Doctor’s Tip: Be a good citizen, a good neighbor and a patriot: Get vaccinated against COVID |

Doctor’s Tip: Be a good citizen, a good neighbor and a patriot: Get vaccinated against COVID

It has been said that if human beings don’t start basing their decisions on facts rather than beliefs, our species is doomed. A case in point is what’s happening in the U.S. with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic continues to cause acute and chronic illness and death throughout the world. In the U.S., we had a chance to conquer this disease and would have if at least 80 percent of our eligible citizens would have been fully vaccinated. This didn’t happen because of vaccine hesitancy and refusal, based primarily on unfounded conspiracy theories and other misinformation.

With the recent increase in COVID-19 infections once again — usually asymptomatic in the vaccinated but causing illness and death in the unvaccinated — this seems like a good time to hear from a scientist who was the principal investigator in multiple COVID-19 vaccine studies. William Hartman, M.D., PhD, is a friend and former neighbor of my daughter, Amy Peck, who is a nurse practitioner at Children’s Hospital in Denver, where they see their share of severe COVID-19 illness and sometimes death in kids. For several months, on her days off, Amy was in charge of COVID-19 immunizations in south Denver.

Dr. Hartman is currently an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He has no financial interest in any vaccine. He sent the following information to Amy on July 24, which I am using for today’s column, with his permission and with a few minor edits:

My plea here is impassioned for sure. I am not here to make a political statement, but rather a humanitarian one. To the heroes who have received the vaccine — I applaud you and thank you. To those hesitant or resistant to get the vaccine, your lives are important, and I value each of you. Please roll up your sleeve and get this vaccine ASAP. Cases are again on the rise, and we have almost four times as many cases today (in the U.S.) as we had two weeks ago. This trend is bad. Giving the virus a chance to (mutate so that current vaccines will become ineffective) is scary, but the unvaccinated (are allowing this to happen). Help us win this fight: To help combat misinformation, please read below:

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MRNA vaccines have proven safe and effective worldwide. Millions of lives have been protected by having these COVID-19 vaccines on board. Millions. The mRNA platform has been used mainly to target cancers, but its effectiveness in warding off COVID-19 is outstanding to date. Probably the most investigated vaccines in the history of the world, these are the best protection against serious illness and death from COVID-19.

MRNAs never go into the cell nucleus, so they don’t get incorporated into DNA. They are short-lived, so as soon as their job is done, they degrade and go away. These are like Snapchat messages: They say what they need to say, and then they disappear.

The safety profile is excellent. Yes, some people have side effects and adverse events, but these are extremely rare, and the good these vaccines do far outweighs any risk, and clearly greatly outweighs the dangers from COVID-19.

More than 40% of trial participants were older than age 55. These vaccines had greater than 90% effectiveness in older people.

More than 30% of the participants in the Moderna trial were people of color. This vaccine proved to be effective for all people.

COVID-19 vaccines were not designed to prevent you from contracting COVID-19, but rather to fight it off if you do contract it. So you still might catch it, but if you’re vaccinated, it is extremely unlikely you will get (seriously ill or die) from it.

Almost all health care workers have been vaccinated. We are not a risk-taking crowd. We believe in science. Our choice was easy: Get the vax.

The vax will limit the opportunity for the virus to mutate. Therefore, the more widely we vaccinate folks, the better we will be, because the virus will fade away as it will be neutralized before it can change.

If you have a chance to be vaccinated with any one of these mRNA vaccines, please do so. They are all safe and effective.

There are no tracking devices in the vaccines — to think otherwise is crazy.

It’s time to end silliness and stubbornness — vaccinations save lives. Roll up your sleeve. Thanks for “listening.”

Dr. Feinsinger is a retired family physician with special interest in disease prevention and reversal through nutrition. Free services through Center For Prevention and The People’s Clinic include: one-hour consultations, shop-with-a-doc at Carbondale City Market and cooking classes. Call 970-379-5718 for appointment or email

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