The impact of the coronavirus vaccine could help predict the future for real estate investors by helping answer some questions, such as:
- Will people return to urban centers?
- How about the office?
- Where will people want to live?
- Will people start spending again from pent-up consumer demand?
All those questions could be answered with a higher degree of certainty if we knew whether enough people will get the vaccine to make a difference in the spread of the virus. And right now, a large percentage of folks are reluctant (to downright against) getting the vaccine. Here are some reasons why.
Lack of track record
Many people are reluctant to get the coronavirus vaccine because it's so new. They wonder how safe it is. After all, the vaccine is not FDA-approved; it's emergency use authorization (EUA)-approved. EUA approval means the vaccine meets FDA safety and effectiveness standards under emergency situations, but all the evidence required for full FDA approval has not yet become available. Plus, the vaccine has been followed for only a few months, as of this writing, meaning the verdict is still out on how effective the vaccine will be in six months' to a year's time.
Confusion and side effects
Some people are confused regarding whether they should get the vaccine, and others don't want to be among the first group to get it. Here are some gray areas:
- People with anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) to vaccines and people who carry an EpiPen would need to discuss with their doctor whether they should get the vaccine.
- There is an increased risk of getting partial facial paralysis, Bell's palsy, with the vaccine. Although minimal, the risk is raised to eight people per 10,000 per year from around two people per 10,000 per year normally.
- What about people who've recently had COVID-19 (myself included)? Should they get the vaccine right after having the virus, or should they wait? And if waiting is best, how long should the waiting period be?
Because of our nation's dubious track record with Black Americans, many in the Black community don't trust the healthcare system. (See Tuskegee Study below.) Pew Research Center found that Black people are the most hesitant group to get the vaccine: 83% of Asian Americans would get the vaccine, 63% of Hispanics would get it, 61% of white people would be vaccinated, but only 42% of Black people would.
It's easy to dismiss conspiracy theories, largely because many are musings that cannot be proven, and some could be dangerous. But it's not good to dismiss them all without a further look.
Take this older conspiracy theory, for instance: The Public Health Service is lying when they say they're treating Black men with syphilis. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? Well, that turned out to be true.
U.S. researchers in the Tuskegee Study told study participants, all Black males, they were being treated for syphilis when they really weren't. This experiment went on for 40 years, from 1932 to 1972, all the while being covered up by the United States Public Health Service, as people needlessly suffered. Some study participants even passed the infection to their wives and children.
That wasn't the only conspiracy theory in America's history that turned out to be true, as people in power do sometimes cover up what they're doing: hello, President Nixon and Watergate.
Regarding the coronavirus itself and the vaccine, conspiracy theories (which time will tell if true) abound, such as:
- The Chinese government created the coronavirus to be used as a bioweapon.
- Bill Gates, through his ID2020 program, implanted a tracking microchip in the vaccine.
- The vaccine will alter your DNA.
- And then there are the anti-vaxxers who are against all vaccines.
Whether people believe any of these conspiracy theories affects whether they'd get the vaccine.
The Millionacres bottom line
The only way for the coronavirus vaccine to make a societal difference is for enough people to get it. That's how the spread will be contained. As long as there's high reluctance, though, that won't happen, at least until the virus subsides on its own. That could happen but would likely take a long time -- years and possibly even decades -- although the virus' effects should be milder over time. Investors should watch for updated statistics on the control of the virus to help with their real estate decisions.