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EDITORIAL: Make the needed effort

A little over four months after COVID-19 vaccinations began, we have finally reached the point where they are widely available to the general public.

With that news, you would think that we would see herd immunity against the virus becoming close to reality and the population eager to receive a shot.

But, as recent reports have shown, the reality is the opposite – with vaccine hesitancy becoming more of a problem.

In many places throughout the country, there have been cases where officials have to turn down vaccine shipments or send them back, as the demand is not there.

In Lawrence County, our health department has said vaccinations are beginning to slow and a recent event for high school students, which was timed to get them prepared for proms and graduations, turnout was well below what was hoped for.

Those in the medical field attribute the slowdown, in part, to the fear regarding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The cases of blood clots from the shot were extremely rare — at six cases out of 6.8 million, you have a greater chance of being killed by lightning, attacked by sharks or winning the lottery.

But officials took every precaution and ordered a pause in the use of that vaccine, showing that safety is being fully considered.

There have been no complications in Pfizer and Moderna, the two that are still in use.

We encourage everyone to please get the vaccine.

The only way variants of the virus can be prevented is if it is no longer able to circulate, and that requires a vaccinated population.

And, if variants begin to spread, we could be looking at a return to a more severe situation and the pandemic extending even further.

Bringing this to an end requires everyone to do their part and we urge all to think of the greater good from their effort.