"I understand why their argument — I took the vaccine, I’m safe, I’m following the science, I’m helping the world — is a powerful one as it plays into the human desire to be in control and have agency over their own lives, lowers their fears about eventual death, and makes them feel good about themselves."
Feeling good is not why I got the vaccine. I did it to protect myself and protect others from transmission and further mutations. That is the clearest conclusion from the best science we have now.
"In the US, the risk of death from COVID-19, as compared to the 18 to 29 age bracket, is 95 times higher for someone in the 65 to 74 age bracket, 230 times higher for the 75 to 84 age bracket and 600 times higher for someone 85+. As of July 7, COVID-19 had killed 473,845 Americans over the age of 65 and just 2,755 under the age of 30."
Death is only one possible negative outcome of contracting COVID. Myocarditis and other long-haul effects could negatively impact Hocker's career.
Young people can transmit the virus to others, putting others' lives at risk. Transmission also helps the virus mutate in ways that compromise the effectiveness of the current vaccines.
"The selfless act would be if we, as Americans, called on all young adults to not take the vaccine and instead redirect that supply of the vaccine so the world’s most vulnerable could be vaccinated first."
It's the CDC's policy that all Americans should take the vaccine if they are eligible. Is the goal to change government policy by popularly disregarding government policy?
"...there was no good time for him to get two vaccine shots if he wanted them."
Is there a good time to get re-infected? Is there a good time to transmit the virus to others? It's likely a healthy, young person will have mild or no symptoms from the vaccine. It's a matter of choices, but those choices have different scientific, policy and ethical support.