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Rotary advocates COVID vaccination

Rotary advocates COVID vaccination

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Dr. Molly Burns receives COVID-19 vaccination

Dr. Molly Burns (right) receives her certificate of vaccination from a nurse at Bryan Medical Center after she was given the first of two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Science has done its job – now we need to do ours!” That’s what one of the members of Lincoln’s Rotary 14 said in response to a survey about the COVID-19 vaccination. Nearly 95% of the club's members have indicated they will get the vaccination once supplies are available.

The survey of 250 members of Rotary 14 followed a presentation at their Jan. 4 meeting by members of the club who had already received the vaccine. For details, see https://youtu.be/4Y-AtVlnsJQ.

Many of the 30,000 Rotary clubs throughout the world are launching a campaign to encourage vaccination against a dreaded virus. Following the successful development of a number of vaccinations to protect people from the COVID virus, Rotary members are joining together to get vaccinated and set an example for their families, friends and neighbors.

Forty years ago, when the Polio virus was spreading throughout the world, Lincoln’s downtown Rotary joined clubs worldwide to administer and encourage vaccination, nearly wiping out the dreaded virus. That campaign has reached millions of people and is nearing completion.

“Humans are known as social animals," one Rotarian noted on the survey. "Living and working in isolation is counterproductive and bad for our physical and mental health — even though it is at times necessary to go into 'survival mode' (as we are now). In the long term, vaccination benefits us collectively and individually. If I may add as an educator: My students struggle to learn without human interaction. While there are different learning styles, most of us respond optimally to experiential learning, which includes not only practical and hands-on learning but also learning from one another.”

Comments like this were plentiful as Rotarians responded to the survey to help encourage people to get vaccinated.

“The vaccination will allow society to reconnect in ways that are critical to our social, economic and even spiritual well-being,” noted another club member.

Yet another Rotarian said, “It could lead to reopening the economy, allowing us to travel again, allowing us to shop without masks and prevent our loved ones from getting sick. I have family members that could have serious complications from COVID-19, and I would like to prevent them from getting it. My sons' girlfriends have already both lost their grandparents to COVID-19, and I would like to limit the continuing deaths and devastation to our extended families. If the vaccine helps to do that, then it is the socially responsible thing to do.”

Rotary is an international community that brings together leaders who step up to take on the world’s toughest challenges, locally and globally. The eradication of Polio is one of Rotary's longest-standing and most significant efforts.

Along with partners, Rotary clubs have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries. This has reduced polio cases by 99.9% worldwide, and the effort won't stop until Rotary ends the disease for good.

Holger Knaack, president of Rotary International, called on more than 1.2 million Rotary members throughout the world to work together to combat the growing vaccine resistance and misinformation. He urged Rotary members to spread the message about the power of vaccines to save lives.

“I’m so proud of the members of my club,” said Eric Drumheller, president of Lincoln’s Rotary 14. “Not only are they stepping up to receive the vaccine, they’re reminding people of the health benefits of vaccines by pointing to our organization’s worldwide success against Polio.”

During the Jan. 4 meeting, two club members who are part of the health profession shared their experience after receiving the vaccination. Drumheller went on to say, “We urge people to follow the example and guidance of our health professionals and government leaders. Please do your part to help control the COVID virus by getting vaccinated.”

For a video of the presentation at Rotary 14 on Jan. 6, go to https://youtu.be/4Y-AtVlnsJQ.

Bryan Health has put together a website to help people understand the importance of the vaccination as well as respond to most of their typical questions: https://www.bryanhealth.com/coronavirus-clp/covid-19-vaccine/

CHI Health Saint Elizabeth has this webpage for those seeking information: https://www.chihealth.com/en/patients-visitors/coronavirus-covid-19/Coronavirusquestionnaire.html.

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