In elementary school I was taught that, Polio was a deadly disease, that killed many and if you survived you usually ended up with a deformity. Then I was taught hat Jonas Salk discovered and deployed the world’s first Polio vaccination. I was taught that a vaccination delivered a vaccine and a vaccine was a “blueprint” of a disease and with that blueprint my bodies cells could learn and fight the disease.
I was in elementary school a long time ago, about 30 years ago. 30 Years passed and another pandemic faced the world. Covid 19. A vaccine was discovered and deployed, and there was a pocket of the United States that would not get vaccinated. 22% of the United States are unvaccinated from Covid 19.
There were 3 strains of polio and of the three 2 are eradicated and 1 is only present in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pakistan and Afghanistan both face pockets of vaccine hesitancy. Currently there are three known strains of Covid 19 and they are all active. Polio vaccination rate in the United states is 92.5% right now. Polio vaccinations began in 1955 in the United States and the country was a little different then. Many believe that the reason Polio vaccines were more accepted than the Covid 19 vaccine was because the country as a whole had a deep respect for science.
It is terrifying that the United States cannot agree on what should be basic science in an effort to save humanity. I am terrified because Covid 19 is one crisis of many that society will face and is facing. Humans are cooperative species and humans must cooperate with other humans in order to survive and thrive. If humans cannot cooperate enough to come to a 90%vaccination rate against Covid 19 what else will our species disagree on? Climate change, gun violence, the human rights of LGBTQ+, the human rights of people displaced from their country? Humans have to come together and form shared truths one of which is that vaccines are good for everyone and should be taken.
I see a bigger want and desire to come together in my childrens generation than mine so there is some hope for the future but I do not want to be part of the generation that could not even agree on the science of vaccination.