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Why COVID vaccine should be mandated


DEAR EDITOR:

I cannot understand the anti-vaccine craze. I am a retired school nurse of 21 years with a master’s degree in health education and bachelor’s degree, and a mother and grandmother, too.

I had an uncle die of Spanish flu in 1918 at age 12. I lived through the polio pandemic as a girl. One of my younger brothers contracted polio meningitis and nearly died. My father was a teacher with a master’s degree in education when he took our family for polio vaccines. We all thanked God for Dr. Salk’s and Dr. Sabin’s vaccines, which kept polio at near non-existence.

History shows the 1918 Spanish Flu was caused by the H1N1 influenza A virus of avian origins. It mutated several times to cause later flu pandemics. This is why I receive annual flu vaccinations to hopefully help me battle mutations. Ten years ago, I recovered from viral pneumonia from the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic. Now with COVID-19, scientists developed and rigorously tested COVID-19 vaccines. There are some antiviral medications and some IV antibodies which can help infected individuals recover more easily, should they become infected.

It is not entirely certain how long natural immunity lasts after contracting COVID-19; however, the vaccine is proven to produce antibody protection as long as six months after two booster injections. The third booster increases immunity about 10 times more.

Many fear becoming infected with COVID-19 and developing “long haul” symptoms affecting multiple organs, even with a mild case. It’s thought vaccinated persons develop milder forms, and it could eliminate long haulers.

I am for promotion of mandatory vaccine requirements to hopefully eliminate or diminish infections occurring with this horrendous virus. All U.S. states already have many vaccines required for entry into school. I am hoping COVID-19 vaccine will be mandated in time.

We know the recent major pandemic is caused by the SARS-COV2 virus. It’s a novel virus which has been mutating, as do other viruses. If at least 90 percent of the world population is vaccinated against this virus, then herd immunity may occur. Right now, we are in a “Catch-22,” in which frequent mutations occur at an alarming rate; therefore, the vaccines may or may not be effective at controlling COVID-19. The quicker the world population gets vaccinated, the more likely the virus will stop circulating.

Laws should be passed to protect the public health. We know COVID-19 vaccinations would save money and lives. The unvaccinated do not have the right to infect others; therefore, let’s utilize all that science has to offer for the good of the public by mandatory vaccination rules in the states.

LUCILLE MARINO

Canfield





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