Failure to vaccinate comes with a cost

We are still in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., in large part because of the failure of millions of our citizens to get vaccinated, preventing herd immunity and allowing new mutations such as omicron to develop. Thousands of Americans are still dying, and the lives of tens of thousands more have been ruined due to long COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccines are extremely safe and are very effective at preventing serious COVID-19 illness and death. Recent data indicates that approximately 85 percent of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. These preventable illnesses and deaths are costing us all money, by increasing the cost of health care.

While we can’t force people to get vaccinated, one thing is clear: Those of us who did the right thing and got vaccinated shouldn’t have to pay for expensive care required by unvaccinated risk-takers who get COVID-19 and end up in the hospital. Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance should increase the premiums for the unvaccinated to cover their potential care.

Dr. Greg Feinsinger

Dr. Steve Hessl

Roaring Fork Valley