Letters to the Editor: Encouraging vaccination hasn't been enough. Require it, says a medical professor

·2 min read
Los Angeles, CA - July 16: Tracy Mitchell, president of Mothers In Action hosts a mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinic, in collaboration L.A. County Department of Public Health at Mothers in Action on Friday, July 16, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Tracy Mitchell, president of Mothers in Action, hosts a mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Los Angeles on July 16. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: In spite of respected government agencies, public health experts, reputable news sources and healthcare providers sounding the alarm for months, too many recalcitrant Americans cannot be disabused of their excuses for refusing to be vaccinated. ("L.A. County sees big surge in coronavirus: 2,551 new cases in one day," July 21)

The virus is oblivious to the higher vaccination rates in some states. COVID-19 will continue to be more successful in replicating and giving rise to more virulent or vaccine-resistant variants and spreading as long as enough Americans refuse vaccination.

COVID-19 remains a public health crisis. Encouraging Americans to be vaccinated is falling short of stopping this existential threat. There is no greater responsibility of our elected officials than to ensure our safety.

It's time to mandate vaccination.

Steven Sorscher, M.D., Winston-Salem, N.C.

The writer is a professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

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To the editor: My primary care physician has not gotten his COVID-19 shots. He doesn't trust the vaccines. It's unconscionable that too many of the people entrusted with our healthcare are not vaccinated. It should be a requirement of employment.

I think full approval of the vaccines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, instead of the current emergency use authorization, would go a long way toward reassuring people that the vaccines are safe.

In the meantime, we could take steps similar to those in France. There, starting soon, you will not be able to go into restaurants, stores or many other public areas without proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test. Basically, you will need to be vaccinated to do the things you want to do.

Seems that would work here.

Meryl Lande, Hermosa Beach

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To the editor: A more contagious COVID-19 variant like Delta requires a higher percentage of the population to be immunized in order to reach herd immunity. Had we reached and exceeded the goal of a 70% vaccination rate by July 4, we may have hit that threshold.

Now a more contagious variant has established itself in our population, and we will need a higher vaccination rate to reach herd immunity.

We have not just stalled in our attempt to reach that goal and return to a more normal life; we are moving backward.

Paul Stull, Carpinteria

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To the editor: Earlier in the pandemic, we were the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. More recently, President Biden said we're now the "vaccinated and infected."

If people continue to refuse vaccination in the face of the Delta variant, before long we'll simply be the vaccinated and the dead.

Gisele Fontaine, Inglewood

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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