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Continued vigilance against virus needed

As spring arrives with warmer temperatures, we are also beginning to see the slow return to our normal lives. As health experts have advised, the COVID-19 virus has not been defeated yet and we must continue to be responsible for our actions to protect those around us. But progress is being made.

Our community saw a tremendous increase in the number of people being infected following the holidays at the end of 2020 and the start of 2021. Sadly, the number of residents who died from the virus also increased significantly during that time. We are now seeing the number of infections decrease over the past month. Continuing to take precautions will help ensure the number of people being infected remains low.

Fire Chief Gray and acting City Manager Michael Mays have worked with city staff to organize the vaccination effort here in Boulder City. Our firefighters, Boulder City Hospital staff, parks and recreation employees and many volunteers have worked tirelessly to make this effort a success.

The process has had rough spots with the amount of vaccine being delayed at times, but the process has delivered thousands of doses to our most vulnerable residents.

While our senior citizens have received the highest priority, Chief Gray has also included public safety employees, teachers and volunteers who provide direct service to residents of our community. When my age group became eligible, I made my reservation and received the first dose a couple of weeks ago. Like others, I am scheduled for the second dose this month.

Gov. Steve Sisolak has announced that beginning April 5 all age groups may begin receiving the vaccine. I encourage people to make an appointment for the vaccine when eligible. Information on scheduling an appointment is available on the city website at www.bcnv.org/covid-19.

There is no charge for the vaccinations and no insurance is required. The city continues to provide free testing for the virus as well. Information to schedule a test is available on the same web page. Test results are available in 15 minutes.

I do understand some people are hesitant about receiving the vaccine. This pandemic has placed everyone under tremendous stress and information has been conflicting at times. I have reviewed several study results and information from health care experts. I am confident that the testing done by thousands of brave volunteers has shown the Moderna, the Pfizer and the Johnson &Johnson (Janssen) vaccines are safe and effective. The Moderna vaccine has been used most often in Boulder City.

The vaccines have been received by millions of Americans now and only a tiny fraction of people have had adverse reactions.

I would encourage you to speak with your doctor if you have questions about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines. There are also reliable sources of information on the internet at the Centers for Disease Control (and Prevention) and the Food and Drug Administration.

There are many more unreliable and deliberately false sources of information available on the internet as well. Taking medical advice from unaccredited, unsubstantiated sources is not the best way to confront this terrible disease.

The path forward for our town, our state and all of America is to rid ourselves of the COVID-19 virus. The most effective way to do so is for us to be vaccinated. Vaccines have been around for more 200 years with the discovery of the smallpox vaccine. The technology developed in those 200 years since has allowed for the COVID-19 vaccine to be prepared more efficiently.

We should keep in mind, the flu vaccine is developed on a yearly basis to best match the flu virus strains expected. Our scientists know far more now about viruses and have responded quickly to this new threat.

The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.

Kiernan McManus is mayor of Boulder City. He is a native of Boulder City first elected to City Council in 2017.

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