Letters to the Editor

Letter: Vaccines are a blessing

I am the adult daughter of a conservative Republican career military man/Vietnam veteran and his conservative Republican military wife. My parents, my siblings and I were often given many vaccinations as we moved every 1-3 years to new assignments of my father’s, including Hawaii, and also when we went overseas to Asia on a military ship.

Back at that time, I wasn’t aware of any Republicans or career military people thinking it was a violation of one’s civil rights to get vaccinated. My parents and the military medical staff administering the shots believed they were protecting people’s families and communities from seriously harmful contagious diseases. I guess there is always a small risk of a side effect from a vaccine, but that didn’t stop my parents. They had tremendous faith in these vaccines being able to effectively protect us so we could move safely from one community to another.

I am not aware of any of the many shots/vaccinations I got causing any side effect in me, my parents or siblings.

During my elementary school years in the 1950s, if I remember correctly, polio was eradicated from the population. Before this vaccine was administered to American children in a widespread vaccine campaign, I saw people with polio forced to live in and depend on “iron lungs” in order to breathe, while others became crippled from the polio. I remember them having to walk with braces on their legs and arms. I remember being given polio vaccine as a liquid a number of times at school, in tiny paper cups, if I remember correctly, along with many other schoolchildren. Then the spread of polio stopped, during my lifetime. I and many others were very grateful and relieved.

I have been very grateful for the immunity the vaccines created in me, allowing me and my family the freedom to move safely from one community to another, so that my dad could help protect the U.S. I always felt protected from harm by these shots. I am very happy I did not get polio, as many others around me had.I have gotten the two Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shots. I am grateful for the additional protection. I intend to get the booster as soon as possible.

— Teresa McLain

Anchorage

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