Getting vaccine shows you care about our community |

Getting vaccine shows you care about our community

When I was born, there was a polio epidemic in the U.S. My brother and I were lucky; we didn’t get it, but we knew kids who did. When the Salk vaccine became available, it changed everything. Yearly cases were reduced to a fraction because of mass immunization. The Sabin vaccine meant near elimination of the disfiguring and deadly disease. The U.S. recorded its last cases of polio in 1979, among isolated Amish communities in several Midwestern states.

Can we learn nothing from history? The key to eliminating COVID-19 is mass immunization. A successful vaccination campaign requires near total participation. If only 50% chose to participate, we are not successful, as proven by the latest COVID surge where we once again are seeing more than 1,000 daily deaths and now must return to mask-wearing.

The risks of not being vaccinated are real. It is unfortunate that fear-mongering and internet misinformation have been rampant. Following the administration of millions of vaccine doses, we know the three vaccines in use are safe and effective.

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert from Rifle chose to politicize the epidemic. Her statements about “Needle Nazis” and “coercion by federal agents” show her complete ignorance of history and public health. Had she and her like-minded “patriots” been “representing” us in Congress 60 years ago, we’d still be suffering polio outbreaks.

Being part of a community means participating as a member of the community. The number of Americans who have died from COVID-19 far exceeds any other country in the world. This is an embarrassing and tragically unnecessary public health failure. Please be a part of the community. Please get vaccinated.

Annette Roberts-Gray


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