Thursday, September 23, 2021

12 or over? Get vaccinated. Period.


With the exception of people who might be allergic to one of the components of a vaccine or are otherwise at an elevated risk of serious side effects from the vaccine, such as certain immunocompromised patients, Voxitatis is joining the voices of many in the medical community and asking you to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

“We urge those who are eligible to get vaccinated,” said Washington State Secretary of Health Umair A Shah, MD, MPH. “If they still have questions, we encourage them to speak to their healthcare provider. We all have a role to protect our community, especially those who are most vulnerable.”

Getting vaccinated may not protect you from infection. It may not keep you from spreading the virus to others. It may not last longer than a year.

But we need to stop this thing from spreading.

And getting vaccinated will most likely protect you from developing severe or life-threatening symptoms from the virus. If you are vaccinated and catch the Delta variant of Covid-19, odds are you will suffer flu-like symptoms that will not require hospitalization.

The COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the US are highly effective at preventing severe disease and death, including against the Delta variant. But they are not 100% effective and some fully vaccinated people will become infected (called a breakthrough infection) and experience illness. For such people, the vaccine still provides them strong protection against serious illness and death. —CDC

In other words, breakthrough infections and anecdotes are no substitute for data, which clearly show that the vaccines are generally safe and effectively prevent severe illness from Covid-19.

One percent of the deaths resulting from Covid-19 infections, or fewer, affect vaccinated people, the Associated Press reported in June, before the Delta variant surged in the US. Now the numbers have changed a bit, but hospitalizations from Covid-19 are much higher in states with lower vaccination rates than in those where a higher percentage of people are vaccinated, according to Statista:

As the nation gets vaccinated, immunity in the population will increase, but right now, because of the infectious nature of the Delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still recommending wearing masks indoors and in public places, socially distancing, and taking appropriate precautions if you feel sick.

As students prepare for a return to in-person learning, conflicts have arisen in several US states over mask mandates in schools, The New York Times reports. In Dallas, Texas, for example, the school district is explicitly defying the governor’s executive order by putting a mask mandate in effect.

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.


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