Still on the Fence About the COVID-19 Vaccine? Read This for Reassurance
While there is still a massive COVID-19 vaccine shortage on a global level, the US is reaching the point in which it is easy for nearly any adult living anywhere in the country to get the coveted vaccine. However, many Americans are declining the vaccine, citing a litany of reasons. Medical care professionals caution that this vaccine hesitancy by a great percentage of the American population will only serve to stall the recovery from the pandemic.
Most health experts agree that it will take between 70 - 85% of the population to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. By not reaching that number, the vaccine will have time to mutate into new strains that may be able to break through those that have been vaccinated or already exposed to the virus. This is why it is important for as many people as possible to get vaccinated if there is any hope of beating this virus and getting back to normal.
Here are some of the most common reasons that those who refuse the vaccine are citing as to why they are holding out and why these reasons are simply myths.
Young and Healthy People Do Not Need the Vaccine
While it is true that the elderly population was prioritized in the early days of the vaccine rollout because they needed it the most, there is now plenty of vaccines to go around to people of all ages 16 and up. Now is the time for the young and healthy to step up to the plate and get the shot.
This age group is refusing the vaccine in large numbers, thinking that they do not need it since their fatality rate has been much lower than the general population. However, the new strains of the vaccine are now hitting younger Americans harder, landing them in the hospital at greater rates than earlier in the pandemic. Just because you feel invincible to the vaccine, it does not mean that you are.
Even if you survive COVID-19, young adults are still at risk of developing long-term complications as a result of the virus. Just because COVID-19 does not kill you, it does not mean that it will not seriously complicate your health down the road. Why take that chance?
Unknown Side Effects
One of the most common reasons for vaccine hesitancy is the question mark surrounding the long-term side effects. Doctors have been clear that any side effects from the vaccine generally show up within a few weeks of the shot. The trials of the vaccines followed participants for two months to ensure that there were no long-term side effects. The long-term risks of COVID-19 are far greater than any type of risk that you might face with the vaccine.
Effects on Fertility
There has been no shortage of rumors detailing how the COVID-19 vaccine may negatively affect fertility. Doctors point out that there is no evidence that shows in any way that this is a side effect of the vaccine. In fact, it is more advantageous to get the vaccine if you plan on trying to get pregnant. This is because being pregnant naturally puts you at a higher risk of coming down with COVID-19.
Emerging research is also demonstrating that a vaccinated mother may pass on her COVID-19 immunities to her newborn. This gives new babies not able to receive the vaccine protection from the virus.
Personal Freedom Defense
The standard excuse to not get the vaccine is simply that it is a violation of personal freedom to mandate vaccinations. What many people do not understand is that the vaccine does more than just protect the recipient. The more people who get the vaccine, the better the chance that the world will arrive at the coveted level of herd immunity to get past the pandemic. By choosing not to get vaccinated, you are giving the virus free reign to replicate and cause more damage to even those who have been vaccinated.
Health experts caution that the virus is continuing to mutate. As the virus moves through vulnerable unvaccinated populations, it is provided with more opportunities to mutate. Through the mutations, it is not uncommon for a virus to become more severe. It is the fear of worrisome mutations that is fueling health experts to encourage all eligible Americans to get the vaccine when it is available to them.
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