You have no doubt noticed that COVID-19 has surged in Texas and much of the South with a vengeance over the last month or two.
All of the state reporting indicates that well over 90 percent of Texans admitted to hospitals for coronavirus treatment are unvaccinated. That number would seem to indicate that vaccination is pretty good idea.
Yes, we know many of you are skeptical – or outright hostile – to getting your shots; however, it’s irresponsible to dismiss the mountain of testing and reporting around the globe that show pretty conclusively that the coronavirus vaccines are working.
We ask that you please go to the drug store or doctor’s office and get vaccinated … please?
The Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been available to adults since February, and children ages 12-16 have been eligible for shots since late spring. Some people who have been vaccinated have subsequently tested positive for COVID-19, but the overwhelming majority of them reported little or no symptoms – indeed, most didn’t know they had it until a doctor or nurse told them.
The COVID-19 vaccines are working like annual flu shots. The reason people are advised to get those shots each year is because the common flu strains evolve from year-to-year. The vaccines train the human body to fight off – or at least minimize – these ever changing viruses. That’s why we don’t have big, fatal flu outbreaks across the country anymore. People still die from the flu each year, but the numbers are a fraction of what they were a century ago.
The men who were lied to by the federal government about the Tuskegee syphilis study should be wary of vaccinations, and so should their families. The government’s conduct was despicable. The women who were prescribed Thalidomide in the 1950s and 60s should be wary, too. And we sort of understand the reluctance to subject one’s self to vaccines that were created and circulated all within a year’s time.
Our problem is that we don’t see how people can ignore the overwhelming good vaccines have contributed to public health. Here are a few facts that even hardened skeptics can’t credibly deny:
– Mumps, chickenpox, measles and the like are rarely fatal for people who have been vaccinated;
– Don’t talk to us about thimerosal and autism – that preservative has been rarely used in vaccine production over the last 20 years;
– Polio victims used to be common sights for Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. Millenials don’t know polio sufferers today because so few of them exist. That’s because Dr. Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine works;
– COVID-19 is starting to hit children much more so than it did before. Yes, many are younger and presumably healthier than fat, middle-aged smokers; however, a lot of teens and pre-teens are getting seriously ill and requiring hospitalization in significant numbers across the U.S. – just days and weeks before we send them back to their classrooms for the next 10 months.
What we’re saying is this: vaccines work overwhelming well. Please go get your shots. They’re free and they can help to protect you and your family from hospitalization and – God forbid – death.
Local COVID-19 vaccination sites
The type of vaccines available – Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – vary from place-to-place. Call ahead to determine hours of availability and which vaccine is stocked at each destination:
* Tom Thumb Pharmacy, 206 N. Grand Ave., Gainesville – (940) 665-7622;
* CVS, 1520 N. Grand Ave., Gainesville – (940) 665-0314;
* Walmart, 1800 Lawrence St., Gainesville – (940) 668-6898;
* North Texas Medical Center, 1900 Hospital Blvd., Gainesville – (940) 665-1751;
* Cooke County Medical Center, 801 N. Grand Ave., Gainesville – (940) 612-8750;
* Pezel’s Hometown Pharmacy, 1340 US 377, #100, Pilot Point – (940) 686-0123;
* Aubrey Pharmacy, 701 US 377, Aubrey – (940) 440-0400;
* Marietta Pharmacy, 300 US 77, Marietta, OK – (580) 276-5555;
* Love CHD, 200 CE Colston Dr., Marietta, OK – (580) 276-2531;
* Hometown Pharmacy, 310 Charlie Dr., Whitesboro (out of stock as of Aug. 3) – (903) 564-1234;
* S & J Pharmacy, 801 W. Chapman Dr., #100, Sanger (out of stock as of Aug. 3) – (940) 458-4448.
For more information about COVID-19, visit https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/.