Dear Editor:

In this season of colder weather and holiday gatherings, I’m grateful I could receive a COVID-19 booster shot while visiting Salida this November. 

Booster shot eligibility is still restricted in my home state of Missouri, but the kind folks at Salida Pharmacy & Soda Fountain allowed me to receive a dose from a patron who missed an appointment. Full vaccination of our loved ones is the best way to protect our families, so we can exchange hugs instead of Zoom greetings.

Even though access to booster shots in the U.S. is inconsistent, I feel fortunate to have access to immunizations for COVID-19 and other life-threatening diseases. Around the world, one in five children still lack access to basic vaccines for child killers like measles, polio and rotavirus. Sadly, that results in 1.5 million children dying each year of vaccine-preventable diseases.

I remind Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper – along with Rep. Doug Lamborn – not to forget about children around the world without the care we have in the U.S. I urge them to fully fund global childhood immunization programs in our federal budget. 

Cynthia Changyit Levin,

St. Louis, Missouri