Sept 16, 2021: Hundreds of East Bay doctors have signed an Open Letter to the community urging their patients to get vaccinated against COVID-19. “Please get vaccinated,” the letter asks patients. “We ask this from the bottom of our hearts. As your physicians, and people with whom you have worked, played, laughed, and cried.” The letter, which was organized by the Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association (ACCMA), has already been signed by over 400 physicians. “We are tired,” says Suparna Dutta, MD, President of the ACCMA and a cosigner of the letter. “We have been on the front lines for more than 18 months and we are tired of the suffering and pain and death we have experienced from COVID. We can stop this cycle of suffering by getting vaccinated.” Nearly 90% of eligible East Bay residents have gotten at least one dose of vaccine, and about 75% are full vaccinates. Despite these relatively high rates, the East Bay region is still susceptible. Over the last couple of months, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties saw a spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations from the delta variant. “We know that other variants like mu and lambda are already circulating in the community,” said Doctor Dutta. “The most effective way to get ahead on new variants is to get everyone vaccinated as soon as possible. This is about the health of our community.” Nationally, it is estimated that more than 96% of physicians are vaccinated, a figure that is likely to be even higher among East Bay physicians. “We are not asking our patients to do anything we haven’t done ourselves,” said Doctor Dutta. “The data shows that vaccines are well tested, very safe and highly effective.” COVID-19 has infected over 205,000 residents in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties and claimed 2,234 lives so far. There has been disproportionate impact on lower income residents and communities of color. COVID-19 vaccines are currently available to all individuals aged 12 and older. To schedule your vaccine today, contact your physician’s office or visit www.myturn.ca.gov. East Bay physicians who would like to add their names to the letter can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .