When I read the driver’s name on the Uber app, I asked if he was Brazilian. He smiles behind the mask and, across the fiberglass bulkhead, says, in Portuguese: “You’re lucky because I just disinfect the whole car.”
I replied that the luck was even greater. After several weeks of trying to schedule the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, he had secured a spot on time. He said he was happy to know that a Brazilian was going to drop me off at the vaccination post.
It was a sunny afternoon and the above zero temperature allowed me to open the car window. I felt a certain drunkenness, but it was not the wind in my face. It was a feeling of relief, of light at the end of the tunnel, after a year of isolation.
I am going to call the capixaba pilot Rodolfo because he did not allow me to use his name. I asked when he had taken his first dose, since, according to the New York calendar, professional drivers have had access to the vaccine since the beginning of February.
But Rodolfo pierced my balloon of euphoria. “I won’t take it for now. Uber provides us with everything, but I don’t trust it. “
I took a deep breath, the image of the family from Rio who had no plans to access the vaccine crossed my mind and filled me with anger. I started to chat calmly. I spoke about my father, a medical officer of health who worked with vaccination in Fiocruz before I was born. I spoke about the epidemiologist friend who regularly informs me about the pandemic.
I asked Rodolfo: “Who said the vaccine was unreliable?” “Several passengers,” replied.
I mentioned the forced distance. “Don’t you want to see your family again in Espírito Santo?” He said yes, of course. When I jumped, Rodolfo said he was going to reconsider.
On Tuesday, Joe Biden announced that there would be a vaccine for the entire adult population by the end of May, not July, as he predicted when he took office.
The number of Americans suspicious of the vaccine was alarming in January, when former President Donald Trump took the vaccine underground, still in the White House, losing the opportunity to set an example for his cult fanatic.
The Kaiser Family Foundation is monitoring suspicions about the vaccine and revealed in late February that resistance had dropped from 53% to 45% initially. Could it be that the more the public realizes that the vaccinated have not become alligators, can we overcome ignorance?
A conversation with a young man who works with the pandemic left me perplexed. It follows contacts between infected people and informs those who have been exposed to it. And yet, he wants more evidence of the vaccine’s safety.
At least two bishops of the American Catholic Church advise believers to avoid the third vaccine released in the United States, that of Johnson & Johnson. They say this vaccine is “morally compromised” because it uses cells from aborted fetuses in production.
As a single dose and easier to store, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the greatest hope for poor communities, which have lower vaccination rates.
Last week, the Archdiocese of New Orleans advised the city’s more than 100,000 Catholics to opt for the other two vaccines. New Orleans is the largest metropolitan area with the highest poverty rate in the country. The vaccine is free for everyone, but access does not give you the right to choose the manufacturer of the dose. With more than 80 million skewers, say virologists, if two vaccines already in circulation presented a significant health risk, it would have already been detected.
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