Dear Editor,

Getting vaccinated is the most important thing you can do to help protect yourself and loved ones from COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccines were made to save lives. They are safe and effective, and they help your body develop immunity to the virus. Additionally, COVID-19 vaccines cannot give you COVID-19 because they do not contain the live virus that causes the illness.

The vaccines prevent nearly 100 percent of hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19, and now, everyone age 12 and older in the United States is eligible to be vaccinated for free, regardless of citizenship status. In fact, over 170 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of the vaccine to date.

To find a vaccination provider near you, go to vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829 on your mobile device, or call 1-800-232-0233.

If you have been vaccinated, encourage others to do so. Learn about how to talk to your friends and family about getting vaccinated at wecandothis.hhs.gov.

Every person who chooses to get vaccinated brings us all a step closer to moving past the pandemic.

Thank you for playing your part. #WeCanDoThis.

Nancy Rios, Regional Administrator of Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Regional Operations - Region 7

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