Do your part to help society manage disease control and prevention and achieve herd immunity.

There are many reasons to get a COVID-19 vaccine; some of which have more to do with your health and that of your family and friends, while others concern protecting your community and society as a whole by crossing immunity thresholds. 

You may know someone who had COVID-19 and didn’t have any symptoms or was barely sick. They were lucky! Others have ended up severely ill and found themselves in the hospital for treatment, with some fighting for their lives on a ventilator. Some COVID-19 survivors have become “long-haulers.”

These individuals continue to experience life-altering symptoms of COVID-19 long after the worst of the infection is over. According to the Harvard Health blog, tens of thousands of people in the U.S. experience symptoms long after their COVID-19 tests return negative results. 

A few of the most common symptoms for these individuals are fatigue, body aches, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating and headaches. Many COVID-19 survivors continuing to have symptoms are unable to return to work or to their normal activities.

And while some cases present no symptoms at all or cause people to seek treatment from a hospital, some have lost their lives to COVID-19. So far in the U.S., over 500,000 people have died from the novel virus. Every single one of these individuals who lost their lives to COVID-19 was someone’s mother or father, brother or sister, child, friend, grandparent or co-worker. 

Getting a vaccine will protect you and those you love from experiencing hospitalization, long-term COVID-19 symptoms or death. Getting vaccinated is safe and effective and above all, worth it.

What Can Getting Vaccinated Do for Me?

Being vaccinated protects you and those around you. People can transmit the virus without even knowing they are sick, so getting vaccinated means you can’t unknowingly pass it on to the people you care about. It also means you can gather safely with family and friends. If everyone in a group has been vaccinated, you can reunite with peace of mind.

Getting vaccinated also offers a huge benefit to communities. Herd immunity refers to the point where a high enough percentage of a population has been vaccinated and crosses an immunity threshold or becomes immune to a disease. This eliminates the disease’s ability to infect a host and keeps it from spreading. 

Reaching herd immunity (estimated to be a 70-95% vaccination rate) also protects people who can’t be vaccinated because of age, allergies or other conditions.

Once herd immunity is reached, travel and other parts of pre-pandemic life can return. Early signs show that COVID-19 vaccination status will matter for those wish to travel. As of right now, some foreign countries and U.S. states (such as Hawaii) plan to restrict entry to those who can’t prove they’ve been vaccinated, in an effort to protect residents.