Saria Saccocio, MD
Summer is here and we have returned to the days of family gatherings and neighborhood cookouts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), US deaths are down 90% from Covid-19 compared to our highest numbers in January. Masks and social distancing are quickly becoming an exception rather than the rule. However, it’s important to remember why we are able to enjoy this independence and appreciate the benefits that Covid-19 vaccines have delivered.
The dramatic and sustained drop in Covid-19 cases coincides with the arrival of vaccines that prevent this deadly virus. Science, through rigorous studies, has proven that the vaccines developed are both safe and highly effective. While 63% of US citizens 12 years of age and above have received at least one shot, SC rates trail behind at 47%. Unfortunately, the virus is not completely gone and people continue to test positive and suffer its negative effects.
The benefits are great when choosing to be fully vaccinated:
- 1. Masks and social distancing are no longer necessary, unless required by law or local businesses.
- 2. Traveling is easier without mandatory Covid testing within the US.
- 3. Variants of the Covid-19 virus, including the most recent delta type, are covered by all 3 types of vaccines available.
- 4. Breakthrough cases of Covid-19 are rare
- .5. Prevent complications of the virus and the risk ofbecoming a “long hauler”, experiencing prolonged symptoms post infection.
- 6. Protect your loved ones and those especially vulnerable from getting infected.
Even if you have been infected with the Covid-19 virus, the vaccine is still recommended for a number of reasons. Immunity wanes unpredictably in those that have tested positive for Covid-19, meaning protection from future Covid infections may vary. The vaccines currently work against all variants, whereas previous exposure may or may not provide the same protection. Studies show that people who have been infected with Covid-19 and subsequently receive the vaccine are most shielded from future Covid-19 infections.
Hesitant to vaccinate? It’s understandable that people have chosen to wait and see how the vaccines have performed in the real world after studies have proven their success. The good news is that the data supports the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines, demonstrated by continuing to reduce the number of cases and deaths from Covid-19 around the world where vaccines are available.
If still unsure if the time is right, seek answers for your questions from reputable sources such as the CDC and DHEC websites or speak with your healthcare provider. Every day more information surfaces supporting the safety of vaccines. Now that Covid-19 vaccines are widely available at healthcare sites, pharmacies, and community events, it is more convenient than ever to get your shot.
Be safe Upstate!