On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported the first case of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. Fast forward to January 30, 2020, WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and called for accelerated research on the pathogenesis of the virus.
Like any other outbreak, the news was received with mixed reactions from the public concerning the new norms and safety measures to contain its spread (World Health Organization, 2021).
The pandemic has resulted in significant loss of lives and social and economic disruption. As of May 30, 2021, WHO reported 169,597,415 confirmed COVID-19 positive cases and 3,530,582 deaths globally.
The organization activated the R&D Blueprint in its effort to accelerate diagnosis, vaccination, and therapeutics for the virus. The Blueprint enhanced coordination between health professionals and scientists that helped to discover the coronavirus vaccines.
As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes the emergency administration of the coronavirus vaccines, it is understandable to have questions and doubts about it.
What are the Benefits of the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Through clinical trials, it has been shown that the vaccines help to prevent COVID-19 infection. The virus has been known to be highly infectious and life-threatening, especially to the older generation and those living with underlying medical conditions.
Vaccines, combined with natural body immunity, are our best hope and most effective measure of protection against the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been monitoring the side effects of the vaccines. CDC recommends their use because they have proven to be:
- Reduce the risk of severe symptoms.
If you have already received the vaccine, it is wise that you share the benefits with your family and friends.
To those that are still in doubt about the COVID-19 vaccine, here are the benefits:
- Protects you against COVID-19
Prevention, they say, is better than cure so, the best way to remain healthy is to prevent infection. However, in case you are already infected with the virus, the vaccine reduces the risk of developing severe or life-threatening symptoms. The vaccine prompts the production of antibodies to boost your immune system making the body prepared to fight the virus if it gets infected again.
- Reduces Reinfection
Since the virus is highly infectious, there is a high chance that you could be re-infected at any minute which can lead to more severe effects. Current studies suggest that COVID-19 re-infection is uncommon among vaccinated individuals. If they get re-infected, however, the symptoms are mild, or they may never experience any symptom at all.
- Helps to Achieve Herd Immunity
Herd Immunity is when a significant community population develops immunity against a disease, limiting the spread and subsequently protecting the entire community. When coronavirus kicked in, a lot changed that affected the lives and lifestyle of people globally like the effect it had on gatherings, connecting with friends, colleagues, and traveling.
Vaccinated people can attend small gatherings, share meals and enjoy each other’s company without worrying about reinfection. Previous outbreaks such as polio, measles, smallpox, and chickenpox have now become uncommon in the world today because their vaccines aided in achieving herd immunity (Rogers, 2021).
WHO recommends vaccination to a substantial population for safe and commendable herd immunity achievement.
High rates of effectiveness
The Food and Drug Administration has a history of only approving drugs that have undergone and passed clinical trials. For instance, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has proved to be 95% effective after two weeks of receiving the full dose.
Why the Covid-19 Vaccine is Safe
COVID-19 vaccines are safe, and they have been proven to be so because they have been safely administered to millions of people globally. Here is why the COVID-19 vaccine is safe.
Before they are approved by the WHO, the vaccines underwent rigorous, multistage testing procedures and clinical trials among thousands of people. WHO also convened an independent panel of experts to monitor and analyze clinical outcomes from the trials.
COVID-19 vaccines were tested among different race, age, gender, and countries to be sure of their safety with different body structures. The outcomes show that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. The vaccines have also been tested thoroughly by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and proved safe.
Woodrow T. Wilson’s quote, “We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose, we stand together until the end” perfectly describes everyone’s efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
We need to protect our loved ones from contracting the virus as we all have older ones, parents, grandparents, and those that have underlying medical conditions around us.
We are all longing for the good old days when we could hold large gatherings, concerts, travel around the world, and interact freely without worrying about the virus. To go back to those experiences, we have to first achieve herd immunity through vaccination.
The vaccines have been clinically proven safe and effective. If we all get vaccinated, we would save more lives, including our loved ones. Take the bold step today, get vaccinated, and be part of this solidarity initiative.
Thank you for getting vaccinated!
Emmanuel J. Osemota writes in his stead as County Epidemiologist in FL
Center for Disease Control. (2021, May 13). Different COVID-19 Vaccines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines.html
Rogers, L. S. (2021, April 7). What is Herd Immunity, and How Can We Achieve It With COVID-19? Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. https://www.jhsph.edu/covid-19/articles/achieving-herd-immunity-with-covid19.html
World Health Organization. (2021, May 31). WHO Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dashboard. With Vaccination Data. https://covid19.who.int/