Some Points to Ponder about Vaccination
By Lynn Willis
The highly infectious COVID variant, B.1.1.7, continues to surge. Here in Indiana, B.1.1.7 accounts for nearly half of new COVID-19 cases. Our best defense against this treacherous variant is vaccination.
To that end, nearly 48% of us in Hamilton County have received at least 1 dose of a vaccine, and 34% of us are fully vaccinated. That’s good, but it won’t assure against another surge, nor will it end the pandemic. Simply stated, as many of us as possible need to be vaccinated.
Not everyone can or should be vaccinated against a contagious disease (infants and folks with compromised immune systems, for example), but “herd immunity,” which sets in when sufficient numbers of people have been immunized, often can protection those people, too. Experts estimate that at least 70-80%, but possibly more, of us will need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity against COVID-19. We’re far from reaching that goal, and here’s why that’s a big problem.
Until we reach herd immunity, the virus will continue to find plenty of susceptible persons to infect, reproduce itself, and spread to others. Importantly, as each virus makes billions of new viruses, genetic mutations will produce variant copies of the virus. Most of those variants will be harmless, but – here’s the point – as long as the pandemic continues, it’s only a matter of time until new variants emerge with immunity to our vaccines. If that happens here, and if the pandemic continues because of it, our collective agony, anger, and divisive tendencies will only intensify.
THE BOTTOM LINE: We’re in a race between vaccinations and variants. Now is NOT the time to let down our guard, no matter how tired we are of this pandemic, no matter how long it’s been since we enjoyed what we now nostalgically recall as “normal” life at Pilgrim. Instead, NOW is the time for all of us to continue wearing those fool masks, stay physically and socially distanced, avoid all manner of large (or largish) indoor crowds, and above all, GET VACCINATED. If you’ve been vaccinated, urge those you know and love to be vaccinated, too.
AREN’T YOU GLAD YOU’VE HAD YOUR COVID SHOT(S)?
DON’T YOU WISH EVERYONE HAD?
(apologies to Dial soap)
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