The following are reasons a family member, friends and neighbors have given for not being vaccinated. This message is for the unvaccinated.

1. Too new — not safe. The COVID vaccine has gone through rigorous testing! The FDA has fully approved it, just like other vaccines available to us. It has been administered to over 9 billion people in the world; almost 1/2 the world’s population is fully immunized. It has demonstrated its high efficacy preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death — saving lives! The vaccine is a modern day miracle! Thank you to all the scientists and staff who labored intensively to discover this vaccine and continue to discover other live-saving medicines!

2. Side effects — The side effects from the COVID vaccine that have been reported are mild and go away in 1-2 days. “Myocarditis and pericarditis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination, particularly in males ages 12 through 17 are rare.” There is no correlation or proof that the COVID vaccine causes swollen testicles or magnetization of the body.

3. The government is trying to control us. There have not been any small devices injected through the vaccine or serum to mind alter or control the recipient by the government. “FACT: The first two COVID-19 vaccines to be authorized by the FDA contain mRNA and other, normal vaccine ingredients, such as fats (which protect the mRNA), salts, as well as a small amount of sugar. These COVID-19 vaccines were not developed using fetal tissue, and they do not contain any material, such as implants, microchips or tracking devices.” Other myths are dispelled in the following article.

4. My body my choice; we are allowed to make our own decisions in this country. This freedom is truly a gift to our nation and each of us. However, your decision not to be vaccinated affects negatively all the rest of us who have been vaccinated and long for this pandemic to end. You have the key to ending this pandemic! This pandemic has become the pandemic of the unvaccinated. 90-plus percent of people who are in the hospital and dying are not vaccinated. You continue to allow this virus to spread and mutate. By NOT being vaccinated you put yourself in grave danger of severe sickness, hospitalization and death. You overwhelm our hospitals and exhaust the medical staff. You take a bed of someone else who needs to be in the hospital because you don’t have to be there. It is your choice.

5. I haven’t gotten around to it, too busy and didn’t think the virus was that bad. None of these excuses are reasons nor are they valid. “Where there is love, there is always time.” And the virus is bad: 1,000,000 Minnesotans have contracted the disease. Over 800,000 deaths have happened in our country. 9/11 terror attack lost 3,000+ souls. This is 267 times worse! We lost a wonderful young father and neighbor to COVID. Losing just one person is too much.

Think of yourself and all of us: This choice of not being vaccinated affects all of us. We are one global family. We are one people who want this pandemic to end. Get vaccinated and help put an end to this deadly virus.

Have you heard the countless stories of those unvaccinated who are dying? How they beg the hospital staff to give them the vaccine but it’s too late? How many messages have been sent by those prior to death begging their family members and all of us to get the vaccine? Think of the families left behind who are devastated, left grieving, children who have lost one parent or both — families that will never be the same. And all these deaths didn’t have to happen.

Choice. Your decision.

God help us all in this very dark time of the pandemic. — Lea Iverson, Elk River

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