Letter: Like with polio, COVID vaccination critical

When it’s your turn to be vaccinated, please do so.

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This year, Rotary International celebrates its 116th anniversary. Rotary is a diverse global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change — across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.

Over our many decades of service, Rotary has supported global public health initiatives, the most significant being Rotary’s more-than-35-years effort to eradicate polio. Our goal of ridding the world of this disease is closer than ever. As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (, we've reduced polio cases by 99.9% since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.

We have seen through this initiative and other public health efforts the success of vaccines to prevent and eliminate illness. Rotary has decades of experience in supporting the distribution of polio vaccines, as well as highlighting their power and efficacy, which is a critical reason why polio is on the brink of eradication. It’s with this experience that Rotarians have the confidence to encourage everyone in our communities who is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it’s available to them.

It is estimated it will be necessary to vaccinate from 70% to 80% of the population to achieve herd immunity. In the coming months, the vaccines will be available to do this.

We are all anxious to get back to some semblance of normal in our daily lives, and we’re seeing clear signs of hope with expanding COVID-19 vaccinations. But it will take everyone doing their part.


When it’s your turn to be vaccinated, please do so. And encourage family, friends, and neighbors to do the same so we can put an end to the pandemic.

This shot’s for all of us!

Joe Radtke


The writer is from the Superior Rotary Club. This letter was signed and supported also by the following Rotary Club presidents: Dean Casperson, Rotary Club of Duluth; Jeremy Jeannette, Harbortown Rotary Club; Todd Peyton, Skyline Rotary Club; Charlie Johnson, Rotary Club of Superior; Jeff Dorfman, Superior Sunrise Rotary Club; Carrie Coan, North Shore Rotary Club; Beverly Van Alstine, Duluth Superior Eco Rotary Club; Dave Kauma, Rotary Club of Cloquet; and Dale Kelm, Ashland Rotary Club of Ashland.

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