6 reasons to get vaccinated
Vaccines have played an important role in keeping us safe from infectious diseases for over 200 years. An effective vaccine protects us by greatly reducing the risk of catching a disease, and in turn reducing potential serious health complications.
As we find ourselves under tough public health restrictions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination continues to be a key strategy in helping to slow the spread of the disease and to reduce the significant health, social and economic impacts being experienced in our community.
Here are 6 reasons you should consider getting vaccinated:
1. Because vaccination saves lives
In Australia, we have access to vaccines that provide high levels of protection against a number of diseases, including whooping cough, measles, polio, tetanus and diphtheria. Our significant levels of immunisation prevents these diseases from becoming prevalent in our population.
COVID-19 vaccines are incredibly effective in preventing you from catching the disease. A study1 in the US monitored nearly 4,000 health care personnel, first responders and essential workers weekly for COVID-19 in the worst months of the pandemic in 2020 and found those who were fully vaccinated were 90% less likely to contract the disease. Partial immunisation was also found to provide significantly increased effectiveness compared to people who were not vaccinated.
2. To reduce the severity of symptoms
It’s universally acknowledged by health experts that while you can still contract COVID-19 if you’re vaccinated, the risk of serious illness is significantly reduced.
Vaccination can literally save your life. Australia’s Doherty Institute recently released modelling that shows two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is 90% effective at reducing the chance of death, while two doses of the Pfizer vaccine provides 92% effectiveness2.
If you do contract COVID-19, you are significantly less likely to become really sick, meaning you are less likely to be hospitalised or admitted to ICU. We know that adults aged over 65 years are at an increased risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19, however research3 has demonstrated vaccination was 94% effective against COVID-19 hospitalisation among fully vaccinated adults and 64% effective among partially vaccinated adults in this age group.
3. To protect your long-term health
Just as vaccines can protect us from contracting COVID-19 in the first place or reduce the severity of our symptoms, it can also protect us from the long-lasting health effects of the disease. COVID-19 can result in long-lasting health impacts that can affect your quality of life for months. The most common long-term COVID-19 symptoms4 include fatigue, headache, attention disorder or ‘brain fog’, hair loss, shortness of breath (dyspnea), anxiety and depression, muscle weakness, and sleep difficulties.
4. To protect your family and your community
COVID-19 vaccines are incredibly effective in reducing the chance of transmitting the virus. A major study5 of over 365,000 households in England found people who were vaccinated were around half as likely to pass their infection on to others, compared to infected people who were not vaccinated. This means each person who is vaccinated is not only protecting themselves, but also the people around them. This is especially important in protecting those closest to us who are unable to be vaccinated, such as children, some older people, and people who are immunocompromised.
5. To protect our health services
Getting vaccinated helps our health services help us. It is no secret that our health services experience intense pressure during peaks of COVID-19 outbreaks, in terms of resources and staff shortages6. We know that by being vaccinated, your chances of being hospitalised with COVID-19 drops considerably. Being vaccinated against COVID-19 can relieve pressure on our hospitals and our health service staff, who can dedicate their efforts and equipment to helping patients with non-preventable illnesses.
A flow-on effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a reduction in the number of people accessing important healthcare and healthcare services as many facilities have suspended or changed the way they deliver their services. Cancer Australia reported there were substantial reductions in a range of procedures relating to cancer investigation and treatment, especially for skin cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer related services7.
Vaccination is a critical step towards easing of community restrictions, which can in turn ensure services for non-COVID related illnesses and diseases remain available and easily accessible.
6. Vaccination can save you money
We know that vaccinations keep people healthy, but the benefits flow through to our hip pockets too. Vaccination can ensure you are able to avoid potential loss of income due to illness and absence from work8, since being vaccinated reduces your chance of getting COVID-19, and the severity of your symptoms if you do contract the disease.
Australia’s National Cabinet released a plan9 in July 2021 which will dictate the easing of restrictions and the reopening of the nation’s economy. Central to this plan is significant rates of vaccination across the country, to reduce the need for lockdowns and ensure the lifting of restrictions on important industries such as restaurants, travel and retail (to name a few) that provide jobs and economic security for millions of Australians.
Vaccination can be an investment not only in our health and wellbeing, but also in our own financial security and in our society’s economy recovery from COVID-19.
If you get vaccinated it can save your life. If you get vaccinated it can also save the lives of those around you. Visit the Federal Government Health website10 to check your eligibility and register for a local health district vaccination clinic near you.