Mailbag: Businesses, leaders can lead effort to expand vaccine acceptance in O.C.

Individuals wait for their COVID-19 vaccine at the Central Net Training Center in Huntington Beach
After checking in, individuals wait for their COVID-19 vaccine at the Central Net Training Center in Huntington Beach in January.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

I want to thank Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley for voting against “the pause” regarding the voluntary program to develop a digital record of COVID-19 vaccination. I was so sorry to hear about the hundreds of ill-informed protesters, including those who are comparing the development of this convenient service to the horrors of the Nazi extermination of Jews. Such a digital record is extremely valued by the hard-hit hospitality and entertainment industries locally and worldwide. This technology will make it much easier to open our city, state and country to travel and attend events with ease and safety. (Note that even though I have been fully vaccinated since March and display no symptoms, I will still be required to test for the coronavirus upon returning to California after a future trip to Mexico.)

I appreciate that we have at least one clear-thinking supervisor who is not afraid to stand up for our rights to safely open our businesses by voluntarily sharing that we have been vaccinated — not only to protect ourselves from COVID-19 but to prevent its spread.

Lorraine Crawford
Huntington Beach

Absent a full court press by homegrown businesses and the local Republican Party, I am afraid Orange County will not reach herd immunity by the Fourth of July (Vaccine resistance may hobble Orange County’s July 4 herd immunity goal, Daily Pilot, May 16).

What would this “all hands on deck” campaign look like? Consider this: First, Ralphs, Gelson’s, Whole Foods, Mother’s Market, Stater Bros. and Trader Joe’s match Pavilions’ offer of 10% discounts on groceries with proof of vaccination. Second, O.C.'s fast food giants, In-N-Out, Carl’s Jr., Del Taco and Taco Bell, give away free burgers and tacos to customers who get their shots; third, Vans, a local leader in the footwear industry coast to coast, produces a special “run to get vaccinated” commercial; fourth, the Angels join the Dodgers by offering 20% discounts on tickets; and last, Orange County’s Republican Party publicly urges its 500,000 faithful — upwards of 40 percent of whom say they are reluctant to get vaccinated — to roll up their sleeves. Imagine 200,000 GOP voters proudly walking around with Band-Aids on their shoulders between now and the Fourth.

Around the country, the New York Yankees and the National Football League have joined Target, Krispy Kreme, White Castle, Budweiser, Nathan’s Hot Dogs and many other businesses offering fans and customers incentives to get their COVID-19 shots.

Orange County has a vital role to play in helping to achieve herd immunity as quickly as possible.

Denny Freidenrich
Laguna Beach

Mayor Carr is a beacon of light

Kudos to columnist Patrice Apodaca for her much needed positive pushback against hate and bigotry (Apodaca: 3 Orange County residents who fight against the spread of hate, Daily Pilot, May 16) as it affects my hometown of Huntington Beach. I am so glad she selected Kim Carr as one of her positive role models. In this chaotic year of challenges to our city’s reputation, Mayor Carr has been one of the beacons of light against many of the dark forces of negativity and unrest that have plagued Surf City since Jan. 6. We are so lucky to have her at the helm of our local government this year. We are also lucky to have her as a solid community representative who can effectively address the needs of our citizenry. We still have a rocky road in dealing with the fallout from all the social and political ills we face, but it is comforting to know that we have both leadership and hope to guide us.

Tim Geddes
Huntington Beach

Happy to read Apodaca

I want to share my appreciation for Patrice Apodaca’s courageous columns on fighting hate and bigotry in our communities. Her voice as amplified by the Daily Pilot is so important to hear, in contrast to what national news tends to highlight about our Orange County challenges.

Thank you so much for supporting and giving space to her and her work.

Susan Seely

Balboa Island

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