Letters to the Editor: Why is the FDA not doing the one thing that could boost vaccinations?

A boy and a woman wearing masks high-five while seated in folding chairs.
Zuly Gomez, 42, congratulates her 13-year-old son Dean after he received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in Torrance on July 7.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: If we are not successful in convincing a large enough segment of the unvaccinated holdouts to get their shots, we will likely find ourselves masked and socially distanced again based on the communicability and virulence of the emerging new strains of COVID-19, such as the Delta variant. (“The Delta variant of COVID is coming for the unprotected,” editorial July 13)

One effective way to convince more people to become inoculated would be for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to grant the vaccines permanent approval. After hundreds of millions of doses have been administered, there should be enough data to justify more than emergency-use authorization. The FDA’s bureaucratic hesitancy is causing some people’s vaccine hesitancy.

The bottom line is that it’s about survival of the fittest of the herd. Everyone has a role. Vaccinated people are helping to create the herd immunity that can free us all. The unvaccinated continue to spread the disease and are helping to thin the herd.


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


To the editor: With willfully unvaccinated people posing a clear and present danger to our health and lives, it is time for President Biden to take a bold stance by issuing an executive order to mandate anyone who receives federal money (either directly or indirectly) or does business with the federal government be vaccinated against COVID-19 within the next 30 days.

By the time the expected legal challenges reach our high court, this issue will become moot.

There is no constitutional right for anyone to intentionally spread a potentially deadly disease to others, and there is little question that the unvaccinated will become infected sooner or later while serving as test tubes for yet more deadly variants to emerge.

John T. Chiu, Newport Beach


To the editor: One of your articles states that the “vaccinated are able to move back to regular activities without fear of getting sick.”


Right now, most of the vaccinated people who have become infected developed only “mild” cases of COVID-19. But viruses mutate constantly, so the petri dishes we call unvaccinated folks will continue to harbor and produce variants until the vaccines won’t work for anyone.

People may think their decision not to vaccinate affects only themselves. But they are walking time bombs for people who are unable to get vaccines for medical reasons.

Cathy Gregory, Lompoc


To the editor: It occurred to me as I turned to Page A6 of the July 12 print edition that two of stories on it — one about critics of the president’s vaccination push, the other about voter suppression in Texas — would not have even been contemplated a short while ago.

This is too fantastic. Somebody’s attempt at a bad joke. A prank.

Our natural sense of being shocked has been reduced. The acceptance of this type of news as worthy of reasonable discussion is more than scary.

Kerry Burnside, La Habra