For the first time in world history an effective vaccine has been developed in less than a year to successfully combat a deadly virus, Covid-19.
Unfortunately, a majority of Georgians have yet to get their vaccinations, despite the fact that vaccinations are free and are proving to be effective at preventing severe infections and deaths.
While we support each person’s right to choose for himself or herself whether to get the Covid-19 vaccination, we urge Georgians, Augustans in particular, to consider seriously the consequences of not getting vaccinated. Virtually all of the recent hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19 are among the unvaccinated.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walenksy put it starkly earlier this month: “This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” she said at a White House briefing. Anthony Faucci said in a Meet The Press interview in early July that the unvaccinated account for 99% of recent deaths and 97% of recent hospitalizations.
It is true, even those who have been vaccinated can get what are referred to as “breakthrough” infections, but those are mostly mild and have more in common with a short-lived cold than the desperate illnesses among the unvaccinated.
We understand as well that some are frightened of the vaccination’s side effects from the vaccine, but in most people, those side effects are nothing compared to the health crisis that Covid-19, and especially the more infectious Delta variant, can cause. We at the Augusta Press are all too aware of just how sick a person can get from the Covid-19 virus. One of our staff writers was desperately ill the first few weeks we were in publication. It was an open question whether the staffer, who has an autoimmune disorder, would make it through the infection. That staffer’s doctor advised against the vaccination because of that disorder, and we support the staffer’s decision to follow the doctor’s advice. Everyone’s situation is different, and neither we nor the government should ever lose sight of that.
Evidence in support of the vaccination includes the effectiveness of the vaccination in preventing serious illness and death. Further, the vaccines have been on the market and offered for free for long enough that if there were any dangerous side effects, the public would have heard about them by now.
There have been no reports of widespread problems with the vaccine, and yet the vaccination rate in the CSRA remains at around 40 percent.
The whole argument of if you are vaccinated, then others are safe without having to be vaccinated and vice versa is simply wrong headed.
Many people like our staffer, because of pre-existing conditions, cannot be vaccinated, and those same people are also at the most risk of contracting the virus. Their lives matter, and it is up to those of us who can get the vaccinations to put aside our bickering and just do it.
People can test positive for Covid-19 and never suffer symptoms, which means they are living petri dishes passing the virus along with every handshake. This scenario is scarry for people who, for medical reasons, cannot take the vaccine.
While the government has no business mandating anyone take the vaccine, it has gone to great lengths to make the vaccine available with only minor inconveniences.
At this time last year, hospitals in the CSRA were completely out of beds with the masses of new Covid-19 patients. Do we want to risk that happening again?
If you have not gotten the vaccine, we strongly urge you to rethink your position.