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Letter: Get the vaccine

Letter: Get the vaccine

Covid infections in the United States are increasing. Almost all the cases in adults are occurring in the unvaccinated — children under 12 are not currently eligible to receive the vaccine. Originally it was the elderly and infirm who were primarily affected. Now, victims are predominantly young and healthy, including children — and some are dying. Up to 30% of child victims are suffering from "long covid."

The vaccine is safe — it is much safer to be vaccinated than to catch the disease, and claims that it has not been adequately tested are belied by the fact over 300 million doses have been administered in the U.S. alone, so we have a vast database from which we can evaluate the likelihood of significant side effects, which are uncommon.

Over the centuries, vaccine programs have been incredibly effective. Smallpox has been completely eradicated, measles is now rarely seen; congenital abnormalities caused by German measles are extremely uncommon; childhood meningitis is a rarity.

Some "anti-vaxxers" see attempts to get everyone vaccinated as an infringement on their personal freedoms, and/or government overreach. But our freedoms cannot come at the expense of the lives of our innocent fellow citizens. We owe it to our friends, neighbors and children to ensure that as few people as possible spread, get sick, or die from this preventable disease — 600,000-plus have died already. Everyone eligible must be vaccinated as soon as possible, to prevent further illnesses and deaths. It is our civic duty to do so.

Peter Metcalf MD (retired)



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