I wrote the following on my Facebook this morning and I feel it’s important to share it anywhere I have a little platform.
I’ve been immersed in covering COVID-19 for the newspaper since March 2020. In that time, I’ve written tens of thousands of words trying to convey the danger of the deadly virus. Since the advent of the life-saving vaccines in December 2020, I’ve written tens of thousands of words trying to convey the safety and efficacy of the vaccines to protect us from the deadly virus.
The vaccines are safe and importantly, prevent you from becoming seriously ill or dying, should you contract the virus. There will always be breakthrough cases (those who get infected despite being vaccinated) because no vaccine is 100 percent effective and due to vaccinating millions of people, it’s a numbers game. But the breakthrough cases are exceedingly small. I looked at the CDC data yesterday: More than 99.99 percent of the 164 million Americans who have been fully vaccinated have not contracted the virus.
Vaccines are arguably the greatest invention human ingenuity has ever birthed into this world, saving quite literally hundreds of millions of lives — 200 million (a low estimate) since 1980 just from smallpox alone. One study has suggested that since the vaccine rollout began for COVID-19, they’ve saved 279,000 lives. I don’t know about you all, but I would rather not live in a world where smallpox, polio, measles, chickenpox, tuberculosis, rubella, yellow fever and on and on, are still dominating us (and in other parts of the world, they sadly still are).
More than 618,000 Americans have died from this scourge. Many more were hospitalized and still some face lingering effects. More than eight months into the vaccine rollout, virtually every death and every hospitalization is preventable, thanks to the vaccine.
Please get the vaccine. People try to copout and say it’s a “personal choice.” But that doesn’t negate my attempts to persuade. We persuade people all the time, at the ballot box, at the grocery store — everywhere. When it comes to a matter of life and death, you’re damn right I’m going to try to persuade. So, please get the shot.
If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. Again, I’ve been researching, writing and immersed in this subject for the better part of 16 months. You can always shoot me an email, too, if you don’t want to air your concerns in the comments.