I’ll be honest; I get excessively irritated when I see anti-lockdown protestors, anti-vaxxers, or those who have some distorted notion that vaccines (and having to get one) somehow undermine their freedom. It’s one of those things which should be so obviously clear to anyone who has a modicum of common sense of their importance.

The purpose of this post is for me to articulate the way I explain to others why vaccines are necessary. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed a growing trend of blatant misinformation, misunderstanding or maliciousness from people in general and a small minority of people/acquaintances that I know. Whether maliciously or not, if you know somebody in this category, I hope some of the diagrams or writing in this post helps you.

Infection Probabilities vs. Population Vaccinated

The majority of the country understands this and are already behind getting vaccinated - however, you have a small minority which could potentially ruin things for everyone.

The example that I use to explain why vaccines are necessary is straightforward:

An infected man walks into a bar…

In 2018, 15.2% of the New Zealand population was 65 or older. CDC has stated that you are 90 times more likely to die if you have COVID and are over 65.

If we treat our hypothetical bar as a sample of the New Zealand population, only in the 90% population vaccination scenario would we have a fighting chance of avoiding deaths in these older age brackets.

Talking Points and How to Counter Them

In this section, I’ve listed down the main arguments I often hear being repeated. These arguments sometimes occur sequentially after being debunked, or they may be obfuscated with other red herrings. However, in general, I find these as the most common.

Why Should I If Everyone Else Is?

Getting the population vaccinated helps stop the spread of COVID-19, but vaccinations do not give total immunity to the virus. It only reduces the chance of transmission (and severity of symptoms if contracted). Every person who does not get vaccinated adds to the pool of infectious people in the community, potentially infecting others (even those vaccinated).

You can also point out having this stance is incredibly selfish.

Forcing Me to Vaccinate Infringes on My Freedom

This idea of a “loss of freedom” is most likely the unfortunate consequence/symptom of the American media machine slowly influencing New Zealand in the worst possible way. In a civilised society, the personal freedoms we enjoy come with strings; these strings are doing the right thing for the collective good.

I found this quote online, and I think it articulates the subject far better than I could.

“The government shouldn’t be telling us what to do,” they say, as their WOF-certified car rolls to a stop at a red light on their way to their MBIE-protected jobs.

“They’re not in charge of my health,” they continue as they chomp into their NZFS-rated bagel with the confidence of one who knows it won’t send them to the taxpayer-funded hospital, but even if it did, the hospital has to treat them regardless of funds thanks to MOH policy.

“We deserve the freedom to make our own choices,” they conclude, as the green light flicks on to inform them they can go. “&$*# you, eco-!@$#!” They curse at a nearby bicyclist for swaying a bit too close to their bonnet.

Vaccines Are Dangerous

Many people have valid health issues and concerns which prohibit them from getting the vaccination. The people who cannot get vaccinated will be protected most by a highly vaccinated population. That’s why it makes it so much worse that some people erroneously (intentional or not) use this as their excuse for why they will not get vaccinated.

CDC’s reaction and adverse events register has catalogued the number of severe adverse reactions caused by the Pfizer vaccine. Out of the 7,851 doses given (all age groups > 12), there were 0 “Grade 4” events, these are the events that would require you to be hospitalised.

The proportions of participants who reported at least 1 serious adverse event were 0.4% in the vaccine group and 0.2% in the placebo group. No serious adverse events were considered by FDA as possibly related to vaccine.

You are more likely to get into a car crash than getting a severe reaction to the vaccine.


Get vaccinated.