Minnesotans who refuse to get vaccinated aren’t just harming themselves. They’re threatening the public health generally, are slowing economic recovery, and are raising the cost of health insurance for everyone.
The average cost of a single routine COVID-19 patient in Minnesota is just under $45,000. When a patient ends up in intensive care, the average cost is over $262,000. As hospitals fill to the breaking point with unvaccinated people sick with COVID, insurance companies are increasing their rates for everyone to cover the cost.
The unvaccinated aren’t just pushing our insurance rates higher, they’re extending this pandemic. If everyone in the U.S. were vaccinated, it would deny the virus the vulnerable host population it needs to spread and mutate. Until or unless we get our vaccination percentage much closer to 100 percent, we’re going to be facing wave after wave of new variants of the virus for the foreseeable future, according to epidemiologists. That’s going to continue to act as a drag on the economy, as COVID-related supply chain issues hamper businesses and fuel inflation. It’s going to continue to disrupt the education of our young people and prevent all of us from getting back to a lifestyle that we used to take for granted.
Those who claim that vaccines are dangerous, ineffective, or untested, are flat out wrong. Billions of COVID vaccines have now been administered with only the usual side effects expected from any vaccine. That’s a sample size too large to dispute.
As for effectiveness, the numbers from the Minnesota Department of Health speak for themselves. As of November, among the roughly 30 percent of the state’s adult population that remains unvaccinated, more than 1,000 per 100,000, or better than one percent, were being diagnosed with COVID every week. Over five weeks, that’s one out of every 20 people.
By contrast, among the 70 percent of Minnesotans who are vaccinated, the rate of new cases is about one-fifth that of those who have not gotten the shot. But the rate of new cases isn’t the most important measure. Among the vaccinated, hospitalizations are rare. Among those ages 18-64, just one vaccinated Minnesotan is ending up in the hospital for every ten who are unvaccinated. Among those ages 65 and up, vaccinated individuals are 15 times less likely to end up hospitalized than their non-vaccinated neighbor. That’s not conjecture or spin. That’s based on the actual data here in Minnesota.
If someone tells you that vaccinations don’t work, or that your chances of catching COVID or winding up in the hospital are the same whether you’re vaccinated or not, that person is completely misinformed. Do them, and all of us, a favor by providing them with the facts.
The other piece of the puzzle right now is getting your booster. While the fully vaccinated are much better off than the unvaccinated, there is no question that the immunity their vaccines provide wanes over time. The data show that getting a booster shot greatly enhances your immunity, so make an appointment today.
In any pandemic, we know there is going to be illness and death, often through no fault on the part of the victims. But now that we have the tools to end the current pandemic, there should be consequences for those who refuse to do their part. Health insurers charge higher rates for smokers, because they are more likely to incur medical expenses. By charging them a higher rate, it means we all don’t have to pay for the bad choices others make. Insurers should start applying the same principle to individuals who refuse to get their COVID vaccinations. Why should responsible people have to pay more because others would rather believe a crackpot on Facebook over experts in the field?
It’s time for everyone to step up the plate and take some personal responsibility. It’s time for the political posers to get real. It’s the only way we’re ever going to get past this pandemic and get back to a semblance of life as we knew it before COVID-19. Want to really Make America Great Again? Get your shots.
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