COVID-19 a wake-up call on vaccinations

We cannot slide back into complacency about vaccinations

COVID-19 a wake-up call on vaccinations

A letter printed in another Black Press community paper about vaccinations is timely given the upending of normal life because of COVID-19. But that letter writer is speaking to the already converted who trust in science and the proven track record of vaccines over quackery in all its forms.

I have always opposed the anti-vaxxers who get their misinformation from equally deluded people and their postings on the internet. I have always opposed evangelical and fundamentalist churches who put their faith in Psalm 91 which claims that god will provide protection against “plague” and “pestilence.”

There is not yet a vaccine for this virus which threatens to become the Spanish Flu of the modern era. But when such a vaccine becomes available there should be no exceptions to mandatory vaccinations except in those rare cases where a person would be put at further risk. At least one potential vaccine has been fast-tracked into human testing already, perhaps more.

It is ludicrous to be so tolerant of those whose opinions run counter to common sense and the proven science behind vaccinations. They are safe, effective, and have saved countless millions of lives and prevented needless suffering.

I would demand as a society that we put science ahead of conspiracy theories and right-wing dogma and require mandatory vaccinations to start now even before a vaccine for COVID-19 is found. There are many other diseases that could be eliminated once and for all if we stop being so tolerant towards those individuals and groups who oppose vaccinations for personal opinions or religious reasons.

While most churches have heeded the call to close their doors, and by doing that, they have indirectly admitted that their god cannot beat a microscopic virus and is powerless, there are some evangelical and fundamentalist churches still holding services. They are putting everyone — you, me, and the most vulnerable groups at risk — and that should not be allowed, as we cannot be so tolerant that this virus will spread even faster by anyone ignoring social distancing.

So, yes, this is the best time to be talking about mandatory vaccinations. We can start with not allowing any child back into school, once they reopen whether in a week or months from now, that is not vaccinated. I don’t care if that child goes to public school, private religious schools, or ethnic schools, all must be vaccinated. Home schooling doesn’t get a free pass from me, either.

COVID-19 is a wake-up call, we cannot slide back into complacency about vaccinations even once the pandemic has run its course.

Robert T. Rock

Mission City


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