Yes or no to vaccination against Covid-19?

Britain started vaccinating its citizens against Covid-19 today and Russia vaccinated 25,000 volunteers on Monday. Other states plan to begin their immunisation campaigns as soon as possible, leaving many people in Europe facing the question of whether or not to get vaccinated. Different commentators give different answers.

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KP (UA) /

Too many open questions editor Natalya Michkovskaya explains why she is against getting vaccinated:

“These vaccines are being produced too quickly for their long-term effects to be gauged. Before we take a pill for a headache, most of us first read about the side effects, and now we are being asked to take something without knowing anything about its composition, consequences or side effects. Who was this vaccine tested on, and when? What if it causes cancer or affects the reproductive system? ... Every vaccine has contraindications, for example for people with diabetes, cancer or respiratory diseases. But I have yet to hear a manufacturer frankly say: our coronavirus vaccine is not for everyone.”

Der Spiegel (DE) /

A moral duty

Der Spiegel columnist Nikolaus Blome has no objections to mandatory vaccination:

“It would be honest - not only for the conservatives - if it were made clear to the citizens that the coronavirus era is indeed an era of duties. So the duty to be vaccinated is on the one hand a moral one with regard to the health of others, the isolation of large groups and social cohesion in general. It is a duty like that to help others in distress, or to show civil courage if the weak or foreign are being attacked. In addition, vaccination is an economic duty in view of unemployment, debt and the threat that continuous lockdowns poses to countless livelihoods.”

Ilta-Sanomat (FI) /

Not the time for navel gazing

Ilta-Sanomat appeals to Finns to not just think of themselves:

“Getting vaccinated is a personal decision of each individual. But where, if not here, should navel gazing be avoided? By getting vaccinated, each of us can help society return to normal, prevent the economy from collapsing, relieve the loneliness of the elderly and reduce the burden on children and adolescents. Vaccination protects fellow citizens and in particular high-risk groups for whom the virus can be fatal. For them it's a matter of life and death. The more people who have been vaccinated, the fewer opportunities the virus has to spread.”

Público (PT) /

Rapid development not a flaw

The speed with which the vaccines have been approved should not count against them, says Público:

“First of all, even before the emergence of coronavirus there were scientific innovations moving in the direction of making vaccines easier to produce. But nothing would have happened so quickly without the unprecedented channelling of human resources and money and the coordinated work of regulatory authorities and companies. ... And contrary to what some may think, this coordination does not mean that certain stages are being skipped. It means reviewing the data as it is produced, rather than waiting for the final report, and synchronising activities to avoid wasting time. ... The approval of medicines always weighs up the risks and benefits. It has been shown that the benefits far outweigh the risks.”