddy, and reckless – to the point of being irresponsibly dangerous, and potentially placing the lives of innocent people more in peril than saving them.
Why I say this is simply that, in spite of the real urgency of an immediate solution to this globally ruinous pandemic, simply rushing into rolling out vaccines, whose real safety and efficacy are largely unknown, is akin to confidently, but blindly, riding straight into a newly-discovered pitch dark cave.
Indeed, I personally do not subscribe to any conspiracy theories that have been circulating ever since the emergence of this SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) in 2019, but more prominently, when its destructive impact was felt throughout the world in 2020 – such as the biblical mark of the beast, or some secretive plot to implant chips, or sinister depopulation agenda – however, the mere fact that these vaccines have only been developed a few months ago, should be enough to call for extreme caution.
Normally, medications take many years of trials (possibly, at least five years) for them to be confidently declared safe and efficacious for a widespread rollout – yet, even having undergone such prudent years of trials (whereby, improvements would be made to the medications, should any adverse side effects, or efficacy issues arise), no one can claim to fully know all possible problems any particular medicinal product could still pose.
Indeed, we have medications, and even diseases, that have been around for decades, yet we continue discovering unforeseen challenges, in the course of human development. That can never be avoided.
Nonetheless, it makes more sense to be more confident with medications that have been around for quite some time, and have been tried and tested, such that their safety and efficacy have been improved over the course of time.
However, placing the lives of billions of people in potential risk, on vaccines that have been around for only a few months, is taking gambling a bit too far – as, there was need for caution, and far more time for trials and tests, in a controlled and limited approach.
Human beings are not casino chips, and their lives should never be gambled with.
What we are finding out in several countries attests to this reasoning – as South Africa realized that the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine’s efficaciousness on the mild disease of their variant was limited, and only a few days ago, Italy reportedly banned the use of this same vaccine after the death of two people, whilst Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and the Netherlands suspended it after the development of blood clots (that may lead to strokes) in people who had been vaccinated.
Should this not be proof enough of the grand folly in a panicked approach to matters – no matter how urgent, catastrophic, or an emergency?
Furthermore, this is merely the tip of the iceberg, as there is a very high potential of far much more adverse side effects, and efficacy issues to be discovered – since, these may be immediately detected, or may take weeks, months, or even decades, and could be so perilous that the risk of having taken the vaccine to protect oneself from COVID-19 may be easily outweighed by more catastrophic ramifications.
Gaining confidence in a newly-developed and relatively unknown vaccine, merely because someone one knows, who was vaccinated a few weeks or months ago, is still well and kicking, is a bit foolish, if you ask me – as common sense would tell anyone that most side effects (or, diseases) do not manifest themselves immediately.
As a matter of fact, most signs and symptoms related to the majority of adverse side effects, and diseases, can develop undetected for a very long time – only to rear their ugly heads when already at an advanced stage.
Let me be clear that I am not necessarily urging people not to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but simply that, let each and everyone’s decision be based purely upon sound reasoning, and independent research – as most adverse side effects (even by well-established and well-known medications) are usually irreversible and lifelong, such as infertility, manifestation of other diseases as cancers, diabetes, hypertension, and so many more.
What the people are being vaccinated in order to, hopefully, protect them from COVID-19 are, by no means, the same as the ‘nhomba’ (inoculations we received as children such as Bacillus of Calmette and Guérin [BCG] for tuberculosis, or those for other diseases as, measles, small pox, and whooping cough) – as there is one fundamental difference…these were tried and tested over a course of decades, and more trustworthy, well-known, and well-established, than those developed only a couple of months ago.
What shocks me more than everything else, are the concerted effects by various people – be they, celebrities, radio and television personalities, and even senior government officials – in their irresponsible and dangerous attempts to convince innocent people that these COVID-19 vaccines are safe and efficacious.
My question to all these people is, “How exactly do you know all this? How can you be so sure?”
Not even the scientists who developed these vaccines can claim to be absolutely sure of their safety and efficacy, as there is so much still unknown – so, who do these people think they are?
Are they prepared to face the consequences, and be held accountable, should anything adverse occurs in those innocent people – whose health and livelihoods they pretend to be so concerned about?
Would it not have been far much better had all these celebrities, radio and television personalities, and high ranking government officials, been at the forefront of actually raising awareness of the potential dangers of these vaccines, and urging people to make informed decisions?
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700, or Calls Only: +263782283975 / +263733399640, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org