What are the Benefits of Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Photo of person being vaccinated

Although experts are still learning a lot about the COVID-19 vaccines, there are some clear benefits to getting vaccinated.

If you’ve already received the vaccine, great job! Share these facts with others who might be hesitant. If you’re unsure whether the vaccine is right for you, consider these four benefits the vaccine could provide you and your loved ones.

The vaccine reduces your risk of infection.

Once you receive your first shot, your body begins producing antibodies to the coronavirus. These antibodies help your immune system fight the virus if you happen to be exposed, so it reduces your chance of getting the disease. There are three vaccines authorized for use in the United States, and they are all more than 70% effective in preventing infection. Learn more about effectiveness.

It’s true that you can still become infected after being vaccinated, but once more of the population is vaccinated, those chances are further reduced thanks to something called herd immunity. So, getting vaccinated not only reduces your chance of being infected, it also contributes to community protection, reducing the likelihood of virus transmission.

The vaccine can help your unborn baby or newborn.

A new study found that expectant mothers who receive the COVID-19 vaccine create antibodies to the virus and pass those to their unborn baby through the placenta. Mothers were also shown to pass antibodies to their newborns through breast milk. This suggests those newborns have some immunity to the virus, which is especially important as young children cannot get the vaccine. Learn more about vaccine considerations for pregnant and nursing women.

The vaccine protects against severe illness.

During studies, the three authorized vaccines have shown to be effective at preventing severe illness from COVID-19. So even if you were vaccinated and become infected, you are very unlikely to become severely ill. The clinical trials for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines showed they were 100% effective at preventing severe illness. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine showed 85% effectiveness against severe illness.

Studies have shown vaccinated people who do get infected have mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 compared to those who aren’t vaccinated. So, your risk of hospitalization and death because of COVID-19 is nearly eliminated once you are fully vaccinated.

The vaccine (eventually) will help us ditch the masks.

The vaccine is the final step in our effort to get back to a more normal way of life. Public health measures such as mask wearing, physical distancing and hand-washing were implemented to slow the spread of the virus, and they have proven to work. We should continue with these precautions until enough people are immunized, especially the most vulnerable in our community.

However, these rules will not be in place forever. New evidence suggests that vaccinated people who might be infected with the coronavirus have fewer virus particles in their nose and mouth and are less likely to spread it to others. This finding is important as getting vaccinated now not only protects you, but also limits spreading the virus to loved ones and friends.

When enough people are protected through vaccination and prior infection, we can reach herd immunity, which means the spread of the virus becomes unlikely. At that time, masks and physical distancing might not be required any longer. But, for the time being, we need to continue to follow public health guidance.

The vaccine will help you reconnect with friends and family.

Once you’ve received the vaccine and waited the recommended time for your body to build immunity, you can visit in person with other people who have been vaccinated or those at low risk of infection without wearing a mask. This is the first step in re-establishing those in-person connections that are so important in our lives.

Also, if you’ve been around someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine if you are fully vaccinated and not experiencing symptoms.

After a year of uncertainty, the vaccine has arrived and has clear benefits that should make everyone strongly considered getting the shot. By choosing to be vaccinated, you can protect not only yourself and your family but your community as well.

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