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Piece of Mind: Get Vaccinated, Texans!

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It's time for Texans to step it up and get themselves vaccinated fully against the killer virus.

This isn’t good news, folks.

Texans like to boast about how our state is No. 1. Well, we are far from No. 1 in the rate of inoculation against that killer virus, the COVID-19 pandemic that’s still killing too many of us.

The Texas Tribune reports that the state has inoculated about 43 percent of its population fully against the virus.

I was struck by the results coming from Amarillo and from Beaumont, two communities where I used to live. Amarillo had been vaccinating at double the state rate. Then the good folks of the Panhandle decided to stop exceeding the state standard. Amarillo’s fully vaccinated rate stands at 30 percent, a good bit below the state inoculation rate.

The Beaumont-Port Arthur metro area fares even worse, with just 28 percent of its residents claiming to be fully vaccinated.

I don’t know about you, but I believe that is disconcerting news to say the least. At worst it is frightening, given the spike in that the “delta variant” now accounts for about 25 percent of the new infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

https://www.texastribune.org/2021/07/06/coronavirus-texas-vaccination-amarillo/

President Biden keeps telling us that it is the “patriotic” thing to do to get vaccinated. The first time I heard him say it, I though the then-new president was overstating the importance. No more, man! I now am on board fully with Joe Biden’s summoning our patriotic spirit in fighting the virus.

I have been using my own High Plains Blogger blog to extol the message. I want to take it to the Piece of Mind blog on KETR.org to say the same thing.

I am able to speak with a clear conscience about vaccination. I am fully vaccinated, as is virtually my entire immediate family. We stand proudly as those who heeded the call to get the vaccine. To be sure, we have paid a hefty price from the pandemic. Two of our immediate family members were hospitalized with symptoms; one of those family members became, in the words of the medical staff tending to her, “seriously ill” from the virus, which means we could have lost her. I thank God Almighty each day that we didn’t.

This is all my way of urging everyone who is eligible to receive the vaccine to get the medication shot into your body. The CDC, the Food and Drug Administration and practically every medical expert on Earth say the vaccines are safe; they are effective; they will protect you and those with whom you come in contact.

As for my former neighbors in far-reaching regions of this vast state who continue to resist the vaccine, they are playing a dangerous game.

John Kanelis, former editorial page editor for the Amarillo Globe-News and the Beaumont Enterprise, also is a former blogger for Panhandle PBS in Amarillo. He is retired but is still writing. Kanelis can be contacted via Twitter @jkanelis, on Facebook or his blog, www.highplainsblogger.com. Kanelis’s blog for KETR, “Piece of Mind,” presents his views and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of KETR, its staff or its members.

Kanelis lives in Princeton with his wife, Kathy.

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