Letter: Vaccine skeptic overlooks COVID’s clear toll

From: Lee Shipman


Jim Grove of Commiskey asked for an answer in his Letter to the Editor (“Why punish those who refuse COVID vaccine?”, Oct. 20) so I feel obliged to provide some things to think about.

The letter states: “They don’t know what longterm effects the COVID vaccine may have.” What we do know are the long term effects of getting COVID: 750,000 deaths, overwhelming to unvaccinated people, coupled with the fact that even a higher number than that for those who have the effects of long term COVID, again overwhelming to the unvaccinated. I am not aware of any side effects related to the vaccine that are on that scale. Nothing even close.

Everyone is going to eventually get the benefits of COVID antibodies, be it by getting the COVID vaccine, or by catching the COVID virus. I also want to acknowledge right up front that no one knows how their body is going to react to either the COVID virus or a COVID vaccine, however, I can confidently claim that the side effects of getting COVID far outweigh the side effects of getting the vaccine. There is no controversy to that fact.

There is one more thing to consider. Getting the vaccine not only is a less risky decision for the unvaccinated individual than getting the virus, it is also much better at suppressing the spread of the virus to the proportion of the population who cannot get vaccinated, be it young children, people who have medical situations which prevent them from getting the vaccine, or most recently, those who are so immunocompromised, that a vaccine for them does not provide the protection that is necessary to fight off the virus, as was the recent case with Gen. Colin Powell.

Look, this should have been an easy decision. The fact that close to 70 million adults refuse to get the vaccine is the reason that we, as a country, are still suffering the daily deaths and effects of the virus.

Some people have said to me that there is false information on both sides of the issue. I am not aware of any false information that is being used to trick people into getting the vaccine. I am only aware of false information that is being spread to trick people into refusing the vaccine, and that refusal is costing American lives, each and every day, far too often to themselves. If one cares about their fellow citizens’ health and welfare, it should be a no-brainer to get the vaccine. If that 70 million refusals were sitting at, say, 5 million, I do not think there would be any need to have a vaccine mandate and thus, for either of our letters.

I hope that helped.