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"take a vaccine" vs. "get a vaccine"

asked 2021-01-17 10:34:16 -0400

emindi gravatar image

updated 2021-01-03 14:35:39 -0400

In the last several months I've noticed the phrase "take a vaccine" in several newspapers (New York Times and others). I'd never heard it used before the pandemic, and I'd say "get a vaccine" or "be vaccinated"/"get vaccinated" (I grew up in northern NJ/NYC suburbs, for reference).

Has anyone else noticed this? Has been "take a vaccine" been used all along and I've somehow never noticed? Or has it come from some other English-speaking country and recently been adopted in the US?

Thanks for any insight you might have.

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answered 2021-01-26 15:07:37 -0400

mling gravatar image

I agree with you emindi. I would say that's technically not correct. There are examples of incorrect usage all the time. In fact, I've found myself using words or phrases incorrectly sometimes because I've inadvertently picked it up from somewhere. 'To take' implies agency. That's why I can take an aspirin, an allergy pill, a tequila shot or a break. When I use 'take' with any of these things, I've done this myself. For comparison, if you use the last example 'break' with get as in 'get a break' from doing work, it implies that someone else has made that break possible, or allowed you take one (e.g. I get a break at noon.) When you say 'I take a break every thirty minutes', the meaning implied here is that you choose to stop working every thirty minutes. So again, something you do yourself. And for those reasons I would say 'get a vaccine get vaccinated' .

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answered 2021-01-09 13:45:53 -0400

apwo gravatar image

Perhaps this is based on an analogy with "take a medicine" (even though the situations are not the same)

This issue has been discussed elsewhere:

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Asked: 2021-01-03 14:35:39 -0400

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Last updated: Jan 17