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Vaccination is the best, safest way to achieve immunity

| August 12, 2021 1:00 AM

Panhandle Health just issued a call to action. Since Jan 1, 98.9% of Idaho COVID cases, 98.6 % of COVID hospitalizations, and 98.7% of COVID deaths were not fully vaccinated. Vaccinating our communities is urgently needed to prevent more surges in infection and hospitalizations which can overwhelm our healthcare capacity and cause needless suffering and deaths.

The approved vaccines matured after 20 years of work by some of the most brilliant minds in science. They are a once in a generation scientific advance, like the invention of penicillin. Significant COVID-19 vaccine side effects remain consistently and extraordinarily low despite intense scrutiny of the 347 million doses given in the US.

The Delta variant is 2-3 times more contagious and striking the young. Americans under 50 make up 41% of COVID hospitalizations. Because of that, experts now predict the US will be divided between those vaccinated and those infected. And to be totally clear, achieving immunity by naturally getting infected is a terrible idea which could land you in the hospital or worse. Plus Stanford research shows 70% of moderate COVID survivors have long term symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, sleep disorders and brain fog. Vaccination is an exponentially safer way to achieve immunity.

For your friends, family, and community, the need to urgently vaccinate all persons aged 12 and older is now. Don’t wait, vaccinate. Remember, friends don’t let friends spread COVID.

SCOTT DUNN, M.D.

Sandpoint