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I’m Not Afraid of What’s in the Vaccine

I got my first Moderna vaccine shot last week! I’m stoked to get back to a “normal” life, but not all Americans are willing to put in the effort to make this happen. Many refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine, claiming that they “don’t know what’s in it.” Not understanding something doesn’t mean it’s inherently bad. I would love for those folks to explain the intricacies of the polio vaccine, how planes fly and how Oreos are produced. The CDC reports that in the US, over 167 million vaccine doses were given between Dec. 14, 2020, through April 5, 2021. Why not join the Vaccinated Cool Kids Club? 

The "I'm Not Worried" Meme

We are so lucky that funny people voice their opinions on the Internet nowadays. How would I spend my free time if I couldn’t laugh at other people’s jokes through a screen? Young people took to social media to explain why they aren’t afraid of getting their shots.

The TikTok kids discussed wearing unwashed clothes from the thrift store, using middle school gym lockers and getting down in mosh pits. Twitter users shared their own disgusting anecdotes. As explained by @MillyTamarez on Twitter, “If you ate public school lunch in America, don't worry about what's in the vaccine.”

I brought Goldfish and Gogurt in my ladybug lunchbox to elementary school most days. However, there were a few cafeteria options that really rocked my socks. I scoured the lunch calendar each week for two particular delicacies, and both were cooked in stick form. I was obsessed with mozzarella sticks and French toast sticks, even though they were probably 50% cardboard, 30% sawdust and 20% legitimate sustenance. 

I wouldn’t choose either of those stick foods today. However, I’m not part of that “health movement” that claims you should only eat foods with ingredients you can pronounce. I might stumble a bit, but I could take a stab at pronouncing Moderna's “polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG]” and “1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]." I can definitely pronounce mRNA, though.

Chip Conspiracies

Another set of Americans claim that the vaccine contains a microchip tracking device developed by Bill Gates. This theory was quickly debunked, of course. Hypothetically, wouldn’t it be cool to create a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet right in your brain? The thoughts bouncing around in my noggin could definitely use some organization, so Mr. Gates could help me out with some extra technology!

I’m fully aware that Siri and Alexa are keeping tabs on my every move. They know that I want to wake up at 7:15 a.m., listen to NPR every morning and order new multivitamins every 90 days. Even if you don’t have a house full of smart devices, your smartphone is an external tracker. Big Brother is watching, independent of a little chip in your arm. 

Join the Club!

I think I’ve made my message pretty clear—I am not afraid of what’s in that vaccine. Don’t listen to the foolishness. If you still have doubts, take off your tinfoil hat and listen to the funny people on the Internet. Eat your stick-shaped foods, ask Siri silly questions and get your shots! 

You are cordially invited to join me in the Vaccinated Cool Kids Club. Don’t worry, the club doesn’t discriminate among Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. If another flavor of vaccine gets approved, that’s great too! If you need more resources, learn more from the CDC here or here.

Abigail "Abby" Reasor is a senior at VCU. She is majoring in public relations and minoring in French. She loves to talk about Disney World and vegan food.
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