DETROIT – Local 4′s Dr. Frank McGeorge is working to answer the following questions: Why does almost everyone need to get vaccinated against COVID? Can’t we just vaccinate the people who want the vaccine and not worry about everyone else?
Generally, when someone gets a vaccine, they’re thinking about getting it to protect themselves or the people in their family, but vaccines have two purposes. They protect individuals, and they prevent the disease from spreading in society.
With the coronavirus, it is especially critical to stop that spread as quickly as possible because right now could be our best chance to beat the virus. The more the virus continues to spread from person to person, the more chances it has to mutate and change.
As the pandemic has progress new, more contagious and potentially more deadly variants have developed. The biggest concern of experts is that if we continue to allow the virus to spread widely new variants could develop that our current vaccines may not be effective against.
There is also the risk of a new variant developing that is more deadly or potentially has a bigger impact on children. That’s why there’s a push to vaccinate as many Americans as possible before new variants form. That is also why it’s critical to help vaccinate the rest of the world too.
There are also benefits to each individual. Anyone who gets vaccinated is less likely to get sick, less likely to be hospitalized and less likely to die from COVID.
While the survival rate of the virus is high in younger and healthier people, there are still many in those groups who have died, have ended up in the ICU, or continue to battle significant health problems as a result of COVID.
Many people who initially suffered mild symptoms have found themselves among the “long-haulers,” dealing with chronic and debilitation post-COVID symptoms.
While it’s true we don’t yet have data on the long-term impact of the vaccines, we also do not know the long-term impact of being infected with COVID.
If you haven’t been vaccinated yet you should talk to a health professional to get your questions answered.