Safe Community Project


Why Vaccines Are So Important

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For more than a year now, the world has been in battle with the virus known as COVID-19. Approximately 200 millions cases have been diagnosed, and more than four million people have died. In the United States, 35 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and more than 600,000 people have died.

Multiple health companies rushed to develop effective and safe vaccines to help the human body block the virus, including Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna in the USA. Other vaccines have been in development in other parts of the world (by more than 15 different drug companies).

Yet today, more than eight months after the first vaccines were made available in the U.S.. a staggering number of people are either afraid of taking a vaccine, or don’t believe there is a need to do so. As of March 2021, approximately 28.5% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Approximately 15% of the world population is fully vaccinated. The Unites States ranks seventh in terms of the population that has been vaccinated, with Canada being the most proactive, and poorer countries like Sudan, Nigeria, and Mozambique being at the bottom of the list.

The “D” Delta variant of COVID-19 highlights the importance of vaccines, and the threat to the world population if more isn’t done to get a majority of the world population vaccinated. Designated B.1.617, delta is the fourth “variant of concern” on a list from the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, said delta had now been identified in 85 countries and called it “the most transmissible of the variants identified so far.”

When a virus infects a new host — an animal or person — it makes copies of itself with small genetic differences called mutations. “As more people are infected, the range of mutations widens, though the vast majority of them go nowhere and don’t affect anything,” says Gabe Kelen, MD, director of emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore.

More than a year after the virus first began circulating around the globe, the D variant is creating a second pandemic – a pandemic of the unvaccinated. People who have been fully vaccinated are 99.9% protected from severe effects or death as a result of COVID-19, but that may not be the case in the future. As more unvaccinated people become infected, the opportunity for the virus to mutate yet again (and it will), increases, while also presenting fears that future variants might find ways to circumvent the current crop of vaccines.

For people who say they want to wait for “official” non-emergency clearance of vaccines by the FDA, there is some important clarity to share: the emergency use authorization doesn’t mean the vaccines aren’t tested or safe. In fact, more testing has been done in the past year on these vaccines than on most others developed in the past 20 years prior to formal approval. And these vaccines have actually been in development for more than two decades as well. The “emergency status” relates to the time period that is typically required prior to formal approval. Essentially, the emergency status approval allowed the vaccines to be distributed in a shorter time period, but with substantial and clinically proven testing and trials.

Don’t get fooled by vaccine myths. If you need the facts, visit the COVID-19 page at the CDC. 

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