Generations of children have been required to have vaccinations to enter public school — with a few medical and religious exemptions — against polio, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella.

Those of a certain age will well recall getting inoculated against smallpox, with a scar on the arm to prove it. Smallpox has successfully been eradicated due to vaccinations.

I don’t understand the uproar against vaccinating against COVID-19 on the premise that it is governmental overreach. Was it governmental overreach back in the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, etc.? Viruses have been around since humankind began and will continue to evolve. COVID-19 will likely require a yearly vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccinations could hugely reduce infections and deaths as it is apparent that 95 percent or so of all COVID deaths now occur in the unvaccinated, including an increasing number of children.

What am I missing?

DEB NUNES

Royalston, Mass.