In Canada, the vaccine strategy has been to prioritize first doses and extend the time between first and second vaccine shots. This has been largely successful with 81% of the population having at least one dose, and 68% that have received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated. Still on the fence about getting vaccinated? Here are some benefits of getting your COVID-19 vaccination:
Being vaccinated helps others in your community. Those with compromised immune systems or chronic medical conditions cannot get vaccinated, and are most at risk of contracting COVID-19 if those around them are not vaccinated. According to Canadian officials, 90% of the population need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity. While the COVID-19 vaccine is currently not approved for children 12 and under, this leaves 4.8 million children (or 13% of the population) unvaccinated. Due to this, Canada most likely will not reach herd immunity as it may be some time before we see a vaccine available for children.
It's also important to note that although development for the COVID-19 vaccine was done quickly, the development process did not skip any steps. The technology used to develop the COVID-19 vaccines was in development for years prior to the pandemic, and the manufacturing processes were ready very early on in the pandemic. For detailed information on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, check on this article published by John Hopkins Medicine, Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe?
Diversity in vaccine testing helps assess safety. COVID-19 affects everyone, and as such, scientists made sure that the clinical trial participants were diverse. According to John Hopkins Medicine, "The clinical trials for the first two COVID-19 vaccines included Black (about 10% of participants) and Hispanic (about 20% of participants) people, older age groups (about 25%), and people with conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and heart and respiratory conditions. The U.S. study participants for the one-shot COVID-19 vaccine were 15% Hispanic/Latinx; 13% Black/African American; 6% Asian and 1% Native American." New and future trials will include pregnant people and children under 12.
The side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are temporary and does not mean that you are sick. The vaccines do not contain live coronavirus, and you cannot get COVID-19 from getting vaccinated. After the shots, you might experience some of these common side effects: pain, redness, itchiness, or swelling at the injection site, swollen lymph nodes under armpit, tiredness or headache, fever and chills, muscle or joint soreness, and nausea and vomiting. These are all normal side effects and do not mean that you have COVID-19; the symptoms are temporary and only last a day or two. Side effects are a natural response as your body's immune system learns to recognize and fight the coronavirus.
If you've already had Covid, the vaccine will provide extra protection. According to the WHO, people who have already had COVID-19 should be immunized with the Covid vaccines, though it is best to wait until you have fully recovered to get immunized. The protection that a person gains from having COVID-19 will vary from person to person, and it is not known how long natural immunity might last.
Still have lingering questions and concerns about getting the COVID-19 vaccine? Consider booking an appointment with one of our GOeVisit practitioners and they will be happy to answer any questions and alleviate your concerns!
GOeBlogger is a health enthusiast and avid reader living and thriving in vibrant Vancouver. When she's not nerding out at her laptop, you can find her exploring the beautiful BC coastline with her dog.
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