EDITORIAL: COVID: More reasons to get vaccinated

·2 min read

May 30—The reasons for getting the COVID vaccine have been the same from the start: avoiding a horrific death from the coronavirus and making sure you don't pass it to your loved ones who could also suffer a horrific death.

But now there are more fun reasons to get vaccinated.

Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday the state would give away free passes to state parks, sporting events such as the MoonDogs, fairs or free fishing licenses for the first 100,000 people who get their first vaccine shot from May 27 to June 30. Maine has offered similar incentives and Ohio has offered five people a chance to win a $1 million lottery and five young people to earn a full-ride college scholarship for getting vaccines.

Minnesota has been doing well, with nearly 64 percent of the population 16 and older having at least one shot. A new program for children 12 and up has vaccinated an incredible 62,000 in two weeks.

Overall, it appears some 40,000 shots are being given a week. Many areas now have walk-up clinics with no waiting.

Continued spreading of vaccine myths on social media and scare tactics should be discounted. One such myth is that if you had COVID, you don't need a vaccine. Having had COVID does provide a certain level of immunity, but a vaccine can greatly boost immunity.

A large scale study completed last month by University of California, Irvine, researchers last month showed that mRNA vaccines like Moderna and Pfizer provided 10 times the antibodies than immunity gained from simply having COVID.

The study also showed that the vaccines will also be able to attack new variants of the coronavirus, something that cannot be achieved with natural immunity from having COVID.

Nothing in the world is without risk, but study after study, clinical trials, emergency approval by the FDA and previous years of research on other coronavirus variants have shown vaccines work and that getting a vaccine is far less risky than getting COVID. In fact, it's still unclear how many long-term effects having COVID can create, but many are already showing up.

And finally, as so many have seen, getting vaccinated allows you to return to normal routines like socializing without masks, patronizing favorite businesses and enjoying again the company of friends and family, as many will on this Memorial Day weekend.

Get the vaccine and get your reward. Celebrate the vaccine on Memorial Day. It has saved lives we don't have to memorialize.

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