Trust the science — get vaccinated

There is only one way to end the COVID-19 pandemic: herd immunity. On April 19, Oregon took a major step forward toward that goal when COVID-19 vaccination was opened to the general population. I want to strongly encourage everyone to get their vaccine as soon as possible.

Generating an immune response through vaccination is the single-most important step you can take to get back to life as normal. Getting to herd immunity means that we will be able to ditch masks, ditch cumbersome quarantine requirements, and ditch social distancing.

While growing up, my family would have a “Good Riddance” party at New Year’s, where we would throw into the fireplace crumpled up pieces of paper upon which we wrote things that we were excited to leave behind in the previous year. This shot, particularly this early in the year, gives us an excellent chance to say “Good Riddance” to COVID-19 as we consider 2022.

Many people have chosen not to get vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccination research seeks to understand why people choose not to vaccinate. Current research suggests that many people prefer to hear the recommendation from their doctor, instead of from figureheads in government. Please take this letter from myself, a doctor you know and trust, recommending that you get vaccinated. And of course, if there are further questions, your primary care provider can explain the reasons why we have full confidence in this vaccine.

Although we are looking forward to the things we can ditch, I am most looking forward to the things we can embrace. Imagine spending time with family and friends with the unencumbered ease of a post-COVID-19 Friday night. Union County is a new a home for me. So far, I have only been able to embrace it at a socially distanced 6 feet, with my mask on. I eagerly await the day when the things that keep us semi-strangers are a memory.

Trust the science. Take the shot.

Dr. Zach Spoehr-Labutta

Grande Ronde Hospital Women’s and Children’s Clinic

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