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The COVID-19 Anti-Vaccination Decision


The first article in question is from the popular Vox website and talks about skeptics during a mass vaccination campaign. The second article is from a local news site in Virginia called Fauquier Times. The article talks about a possible bill against discrimination against unvaccinated citizens. The reviewed articles are not devoted to directly vaccinating the population but to resisting vaccination. These articles are about how people argue against vaccination, how they live with it, and how the rest of society is trying to adapt to the anti-vaccine decision. With the advent of COVID-19, the anti-vaccination movement has become more than just a social phenomenon. This movement has become a state problem, to which large sums of money and the efforts of researchers, ideologists, and journalists are directed.

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Skeptics Change Their Mind

The first story projects social values of awareness and, at the same time, tolerance since the topic under discussion required patience from journalists and researchers to persuade people to get vaccinated. Vox’s article reflects a modern view of society and the problem of COVID-19, which consists in realizing one’s place in society and the ability to influence it (Scott, 2022). The most important social values ​​are security, awareness, and possibly the individual and society’s development. These are the values ​​of the modern information society and the wealthiest and most civilized countries on the planet.

There is only one image in Vox’s article, a photograph of a building and a person without a mask in front. There is a large poster on the building that depicts a vaccination scene. Interestingly, on the sign, most of the people are mulattoes or African Americans, which also reflects modern social trends. The language of Vox’s article cannot be called too formal; it is not dull to read. I believe that the papers and the magazine are aimed at young people. Sometimes readers can interpret the language of the article as slightly arrogant and pretentious. The first two and last paragraphs evidence it since this is the introduction and conclusion. The rest of the text is kept in a more or less calm tone, as the research results are reported there. In general, for young people, such information can be acceptable and convenient for consumption.

It would be correct to tell in Vox’s article about the successes and the limitations of the study. The article’s purpose is clear, and the journalists support the researchers in reporting the results. The topic of the anti-vaccine movement is touched upon only briefly, but their argument is missed. People’s statements (against vaccination) before the study are very vague. Citations are transmitted consensually; the results are not presented as self-worth. All research results are presented as part of a journalist’s speech. In general, there are no citations in the text, and the results are not presented mathematically and statistically; the author used manipulative way.

Subtle influence on the audience of Vox occurs through rhetorical devices, which usually seem harmless to people. Giving information as something obvious and a slightly arrogant tone of narration can make a person feel like a fool. Perhaps this is how the author inspires people with a thirst for new information, but the authors and journalists always miss an essential point: a critical perception of each news received. Journalists need to think about other resources, offering news or information in their vision. People can compare specific sources and express distrust in some of them.

Work Without a Vaccine

Like the previous article, Fauquier Times’s article projects the value of security and patience (tolerance). The writing of this article and the coverage of the bill in Virginia are intended to counter emerging discrimination against unvaccinated people. In addition, the report raises such values ​​as religious faith and respect for it. The images provided by the author do not cause either positive or negative associations since the topic discussed in the article is close to jurisprudence, labor law, and legislation. These are not the topics for which it is easy to pick up an image that expresses emotion while leaving it in the legal field. Fauquier Times’s article is written in formal language with the bright provision of quotes in quotation marks. The size of the paper plays into the hands because if it were larger, readers would read only halfway through.

Fauquier Times’s text is a defense of the rights of unvaccinated people; it misses cases of conscious neglect of their health and herd immunity. Most likely, lies for the sake of deprivation of vaccination were ignored by the author on purpose. Perhaps the author should have noted that some anti-vaxxers could get a reasonable fee for the vaccine, much more than what the state would provide if they lost their jobs. The authors also missed a huge and controversial topic: how can one determine the degree of religiosity of a person? Religion is becoming one of the most common reasons for not getting vaccinated; the author, quoting, uses the word ‘sincere.’ (DeRosa, 2022) It is unclear how who can test the degree of sincerity and how they will do it. Moreover, the journalist did not have to answer this question, which is not her prerogative. However, it would be correct for the author to notice this logical violation.

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Quotations are presented accurately; the author constantly used quotation marks and did not paraphrase other people’s speech. Evidence for Fauquier Times’s article is optional as it does not highlight any study, only the possibility of passing a bill against discrimination. The discussion of this bill contains immeasurable degrees: religiosity, need, sincerity. The consideration of such categories can be mostly abstract unless it is a question of a specific sociological survey based on questions of self-determination; however, in sociological questions, people evaluate themselves. Fauquier Times’s article does not provide any evidence for the claim that vaccination is a personal choice. This statement is not a subject for discussion here, but it is one of the motivators for passing this bill.

There are not many opportunities for the author to demonstrate a personal opinion in this article. However, the presence of such a large number of citations can be interpreted as an attempt to hide one’s ideas behind other people’s opinions. The bill under discussion may raise many questions, several mentioned above. However, the article’s author does not focus any attention on this. For example, considering this issue, the author can say that the economic aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has damaged global trade, is significant for US citizens. Returning to work, finding a new job is crucial for US citizens since wealth and position intersect with their most important value. Getting a livelihood (by any means, in the harshest conditions of a pandemic) is very important for them.


The two articles reflect the problem of non-vaccination, and security is an essential value for both papers. They are written in entirely different languages, but readers cannot say that the formal tone of speech of the second article interferes with perception. Vox’s article chooses a slightly more manipulative form of presenting information, while Fauquier Times’s article relies entirely on quoting. Vox’s article describes the models of persuasion to be vaccinated and leaves hope after reading that people will develop herd immunity through mass vaccination. Fauquier Times’s article describes an entirely different way out of the situation: adaptation at the legislative level by providing benefits to the unvaccinated.

Works Cited

DeRosa, K. (2022). Republican lawmakers push to protect workers who decline COVID-19 vaccine. Fauquier Times, PrinceWilliamTimes. Web.

Scott, D. (2022). Study: Which messages won over Covid-19 vaccine skeptics? Vox. Web.

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