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Will you take the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Will you take the COVID-19 Vaccine?

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COVID-19 has undoubtedly impacted the lives and the livelihood of almost all of us. Approximately a year after the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in Wuhan, China; the virus has spread to almost every corner of the earth, demonstrating how easy it is for germs to travel in a globalized age.

COVID-19 is the greatest headache that public health specialists are faced with today. They are examining what measures are effective in preventing the spread of the virus and how to flatten the famous epidemiological curve that all of us by now are familiar with. Measures have been put in place to minimize the spread of the virus such as social distancing, staying at home and the use of face masks. However, despite these measures being recommended as effective control measures to slow the spread of the virus, we continue to see a blatant neglect and disregard on the part of some to adhere. When we think that we are making one step forward in arresting the spread of the virus, we are indeed taking two steps backward by not taking control measures seriously and so we are going nowhere. The road ahead in terms of getting over the pandemic will be a long one.

Vaccines are one of the most effective and successful public health interventions in saving lives. Since the first vaccine was discovered in 1796 against the deadly smallpox virus, no other public health intervention has saved more lives. Thanks to vaccines, we do not see cases of diphtheria, whooping cough, polio, measles, etc.

COVID-19 control is now focused on vaccination. This is because the current measures are not reaching the level of control that we expect. Also, vaccines work on the principle of prevention. That is, if you are vaccinated, you cannot contract the virus nor can you transmit it. Therefore, it is better to prevent getting the disease than to treat it. Remember the old saying: “Prevention is better than cure”.

As we speak, vaccines are currently being deployed across the United States to begin the vaccination process. Earlier this month, the United Kingdom also started to roll out vaccines. In the coming months, vaccines may be available in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. There will be many questions around the vaccine such as; safety, who will get it first, when will it be available, etc. These are valid questions to be asked in order to make an informed decision.

I urge you before you make a decision to consider your risk of getting Covid-19. Also consider the risk to others and how you can play a part in keeping safe and others you love safe. Avoid false information about the vaccine. Indeed, there will be the anti-vaccine campaign that will be all dramatic and sensational. Use credible sources to get information on vaccine safety. Follow the news closely to get feedback from the process in the US and the UK. Listen to your Ministry of Health and most of all, do not let fear stop you.

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