I think U.S. citizens need to start thinking about the ability to get vaccinated as a privilege rather than some sort of government infringement on their rights.
We’re all battling a global pandemic that has killed more than 4.4 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. I am sad to say that I know people who have died of COVID, and many others who have been hospitalized for extensive periods.
The disease is real and its variants are scary.
But, here in the United States we are lucky because we can stroll into almost any of our local drugstores and receive a lifesaving vaccine just by asking for it.
I have become increasingly frustrated by people who refuse to protect themselves and their families on the basis of misinformation and illogical thought.
Are you afraid to get the vaccine because you are unsure of its potential long term effects? Consider, then, how clear the potential long term effects of COVID-19 have become. As of yesterday afternoon, the CDC was reporting 211,730,035 confirmed cases and 4,430,697 deaths.
Anecdotally, I can report that my family, ranging in age from 12 to 82, are all fully vaccinated and, thankfully, they all remain very healthy. We have immuno-compromised people among our vaccinated ranks, and they, too, have received the vaccine on the advice of their actual medical doctors — the ones with degrees that we visit in offices. My sister Kathy, the cancer hero, just received her Pfizer booster and she was thrilled and grateful to do so.
My mom is counting the days until she receives her booster.
Until recently, I have been somewhat cavalier about things like the flu shot. I don’t get sick, I reasoned, so why should I inject a vaccine that I’m not even sure will protect me from the right strain of influenza into my body?
Then, a doctor asked us all to get the flu shot to protect a young immunocompromised person in our household, and I swiftly agreed. I realized, at that point, that I had been wrong to think of a vaccine as something that would only protect me. They are meant to protect whole communities, those who struggle with their health and those lucky enough to be born with a strong immune system. I’ll be getting my flu shot every year going forward.
I hope the news that the FDA has approved the Pfizer vaccine convinces people who were on the fence to take advantage of it.
And, I wish the best for all of you as we continue to make our way through some challenging times. We really are all in this together.