Vaccine Hesitancy – To Vaccinate or Not

Posted on: August 25, 2021 | Doula Business Vaccine

With decisions come consequences…

The definition of the word consequence is: “a result or effect of an action or condition.” I had to look it up because I’ve always associated the word with a negative connotation. I wasn’t sure if that was my own assumption or if in fact, what the word actually meant. After a quick Google search I now realize that attaching negativity to the word was my own doing and it simply means… a result or an effect.

With that out of the way, we can move on. 

Not too long ago we were all faced with a decision to make regarding whether or not we would accept a vaccine against Covid- 19. It has been a heavy decision to make with little information regarding future side effects and/or risks. 

As a society that has come to rely on informed consent for decision making, sadly, there wasn’t much evidence to turn to.

With the development of the vaccine being expedited for emergency public use, there is no clear way to say if there will or will not be long term risks associated with its use. 

For some, the risk of not knowing the extent of any potential impact that the vaccine may have in the future, outweighs the benefits. Others believe that the vaccine benefit of being protected from severe illness/hospitalization outweighs the risk of potential future effects. 

For the first time in a long time, we’ve been forced to abandon “informed consent” and replace it with our pre-internet decision making process. We have had to return to a time when we were forced to rely on medical professionals and our gut instincts. Regardless of what we have chosen for ourselves, the decision, and the decision making process have been difficult for all of us.

We each mentally and emotionally explored whatever benefits and/or risks we were able to channel, and we made our decisions. I will acknowledge that many people are still in the decision making process as I write this, and, as you read it.

The one thing we know for sure is that with every decision, comes the consequences of that decision.

In this case, as it pertains to birth (and other) professionals, this decision is not only about each of us on a personal level, but also about how our decision impacts our careers; our livelihoods. 

Many doula clients are asking for vaccinated doulas. In fact, they are requiring that the doulas they work with be vaccinated. More and more clients are cancelling contracts with doulas and/or doula agencies due to an inability to provide vaccinated doulas. It is drastically impacting the livelihoods of doulas who choose not to vaccinate. As unfortunate as that is, that is the consequence of making this decision.

Hospitals, schools, and other businesses are rolling out vaccine mandates.

They are not permitting employees to work, particularly in public industries without proof of vaccination. The livelihoods of nurses, teachers, and many other professionals who choose not to accept this vaccine are being drastically impacted. As unfortunate as it is, that is the consequence of making this decision.

While some people are saying that they are being coerced into being vaccinated, or comparing the pressure to accept the vaccine to sexual assault, the power of choice is still ours. We have not lost it. But, like every other decision we must make in life, it does not come without consequences. 

There are also those who are stuck in the middle… The unfortunate population who have been told by their physicians that for medical reasons, they must abstain from the vaccine. Those people are being tugged at from both sides. Most people have not given this population much thought…

Let’s face it, this pandemic has been going on for a long time. 

The time has likely caused a bit of desensitization to what Covid- 19 initially did to us. I’m glad that I put my fingers on the keys when I began to hear the sounds of the pandemic. It is not something I want to forget, and because I wrote about it in during the early weeks, I won’t. 

I remember us weighing benefits and risks as the pandemic progressed. We learned quickly that isolation, while recommended, impacted our mental health negatively. We learned quickly that socialization impacted our physical health negatively. We were forced to choose between the two knowing that there would be  consequences. We formed “pods” in order to enable connection without massive exposure. We made choices that felt right to us based on the benefits and the risks that were presented to us and many of us struggled to do so. 

Once again, we’ve been forced to make a decision.

Unfortunately when it comes to the decision to vaccinate or not, most would say that neither of the choices feel great. Be respectful of the choices of others knowing that for most, this decision is has not been an easy one..