WES’s WISDOM: There are some shots we can’t afford to pass up

On Monday, I’ll be heading out to get my COVID-19 booster shot. If it has been more than six months since your initial vaccination and you haven’t had the booster yet, I’m hoping you do the same.

Last year around this time, there was lots of optimism in the air that the arrival of the vaccines meant that we were on our way out of the pandemic. But due to our country’s relatively low vaccination rate and the continued emergence of new variants, we’re still far from done with this health crisis. 

But there is still certainly some room for hope as we go into 2022. Even as new variants like Delta and Omicron have popped up, we’ve been able to develop vaccines that have greatly reduced the severity of infections. In fact, if you get the booster shot, your protection against Omicron soars from just 35% to over 75%, according to the University of Washington. That could very well be the difference between getting a mild and severe infection for some, making it all the more important to take any chance you can against a lethal disease. 

Again, these vaccines have undergone multiple rigorous trials to prove their safety and effectiveness, so you shouldn’t have any worries when scheduling your appointment. And there are many times and dates available to get the booster at pharmacies across Hilton Head, Bluffton, Beaufort, and the whole Lowcountry. 

If you are still unvaccinated and have been hesitant about going, now is the time to do it! Those without the primary series face even greater risks of severe infection and account for the vast majority of hospitalizations across the country. And we’d all prefer a quick jab over hours and hours on a ventilator or in surgery. 

During his fabled NHL career, the great Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” It’s a quote that applies not just to hockey, but basketball, soccer, lacrosse and so many sports that we cover here in the Lowcountry. It’s also a great lesson for many areas in life. 

But today, and going forward, it applies perfectly for those on the fence about getting vaccinated against COVID-19. If you get a free breakaway towards the net, you’ve got to at least put a shot on goal. Our vaccines may not be perfect, but they give you the best protection possible against an unpredictable and deadly virus. 

For athletes to continue to play the sports we love to cover and that you love to follow, we need to slow the spread of COVID as much as possible. And that all starts with getting people vaccinated. We strongly suggest all children, teenagers, and adults to take one for the team and get the shot — or the booster — if they are eligible. 

Our mission here at LowcoSports is to celebrate the success of our student-athletes and coaches, and we can’t do it unless we all commit to staying safe on and off the field and court. Here’s to a successful, safe, and healthy 2022 where we can maybe finally begin to put the pandemic behind us for good.

By Wes Kerr

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