To vax or not to vax

Sadly, we’ve already come to that with the COVID_-19 vaccine. In many parts of the country, including Seattle, vaccine appointments are going unfilled. Here is a helpful article from the NYT that describes vaccine skepticism as more about gut beliefs, not a lack of knowledge.

We have a private school in Miami that is asking their teachers not to get the vaccine or they may not be allowed to return to their jobs next year – SERIOUSLY????

On a much more positive note, Republican members of Congress with healthcare backgrounds produced a video that answers questions and promotes the COVID 19 vaccine. I only hope it is widely viewed.

And Jim Justice (R), the Governor of W. Virginia, is offering any W. Virginian between 16 and 35 who gets vaccinated a $100 savings bond. There’s a carrot?

I am old school when it comes to vaccines. I still remember having diseases such as measles and chickenpox when I was growing up. I remember being in line with other kids to get polio vaccine on a sugar cube. During my long public health career, I have also seen more than my share of people seriously ill with diseases that can be prevented with vaccines.

I’m all about prevention and getting immunized.

I realize that lots of people don’t remember those scary childhood diseases and are afraid of getting the shots that prevent them. I have been fortunate to work with some great colleagues who can emphasize and meet people, usually parents, where they are. I don’t profess to have those same skills or the patience required.

Many parents and others don’t remember diseases like measles and whooping cough. But I can’t imagine anyone who has lived through the past year who doesn’t know about COVID-19. It is a scary and unpredictable disease that can kill.

I am so grateful that we have three safe and effective vaccines that are now available for most adults. Montana daughter and Oregon daughter are both fully vaccinated. Portland daughter gets her second dose on Monday. Our granddaughters are scheduled for their first dose this Sunday. They all know that I love them dearly and would never encourage them to get a vaccine that I didn’t think was safe and works!

The vaccine is clearly THE path forward…..or back to some semblance of our pre-pandemic life (like travel and indoor dining) or to a newly imagined future. I’m not sure what it is going to take to get people on the vaccine path. I do understand hesitancy and skepticism in people who have experienced historical trauma and racism. I know there are lots of smart people working on multiple strategies to address vaccine skepticism.

I’m still going old school with my message – get the vaccine because COVID 19 can kill you or someone you love. Aren’t over a half a million deaths in the U.S. enough?

So……….

Go get vaccinated, America!

President Joe Biden, April 28, 2021

I’ll be back on Monday,

Allene

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