If you are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine but still have not, take note – there are many reasons why you should get vaccinated as soon as possible. Beyond your health and safety, the benefits of being vaccinated extend to your family, friends, and the larger community.
Why you should schedule an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine right away:
1. COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting seriously ill from COVID-19 – and growing evidence shows that it could also lower the chances of you passing it on to others as well.
Clinical trials involving hundreds of thousands of people have found that the COVID-19 vaccination prevents most people from getting COVID-19. And even if you are one of the few who still gets the virus after being vaccinated, you are far less likely to get seriously ill or die.
There is also growing evidence that being vaccinated could make you less likely to pass the virus on to others. Even though people who have been vaccinated can still carry the virus, the amount of virus in their bodies is lower than in unvaccinated individuals, which lowers the likelihood of spreading the virus to others.
2. Once you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing more.
Once you are fully vaccinated and protected from COVID-19, you may be able to return to doing some of the things that you had to stop doing because of the pandemic, such as gathering indoors without masks with other people who are fully vaccinated and traveling.
3. COVID-19 vaccination is a critical tool to stopping the pandemic so that all of society – including schools, jobs, and social gatherings – can get back to normal.
Getting vaccinated means you can do more as an individual; and when many people get the COVID-19 vaccine it will mean that we as a nation can begin getting back to normal as well – which is a very important step for getting schools, workplaces, jobs, and the economy back to how they were before the pandemic.
As of mid-April 2021, just over a third of the United States population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and just under a quarter of the population is fully vaccinated (meaning they received two doses of the vaccine, if the vaccine they received required two doses to be fully effective). This is wonderful news, but there is still a long way to go – according to a report by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, 70% of the population will need to be immune to COVID-19 to achieve “herd immunity” from the virus.
4. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be highly effective — the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have been shown to be more than 90% effective. As of mid-April, more than 75 million Americans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history. In the U.S., all vaccines must go through a four-phase process of testing for safety and effectiveness before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will allow them to be released to the public. Even when vaccines are released, the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continue to monitor and track any possible side effects.
5. COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to help build protection from serious, life-threatening complications of the virus.
Some people think that it’s OK to rely on natural immunity from COVID-19, meaning that if they are infected with the virus they will let their body fight it off on its own, and then will be immune to it afterward.
This approach to fighting COVID-19 is dangerous for both you and your loved ones. There is no way to know how each person will respond to becoming infected with COVID-19, and the virus can have serious, life-threatening, and life-altering complications. You also increase the chances of passing the virus on to family members and others through this approach.
Choosing to get the vaccine instead of relying on natural immunity means you can have all the benefits of immunity without the dangers of having the virus or giving it to others.
6. None of the COVID-19 vaccines can make you sick with COVID-19.
None of the COVID-19 contains the live virus that causes COVID-19, so it is impossible to become infected or sick from the virus from the vaccine. The vaccines contain material from the virus but not the virus itself. By exposing your body to this material through the vaccine, your body is essentially trained to recognize and attack the virus more quickly and effectively if it is ever exposed so that you do not become sick.
© 2023 UMass Memorial Health