This holiday season give the gift of good health and get vaccinated

Smokey Thomas
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As we near the end of 2021, it’s a good time to reflect and set our resolutions for the road ahead. This year, let’s resolve to make the COVID-19 pandemic a part of our past, by getting vaccinated.

As of Monday, December 20th, all Ontarians over the age of 18 are now eligible to get their booster shot. With the numbers of cases on the rise, and the emergence of new and dangerous variants like Omicron, it’s more important than ever to get yours.

Whether it’s your first dose, second dose or booster shot, the vaccine is your best shot at staying safe, and luckily, there’s plenty of supply right now in Ontario. So, give yourself the gift of good health this holiday season, and book your shot today.

We’ve now been living through the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly two years. It’s been a period of many challenges and changes. Many have lost loved ones, endured the mental health toll of isolation, anxiety and burnout, experienced job loss and witnessed the shutdown of local businesses in our communities.

But, we’ve also made great strides in the past year. When 2021 began, we were in the beginning phase of our province-wide vaccine rollout. Since then, Ontario has achieved one of the best vaccination rates in the world, and we should be proud of this – because vaccines have increased our protection against the virus, and saved countless lives.

Our province’s vaccination success has helped to ease strain on our health care system, it has allowed Ontarians to gather more safely and enabled struggling local businesses to re-open and stay open. We owe this success to folks like you; the millions of Ontarians who stepped up, did their part, and got their jab. And, of course, to the thousands of health care workers that delivered those shots. So, thank you.

With the new variants now on us, we still have a ways to go until this virus is fully under control. Now, we must heed the call of public health experts, by stepping up to the plate and doing our part once again.

Vaccines may not be the only tool in our toolkit to recovery, but they’re one of the most effective ones that we have. We’ve learned from past pandemics – like polio, yellow fever and influenza – that vaccines are very effective at keeping people safe – then and now.

And after two years, there’s one thing we all have in common: we want to see the end of this pandemic.

We might not be able to rid the world of the COVID-19 virus entirely, but getting fully vaccinated, and getting our booster shots is absolutely our best shot at making the pandemic a thing of the past.

As we enter 2022 and approach the two-year mark, I’d like to extend my deepest thanks to all of the frontline workers who have worked tirelessly to keep our province running. Thank you to those who’ve been vaccinated, who’ve encouraged others to do the same, and who’ve supported Ontario’s vaccination efforts – who knows how many lives you’ve helped to save.

Let’s stay safe this holiday season by giving the gift of good health, and getting vaccinated.

In Solidarity,

Warren (Smokey) Thomas
OPSEU/SEFPO President

@OPSEUSmokey
facebook.com/OPSEUSmokey

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