Come on, what are you waiting for? Summer is coming and you want to be ready, don’t you?

To visit and have visitors, attend family reunions; to travel, to go to beaches, mountains, sports events. To see grandkids and great-great grandkids, some of whom you may not even have met yet. To attend weddings, graduations and other celebrations.

So, get your COVID vaccine. You have time to get both shots before summer. Oh, you have doubts, do you? Some well-founded and some based on rumor.

You have heard that the vaccine was developed too quickly? Not really, the vaccine has been in development for decades, that is why they were able so quickly to modify it to attack this current SARS virus, known as COVID-19, when it made its appearance. You have heard that it sometimes makes people sick? Not as sick as if they got the real COVID. In most cases, ill effects, including soreness at vaccination site, only last a day or two.

You have heard that the vaccine can cause infertility? No such cases have been documented, though there is some indication of male infertility resulting from COVID-19 itself.

You have heard that COVID statistics are false, that they include cases and deaths that are actually due to flu? Not so, cases and deaths are identified as COVID-19 only if a test confirms the diagnosis.

You have heard that vaccines can cause blood clots? Yes, regrettably, only young women so far, about seven, and one has died. About 1 in 1 million people vaccinated have gotten blood clots; for women who use some birth control pills, the rate is about 1 in 3,000; for hospitalized COVID patients, the rate is one in five. You have heard that 5,800 people have gotten COVID even after getting the vaccine? That is about .008% of all people who got the vaccine, and only about 7% of those ended up in hospital.

You may argue, when urged to get the vaccine, to wear a mask, socially distance, avoid gatherings, that your freedom is being infringed upon. You think that you have the right to decide whether you want to take the chance on getting COVID-19, but do you have the right then to expose family and friends to the disease if you do get it, or even if you are just a carrier? At one time you might have argued that it was only old people who got sick and died. Even if that was OK with you, it is no longer true. The disease is now spreading much more among young people.

Think about the importance we attach to getting children back into school. To ensure their protection, everyone needs to be vaccinated, to wear masks, to socially distance, and to avoid gatherings till this siege is over. I would not want to send a child of mine to school where not all teachers and staff were vaccinated. Just as now we hear of outbreaks in nursing homes where not all staff have been vaccinated.

In the United States there have been more than 570,000 deaths from COVID-19, but none from COVID vaccine (save the one mentioned above.) Even though there have been more than twice as many people fully vaccinated as have had COVID-19 (about 82 million to 32 million.)

Just do it.

Juanita M Cutler

Three Churches, W.Va.

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