As of this writing, fewer than 50% of Stanislaus County residents have been fully vaccinated. Statewide, 56% of California residents are fully vaccinated. In Stanislaus County, the number drops to 43.1%. Nearby Bay Area counties are all over 60%, with Marin County leading the way at 74.5%.
The county has large groups of folks with different reasons for avoiding Covid inoculation. The reasons are varied and the unvaccinated are difficult to persuade, even using scientific argument.
Absent a universal government mandate requiring vaccination, reaching herd immunity against the virus is not ever likely in Stanislaus County. At least 80 percent of the population would need to be vaccinated. Too many belong to the subgroups listed below.
Examining groups that choose not to obtain the vaccine may foster understanding about the challenges in gaining compliance.
In some circles, the reason to avoid a vaccination is purely political. Because of the misperception that only Liberals or Democrats want everyone to be vaccinated, the politically oriented group deems politics sufficient reason to risk their own lives and the lives of everyone around them. They would rather die than give perceived political opponents a win. Even Donald Trump was booed when he recommended getting vaccinated.
The political group waves the flag under the banner of personal freedom as the excuse for their refusal. Dying for a principle is considered noble, until they become deathly ill. Then they expect overworked medical personnel to cure them and the health system to pay for their care.
Some political folks are seeking exemption from any government mandates through religious groups.
A number of religious groups believe in the second coming of Christ and the end of the world. They expect this event at any time and will welcome the end. They believe God will sweep them up and take them to heaven. The non-religious will perish and the saved will reside in a homogenous society of perfect souls.
Not getting the vaccine is the way to bring the end of the world sooner. And because they are the chosen ones, God will protect them from becoming ill. Or, if they die from the illness, they will reach heaven sooner. The believers don’t care who dies as a result of their decisions as they can do no wrong because God loves them.
Other religious groups maintain that vaccine is outside of God’s will. Rather than let the vaccine help them live, they prefer to let God decide who lives or dies.
Disclaimer: not all religious groups are against vaccination.
As a direct result of what they have read or seen, a large group that gets all information from the internet has firmly chosen not to be vaccinated. Without vetting their sources, the misinformed have accepted the internet information as accurate and have been indoctrinated to mistrust authoritative sources.
Logic will not persuade the indoctrinated because they believe outsiders have various conspiratorial motives and are trying to get them to take a vaccine that will harm them physically or enable the outsider to get control of their mind.
This group consists of many people who are rational and intelligent. But fear has overridden reason.
Genuine Mistrust of Vaccines
Another group of unvaccinated is the genuine unbelievers. They have never been vaccinated and never will be. The group is very militant about their right to have absolute control of what they ingest. They have never trusted science or the medical profession. They may rely on homeopathic therapies or other non-scientific remedies.
Amazingly, despite all the media outlets and sources providing news, some people may not know that the vaccines exist. Stanislaus County government has made a substantial effort at outreach to this subset of unvaccinated. But the population is so large that it is difficult to reach everyone.
Mixture of the Groups
The list of groups above might not include everyone in the unvaccinated category, but does contain a large percentage. Members of one group may cross over into another group. For example, a person who is political may also have a religious objection to taking the vaccine. Members of more than one group may be more intransigent about taking the vaccine than those within a single group.
Given the variety of reasons for opposing the vaccine, changing minds is exceedingly difficult. This is especially true when fear and mistrust are factors. The reader should now comprehend the obstacles to achieving compliance despite employing logic or science.
The unvaccinated may disagree with what is written here. The information is from the perspective of someone who has been vaccinated, who believes in science, and who trusts the medical professionals in the community.