Please be vaccinated as soon as you can

By John R. Dykers, Jr. M.D.

Siler City, NC – Fortunately Chatham County has a near 95% vaccination rate in our public schools. Please have your COVID19 vaccination as soon as you can. It is as important to resuming business as vaccination is to going safely to school.

photo by Mufid Majnun

Anyone not afraid of SARS-CoV-2 is simply ignorant; ignorance is inevitable; we are all born with it; ignorance is no crime. Ignorance is curable by simple education. We were all totally ignorant of this virus 18 months ago. You might remember that in the 1980s we were all ignorant of HIV/AIDS, but even that is unlikely if you are less than 40 years old.Ignorance embedded in a belief system and spread to infect others who might otherwise be cured of ignorance by education should not be granted Constitutional protection as freedom of religion or speech, but needs to be cracked on the rock of reality. History is that rock for anti vaxx, but we don’t have long history for COVID19. Nancy and I have stayed home as much as possible. Neither of us has been sick. I had 2 Moderna and she had 2 Pfizer. Neither had any reaction to first and both were a little droopy for 2 days with the second.

Many anti vaxx believers have simply never seen smallpox. Smallpox vaccination eradicated smallpox in the US by 1952 and world wide by 1977. The last case was in Somalia. I am old enough that 1. I routinely vaccinated infants for smallpox and remember the joy and trepidation of no longer having to do so after 1977. 2. During med school I saw an infant who developed generalized vaccinia, spread of the vaccination over the entire body. 3. I still have my vaccine scar. 4. When traveling to both Europe and Asia between 1952 and 1977 I had to have my smallpox vaccination card to come HOME! I could leave with just a passport, but would not be allowed back in the US without proof of smallpox vaccination.

Polio was the first big breakthrough for viruses. I avoided polio, but a childhood friend recently called to share celebration of his new lightweight leg brace to replace the heavy one he had worn for 70 years. His brother died after weeks in an iron lung; polio had paralyzed his breathing muscle. I remember the closed swimming pools, quarantines, and fear when we did not know the cause or how polio spread. When I moved here, my neighbor had a bad limp left over from his childhood polio.

Many anti vaxx people have never seen polio, measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, chickenpox, much less seen their children with these illnesses. These are often passed off by the ignorant as “expected and simple ‘childhood’ diseases”. SORRY. I remember measles, mumps, whooping cough, and chickenpox and the awful misery of each. If my parents had denied me vaccination because of THEIR BELIEF SYSTEM, as an adult I would have never forgiven them.

Rubella, “German measles”, was mild and only dangerous if contracted by someone in early pregnancy, in which case it caused severe birth defects.

We have “labeled” unknowns before. “German measles”, “Spanish flu” in 1918! SARS-CoV-2 has been also called “the China virus”as it was first detected in Wuhan, China, by a physician who was initially arrested for noticing and reporting the severe and deadly form of lung failure. He later died of COVID19

We are all ignorant if we push out to the edge of human knowledge, even Siri and Alexa and Google. We form opinions when we have learned all we think we can and we stop thinking. Anti vaxx is one such ignorance. Tetanus is so deadly that only the most fanatic object to a tetanus shot! Typhoid fever has been so minimized by good sanitation that typhoid is much less contentious. Salmonella has been killing birds on the Chatlist this week. Salmonella typhosa makes humans sick! Same family of germs.

My parents had me vaccinated or I had myself vaccinated as soon at the vaccines were available. Never missed a flu shot.

This is a report of my first person history. Please keep learning the new history of SARS-CoV-2 and the new varients as they are identified. We have had an uptick in new cases this past week as the “British variant” has begun to spread rapidly among the unvaccinated. It’s a stinker.

This is a long plea to please be vaccinated as soon as you can.