Precise language is an important way to combat disinformation. There are no COVID-19 vaccines. The correct terminology is that there are experimental COVID-19 vaccines, also known as investigational COVID-19 vaccines. Multiple types of vaccines are being tried; here is an overview of the categories. The ones closest to mass distribution are the mRNA vaccines.
One reason we must call this what it is, which is experimental, is because the American public has been primed to receive this biological agent simply because the word experimental has gone missing. Almost no normal person would volunteer to be the first to receive an experimental drug unless they were very sick and there were no alternatives. With COVID-19 the vast majority of people do not get very sick, and there are many alternative treatments. We must insist on using the correct language of experimental vaccine.
The other reason we must call this what it is, experimental, is because having an experimental status has important legal implications. These agents are being distributed under an EUA (emergency use authorization) which determines how future harm to patients will be compensated. [ Page 17 ]
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