By Jaelyn Copeland (Community Health and Human Services Student)
The vaccine is like a seatbelt. Safe, effective, and well-tested. If you crash, you’ll be glad you have it. Strongly consider the vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you have questions or concerns.
Many activities that you enjoyed before the pandemic can be resumed once you are completely vaccinated. You are not considered fully immunized until two weeks after receiving your second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or two weeks after receiving a single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Until then, you should continue to use all available techniques to protect yourself and others, such as wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.
No vaccine is perfect, just as no helmet, seatbelt, or other safety device can guarantee you won’t get hurt. However, studies have demonstrated that vaccination provides a significant boost in protection and may make illness less severe for those who are still get sick. In Alabama, 97% of hospitalized COVID patients are unvaccinated. There is still a lot to learn about COVID-19 vaccinations; scientist and doctors are regularly assessing research and revising guidelines.
Vaccinate yourself, even if you’ve already had COVID-19. Reach out to your friends and loved ones to make sure they’re protected as well. The vaccine is currently available to everyone age 18 and older.
To find a clinic to get vaccinated, visit Vaccines.gov or Alabama’s COVID-19 Dashboard
Sources and Further Reading:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, August 5). COVID-19 breakthrough Case investigations and reporting. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/health-departments/breakthrough-cases.html.
Jones, A. (2021, August 3). Back to square one: UAB experts say Social DISTANCING, Masks, vaccinations are key to STOPPING covid-19 surge. UAB News. https://www.uab.edu/news/health/item/12192-back-to-square-one-uab-experts-say-social-distancing-masks-vaccinations-are-key-to-stopping-covid-19-surge.
“When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html.