I'd like to respond to the uninformed writer who categorizes everyone who chose not to vaccinate as people "...who wrapped themselves in the Stars and Stripes and conservative media (believing the vaccine) violates their freedom." As one who has made the well-thought-out decision not to vaccinate, I'd like to respond.

While I agree that COVID-19 can be dangerous and sometimes fatal, that is not the case for the vast majority. All medications and vaccines must go through vigorous testing, the biggest test being time. It takes years to know the exact effects of any medication; as a result, many drugs have been recalled years after they are put on the market.

Before prescribing a medication a doctor first evaluates the individual patient to determine if the benefits outweigh the risks. The vaccine is often not being prescribed by a doctor but rather people, many led by fear based on misinformation from the media. In my case, I do not see that a healthy child who has survived a COVID infection should be forced to take a vaccine that has yet to prove its long-term safety.

I support the vaccine for certain populations. I am in no way so arrogant to assume I know why others choose what to do with their body; it's their choice. All I ask is don't label my decision as political; it's a conscious decision made for myself and my family.

— Tye Bassett, Bakersfield