August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) in the United States. Bringing awareness to the power of immunizations couldn’t come at a better time. Historically speaking, the usage of immunizations and vaccines has all but eradicated diseases such as smallpox and polio within the United States. As the Coronavirus Pandemic continues to affect all of us, we should be doing our part to keep ourselves and those close to us safe. In accordance with the CDC, the best way to do so is by receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Evidence shows that being vaccinated can keep one from contracting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Additionally, it’s known that even if a vaccinated individual is infected with COVID-19, their chances of getting seriously ill are highly reduced as compared to an unvaccinated person.
With new information and statistics emerging around the Delta Variant, many are wondering whether the vaccine is effective in protecting them from contracting the novel Delta Variant. According to the CDC, the COVID vaccines are highly effective in stopping the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta Variant. In addition, new recommendations are being released that suggest a booster (third) dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine starting eight months after the second dose to further improve the efficacy of the vaccine. Many of our volunteer doctors will be some of the first to receive their third dose as they are constantly at risk of being exposed to COVID-19 while providing care to patients. For those who received the Johnston & Johnston single-dose vaccine, new information regarding booster shots will become available in the coming weeks.
Just as COVID-19 is a (relatively) new hurdle for us all to jump through, finding ways to stop the spread is an ongoing process. However, it is important across every step of this journey that we do what we can to keep our communities safe. As we mentioned above, one of the best ways to do so is to get vaccinated. You can learn more about how and where you can get vaccinated by clicking here.
Until recently, the various COVID-19 vaccinations were under emergency use authorization(EUA), however now the US FDA has fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (now marketed as Comirnaty) for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older. It continues to be available for ages 12-15 under EUA. As more information becomes available around the COVID-19 vaccines, we will continue to do our part to help provide factual information on immunization efforts across the United States. No matter which vaccine you feel most comfortable getting, we urge everyone to do their part by getting vaccinated so together we can move one step closer to ending this pandemic.