Editorial Roundup: Consider starting the new year with a booster

Published 8:50 pm Friday, January 6, 2023

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Starting a new year offers a fresh start on a lot of fronts. Getting the most recent COVID-19 booster can be one of those resolutions.

You wouldn’t be alone if you hadn’t gotten around to getting the most recent booster in 2022. The percentage of Minnesotans 18 and older who’ve gotten the most recent booster is 28% of that population, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The newest booster shots have been available since early fall.

Maybe it’s not on the top of minds to start 2023 thinking about an old, drawn-out problem. After all, we’re going into the third year of dealing with the pandemic in the U.S. Unfortunately, as much as we want to be done with it, it’s not done with us.
China’s recent dramatic rollback of strict anti-virus controls might be easing the pressure on residents there, but the abrupt action has other countries concerned about new variants being introduced because China doesn’t have adequate defenses against the omicron variant. And every new infection gives the virus the chance to mutate.

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As a result, the U.S. and other countries will be requiring all travelers from China, no matter their nationality, to be tested for the virus. Of course, the lack of transparent information from China adds to concerns.

The extra caution might seem like a step backward since testing requirements in the U.S. for international travelers had been dropped in June; but if we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that you have to adjust action based on up-to-date information. For now the testing requirement of travelers from China seems reasonable to help control the spread of COVID-19.

Now is not the time to grow complacent. COVID vaccines and boosters have given us confidence to resume more normal lives. Adhering to good public health practices such as getting immunized and staying home when sick have been shown to make a difference in slowing the spread. Protecting our elderly population has to be key because they suffer the most from infection and have the highest death rates.

We all want to move on from the pandemic. But for this new year, and for years to come, it’s going to be up to the public to take action that will keep case numbers down. Doing so is our new normal.

— Mankato Free Press, Jan. 2

About Editorial Roundup

Editorials from newspapers around the state of Minnesota.

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