Historically, immunization practices have been a vital part of healthcare. They protect people from contracting severe illnesses and prevent outbreaks of highly infectious diseases by providing immunity from them. Vaccines also led the way to the eradication of diseases such as smallpox and polio. The effectiveness of vaccines has long been well-established that children begin receiving vaccines upon their birth.
Despite this, vaccine hesitancy remains to be a major problem in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Several factors come into play, such as the inaccessibility and low availability of vaccines. However, distrust in the effectiveness and safety of vaccines seems to be the most important contributing factor in people’s hesitation towards being vaccinated. At the core of this problem is the lack of education and awareness of people regarding COVID-19 vaccinations.
Needless to say, raising awareness and spreading accurate knowledge about COVID-19 vaccinations is as important as ever to reduce vaccine hesitancy and increase vaccination rates, especially in vulnerable communities.
Here is some information about COVID-19 vaccines:
COVID-19 vaccines will put a stop to the pandemic
The benefits of observing health protocols and wearing protective equipment such as face masks and custom neck gaiters are undeniable. However, these are just short-term solutions that could help slow down the rate of disease transmission. In the long run, these practices will not be sufficient to put an end to the pandemic. According to scientists, the only definite solution to eliminating COVID-19 is herd immunity, which can only happen when enough people get vaccinated to break the chain of transmission.
COVID-19 vaccines are effective
COVID-19 vaccines were developed by scientists using methods that have been around for centuries. These were the same methods used to produce vaccines against measles, influenza, chickenpox, and the same ones used to wipe out polio and smallpox. Several clinical trials have already demonstrated the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against severe COVID cases.
COVID-19 vaccines are safe
COVID-19 vaccines underwent the drug development process – a 5-stage process to determine the safety, efficacy, possible side effects, right dosing, and appropriate administration route of a drug. The drug development process is rigorous, with most taking several years to finish. If a drug’s risks are proven to outweigh its benefits, it will not be approved for marketing. But the COVID-19 vaccines received a go signal, which means that they provide more benefit than harm.
COVID-19 vaccines confer immunity
Just like how any other vaccine works, COVID-19 vaccines create immunity. COVID-19 vaccines contain weakened parts of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. When the body receives the vaccine, it will signal the immune system to create antibodies whose job is to fight these viral parts. Some people get sick after receiving the vaccine because of this immune reaction.
When the actual COVID-19 virus attacks your immune system, the antibodies that have been created when you got vaccinated will recognize and fight off the virus before you get sick. This is precisely why many people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not develop severe illness.
COVID-19 vaccines prevent severe illness and hospitalizations
Clinical trials conducted in many parts of the world have already proven that being vaccinated against COVID-19 reduces the risk for severe illness. This is particularly significant for people who are at risk of getting severe COVID, such as the elderly, people with co-morbidities, and those who are immunocompromised. The same clinical trials have concluded that COVID-19 vaccines reduce hospitalization rates, thus decreasing financial burden on patients and easing the load of healthcare workers.
COVID-19 vaccines protect those who cannot be vaccinated
If you are vaccinated against COVID-19, you are contributing to herd immunity. This slows down the spread of infection among people in the community and protects those who cannot be vaccinated, like newborns and people who have severe allergic reactions to vaccines. If you are vaccinated, you are protecting not only yourself, but those around you.
People vaccinated against COVID-19 can resume doing many activities
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can resume domestic travel without mandatory testing and self-quarantine. In addition, they can participate again in many activities they used to do before the pandemic, such as indoor dining or going to the mall or movie theater. They may also choose not to wear a mask when doing these activities. Getting fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is a step closer to a normal life.
While quarantine restrictions, lockdowns, and strict observance of health protocols have definitely saved lives amidst a global public health threat, COVID-19 vaccines will pave the way to the end of the pandemic. And the development of these vaccines is only the beginning. Everyone must do their part and take active steps in campaigning for these vaccines. Everyone has a responsibility to share in raising awareness for COVID-19 vaccinations.