Some hopeful news about the COVID-19 pandemic: The first vaccine tested in the United States boosted the immune systems of those who took the vaccine, just as researchers had hoped.

As a result, shots are poised to begin key final testing.

“No matter how you slice this, this is good news,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, told The Associated Press.

The experimental vaccine, developed by Fauci’s colleagues at the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., will conduct a 30,000-person study to learn if the shots really are strong enough to protect against the coronavirus.

It seems as though the vaccine could work. If not, we are making progress toward finding a vaccine that will work.

Meanwhile, there is another obstacle the country must overcome: anti-vaxxers, those people who refuse to take a vaccine or allow their children to take a vaccine for any disease.

There are many reasons anti-vaxxers have their stance, and science has shot down every reason.

According to

• Some skip vaccines because of risk of allergic reaction, but it turns out, that risk is low.

• Religious reasons have been cited, but most mainstream religions do not oppose vaccines.

• It was previously believed vaccines weren’t necessary because of improved hygiene and sanitation, but the COVID-19 pandemic is one example of that like of thinking being flawed.

• Many believe vaccines don’t work, that you can still get the illness you’re being vaccinated against; while that does happen, vaccinations keep symptoms mild.

• Some point out once the disease has been eliminated, there’s no need for continued vaccinations, but science tells us stopping vaccinations will allow diseases to recur.

• Parents often oppose vaccinations because they believe there are medical risks, including autism, but there is no scientific evidence to support that notion.

The fact is an effective vaccine allows the taker to develop neutralizing antibodies at levels comparable to those found in people who recovered from COVID-19. That’s all.

As the study progresses and the vaccine becomes a reality, we hope anti-vaxxers realize how important it is to public health to be inoculated against not only COVID-19, but other diseases for the good of public health, and, of course, with their doctors’ advice.

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