It has been about seven months since the start of the COVID-19 vaccination. However, according to the COVID-19 Vaccination Response Promotion Team, the completion rate of COVID-19 vaccination was only 43.2% as of 12 o’ clock (midnight) on September 22nd. The reason for the low vaccination completion rate is not only because of the supply and demand issue of vaccine but also because of public anxiety about the safety of vaccines. According to the sixth (August) “Perception Survey Related To COVID-19” announced by the Central Accident Response Headquarters (headed by the Ministry of Health and Welfare), among those who were not vaccinated against COVID-19, 14.5% answered that they are not willing to be vaccinated, which is 6.6% points higher than 7.9% a month ago. Also, the biggest reason for hesitating the vaccination was “concern about adverse reactions to vaccination (81.6%).”
Some criticize the press for raising fear about vaccines and bringing the low vaccination rate as a result. They argue that since the press mostly focus on the side effects of the vaccine rather than positive functions, the public have no choice but to feel anxious. However, is the press really an obstacle to vaccination? It is the duty of the press to convey the facts as they are and satisfy the people’s right to know. Therefore, when side effects or death occurs after vaccination, the press must inform this incident to the public. If the press reported a false news although side effects did not occur or exaggerated the incident, it deserves criticism. However, if we condemn the press for reporting the actual case, we are the problem, not the press. The reason why there are people who are hesitating the vaccination is not only because of the side effects of the vaccine, but also because of the idea that nobody will compensate their loss when side effects occur. This cannot be resolved through condemning and controlling the press reporting the truth. The press is just doing its job. Therefore, we must stop blaming it, and solve the problem by making the positive functions of the vaccine and the casual relation between the vaccine and the side effects clear.
Kang Da-hyun email@example.com
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