Up until recently, most of the American population hasn't had to consider whether or not they would be getting the COVID-19 vaccine, as most states were only giving the vaccine to specific ages, occupations, and health conditions. Now though, with a third vaccine being approved, it is expected that every American will have access to the vaccine by May.
So that means it's time for everyone to start thinking about whether or not they'll be getting the vaccine when they are able to. As someone who is a complete advocate of those who can safely get the vaccine doing so, I thought I would make a list of reasons people should be getting the vaccine to hopefully steer everyone in the right direction.
1. It's a safer way to build immunity against COVID-19
Researchers aren't sure if being infected with COVID-19 produces enough antibodies to keep you from catching it again, or even if it produces antibodies at all. What we do know though, is that the vaccine does allow your body to produce these antibodies, and it does it in a much safer and controlled environment than the virus does.
2. It helps to prevent you from getting seriously ill
COVID-19 has some pretty nasty symptoms: difficulty breathing, high fevers, nausea, diarrhea, intense headaches, and in severe cases, even death. Some of these symptoms even last for weeks after you are no longer contagious. Why would you want to put your body through getting sick if you don't have to? All three of the vaccines are showing overwhelming evidence of decreasing symptom severity in recipients. So do your body a favor and get the vaccine.
3. It may slow/stop transmission of the virus
One of the biggest problems with the COVID-19 virus is how quickly it spreads. While the studies haven't concluded that the vaccine stops the transmission of the virus just yet, most show that it does seem to slow the rate of it. We should be taking any help we can get right now, even if it's just a little bit.
4. It's an important step for stopping the pandemic
It has been almost a year since most of America "shut-down" for the first time due to the pandemic. These vaccines give us the power to begin returning to normal life by slowing transmission and infection. If enough people don't get the vaccine, the virus will still have enough hosts to infect that will make the pandemic on-going. So just think, do you want to be the reason we're all stuck in another nation-wide lockdown?
5. It will help relieve stress on healthcare services
When there are thousands of people getting infected with a virus which isn't treatable by most medicines and antibiotics, it puts a serious strain on medical services. As more people start getting the vaccine, the number of those who need medical care due to the virus will decline. After all the hard work the medical community has done this past year, I think they deserve a break, don't you?
6. It protects those who can't get it
There are plenty of reasons people can't get the COVID-19 vaccine: allergies to its ingredients, religious reservations, they fall into a category that the vaccine hasn't been studied on, they are immunosuppressed, or their doctor doesn't recommend them getting it. When the rest of us who are eligible and able to get it do get it, it protects the hundreds of thousands of people who can't. It's said we need 70-90% of the population to be fully vaccinated to reach herd immunity — do your part.
I know vaccines can be scary to some, and I am by no means a scientist or doctor, but I have done a fair bit of research, talked to my doctors, and been told by my very well-trained biology professors that this vaccine, for most, is harmless and completely safe. Obviously, do your own research and talk to your own doctors if you still have reservations, but don't just write off the vaccine because you're scared or ill-informed.
This vaccine could save yours and millions of others' lives, so please make the right decision, whatever that may be for you.