Record editorial: On the vaccine, trust the experts
The first Summit County resident has received the coronavirus vaccine, a hopeful turning point in the pandemic nine months after the first coronavirus case in our community was announced.
Though there is still a difficult winter ahead — and maybe a challenging spring, too — the beginning of the end of the pandemic is at hand.
But there is one thing that threatens to prolong the suffering endured throughout this crisis and needlessly delay a return to something resembling normalcy: hesitancy among a significant portion of the population to receive the vaccine.
There’s a lot of information floating around about the vaccines, much of it not true.
As Summit County residents consider whether or not to receive a vaccination, they should follow advice that has been key throughout the pandemic: Heed the guidance of scientists and health officials. Believe the people who have devoted their lives to their scientific fields, laboring countless hours in labs with their eyes to microscopes, studying these kind of pathogens.
Put your trust in the experts whose work is built on decades of vaccine research.
Their message is clear. The public should have confidence in the vaccines that earn approval by the independent Food and Drug Administration and are deployed throughout the country. They will be safe. They will be effective. They will, ultimately, end the pandemic.
When there are enough doses available for everyone, there will be no sound reason not to get vaccinated — particularly considering the danger of the alternative.
It is unclear how much opposition there is to getting vaccinated among Summit County residents, though anecdotal evidence suggests at least some people are hesitant. Nationwide, health experts are concerned that there could be enough skepticism to make it difficult to reach the roughly 70% threshold of inoculation they say is needed to reach herd immunity.
After what in the spring will be a year of living with the coronavirus pandemic, it would be maddening to be forced to soldier on simply because too many people refuse to get the vaccine.
Some of the opposition is coming from anti-vaxxers, who proudly disregard science and fact as they sow misinformation about vaccines.
The concerns of many other people are more understandable, if misguided. Some wonder whether the vaccine could carry potential side effects that haven’t yet been discovered. Others would simply prefer more research be conducted on the vaccines before they opt to put it in their bodies.
The worry, though, is needless.
Take it from the experts, from Dr. Anthony Fauci on down: Americans can be confident in COVID-19 vaccines approved by the FDA. Their development in record time is a marvel, one stemming from scientific advances rather than sloppiness and one that should be celebrated.
They are the key to stopping COVID infections, saving lives and at last putting the coronavirus pandemic behind us.
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