Sternhagen: Get vaccinated


April 12, 1955, the day the Salk Vaccine test results were revealed and it was certified safe and effective.

As a Polio survivor who would give anything to go back and get the Salk Vaccine, it makes me sad to see the number of people that are refusing to get the COVID vaccine.

They point to the fact that it came out so quickly, well the Salk Vaccine actually took far less time that you might think to be created, tested and approved. A great deal of that time was because of the computer technology of the day making them take months to process information that now takes seconds. I predicted a year ago we would have a safe reliable vaccine tested and ready in under a year.

I see the COVID vaccines as a natural next step on the ground work laid by Jonas Salk. When he created his killed virus vaccine, he proved that a killed virus vaccine could be safe and in fact more effective than even a natural infection like I had. That led to steps and improvements in knowledge and technology that lead to the ability to produce a safe and effective COVID vaccine in what to some seem like a short period of time.

Some say they do not fear COVID. “If I get it, I get it.” OK selfish person, but what if you give it someone else and they end up dead? Are you OK with causing someone’s death? I am not. You say I live in fear because I mask and am getting vaccinated, yet you are afraid of the vaccine.

Some say we just need to let natural herd immunity take care of it. Natural herd immunity had 2,500 years to “take care of” polio, and polio just kept getting worse. Our only path to return to some sort of normal is herd immunity through vaccination. The real medical professionals I know stepped up and were happy to take the COVID vaccine. They know it is safe and effective.

Last and certainly not least, it is not possible to produce a microchip of any actual use that would fit in the vaccination needle.Vaccines work, vaccines are safe and effective. 

There is absolutely no doubt that had I been vaccinated with the Salk vaccine I would not have gotten polio.