Thankfully, our vaccination efforts are paying off. Our communities are making progress in getting control of COVID-19, as shown in decreases in positive cases, hospitalization rates and deaths.

Vaccination has proven to be transformative and is the key to continuing this progress and to keeping you and your family safe.

Everyone age 12 and older is eligible to receive the vaccine. My extended family has all received the vaccine, including my 14-year-old son, who received his first dose as soon as it was available.

In addition to helping protect you from COVID-19, our communities return to normal faster and to the activities we all missed when as many of us as possible roll up our sleeves and get vaccinated.

The vaccines were developed in record time, but they went through the same rigorous testing and reviews that all vaccines must pass. That’s why you can trust that the COVID-19 vaccinations are safe and effective. Millions of people in the U.S. have safely received a COVID-19 vaccine, including former President Trump and President Biden.

The toll from the pandemic will stay with all of us for some time. We all likely know someone who suffered or even died from COVID-19. Two of my closest friends lost their fathers to COVID-19. These untimely deaths would have been prevented by this vaccine.

Vaccines based on medical science have worked to prevent polio, smallpox and measles. Vaccines based on advanced medical technology can now do the same against COVID-19. Let’s do our part and take advantage of this scientific achievement so we can all enjoy a more normal life.

We’ve made progress over this long battle against the pandemic and we must remain vigilant to make sure our communities do not slip back into a crisis.

To find vaccination sites near you, go online to Getting the vaccination as soon as you are able will help keep you and our community healthy.

Kevin Eichhorn, MD

Chief Medical Officer for Dean Health Plan