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To the editor: I heard a COVID anti-vaxxer say that she had “done my own research” in arriving at her misinformed and faulty conclusions that the vaccines are somehow harmful or ineffective and that the science that led to the development of the vaccines is not to be trusted.

I would like to know more about that “research” and why she and others like her believe it is more valid than any of the peer-reviewed published research on COVID vaccines. How was it funded, and were there any conflicts of interest? What are your qualifications for doing scientific research? Do you know what the scientific method is? Do you know what a hypothesis and a null hypothesis are?

What was the design of your research study, randomized controlled trial (the gold standard), case-control study, cross-sectional study, qualitative study, or cohort study? What were the variables in your study? What controls were employed to ensure that confounding factors did not affect the validity of the study? How large was your sample of research subjects and how were they selected? Was there any selection bias? What method of statistical analysis was used to analyze the data? Did the analysis of your data show a statistically significant correlation between the variables?

Unless you can answer all of these questions, you have not done scientific “research.”

What you have done is an internet search for anything that that has been posted on the internet that supports you predetermined viewpoint. That is not research. Meanwhile, you go about your daily business, unvaccinated and unmasked, putting everyone at risk by your careless behavior and disregard for the welfare of others.

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I am immunocompromised, and I have three family members who this year have been diagnosed with cancer and undergone cancer treatment. It is clear that you couldn’t care less about people like us. We are prisoners in our homes because people like you will not do the right thing, and our governor will not do what is necessary to protect the rest of us from the likes of you.

Please do us all a favor. If you don’t believe in the science behind vaccines, don’t go to a hospital when you finally contract COVID. Why would you believe in the science that medical professionals like me have studied and practiced all of our lives to save lives, only when you are desperately ill due to your own actions? Those who are eligible for vaccination and choose not to get vaccinated should lie in the bed that they have made for themselves. Let the hospitals and their dedicated staff treat those who are suffering from illnesses not caused by their own choices.

Louise LaChance, RN, BSN, MPH, retired

Brattleboro, Dec. 31