I’m writing this today to strongly encourage anybody out here who’s “vaccine hesitant” to please get a COVID-19 vaccine. A discouraging piece of news, yesterday, was that the number of vaccines administered in the U.S. last week actually fell compared to the previous week. All of us are “sick and tired” of dealing with the Coronavirus Pandemic over the past year. I think it’s clear that the only real hope of ending that is for a large majority of our population to be vaccinated.
There are many subjects about which I don’t know much, but, as somebody who practiced Pediatrics for 40 years plus, I do know about vaccines. In general, they have been the reason that many infectious diseases that were scourges of humankind in the past, such as polio, measles, and diphtheria, to name a few, have been largely eliminated.
No vaccine is 100% effective, but the COVID vaccines are as successful, if not more so, than most other vaccines that I know of (the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines being well over 90 % effective). For comparison, seasonal flu vaccines are 40-60% effective usually, while Measles vaccine is over 90 % effective).
No vaccine, just as no medication, is without possible side effects. Several people I know felt a little bit ill after getting their COVID vaccines. For what it’s worth, my wife and I both got the Pfizer vaccine–she had a little arm soreness with the first dos, and I had no reaction at all to either shot. As I write this, the CDC is still evaluating whether to resume allowing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, after the reports of very rare, but definitely serious, events which could be side effects. As always, it’s a matter of risks versus benefits, but isn’t that true for everything in life?
As an old pediatrician, I’m happy that there are finally ongoing studies about giving COVID vaccine to children, down to age 6 months. I think it eventually needs to happen that all of these age groups need to be vaccinated.
If we, as a nation, are to overcome the Pandemic sooner than years down the road, many more people need to get the vaccine. Also, if the world is to overcome it, a large part of it’s population will need the same thing (and the U.S. will likely need to play a big part in enabling that to happen).
So, please get the COVID vaccine! Thanks!