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Vaccine slowdown concerning

After a strong initial rollout of the coronavirus vaccine, public health agencies nationwide appear to have hit a ceiling.

District Health Department No. 4 leaders announced recently they would scale back vaccine clinics because too few residents showed up to mass vaccination callouts.

As of Thursday, Presque Isle County counted 48% of residents 16 and older as fully vaccinated, according to state data. About 44% of Alcona County residents, 42% of Alpena County residents, and 41% of Montmorency County residents were fully vaccinated.

Those facts concern us. Public health experts say we need to vaccinate as much as 85% of those 16 and older to declare the pandemic “over” and return to normal life.

We worry about what the future might hold — and how long this pandemic could drag on — if folks avoid the vaccine and we never get above the 50% or so of the population we need to vaccinate.

So, please, if you’re able, get out and get your shot. It’s safe. It’s effective. And it’s our best chance to get back to the way we used to be.

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