When I got the second shot of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine on April 27, I had a bad reaction to it. I woke up at 2:30 am the next day and was sick for the next 24 hours with a high fever, body aches, nausea and severe fatigue. I was finally feeling better by Thursday morning. I would still recommend getting the vaccine despite my experience with it, as the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. But some people are opposed to the news media telling people about vaccine side effects at all. This is counterproductive and deeply immoral.
First, lying is wicked and God hates it. See Proverbs 6:17, Proverbs 12:22 and Proverbs 13:5, as well as the Ninth Commandment. Covering up vaccine side effects is a direct rebellion against God.
Second, hiding vaccine side effects denies informed consent. People have the right to know all of the facts before they take drugs. That is why every over-the-counter medicine you see in the drug store or supermarket has possible side effects on the box or bottle. That is also why advertisements for drugs list possible side effects. Why should the various COVID-19 vaccines be any different?
Third, covering up vaccine side effects eviscerates trust in the media. The same people who want the media to cover up side effects would also want people to trust the media’s reporting about the pandemic, but these goals are incompatible. Hiding side effects of the vaccine will only encourage conspiracy theorists and make people distrustful not only of this vaccine, but others as well. If we are going to reach herd immunity through the vaccine, we need the trust of the American people.
Look, I understand the need for people to get vaccinated. But we do not need to lie to people in order to get them to take the vaccine. It actually makes it more difficult to convince people to get the vaccine when they discover the lies – which is very easy to do given the mountains of information about vaccine side effects from credible sources online. By standing for transparency, I am far more pro-vaccine than people who oppose reporting the facts.