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Letters to the Editor: Forget persuading vaccine skeptics. Just get the COVID-19 shot into people’s arms

A nurse administers the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in London on Dec. 8.
A nurse administers the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in London on Dec. 8.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: Many are skeptical about getting vaccinated against COVID-19. As the Pfizer-BioNTech shot is prepared for distribution, there is much thought about how to convince these people that the vaccine is safe.

Don’t waste your time. You’ll change few, if any, minds. Simply proceed to vaccinate those requesting it. As the experience and data accumulate, I would presume that the safety of the vaccine will be clearly demonstrated.

Skepticism will eventually fade and more people will want to be vaccinated. There will be some, hopefully very few, who will refuse to take the vaccine under any circumstances. Thinking of ways to deal with these people is above my pay grade.

Sid Pelston, Marina del Rey

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To the editor: Even as an expert in medical communication, I don’t know the answer on what messages work in getting people to take precautions against COVID-19.

When President Trump claims election fraud, politicians on the other side of the aisle ask to see proof. Yet our California politicians do not apply the same standard to their COVID-19 restrictions.

In addition to their refusal to show scientific evidence to justify their policies, their personal conduct and seemingly endless TV updates weaken their message. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti proclaimed, “Cancel everything.” Seriously? Everything? That’s not a credible message.

Show us the proof that eating outside at a restaurant, going to a salon with masking and social distancing or having more than 20% occupancy in a store is more of a threat than being forced to stand in long lines or gather at home indoors.

This horrible messaging is likely to make it more difficult to convince already skeptical people to take the vaccine, which ironically will be shown to be safe and effective. Many people just won’t believe it.

Arthur L. Wisot, M.D., Rolling Hills Estates

The writer is a former medical reporter for KCAL-TV (Channel 9) News.

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To the editor: First, why aren’t the vaccines the people’s vaccines, since we helped pay for them? All patents should be suspended in the name of international public health.

Second, besides our incredibly brave and courageous healthcare providers who are treating those suffering from COVID-19, we must also immediately provide vaccines to workers on farms and in warehouses, grocery stores, factories and meatpacking plants.

These people help meet our needs every day that they show up for work. They are all our heroes.

Patricia Barry, Los Angeles


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