Matthew McConaughey doesn’t want to vaccinate his kids—yet.
And I’m pretty disappointed he said that.
On October 29, the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine for kids aged 5-11 for emergency use, and it was then further cleared by the CDC on November 2. My country, Canada, is still reviewing the vaccine for that age group, but I suspect it’ll be approved soon.
In a Dealbook Online Summit hosted by Andrew Ross Sorkin with the New York Times, McConaughey said:
“We all gotta get off that narrative—there’s not a conspiracy theory on the vaccines. These are scientists trying to do the right thing.”
“It’s scary. Right now, I’m not vaccinating mine, I’ll tell ya that. I’ve been vaccinated. My wife’s been vaccinated. We have a high risk person in our household—my mother who’s 90, and she’s immune compromised.
But then, he goes on to say:
“I couldn’t mandate having to vaccinate the younger kids. I still wanna find out more information.”
(Timestamp: 21:45 – 23:32.)
Dear Mr. McConaughey and everyone who’s concerned about the children:
I’m a mom. I get it. We all want to make sure our kids are safe.
However, if you trust the science for you, you trust the science for your kids. It’s as simple as that. And vaccinating our children will keep them safer than if they are unvaccinated.
Let’s stop saying these four ridiculous words: “do your own research.”
Is Matthew McConaughey trained to research the effects of the vaccine? Are you? Am I? Hell, no. We can’t do our own research. We don’t have a lab and a team. Let’s be honest: none of us have researched anything since ninth grade biology. Looking stuff up online isn’t doing research. Finding published, peer reviewed papers isn’t even doing your own research. It’s finding someone else’s research. Right? Even then—are we truly educated enough to understand all of the science behind these papers? And final question: are you confident that you’re not finding only results that support your claims—particularly because Google will show you what you want to see? There are multiple layers of confirmation bias going on there.
Okay—you’re right. McConaughey didn’t specifically say he wanted to do his own research. He said he wanted to find out more information. Well, what’s the difference? What information is he going to find? The underlying message is that while he verbally said he trusts the science, his actions are saying he doesn’t.
And these kinds of messages perpetuate vaccine hesitancy. (Being completely anti-vax is a whole other matter that I won’t even touch, because ugh.)
People who waited to “see what happens” after others were vaccinated lost their lives. They’re still losing their lives. And many who don’t die are suffering from some horrific, long-term complications after contracting Covid.
I will admit to having a “wait and see” thought myself for five whole seconds when they announced the vaccine roll-out for adults in the spring of 2020—although my fear was more about the potential side effects (as an emetophobic). But I squashed that thought after a quick game of “would you rather”: would I rather get pukey, or die from the virus, or pass it on to someone who might die?
Like I said, as a mother, I understand the fear or hesitancy.
But here’s the thing: when my son had a weird rash that kept popping up in his teen years, did I do my own research? No. I took him to the family doctor, I took him for blood tests, and we saw dermatologist where he had a biopsy done. When he needed stitches, did I look up a how-to on YouTube? When he was going through appendicitis as a youngster, did I whip out my own ultrasound equipment to investigate? Of course not.
There are a million “what if’s” when it comes to our health and that of our children. But that’s why we put it in the hands of doctors and scientists. They have answered those what if’s through intensive and sophisticated research and trials that we couldn’t begin to understand, let alone pull off ourselves.
Get your children vaccinated as soon as your government and the scientists advising them say it’s safe to do so.
Some more great information about vaccinating children: