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Letter to the editor: Make informed choice on COVID-19 vaccine

Letter to the editor: Make informed choice on COVID-19 vaccine

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Letter to the Editor

Regarding COVID-19 vaccine mandates: Most health facilities require immunity to hepatitis B and illnesses like measles. Infections like tuberculosis and hepatitis are regularly screened. Such mandates are well-accepted practices that protect patients and their families. It is not surprising that COVID would be treated the same way. Almost anyone who has a family member in a nursing home, or being seen in a clinic or hospital, would hope that the employees are free of infectious diseases such as COVID.

But vaccination history is less important than level of immunity. For example, vaccine effectiveness is reported to decrease at about eight or 10 months and individuals with a mild COVID infection often have limited immunity. The result is an increased risk of reinfection and spreading COVID.

I suspect what people want to know is whether they are susceptible to infection. If they are not, then no vaccine is needed. If they are at risk, then getting the vaccine would make sense. The evidence shows that the vaccines are highly effective. Although minor reactions such as fever and aching are common, serious side effects are rare and dramatically lower than an infection.

Individuals choose to avoid vaccination for a variety of reasons, but knowing one’s immune status allows an informed choice of how to mitigate the risk of infection and the risk of infecting family and friends.

Ron Asher

North Platte

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