Wearing a mask and social distancing yourself from others can help protect you and combat the spread of COVID-19, but those measures are not enough.
Public health experts agree that vaccines are a critical tool needed to end the pandemic, and along with the preventative actions above, will offer you and those around you the best protection available from this deadly disease. It’s important to understand that based on the scientific and medical research and results produced thus far, the known and potential benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risks.
In order for vaccines to receive an Emergency Use Authorization (EAU) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the candidates must first prove through clinical trials that they are safe and effective. Furthermore, the vaccine’s known and potential benefits must outweigh the known and potential risks of receiving the vaccine to receive this FDA approval. Both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines have met these strict requirements.
Protecting Yourself By Building Your Body’s Defense
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have produced a 94-95% rate of effectiveness at preventing COVID-19 infections. Even in the limited instances where the vaccines do not prevent an infection, based on early data from clinical trials and accepted vaccine research from other diseases, experts believe that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine may help you from getting seriously ill if you do still contract the virus.
Even if you already had COVID-19, you should still get vaccinated. Although evidence suggests that reinfection of COVID-19 after 90 days of the initial infection is rare, experts are unsure how long this immunity lasts. The risk of serious illness or death far outweighs the benefits of natural immunity, which is why experts recommend getting the vaccine to create an antibody response without you having to experience the sickness associated with an infection.
Protecting Others By Getting Vaccinated
A COVID-19 infection can affect everyone differently. There’s no way to know how your body will respond if you do contract the virus. Just because you personally may be able to fight off serious illness, it doesn’t mean a family member, friend, colleague, or vulnerable person you come in contact with will have the same success.
When you vaccinate yourself, you’re doing your part to protect the people around you as well and potentially saving someone’s life. This is especially true if you come in contact with someone who cannot get vaccinated for medical or other reasons.
Slow the Spread
Getting enough people vaccinated to get us out of the pandemic will not happen overnight. That’s why it is important to continue doing your part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect yourself, your loved ones and community by doing the following:
- Wear a mask to protect yourself and others.
- Practice social distancing.
- Wash your hands.
- Avoid indoor gatherings with those outside your immediate household.