Opinion | Needed: A Safe Vaccine, Masks and Face Shields

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By admin

To the Editor:

Re “Scientists Fret as White House Rushes Vaccine” (front page, Aug. 3):

While the administration pursues a dangerous rush to approve a Covid-19 vaccine, people need to recognize that a vaccine for this disease must be effective to be safe.

Inoculating people with a vaccine that does not protect will create a false sense of security and result in the abandonment of safeguards like masks and social distancing. The vaccinated will become a new vector, getting sick themselves and spreading the disease.

Deluded that they are immunized against Covid, too many people will dismiss symptoms as resulting from less devastating diseases. They will not self-quarantine, and public health agencies will not be able to persuade exposed people to limit contact with other, susceptible people.

There are other reasons not to bow to the political pressure and rush a premature vaccine to market. Wearing masks and distancing work reliably well.

To prevent the added deaths from an unready vaccine, we need a national mandate for masks and physical distancing until adequate vaccine testing is complete.

Carl Selkin
Pasadena, Calif.

To the Editor:

I believe in science. I respect scientists. I have a vaccination record as long as my arm. And yet I now find myself in the dubious company of the anti-vaccine crowd as I ponder the safety of anything espoused by the Trump administration.

And I do not believe that I am alone. Sadly, this is what an administration built on lies has wrought.

Helen Ogden
Pacific Grove, Calif.

To the Editor:

Major sports teams have essentially unlimited resources for frequent Covid testing, isolation and tracing, as well as strict protocols. If they are taking all these precautions but still having problems with outbreaks, how do you think that opening public schools will work out?

Hoping for the best is not a science-based strategy. It’s immoral.

Gary Price
Austin, Texas

To the Editor:

Front-line workers in emergency rooms wear a face shield on top of a mask. This protects their eyes from getting infected by coronavirus droplets and provides added protection if their mask is ill fitting. My wife and I wear an N95 or KN95 mask and a face shield whenever we leave our apartment.

As a physician I strongly advise everybody who can acquire a face shield to wear both a mask and a face shield when in public. Clearly teachers should do so if schools reopen.

Ahmed Hakki
Ossining, N.Y.

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