Universal inoculations for small pox eradicated that scourge. In the 1950's the Salk and Sabin vaccines ended the fearful Polio epidemic. Hospital newborns get DPT shots. Children receive MMR and more recently chicken pox vaccines so that these four diseases don't run rampant in schools.

Military and diplomatic personnel headed overseas are given worldwide shots to protect them from Typhoid, Typhus and more. I got my first (mandatory) flu shot in Air Force basic training in 1965 and for many years like millions of other American I have gotten an annual flu shot as well as a periodic pneumonia booster. For decades virologist and bacteriologists have done a superb job of sheltering people from other potential plagues like SARS, Ebola and H1N1.

This nation and the world are now in the grips of a highly contagious and deadly virus pandemic. For the common good, most Americans have gotten inoculated with one of the available COVID-19 vaccines.

However, there is a minority of "anti-vaxxers" who refuse the vaccines. These folks may be provoked by dangerously irresponsible far-right misinformation. For example, earlier this year a local right-wing television show claimed that of 600 reported North Dakota pandemic deaths only 45 were actually COVID-19 victims.

This pernicious drivel effectively denied there was any serious pandemic, thus discrediting health officials and accusing doctors and hospitals of fabricating or falsifying 555 death certificates.

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Except for serious health objections, there is no earthly reason to reject COVID-19 vaccination. But the anti-vaxxers demand, often belligerently, that all others fully honor their "right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness." For their part, they feel perfectly free to thumb their nose at other Americans' right to life.

Dudley Wells is a resident of Twin Valley, Minn.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.