- Despite lower vaccination rate, Nebraska safer than many other states (10/15/21)
- Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety (10/8/21)
- Being prepared is just common sense (9/30/21)
- Nebraska students have advantage in remote learning (9/2/21)
- Rural youth have it right when it comes to small towns (8/12/21)
- Vaccine reluctance costing American wealth as well as lives (7/20/21)
- State recruits social media to save lives from COVID (7/1/21)
Now is not the time to slow down vaccination drive
We’re looking forward to the third annual Southwest Nebraska Freedom Festival, sponsored by McCook Christian Church, at 6 p.m. next Friday, July 2 at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds.
The music, food and fireworks are designed to honor those who serve in and for our community, an especially well-deserved honor as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Extra honors should go to essential workers who kept things running for the last 14 months, especially healthcare workers who are on the front lines of the battle with an invisible virus while hindered by skepticism and misinformation.
Some 37%, or nearly 16,000 residents of Southwest Nebraska, have been vaccinated for COVID-19, but one would guess the percentage was much higher, judging from the rarity of masks as mass gatherings resume.
Some 62 people in the Southwest Nebraska Public Health District have died from COVID-19, but thankfully, the rate of infection has remained low since this spring, an average of six to eight cases per week among the nine counties.
However, more than 30 cases of the new Delta B1617 variant have already been detected in Nebraska.
Much more easily transmitted, it is expected to become the dominant strain of the virus within a few weeks. Now is not the time to stop the vaccination drive.
“We have a solution for COVID; we just need to use it,” said Dr. Matthew Donahue, Acting State Epidemiologist, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
“The overall bottom line is – the vaccine is working – keeping people out of the hospital, reducing transmission throughout our state; and it’s doing it despite the presence of each of the primary variants detected in Nebraska,” said Donahue said.
“It’s all of our responsibility to talk to our loved ones and friends about vaccination. Vaccination is why fewer people are dying, why fewer people are hospitalized, and it’s how we are getting back to normal.” Donahue urged all of us to talk about why we chose to be vaccinated. “Choosing vaccination is making our homes, workplaces, and get-togethers safer.”
Thankfully, the COVID vaccine is available all across the state, to anyone 12 and older. There is no charge for the vaccine.