Dr. John Warren 

It has now been established that those who have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 and its variants are not as likely to get the viruses, and if they do, they are more likely to live and recover. It has also been established that the only way to save lives and reduce the spread of this virus is to get vaccinated and wear a mask.

Now employers, municipalities and governments are taking the position that one either gets vaccinated or gets terminated from their employment. This position should be extended to all those employed in positions of having contact with others.

But there is an additional step that should be taken. Hospitals should begin a process of what we know as “Triage,” That is, screening those seeking health care so that non vaccinated persons, who have refused the vaccine, should not be given health care over people with other emergency health needs such as surgery. “ICU” or Intensive Care Units should be a priority for those in need and those who have been vaccinated.

Those who chose not to be vaccinated have a right to their positions, but not a right to put the lives of others at risk. Those who have not been vaccinated can carry and transmit the virus to others. The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that our personal rights stop at the point at which they interfere with the rights of others. It is better to live and litigate this issue than to die on an assumption that someone else’s rights to life are greater than yours because they share a different belief on the right to vaccinate.

We as a nation have lost too many lives to a virus. We are practically the only country capable of vaccinating our entire population. Its time to put pride and ego and politics aside and concentrate on saving lives even as we work on saving our children, the next most endangered group among us. Let’s get vaccinations, including booster shots for those 65 and older; let’s mask up indoors and out and save lives. There are enough other real political issues to fight another day.