Ask Amy: An Unvaccinated Wedding

By Amy Dickinson | June 21st, 2021

The bride and groom refuse to get vaccinated – should guests attend at their own risk?

Unvaccinated bride and groom Image

Dear Amy: This fall my vaccinated family is invited to a nephew’s wedding.

He and his future bride are not vaccinated because they think the COVID-19 vaccine will possibly make them sterile.

I know their parents are vaccinated.

Both of these young adults are college educated, but apparently don’t believe the science of the vaccine. The groom’s sister and her husband are also not getting vaccinated because of the same reasoning. They are both part of the wedding party. I know they won’t be wearing masks or taking precautions of social distancing. They haven’t taken this pandemic seriously.

I’ve read several articles about the false beliefs of vaccines causing sterilization. I’m tempted to send them the articles. Do you think I should?

My family would love to safely get together with our relatives to celebrate a happy occasion.

If several of the wedding guests are not vaccinated, will that put my family in danger? I’m not sure how to RSVP.

– Worried

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Dear Worried: The COVID vaccines do not cause people to become sterile.

(Nor do ignorance, misinformation, or denial, by the way…)

There is no need to send these family members articles showing how safe the vaccine is.

Vaccinated people seem to respond to the idea of spending time with unvaccinated people along a wide spectrum.

For instance, I understand that the vaccine protects me from the more severe symptoms of the disease caused by the COVID virus – that way, even if I contract the virus, I am unlikely to land in the hospital or suffer long-term effects. I am also far less likely to spread the virus to others. That’s why I chose vaccination.

The current CDC guidelines state: “Indoor and outdoor activities pose minimal risk to fully-vaccinated people.”

Other people who are vaccinated gauge their risk differently than I do, and this has become very much a personal issue, which is why it is important for all of us to respect the health and safety concerns of others – wearing masks and social distancing when on airplanes or around medically vulnerable people, and respecting the preferences and concerns of parents with unvaccinated children.

Is there some risk in being around unvaccinated people? Yes. But they pose a much greater risk of spreading serious illness to each other than to you.

Does this pose a “danger” to your family? It depends on how you define “danger.”

If you are around unvaccinated people indoors who refuse to follow a mask mandate for unvaccinated people, or if you are simply unsure of their vaccination status, you could choose to wear a mask and maintain your own distance.

Or you could stay home.

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068

© 2021 by Amy Dickinson

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