Did you get vaccinated against Covid-19?

Well, I got my first Covid-19 vaccination shot on Jan. 25. It’s now more than 14 days later so even if I get Covid-19 my symptoms will be 65-per-cent less severe. Woohoo. Hurray. Wahoo. Happy dance.

So, big question: Did you get your shot? Did you say no? In a way, I don’t blame you. There is a lot of misinformation out there. My dad would call it “foolishness.” Eschia!

Here is some of the foolishness out there without any truth to them: The Covid-19 vaccine will alter my DNA; the Covid-19 vaccine includes a tracking device; Covid-19 vaccine causes infertility in women; and you can get Covid-19 from the vaccine.

There are also people out there who are against vaccines of any kind, saying they cause autism and other things that have been debunked or proven to be false.

Some Indigenous people are saying that the government is vaccinating Indigenous communities because they want to use Indigenous people as guinea pigs. Now that is pure foolishness.

Some of the very first people who received the vaccine were people like doctors and nurses working at jobs where they could be in contact with people who had Covid.

In fact, the chief public health officer for the NWT, Kami Kandola, has received the vaccine. Our MP Michael McLeod has received it, as have the President of the United States and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

So, if these people are getting it how can you say they are experimenting on Indigenous people? Hint, hint … you can’t.

Also, seniors in every community in the NWT, including Yellowknife, have now received their first shots and it was for all seniors. And when I got mine at the Multiplex, I didn’t see a sign that said Indigenous people only.

In fact, I saw white people, Asians, Indigenous people and Black people. And now the initial list is out for the second shots and once again it does not say Indigenous people only.

So, ya, there’s a lot of “foolishness” out there and it’s called pseudoscience … which are “statements, beliefs, or practices that claim to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method.”

So, make sure you check where you’re getting your info from. Make sure internet sites are legitimately scientific, like government or medical sites. Do not believe your neighbour or the people you see in the coffee shop, unless the person is a doctor or a nurse. Say what?

Yup. Why do I say that? Well remember when you were 14 and you listened to your friends instead of your parents, although your friends were still guessing about life? And now that you’re an adult you realize how foolish that was?

And if you have children you are mortified that your kids will get advice about life from their friends instead of you?

It’s the same thing. Your untrained friends, neighbours, and family members are like your fourteen-year-old friends, who were guessing about life, and doctors are like your parents who had already experienced what you were going through.

Why get the Covid-19 vaccine?

While most people have few or no symptoms at all from Covid, some people like seniors or adults with health conditions can get very sick or even die from the disease, especially those in their eighties or older.

Getting vaccinated will keep you from becoming seriously sick. And, as more people are vaccinated, it makes it harder for Covid to spread.

Even if you are not at high risk of severe disease from Covid-19, you can pass it on to people who might be, like your friends, family, co-workers, and seniors.

My parents taught us the Dene way of respecting and caring for our Elders and vulnerable people. To follow the Dene ways, we should get vaccinated, so we do not pass on Covid to the elderly and vulnerable.

Similar to other vaccines, there are side effects like pain at the site of injection, chills, headaches, and feeling tired or feverish. These are common side effects of vaccines, that may last for a few days, and are not a risk to our health.

When I got my shot, the only thing I noticed was my right shoulder was a bit sore for a few days, but only exactly where I got the needle. I was still able to sleep on my right side and I could still do everything as usual with my right arm.

Of course, there can be severe reactions to the vaccination. I heard a doctor say that one in 500,000 people get struck by lightning and the odds of a really bad reaction to the vaccination is one in a million. So, you are more likely to get struck by lightning than to get a bad reaction.

People who should not get the vaccine include people with a history of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine, persons younger than 18 years of age, and some people with autoimmune deficiencies. Also, very frail older persons with an anticipated life expectancy of less than three months should be individually assessed.

In Yellowknife call 867-767-9120 to book a shot. Consult with them, or your doctor, if you’re not sure you should get vaccinated.

Roy Erasmus

Roy Erasmus Sr. Is a certified wellness counsellor who survived heart disease and a former member of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories.

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