Kentuckians seem to be coming around on getting the COVID-19 vaccine, and we applaud that trend in thinking.

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky poll on vaccines in Kentucky has found 71% of Kentuckians have received or intend to receive the vaccine; 70 to 85% of the population needs to be vaccinated before herd immunity is achieved.

The poll found those most likely to be reluctant to be vaccinated tend to be male, Republican and residents of suburban or rural communities.

Some have been vaccinated or plan to be for their personal health; some for the health of their community.

Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea.

Production of a vaccine is a sophisticated process that has been refined over decades. Every year, millions of children receive a variety of vaccines so they can attend school. It’s for their own good and the good of the community.

For those who like to do the math, consider this:

With the exception of one person who had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is on pause, only one person died after receiving a vaccine. The risk group is women up to age 48. That’s a one-in-a-7 million chance of death. When you factor in the other types of vaccines available, the odds of death are even lower. Meanwhile, 500,000 of all ages and health conditions have died from COVID-19.

The vaccines that use messenger-RNA contain no live virus; the vaccine teaches the body to recognize the virus, so if that body encounters it later, it will know how to fight it off. That’s why some people experience side effects. There is no effect on DNA whatsoever.

What about variants, though?

The World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control released a statement saying there are three variants that are concerning, but mRNA vaccines created by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, as well as the Novavax vaccine, remain highly effective against the United Kingdom variant. As for other variants, vaccines might be less effective, but still offer protection.

If you look at the numbers, it’s much safer to take the vaccine than not to.

So please, Kentucky, continue to look at the numbers.

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