On Memorial Day join the war against COVID — honor the fallen

Get vaccinated for Memorial Day. Do it for our military heroes and healthcare workers who have died from COVID-19 while protecting us.

war against COVID

Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, Normandy American Cemetery.

Today is Memorial Day. It’s the day America sets aside to honor those who died in the military service of the nation, who sacrificed their lives for the nation’s survival and well-being. We can all join the current war against COVID.

Since early last year, the world has been at war against a virus. Since the COVID-19 pandemic war began, more than 34 million Americans have been infected. More than 609,400 Americans have succumbed to the virus. Despite enormous precautions, more than 3,600 American healthcare workers perished on the front lines fighting the virus.

In my lifetime, I’ve lived through many wars, both military and health. As a youngster, I almost died in one of the major mumps outbreaks. Elementary school friends died in measles outbreaks. If you don’t think we’ve been in an all-out war in the last year against COVID-19, you haven’t been paying attention.

As the war against COVID rages on throughout the world, we must do more than saluting our fallen heroes. Join in the war against COVID yourselves.

Irritated by hotel resort fees?This morning, as I do each Memorial Day, I’ll visit Washington Square, behind Independence Hall. The Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier is there. While paying tribute to the lives of our military heroes there, I’ll also honor the healthcare personnel who died of COVID-19 while working tirelessly to save their patients from it. To really honor these selfless heroes, we can’t merely salute them. We have to join in the effort to win the war.

The war against the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over. Here in the US the tide has turned. But there’s much more to do. We can help win the war by becoming vaccinated to build American herd immunity.

Reaching herd immunity is the only way to rid the nation of the COVID-19 virus.

Achieving herd immunity is the only way to stamp out COVID-19. We need to do our part for those who can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons and for the immunosuppressed, immunocompromised, and for whom the vaccine cannot provide sufficient protection.

Don’t be fooled by COVID conspiracy theories and false COVID vaccination myths we see on the Internet daily.

Unfortunately, too many Americans fall prey to COVID-19 vaccine myths. If you’re resisting vaccination, permit me to help you join the war by debunking those myths.

Myth 1: If you’ve had COVID, you don’t need to be vaccinated.
Unfortunately, few cases of reinfection affect those who recovered from COVID-19. Early evidence suggested that natural COVID immunity doesn’t last very long. Now, evidence shows that the COVID vaccines give better and provide longer-lasting protection than natural immunity. Considering COVID risks of long-term health problems and death, the need for vaccination is clear.

Myth 2: COVID-19 vaccines can adversely affect women’s fertility.
There is a report on the Internet that the COVID vaccine use of the virus’ spike protein will also fight a spike protein involved in the growth and attachment of the placenta during pregnancy. Physicians state that the report is false. In fact, during the Pfizer vaccine tests, 23 women became pregnant. The one woman who lost her pregnancy received the placebo, not the vaccine.

Myth 3: The vaccines use a live version of the COVID-19 virus.
This is patently false for each of the COVID vaccines.

Myth 4: mRNA vaccines can alter your DNA.
Scientists and the CDC explain that messenger RNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) never enter the nucleus of cells and therefore don’t “affect or interact with our DNA in any way.”

The data from 135,087,319 fully vaccinated Americans is clear. The vaccines are safe and effective.

Myth 5: The development of the COVID vaccines was rushed, so their effectiveness and safety aren’t trustworthy.

While the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the first messenger vaccines in wide distribution, their technology has been in development for years. Much of the development speed of the COVID vaccines can be attributed to huge advances in genomic sequencing in recent years. Virologists fully sequenced COVID by January, 2020. By contrast, HIV took years to fully sequence.

Before the COVID vaccines were permitted to be used under an FDA Emergency Use Authorization, the FDA required and reviewed carefully prescribed testing and evaluation procedures used by the vaccine companies.

Since the completion of the trials, more than 293 million Americans received vaccine doses. Fewer than 1,000 have had serious adverse reactions, such as anaphylaxis or thrombocytopenia, from the vaccines. Anaphylaxis occurred in less than 5 vaccinated people per million. Thrombocytopenia occurs in about 3 people vaccinated with the J&J vaccine per million. These are very safe vaccines.

Tests and real-world data show the vaccines work. In the US, by the end of April 2021, more than 101 million people were fully vaccinated. Among them, 10,262 COVID infections came after vaccination. Ten percent of the cases required hospitalization and two percent died. The median age of those who died was 82. That’s one death from COVID per two million fully vaccinated people. That’s spectacular efficacy.

Don’t just thank those on the COVID front lines. Join the COVID-19 war yourself. Join me in getting vaccinated to save your fellow Americans from the deadly COVID virus.

Let’s honor the sacrifices of our fellow Americans in and out of uniform, including those on the healthcare front lines who have guarded our nation against harm. Never forget their sacrifice. Let’s honor them by participating in the war against COVID-19 ourselves by contributing to the nation’s effort to achieve COVID herd immunity. Do it for your families, friends, and all unable to get protected by vaccination themselves. Join me in getting vaccinated while gaining the bonus of protecting yourself from the deadly virus.

(Image: Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, Normandy American Cemetery, Copyright © 2021 NSL Photography. All Rights Reserved.)

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