Editorial—Get in Line

So it seems our COVID-19 journey may be coming to an end over the next several months, with news in a couple of provinces about the first rounds of a vaccine for COVID-19 to be administered in January.  This seems like a remarkably short time for a vaccine to go from initial stages to completion, and it is, but at the same time, that short length of time doesn’t mean that the safety has been compromised any more than a normal vaccine.

I’ve been looking into the process of vaccine creation, and while timelines from inception to roll-out of a new vaccine can be years, it’s been noted that much of that time is used seeking funding for updated trials and trying to find places where the disease is rampant enough that the efficacy of vaccine might actually be tested.  With COVID-19, both of those issues are easily dealt with, as large amounts of public money have been made available to researchers to fast track the development of these vaccines, and finding a high enough concentration of the disease is as easy heading to the nearest long-term care facility, much as we wish it wasn’t.

What remains, however, are the concerns over the long-term effects of the vaccine.  What happens if in three years time those vaccinated start developing a form of lung cancer or other bodily reaction.  We don’t know.  But the kicker is, we don’t often know that for other vaccines that we take either.  Long term side-effect studies are only typically done once doctors start seeing those side effects kick in.  And while thalidomide happened, that it’s the only significant example I can think of, and even it happened back before I was born, suggests that a fear of possible long-term side effects might not be that realistic of a fear.

So, I’ve decided that when the vaccine comes out, I’ll be in line, even as my lizard brain looks sideways at my choice.  As an AU graduate, I’ve learned to put my trust in science and statistics beyond my gut feelings and preferences, and both the science and the statistics suggest that my odds of staying safe are much higher with a COVID-19 vaccine than without.

Individual circumstances are different for every person, of course, but I hope that most here will be joining me in that line.  Humanity has conquered viruses before, we can do so again.

In the meantime, however, the Voice Magazine will continue to be published, and this week, we start off with our feature interview with student Adonica Salter, a student who came from a job event planning for Bow Valley College and setting up their graduation ceremonies, to a person who will soon be attending her own graduation ceremonies with her Bachelors’ of Management.

Also, we have the report from the most recent meeting of AUSU Council, the first meeting after former President Natasha Donahue unexpectedly stepped down and then VP Ex (now President) Stacey Hutchings took up the chair.

And of course, we continue to have advice, scholarships, events, thoughtful articles (this week two articles look at the dangers of social media, albeit in very different forms), recipes, reviews, and more!  Enjoy the read!

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