4 Things Healthcare Workers Should Consider About Getting a Covid-19 Vaccine
For much of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world hoped and waited for an effective vaccine to join the fight against the deadly virus. By mid-2021, such vaccines have been available for months, but enthusiasm for getting a shot has begun to wane. Nationwide, fewer than 50 percent of the total population was fully vaccinated by the end of July 2021. While high risk groups like the elderly were quick to take advantage of the vaccine, numbers slowed for younger age groups.
Healthcare workers are impacted by the same factors that play a role in the general public waiting to get vaccinated. Though the American Medical Association supports vaccination for all healthcare workers, many workers from physicians to support staff remain hesitant. Whether they want to see more research, don’t feel they are at risk, or have other reasons, many healthcare workers have still not been vaccinated. As you do your research and consider whether to get vaccinated against Covid-19, here are some reasons to get your shot.
Of course, the biggest reason to get vaccinated against Covid-19 is to protect yourself from Covid-19. Millions of people have been infected, hundreds of thousands have died, and untold numbers are suffering from effects of the virus long after being ill. Do what you can to not become part of those statistics. While you may not consider yourself at risk for Covid-19, healthcare workers have additional risk just from the nature of the profession. One study in the United Kingdom found that healthcare workers were seven times more likely to be infected.
Protect Family and Friends
Becoming infected with Covid-19 isn’t just a personal fight. Experts have found that Covid-19 spreads quickly between household members, often before symptoms are evident. As variants emerge that are more potent and more transmissible, it is even easier to infect your family and other close contacts. You may even get other people sick before you even realize you are ill yourself.
Healthcare acquired infections are a serious risk to patients. Even with infection control measures in place, these infections happen frequently. Despite elevated use of personal protective equipment and sanitization efforts, Covid-19 infections in a healthcare setting still occur. According to some research, the rate of hospital-acquired Covid-19 infection is 12-15 percent. Frontline healthcare personnel have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to protect their patients from this deadly virus, especially among those who are at high risk. Getting a Covid-19 vaccine is the most important way to continue to protect this vulnerable population from severe illness or death.
Vaccines Beat Natural Immunity
A lot of people who get Covid-19 will only deal with mild symptoms, so some people could be tempted to take the risk and opt for natural immunity from the virus. Unfortunately, it is hard to predict who will have severe symptoms. It’s also hard to know who will have symptoms that linger long after infection. Even people with mild symptoms have dealt with continuing effects from Covid-19. What’s more, experts don’t know yet how long natural immunity lasts after infection. The Covid-19 vaccine has been studied closely to measure its safety and effectiveness, and it doesn’t come with long-term Covid-19 side effects.
“Getting vaccinated against Covid-19 is the best way to fight the virus and avoid serious illness,” says Amy Santo, administrator at Vista Manor Nursing Center. “It will not only protect healthcare workers, but also their family members, friends, and patients.”
Getting the Covid-19 vaccine isn’t an easy decision for everyone, and there are many factors to take into account. The benefits the vaccine can provide outweigh the risks to yourself, your family, and your patients from Covid-19.