Hundreds of Rogue Valley doctors sign letter urging residents to trust their guidance on vaccines

ROGUE VALLEY, Ore —  Hundreds of doctors from across much of Jackson County have signed a letter to the community, in an effort to reinforce people’s trust in them.

The initiative is led by Dr. Ryan Hungerford with Southern Oregon Internal Medicine at Rogue Valley Physicians. When the letter was first sent out earlier this week, there were close to 200 signatures. As of Thursday, nearly 500 doctors and nurses signed on to the campaign.

Hungerford’s hope is to persuade unvaccinated individuals who are still on the fence about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The present health care crisis in our community continues and even worsens, largely due to low vaccination rates,” Hungerford said in a press release. “Local physicians are striving to reach out to our community and make an impassioned plea to roll up the sleeve for a COVID vaccination.”

Hungerford told NBC5 Thursday, that doctors feel as though their voices aren’t being heard enough. He adds that many patients have their minds made up based off of politicians, and other non medical experts before discussing it with their health care provider first.

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“We all feel a little bit helpless,” Hungerford said. “We feel like we have been placed in positions to help guide medical decisions, yet the podium and our voice has been stolen.”

The doctors emphasize that the letter is not intended to shame anyone who has yet to become vaccinated. While respecting it being a choice for people, Hungerford says he wants a platform to provide accurate medical information. He adds the goal behind the letter is to encourage people to trust their guidance.

“You trust us to care for you. You trust us to care for your parents and your children.  Please trust us when we encourage you to get vaccinated against Covid-19.,” The letter stated. “It is safe, effective, and may save your life or the life of someone you love.  We’ve been vaccinated, and hope you will, too.”

Anthony Carter is a reporter for NBC5 News. He grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and graduated from Elizabethtown College in 2019. Anthony started his career as a print journalist, covering New York sports and the NBA Draft. He then started his own sports podcast and website covering the Arena Football League. Anthony moved to the Rogue Valley in 2019 as a news producer before joining the NBC5 News family. Anthony likes to workout at the gym, play basketball, and root for his Atlanta Hawks and New York Jets. Want to connect with Anthony? send him an email: [email protected]
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