I am highly critical of the vaccine rollouts on both ends.
There are too many unknowns and things are far too rushed for it to be regarded as safe. Low risk people probably should consider avoiding it (depending on their risk tolerances, preferences and lifestyles). COVID-19 is far too inconsequential for many of us for us to not just subject ourselves to the risk of the virus rather than the current unknown risks of the vaccines. This being said, this evaluation doesn’t apply the same across all classes of people.
The delayed rollout of the vaccine has likely caused significant deaths that could’ve been avoided. The vaccine that was just approved was created in January. The government kept it off the market because it is a coercive bureaucracy with shitty rules. While COVID-19 is ultra low risk for most of us, it is a very dangerous disease for the old and sick. It is dangerous to such a degree that the unknown risks of a vaccine were likely minuscule by comparison. A 0.2% (random number that is likely very high) risk of serious injury or death from a vaccine is very low relative to the risks of COVID-19 (over 5% chance of death) on this class of people. Keeping the vaccine off market kills the people with high risk profiles.
The pharmaceutical companies could’ve done preliminary testing for a couple of weeks in February and March and had millions of doses going to the willing elderly and immune compromised in April. People can choose their risk tolerances and weigh their complex values themselves without the government inserting themselves into the equation. However, the US government has shitty one-size-fits-all rules that largely ignore trade offs. In delaying drugs for approval, it has killed millions of people over the years. This time is no different.