To the editor:

Thanks to Patricia Torkildson for pointing out, in her letter of July 19, the risk we face from those individuals who choose to remain unvaccinated.

Currently, statistics from the U.S. COVID Risk and Vaccine Tracker show clearly that states with the lowest rates of vaccinations have the highest rates of infections.

Missouri, with a 38% rate of at least one dose, has a “very high” risk of infection and 31.9 cases per 100,000 residents. Louisiana, with only 40% of residents with at least one dose of the vaccine has a “high risk” level of infection, and a 25.8 cases per 100,000 residents.

On the other hand, in states with a high rate of vaccination, the risk is much less, around 10% of the rate in lower vaccination states.

In Massachusetts, for example, where 72% of citizens have at least one dose, the risk is “low,” with only 2.7 cases per 100,000 residents. Likewise, Connecticut, with 68% of residents with at least one dose, has a “very low” risk, with 2.8 cases per 100,000 residents.

Clearly, as stated by Ms. Torkildson, the inroads we have made against the spread of the virus are largely traceable to the effectiveness of the vaccine, as well as the willingness of so many citizens to be vaccinated.

Arguments about vaccination being a legitimate individual choice definitely pale compared to the loss of life resulting from a refusal to accept responsibility for the community as a whole.

Carolyn Johnson


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