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Vaccine fears

A report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released Monday indicates that only a third of nursing home workers have been getting COVID-19 vaccinations when they are first offered. In a look at 11,000 nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities, 78 percent of the elderly residents received at least one shot, but only 37.5 percent of staff members did.

It is difficult to understand how skilled health care workers, who deal with the impact of COVID-19 on their patients every day, can be so skeptical about vaccines that are supposed to protect them and their patients.

We know that there are doubts in some minds about a vaccine that has been rushed into use. Some feel it won’t work the way is is supposed to. Others fear that long-term side effects may pop up in later years.

It is incumbent on the CDC and other authoritative health care leaders to provide good information that will allay these doubts. Health care workers on the front lines stand as examples for the rest of us. If they aren’t accepting the vaccine, what is someone who doesn’t have their medical knowledge and experience supposed to think?

So far millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, and so far harmful reactions have been few and far between, in about 0.2% of the vaccinations. Vaccines are the best defense we have against COVID-19. Health care professionals need to let us know that they are safe and effective.

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