News and Views – August 2021

A Letter From the President
Joseph B. Smith, President & CEO

A lot has been going on with vaccines discussion and more recently, booster shots. The data and evidence show the initial vaccines are working. Despite break through cases and some data to show longevity (effectiveness waning), it is truly amazing as a country we faced a pandemic and within a year it has been essentially slowed by vaccines (and other safety awareness) which allowed us to get back out of total shelter in environments and avoid more significant economic head winds. Remember – the Unites States Government dumped so much money into our economy to get us out of shelter in economic disaster – but it/we can’t afford another shelter in environment or the economic fallout.

At a Harvard Business School session I attended, I was taught about effective decision making in uncertain times – to always – collect data – check its credibility – listen to all sides of the decision – reassess and then, after you are sure you have as best credible data as you can, make your judgement call.

In terms of those deciding on whether to get a vaccine or not – look at the data that we know about and can trust – please not social media or far left or right media. Infectious disease experts – hospitals and appointed public health officials is what we have as our best (not perfect) set of data. The ICU units and deaths data are largely from unvaccinated, and significant immune deficient vaccinated are the slight balance. It is also the unvaccinated in fast spreading communities that increase the probability of breed new variants.

I am committed to not allow politics to come into this message – there is no definite right or wrong here as we all have limited information and time in a health pandemic. Fear, uncertainty, and lack of trust is truly present amongst many of us in the US – this is factual. So, in times of uncertainty, mistrust, and fear – do your homework with data and facts – try to remove emotions or pre-established options and study it hard. Then use your judgment/intuition.

We want our society to stay back together – our families – our churches – our teams – our companies – and social gatherings. We want our economy to not go south into depression – and we want to reduce or eliminate the fear that goes with a pandemic whose virus has killed millions of people around the world and over 650k in the US.

Attached is an article I saw on boosters. It is getting more clear from the data we will need boosters somewhere between 5-8 months after initial vaccines. The article discusses some questions to ask about boosters. The rollout which appears to be planned for end of September. Stay on top of the new data and information – it is fluid which – and stay away from the politics and extremists.

Six Important Questions About Booster Shots Answered

Be Well
Joe

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