Community Opinions

COMMUNITY OPINION: Vaccine race against variants

Mary Zanger writes about learning of how the COVID-19 vaccines also protect against variants.

This community opinion was contributed by resident member Mary Zanger. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors.

“I just wanted them to feel what it’s like to win,” said Bryan Smith, Baler football coach. I think that’s the way San Benito County residents should feel because our San Benito County Health Department announced that about 24% of us have been fully vaccinated.  That is like winning the race with this virus.

Even though variants occur in our county, our COVID vaccines can protect against them. I just learned why. There are two arms to our immune system. The well known fighter arm is the antibody one. The less known arm, until recent new data emerged, is our hard working T cells. The vaccines stimulate the second arm to battle the variants as well so for now the vaccines are protective against all forms of COVID. So we’re winning here.

We are still running the race with high hurdles ahead. The checkered flag will wave when we reach 70% of our population vaccinated. That is why we must run five more laps as fast as we can which means that all of us can sign up for vaccinations at to find out if it is our turn.  It is heartening to learn that help is not only from our county government but also from our federal government. Our San Benito County Health Department has operated vaccination clinics. Our federal government provides the vaccines not only to counties but also direct to pharmacies, like Safeway, Walgreens and Rite Aid. Vaccine appointments can be made direct with them.

Face masks are the minimum uniform for this race. A football coach might say that face masks are like preventing a pass reception where the whole team works together. We wear masks not for ourselves but for others. I wouldn’t want any viral varmints flying out of my mouth to hurt others. This is our chance to step up to the plate and behave like a team. It truly warms my heart to see innocent children wearing their masks to school. Masks have even become a fashion statement.

This winning feeling is joyful so let’s keep winning.

Mary Zanger, Retired Pharmacist


Mary Zanger