Saturday, February 3, 2024

Quote of the Day (Dr. Danielle Ofri, on COVID Vaccine Hesitancy)

“Covid cases and hospitalizations have continued to rise during the winter. As of early January, the average number of Americans dying weekly from Covid was over 1,700. And yet the Jan. 19 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report indicated that only 21.8 percent of adults 18 and older have received the latest Covid vaccine — less than half of the percentage of those who have gotten the flu vaccine….We in medicine are fairly good at responding to specific concerns; we easily marshal facts and numbers because this is the arena in which we are most comfortable. It’s tempting to shy away from the queasier realm of free-floating discomfort, but we can’t….As time-consuming and exhausting as these conversations can be, we have a communal duty to try to unmuddy the waters — all of us. If you’ve been hesitating about getting your updated Covid vaccination, you might want to put your heebie-jeebies front and center on the exam table at your next medical visit. They’re due for a checkup.”—Dr. Danielle Ofri, “Covid Vaccine Hesitancy Is Getting Worse,” The New York Times, Jan. 31, 2024

Nearly three years after the COVID vaccine was introduced into the U.S., hesitancy about it continues at an alarming rate. Even though many of us with underlying medical conditions would have been hospitalized or dead without the shots, the population as a whole remains at risk because of the low vaccination rates.

It is one of the follies and tragedies of our time that something which at heart is a public-health issue has become a political one. I don’t want friends or other readers to regard me as a scold on this subject.

But I would just urge vaccine holdouts to read Dr. Ofri’s article in the link above. It’s eminently non-judgmental yet reasonable. I hope it’ll make you at least rethink your recalcitrance.

(The image accompanying this post, of a person wearing gloves and a surgical mask while handling a COVID-19 Vaccine vial and syringe, was from the U.S. Census Bureau, and taken Jan. 27, 2021.)

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