TAMPA (WFLA) – In this week’s Cate’s Corner, Keith Cate talks about vaccine shaming.

Here are his thoughts:

“When someone says they’re ashamed of you for something you did or didn’t do, it makes you feel awful. You question your actions; maybe wish for a do-over. 

Nobody likes feeling shame and yet, some believe it’s okay to shame others for not getting immunized for COVID-19. Polls show millions of Americans don’t plan to get vaccinated. As a result, they are being criticized for not doing their part. 

I believe, vaccine shaming is a shame. Let me be clear, I support the vaccine effort. 

According to the CDC, we need between 70 and 90 percent of the population to be fully vaccinated before we reach herd immunity and curb the spread.  Right now, we’re at 24 percent and have a long way to go.  

Many questions and concerns remain as barriers to access is still a problem for some, others don’t trust the vaccine, and ould there be long-term side effects? The CDC putting a hold on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine didn’t help. Fear is real. But so is misinformation and political division. Telling people, they are wrong, stupid, or un-American doesn’t help. We need to show mutual respect.   

For the record, I’m now fully vaccinated. I got my shots at the Children’s Board in Ybor City. It was quick and easy. I’ve had no side effects and feel relieved about protecting myself and those around me including those who have not gotten the vaccine.

If you are on the fence about this, I would encourage you to look at all the facts, weigh the risks and benefits. My hope is that you join me and others getting vaccinated. But again, it is your individual right to decide… and there should be no shame in that.”