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Let people assess risk themselves

Politicians and other public figures have started talking about COVID-19 variants. They are using this talking point to try to shame and pressure others into getting the vaccine.

The current COVID-19 vaccine has proven effective against most, if not all, variants so far. Not only that, but if you are young and healthy, your risk of getting and transmitting COVID-19 in the first place is exceedingly small (according to the statistics).

Thus, the risk that you catch COVID-19, have it mutate in you, and then pass it to another is incredibly unlikely. You take more of a risk driving on the road in your daily life.

We should not hang the possibility of variants like a noose around those who are hesitant to get the vaccine. We should not use variants to shun and exclude unvaccinated people from society, as they pose no reasonable risk to vaccinated individuals.

In addition, let us not forget that one vaccine (the one made by Johnson & Johnson) was temporarily pulled because of health issues it caused. There are risks to getting vaccinated that people seem to want to ignore. People should assess if the risk of vaccination is more or less than the risk of COVID-19.

So why don’t we let people assess the risk for themselves? If you are young and healthy, you probably do not need to get the vaccine if you feel uncomfortable about it. If you are elderly and at risk, then you probably would do well getting vaccinated.

SULUAP RICE

Champaign

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