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The benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine

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by Dr. Ayoola Oyinloye, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health

We know that there are some residents who are concerned about getting vaccinated now that the Pfizer-BioNTech is available in Bermuda. In this article, I will outline some of the main benefits.

To start, let me speak about vaccines in general. Globally, vaccines save millions of lives each year and prevent countless more from contracting a variety of viral diseases. Indeed, the only human disease ever to be eradicated (Smallpox) was by vaccination. After clean water and good sanitation, vaccination is the single most important action an individual can take to protect themselves and their loved ones. This has never been more important as we seek to reduce the social, economic, and health impacts of the COVID-19 onslaught.    

The COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19 disease.

All COVID-19 vaccines currently licenced have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19. Indeed, the Pfizer vaccine that we currently have has been shown to be 95% effective when individuals take the two doses that are recommended.

Getting vaccinated yourself will also protect people around you.

If sufficient people in the country are vaccinated, the virus is less able to spread as the number of susceptible people is low, creating dead end infections. This means that you are not only able to protect yourself but also help protect the people you interact with, especially those at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Those individuals in higher risk groups include the elderly and those who are extremely clinically vulnerable. If you have any questions about your vulnerability, please talk with your primary care physician.

COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to help build protection

Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, known as immunity. However, experts don’t know for sure how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an immune response without having to experience sickness. Protection from the vaccine has been shown to be superior to that from natural infection.

COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to help stop the pandemic

Wearing masks, physical distancing, good hand hygiene, and downloading the WeHealth Bermuda app will help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to 

others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. We owe it to ourselves, to our loved ones and to the Bermudian community at large to use every tool at our disposal to try and slow the spread of the coronavirus.

For information on vaccines and how the COVID-19 vaccination will be administered, as well as frequently asked questions on the vaccine, visit www.gov.bm/vaccines.

To register your interest in receiving the vaccine go to https://forms.gov.bm/covidvaccine

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