There are two ways to achieve herd immunity to control the COVID-19 virus: get the disease or get the vaccine. The former is a long shot with questionable outcomes. The latter is a much more positive approach.

Yet most people in Wyoming, especially in Laramie County, are taking a chance of getting the disease, jeopardizing friends, family and communities in the process.

Vaccine hesitancy is based on rumor and misinformation:

1) the vaccine contains microchips that allow the government to track my movement (the vaccine doesn’t, but your smartphone does);

2) over 5,000 people have died from COVID vaccine (only three deaths appear to be linked to blood clots that occurred after people got the J&J vaccine, the other deaths show no causal vaccine link);

3) thousands of kids got heart disease after vaccination (myocarditis among vaccinated teens is 67 per 1 million doses, all have recovered);

4) I don’t trust the government, “they” do nothing right (I bet you didn’t send your stimulus check back to “them”);

5) COVID is no worse than the flu (worldwide 290,000 to 650,000 people die of flu-related causes every year. So far, approximately 4 million worldwide COVID-19 deaths have been reported, 605,500 in the U.S. alone);

6) COVID is just a hoax (tell that to the families of those who died).

The list of excuses from those who refuse to be vaccinated goes on. But the bottom line is that unless more people step up and get vaccinated, we will be in COVID-19 mode for a long time. In less than a month, Cheyenne will experience Frontier Days, with thousands of visitors coming to town. Given the dismal vaccination rates, it’s likely we’ll see a large spike in COVID cases. This will put a strain on health care facilities and costs, and may lead to restrictions, as before.

If you care about your community and keeping family and friends safe, if you want students to have an uninterrupted school year, if you want businesses to remain open, get vaccinated! It’s the safest and most cost-effective way to achieve immunity and beat this virus!

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