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So you've been putting off getting your vaccine...

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Good morning, John.  Here, in the US, the moment has arrived.  Everyone over the age of 16 can get a COVID vaccine.  Over 200,000,000 doses have been administered, and around 40% of people have gotten at least one dose, and yet, the graph of people getting vaccinated every day, it's starting to stop to do this, like going higher every day, it's starting to go less and less every day, and the reason for this is largely younger people, by which I mean people under the age of 50, not getting their vaccine immediately.

It could be that you, watching this video right now, are one of those people or maybe you know some of those people and you want to send them this video, 'cause I want to go very quickly through a few of the reasons I've heard young people specifically say they haven't gotten vaccinated yet, and first, I think tremendously underexamined, is just that like, it's a slightly unpleasant task that I don't want to add to my list of things to do, and since now you can do it at any time, people are putting it off.  Schedules are busy and you know that the day after your second dose, you might feel pretty crummy--I certainly did--so why not put it off to a more convenient time, but as with all procrastinations, look, there's not really a better time than now, but you also gotta look at what the trade-off here is.  Like, we're dealing with like, mild inconvenience that is scheduled versus unscheduled major inconvenience and maybe worse.

The symptoms of COVID suck no matter how old you are.  COVID does kill young people, it just doesn't kill very many of them, but hospitalization rates are pretty high and spending a bunch of time in the hospital is so bad.  It's also like, a burden on healthcare workers who are overburdened enough right now.  There are also a bunch of longterm side effects from getting COVID that we don't understand super well right now, and those sometimes even happen when people get very mild cases, but even if you get none of that, it's still like, really inconvenient to get COVID.  You feel like crap, you have to quarantine, it's inconvenient for you and everyone else in your world, so why not decrease the odds of that happening by 95%?

But maybe you're not worried about yourself at all.  It's still really important to recognize that every person, except like, the first person who gets COVID, gets it from somebody else, and it's very easy to not know when you are the person who got someone sick because a lot of people get sick by being exposed to people who are infected but don't even know that they are.  If you're vaccinated, the odds of you getting another person sick go way, way, way down, and then much more unlikely, but even scarier, every one of the new COVID variants that we're talking about right now, every one of them evolved inside of a person and we will never know who that person was, but I think that we all can agree that like, we don't want to be that person.  Nobody wants to be the breeding ground from which a new variant of COVID emerges.  You can prevent yourself from being that person by getting a vaccine!

Now finally, I've also heard some people saying, you know, I got COVID or I think I got COVID, or I might as well just get COVID and I can get immunity that way.  Leaving aside the fact that it is a big deal, you might infect someone for whom it will be an even bigger deal, immunity from getting COVID is much less effective at preventing future COVID infections than the vaccines are, so if you've had COVID or you think you might have or you think I'll just get it and then I'll be immune that way, none of that works.  You need a vaccine.

I understand that every person is experiencing this differently and also that it's frustrating and annoying, like, this thing has been in charge of our lives for too long, and for many people, a vaccine feels like a way of taking back control, while for others, it feels like more control that they're giving up.  For me, it felt like taking back control, and I think to some extent, because the vaccines are a really big deal and they are such a triumph of hard work and human ingenuity, that it's easy to think like, I have to think really hard about this.  It's something to worry about and to fret over, but my friends, it's really not.

The decision here is simple.  It is both a big deal, but also like, not a big deal.  Like, it's just not a big deal.  So if you need one final reason to go get a vaccine, hi, I'm Hank Green.  I make science videos.  I've been making educational videos for people for free on the internet for over 10 years, and maybe you wanna do me a favor, it's super easy, there's a link in the description, you can click on it, put in your zipcode, and make your appointment for getting your COVID vaccine.  Put it in your phone, then go do it and get a free donut.

John, I'll see you on Tuesday.