Moderna, the Norwood company working on a vaccine for COVID-19, is in the course of clinical trials.

A 29-year-old marathon runner from Seattle is one of the volunteers who has reacted badly in a recent episode. He said he fainted and felt sicker than ever after getting the injection. He hoped this wouldn't fuel any sort of opposition towards this vaccine, because he revealed that he took a dose 10 times stronger than other volunteers.

He didn't consider this a failure because only through clinical trial tests can researchers determine what a safe dose would be.

In the wake of his experience, he said he was cautiously optimistic about a vaccine. I think vaccines are among the single most important medicines we have. But this is where some of you will disagree with those of us who'll gladly get the shot when it's ready.

I'm of the position that vaccines against life-threatening diseases are one of the greatest public health achievements in history. Literally millions of premature deaths have been prevented and countless more children have been saved from disfiguring illnesses.

So why are so many Americans opting out of vaccinating their children? To a large extent, due to the controversial and hotly disputed link between immunizations and autism. The internet worsens fears regarding vaccination safety.

I understand that while vaccinations carry certain risks, they also have stopped the spread of preventable diseases around the world. Some of you fear the vaccines more than you fear the underlying disease they protect against. I respect the variety of factors here: health dangers, religious beliefs, philosophical views, freedom, individualism, and even over perception and misinformation about risk. I get the picture and if we disagree, I do respect your judgment.

All in all, when a COVID-19 vaccine is found, I'll be in line, six feet separated from the others also waiting to get their injection. What about you? Will you take the vaccine or are you an anti-vaxxer?

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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