In our last article we discussed breakthrough infections, which occur when someone who has been vaccinated gets COVID-19. Breakthrough infections lead a lot of people to ask the question, why should I get vaccinated if I can still get COVID-19?
The answer is because if you’re vaccinated you will not get as seriously sick and are less likely to die.
In addition, you will help to stop this pandemic. The more people who are infected in a population the higher the prevalence level of the virus and increased risk for everyone. Unvaccinated individuals contribute to the number of people who can possibly get sick and provide a host for COVID-19 to replicate and create more variants. The more the virus spreads, the greater risk of mutation that could possibly be more dangerous than what we’ve seen so far. While vaccinated people can get COVID -19 and can spread it to others, you’re less likely to get COVID-19 if you’re vaccinated, and it spreads less easily in vaccinated people.
This is also why it’s important to continue to follow the mandated health safety guidelines laid out by the CDC. Everyone wants to get back to regular life and avoid further isolation. The only way to do that is for the unvaccinated to get vaccinated and for the vaccinated to wear masks and take public health precautions.
Typically, when people hear the words “public health” they think of somebody else’s health, but it is your health. COVID-19 is a public health issue. It’s similar to drinking and driving. When you drink and drive you are choosing to put other people’s safety at risk. Its why laws have been set in place to prevent this behavior. Not being vaccinated is choosing to put other people’s health at risk.
At this moment, we don’t clearly know the long-term affects of COVID-19. But we have already seen some serious side effects for individuals that have had it, including
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental activities (also known as post-exertional malaise)
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”)
- Chest or stomach pain
- Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)
- Joint or muscle pain
- Pins-and-needles feeling
- Sleep problems
- Dizziness on standing (lightheadedness)
- Mood changes
- Change in smell or taste
- Changes in menstrual period cycles
The COVID-19 vaccine is federally approved by The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means that it’s met rigorous guidelines set for vaccine approval. The FDA does not take vaccine approval lightly because they are developed to keep people alive and healthy. We know that getting the vaccine is not riskier than getting COVID-19.
At the end of the day, we all want the same thing, for COVID-19 to go away and to be eradicated. If COVID-19 continues to have hosts it will continue to spread and duplicate. Getting vaccinated is not only for yourself, but it’s for your family, your community, and future generations.
*This is the last article in a series of information on the importance of vaccination. You can read previous articles on the Ask the Professor page.
To get vaccinated:
- Make a vaccine appointment at no cost by contacting the University Student Health Center at 775-784-6598. The Student Health Center continues to offer daily COVID-19 testing by appointment as well.
- Make a vaccine appointment with the Washoe County Health District.
- Text your zip code to 438829 to get three locations near you with vaccines in stock.
- Use the COVID-19 Vaccine Locator from Immunize Nevada.