Now is not the time to slow down vaccination drive

Thursday, June 24, 2021

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.

Check with your healthcare provider or visit www.swhealth.ne.gov or here for information on how to get vaccinated.

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    Thanks to frontline health workers who continue to do heroic work. Also thanks to the McCook Gazette for publishing this plea.

    It surely IS our responsibility to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and the community by doing what we can. That includes vaccinations, masks, social distancing, anything within our power. Urge everyone you know to do the same, especially now as variants continue to erode the progress made and threaten yet another surge.

    Read more: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/keythingstoknow.html

    -- Posted by BlueWillow on Thu, Jun 24, 2021, at 12:49 PM
  • Sen. Rand Paul, who is also a medical doctor, pointed out that more than 100 million in this country have had covid and have immunity in addition to those vaccinated. We already have a great deal of herd immunity in this country when natural immunity is added to vaccinated immunity and that is why cases are on the decline. With only 37% of southwest Nebraska residents vaccinated, the only explanation for the decline of cases is natural immunity from those who have had it. News today said that almost 50% of those who come down with the new Delta variant are fully vaccinated. It is estimated that those who have been vaccinated will need a booster shot this coming fall and periodically thereafter. It is time to quit using the misinformation mantra against those who use statistics and research to balance that coming from the drug oriented approach to covid. Vaccinations are approved for children down to 12 years old. The threat of adverse reactions to them is greater than adverse reactions to covid infection. The CDC has finally come out with precautionary statements about possible heart inflammation after vaccination even though this has been known for some time. Covid is here to stay just as other viruses are such as influenza. It is time to look at what is already known about how to improve our immune system response to such threats.

    -- Posted by niechiro on Fri, Jun 25, 2021, at 6:11 PM
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    Is that the same Sen. Rand Paul, who was self "certified?" This is what the McCook Gazette cautions its readers about - misinformation that makes the job of health workers even more difficult.

    Taking medical advice regarding a worldwide pandemic from Rand Paul is like taking it from a chiropractor.

    Take advice from those who actually know, like the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/keythingstoknow.html

    -- Posted by BlueWillow on Fri, Jun 25, 2021, at 7:59 PM
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