In response to Mark Swenson’s request for a letter (“How say you?” The Columbian, Oct. 24) on the subject of health care and frontline workers being mandated to be vaccinated, I would like to put forward my thoughts. He believes these mandates are not made in the name of science but, rather, to forward a political narrative.
A look at the history of vaccinations supports the proposition that he is wrong. If smallpox vaccinations were not mandated, this devastating illness would not have been eliminated from the world. Polio is likewise almost eliminated due to vaccinations, as in a worldwide reduction of cases of more than 99.9 percent since 1988 when the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was launched.
While COVID-19 may not be as deadly as these illnesses, the reality is that in less than two years, over 700,000 American citizens have perished from this virus. Health care and frontline workers are regularly in contact with people, many of whom have compromised immune systems. There comes a point in time that, from a scientific perspective and for the common good, just as in times past, it makes sense to insist people get the vaccine.
I am grateful to live in a state where those in charge are mostly meeting their obligations to lead.