Despite some concerns and limitations, currently the benefits of the vaccine significantly outweigh the risks, so I encourage you to get it as soon as it is available to you, just as I have done.
Ming WangGuest Columnist
Each unvaccinated healthcare worker is a potential “super spreader.”
That is why traditionally healthcare workers do receive most vaccines due to the nature and responsibilities of their jobs.
- A much higher percentage of healthcare workers have been infected with COVID-19 than those in other industries due to our increased exposure to the virus.
- A much higher percentage of healthcare workers have also received the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Healthcare workers have a responsibility not only to themselves but to others as well, since we interact with unwell people all day long, so unless we are vaccinated, we are transmitting the virus from one patient to another.
- We need to be considerate of our fellow healthcare workers because if we are not vaccinated and get COVID-19, we must be quarantined for 14 days, which puts a tremendous burden on our co-workers.
- If the average healthcare worker interacts with 20 people a day in clinic, and 1 in every 5 Americans currently carries the virus, unless we are vaccinated, we have a 400% chance of being exposed and transmitting the virus from one patient/co-worker to another, all day, every day.
What about the safety of the COVID vaccine?
- The vaccine is not a strand of the COVID-19 virus, but rather an mRNA—messenger RNA”: a single-strand RNA molecule that is complementary to one of the DNA strands of a gene—so the risk of infection by the vaccine itself is extremely low.
- Millions have received vaccine injections, and very few infections have been reported.
- The vaccine is voluntary, but highly encouraged.
- The few allergic reactions that have been reported are mainly from people who have other allergies to things like preservatives.
- The vaccines approved by the FDA for emergency use are very effective and offer 95% protection from contracting COVID-19. However, please keep in mind that there was expedited testing and it was not the normal course of an extensive FDA study.
- There is currently no information available about whether or not a person can be a silent carrier after being vaccinated.
- There is no evidence that the vaccine affects fertility.
- There have been over 30 million COVID-19 positive cases reported in the U.S., but there are generally two times more asymptomatic than symptomatic patients, so we may conclude that the actual amount of people infected is much higher, i.e., about 60 million or one out of every five Americans is infected! So if you have close contact with 5 random people, you will have a nearly 100% chance of being exposed!
- The new COVID-19 strains from South Africa, UK and Brazil are much more contagious, and there are already 500,000 related deaths in our country. Therefore, although the vaccine is effective in protecting against the original COVID virus, it may not be as effective against the new mutated virus strains.
- Vaccine immunity appears to be lasting longer than post-infection immunity.
- The potential long-term impact of the vaccine is not yet known.
- If you have concerns about getting the vaccine based on a medical condition and/or your age, you should first check with your doctor.
- The vaccine issue should not be politicized. It is a medical issue, not a political one. The information above was obtained from reliable sources in our country and outside the U.S., in which there are no red and blue influences.
- Once 80% of the population has been vaccinated, herd immunity will be reached and the virus will most likely no longer be spreading!
- Getting the vaccine is not just about protecting yourself, but your family, friends and colleagues as well, since we are only truly protected when the majority of our society has been vaccinated.
Bottom line: Despite some concerns and limitations, currently the benefits of the vaccine significantly outweigh the risks, so I encourage you to get it as soon as it is available to you, just as I have done.