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To Vax or not to Vax, that is the Question!

By Dr. George Voigtlander

Since former President Trump launched Operation Warp Speed vaccine manufacturers have done an incredible job of taking already existing vaccine technologies and applied them to the Covid-19 virus. 


Many, but not enough people have taken advantage of this near miracle.  About 70-80% of the population needs to be immune, either by previous infection and/or vaccination to reach “herd immunity”.  That is the amount of protection from the virus that prevents further spread and leads to the end of the pandemic. 


The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are very effective in preventing illness, hospitalizations, and death. 

They almost certainly prevent vaccinated people from spreading the virus.  Other manufacturers used older technologies to make a Covid-19 vaccine. 


There are concerns about the vaccines, and a little skepticism is not a bad thing.  I will address some of the common concerns. 


“The messenger RNA vaccine is too new and untested.”  This technology is over 20 years old, its application to the Covid-19 virus is new.  Prior to release to the public over 100,000 volunteers took the vaccine and it was shown to be effective and have very few serious side effects.  Like almost all vaccines it may cause nuisance side effects, temporary soreness, low grade fevers, headaches, and less likely nausea. 


“The numbers of infections are going down; the pandemic is over.”  That is what Australia thought and became complacent and on May 27 had to institute another “lockdown.  Unfortunately, the corona viruses are very good at mutating into more contagious and deadlier variants.  We saw this in South Africa, Brazil, India and even California.  Fortunately, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines show good protection from these strains.  The best way to prevent mutations is to prevent infections.  (See my previous articles about viral mutations.) 


“The J&J vaccine caused severe side effects.”  That is true, but the number of young women who developed this was small and the risk of dying from Covid is 1000 times higher than developing these severe side effects. 


“I had Covid, I don’t need the vaccine.”  The immunity to Covid-19 from infection does not last as long as that from the vaccines.  Most people who had mild Covid have lower levels of immunity than those with severe infection and much lower than those who received the vaccine.   


Until we reach herd immunity many stores, theaters and other public places still require the unvaccinated to wear masks to protect their employees and other customers.  This is based on CDC recommendations.  Why not take the shot and help move back to complete normalcy? 


“Why should I listen to the CDC, they’ve been wrong about some things concerning the pandemic?” 

Again, true, but they’ve been right about most things and when more information becomes available the guidelines change.  Other than God, do you know anyone else who is never wrong? 


The vaccine is too expensive.”  The truth is the vaccine was paid for from the federal budget (your tax dollars).  There may be an administration fee to cover the cost of the needles, vaccinator time and the paperwork.  Basically, you’ve paid for the vaccine, why not get it. 


I have one final comment.  There is a certain moral responsibility to protect you fellow men, 

this may require a little sacrifice.  In the past Nebraskans have sacrificed for their fellow citizens.  During World War Two the people of North Platte saved their rationed flour, sugar, and oils to bake donuts, cakes, and pies for servicemen as they passed through North Platte.  This was not subsidized, the food for the G.I.s came from the kitchens of the people of that town.  Like those patriots, think about protecting your fellow citizens.