Vaccinations Are the Only Way Out of This Pandemic

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For most residents in our small corner of the world, asking adults to roll up their sleeves for a dose of one of the COVID-19 vaccines is unnecessary.

Just about four out of every five of you have done their part to try and control and end what has turned into the scourge of our lifetime – the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, if you’re part of the roughly 20 percent of the local adult population that is resistant or hesitant it’s time to face the hard truth: Your lives – our lives – will take many years before they return to what most of us deem as normal, if ever, unless those who are eligible take the vaccine.

We’re quite lucky here in Westchester and Putnam counties compared to many areas of the United States. It’s a highly educated populace that realizes when you have life-saving medicine, and it’s free, there is no plausible rationale to play Russian roulette – unless you are under 12 years old or part of that sliver of the population that has a valid medical reason.

As of Monday, 81.8 percent of Westchester’s 18-and-over population has received at least one dose of the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, according to the New York State vaccine tracker. Putnam County is just off that pace, having had 77.9 percent of its adults receive at least one dose.

If you’re one of the holdouts and not part of that small piece of society that has a medical reason to eschew the vaccine, it’s time to ask yourself why. What are your fears or concerns? Do you not like visiting doctors, afraid of what could be found or is it that you don’t like anyone telling you what to do?

If nothing else, please reconsider your decision for the sake of those adults unable to get a vaccine and children not yet old enough. Schools reopen for the new year, and we all want the students in the classroom for the entire year.

More than 700,000 people in the two counties have received at least one dose, and while some people have felt sick for a short period of time, the chances of a more significant reaction are infinitesimal.

For those of us who are part of the 80 percent who have been vaccinated, now is not the time to berate others for failing to get their shot. Talk to them, appeal to them and try to put yourself in their shoes. That won’t cost you anything, except a few minutes.

This week, The Boston Globe is publishing a section addressing articles exploring the vaccine issue to clear up misinformation and debunk myths. They have appealed to papers large and small throughout the United States to make the case to their readership and try to make a difference in their hometowns.

It’s a noble mission, and one that we take seriously as well. Our communities, our future, our lives may depend on it.

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