The context of the article “We’re asking the impossible of vaccines” by Wu (2021) is the debate regarding the COVDID-19 vaccine. The author discusses the controversial viewpoints regarding the safety of this medication, considering the lack of rapid development of this vaccine and its use in the market. The audience is the general public and the people who are hesitant about being vaccinated. The argument Wu (2021) presents is that complete protection from being infected is impossible to achieve with any type of vaccine.
Wu’s (2021) argument is compelling because the author deconstructs the idea of a “sterilizing immunity,” which is the idea that a vaccine can fully prevent the occurrence and transmission of the disease. To achieve this, the author discusses the history of the development of the idea of immunity and its application in the development of vaccines. The ethos, or the role of the author, in this case, is shown by citing that Wu (2021) is the staff writer who covers the topics of science. The pathos that Wu (2021) describes is an appeal to values and beliefs because the author challenges the idea that a perfect immunity against any virus can be achieved. This is done by arguing that vaccination can help transform the virus from “a pathogen to a passenger” (Wu, 2021, para. 25).
Wu (2021) extensively uses logos within the text to address the various aspects of vaccination, including facts and historical references, since this device is the appeal to reason (“The rhetorical triangle,” n.d.). For example, the author cites the first measles vaccine licensed in the 1960s and describes the marketing tactics used to promote it versus the medical aspects of how this vaccine actually worked. In summary, this paper analyzes the arguments presented by Wu (2021) in her article.
The rhetorical triangle: Understanding and using logos, ethos, and pathos. (n.d.).
Wu, K. (2021). We’re asking the impossible of vaccines. The Atlantic.