To the editor:

Lowell Anderson’s Aug. 13 column was dangerous and misleading. The real threat is COVID, not the vaccine. His column helps rationalize the irrational fears of anti-vaccine anti-science anti-reality extremists.

Are you willing to bet none of your loved ones will get sick, be hospitalized, or die due to COVID, because people choose not to get vaccinated? I certainly wouldn’t bet their life on it.

He compares getting the vaccine with a Nazi concentration camp experiment. Hundreds of millions of people have voluntarily taken the vaccine with minimal problems. This is well past the experimental stage. It’s safe and effective.

For decades every child has been required to have multiple vaccinations to attend school. Nearly all adults have received vaccinations for everything from the flu to polio to shingles. Why is this vaccine so different? Viruses are not political.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

People talk about the freedom to choose. What about the freedom of the rest of us to not get sick, especially those under 12 who are not yet eligible for the vaccine? What about the freedom to attend school, gather in groups, carry on business in a normal fashion? Your freedom to choose to behave irresponsibly is stealing our freedom to live normally and in some cases to live at all.

If you or anyone in your family has ever been vaccinated or uses any medications, your entire argument about safety is disingenuous and you are treating the COVID vaccination different from all other medicines. A few people are allergic to penicillin but it’s still used. A few vials of insulin being contaminated doesn’t stop its use. Has the polio vaccine had an overall positive impact despite a small number of manufacturing failures?

Weigh the odds, a handful of people have died from vaccinations while 700,000 have died of this disease. Are you going to bet against the disease being the real threat; I wouldn’t bet my life on it.

Dr. Bryan Van Gorp

Alexandria, MN