Selma Løvendahl Mogstad Leraand
My friend was skeptical of the vaccine. In January, he took his second dose.
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These days, vaccine dose number three is being rolled out to boost the immune system of all Norwegians who have been fully vaccinated before.
I just got it myself, and am insanely grateful to live in a country where the vaccine is so readily available. Others, on the other hand, are currently receiving their first or second dose. That’s fine too.
Listen and show respect
There is a lot of talk about vaccine skepticism, and the pandemic has really led to a split in the country’s population. It is important to remember not to look at everything so black and white.
When I was about to take my third dose, I had with me a friend who had previously only received his first dose. He took the first dose because he felt pressured. He has previously been extremely skeptical of the vaccines and was determined not to get vaccinated. But this time he was completely voluntary.
In December, we had a discussion on this topic, and he said, among other things, that “the vaccine was not safe” and that he did not “believe in vaccines that had barely been tested”. I then had two choices: Either call him selfish and turn his back on him, or listen to him, show respect and try to argue against his claims.
I think too many people choose the first option. I chose the other.
It was uncomfortable and tiring, but it turned out to help. In January 2022, he finally took the second dose of the vaccine, completely voluntarily.
Must be met with understanding
I think it is selfish not to get vaccinated. But I do not think one convinces vaccine skeptics by calling them ugly and condescending things. I just think it makes the population even more polarized. And that each side becomes even more confident in its case.
No wonder people are skeptical of the vaccine. In fact, we just have to accept that skepticism. I think that if you meet unvaccinated people with more understanding, it will be easier to convince them that the vaccine is safe. And that the plug is for the help and benefit of themselves and others.
And to you who may be unvaccinated and reading this: Think of my friend. He has been afraid for over a year now of what consequences the vaccine may have for him. Today he was fully vaccinated, and he is doing just fine. I and a large proportion of the population are triple vaccinated and we are doing just fine.
It’s not too late to turn around. It is not embarrassing to go to the vaccination station now to take the first or second dose. It’s done big! I hope you make that choice, for your own and those around you’s part.
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