Vaccination has started across Canada with the approval of the Pfizer / BioNtech and Moderna vaccines. A total of 424,000 doses were delivered in December to provinces and territories and by the end of January 1.2 million additional doses should make it possible to accelerate the pace and increase the immunity of the population against the coronavirus responsible for Covid-19.
However, since the start of the pandemic, and in particular since the start of clinical trials of various vaccines, many people have expressed concerns as to their safety and effectiveness.
For those who hesitate to get vaccinated or who wonder why vaccines are considered as one of the greatest achievements of mankind, here are ten good reasons to accept the vaccine.
1. To save your life
Things have changed a lot since the introduction in 1796 of the first smallpox vaccine by the English doctor Edward Jenner, considered the father of immunology. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that currently, immunization helps prevent 2 to 3 million deaths every year.
Smallpox, which caused approximately 300 million dead to XXe century, has been completely eradicated thanks to the development of safe and effective vaccines.
For some people, Covid-19 is also proving fatal. If you are at high risk getting the disease, getting the vaccine could save your life.
2. To protect your health
Vaccines also protect us against many debilitating diseases.
Before the development of the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines, it was common to see dramatic images of patients using lungs of steel or paralyzed children as a result of infection. But over the past three decades, vaccines led to a 99.9% reduction in polio cases.
Covid-19 can also have long term effects about health. Vaccines also protect you from these effects.
3. To support the health system
Getting vaccinated at a young age lowers your risk of contracting infectious diseases throughout your life. This relieves the pressure on health system personnel, who can then devote their efforts, resources and equipment to caring for patients with non-preventable diseases.
Getting vaccinated against Covid-19 frees up resources by reducing the number of cases and avoiding postponement of other treatments.
4. To protect the most vulnerable
When enough people are vaccinated against an infectious disease like Covid-19, its spread becomes difficult because there are not enough people left to infect. This is called thecollective immunity.
Achieving collective immunity means that even those who cannot receive the vaccination (for example due to pre-existing conditions) are protected.
5. Because vaccines are rigorously tested
Vaccines are tested in long, large clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people, and their effects are monitored even after approval. Thanks to the rigor with which vaccines are developed, they are much safer and have fewer side effects than most existing drugs.
Vaccines against Covid-19 are tested in the same way as vaccines against other diseases. They were developed quickly thanks to a red tape, and not because the security scans were less thorough.
6. To save time and money
Vaccines are widely recognized as one of the most common medical interventions fastest and most profitable. The vaccination only takes a few minutes, is very inexpensive (and free in many cases, as in France).
On the other hand, contracting an infectious disease means being absent from school or work and can lead to high medical costs.
7. To travel safely
Traveling to other countries exposes you to pathogens that your immune system does not recognize. By receiving the vaccines recommended for your destination, you will be able to enjoy your vacation without risking being hospitalized abroad or bringing an infection home.
Likewise, by following the recommended vaccination schedule, you protect the inhabitants of the country you are visiting from diseases that you could transmit. This is why vaccines against Covid-19 could gradually become compulsory to travel to certain countries.
8. To limit drug resistance
Antimicrobial resistance has been identified by WHO as one of the ten biggest threats to global health (just like reluctance to use a vaccine). The surutilization continue antibiotics and antivirals make bacteria and viruses resistant, leading to the spread of untreatable infections.
By preventing us from getting infected in the first place, vaccines allow us to reduce our use of antibiotics and antivirals, thereby limiting the emergence of drug-resistant strains of bacteria and viruses.
9. To protect future generations
In the course of history, human beings have had to learn to cohabit with many degenerative and fatal diseases which are now very rare thanks to childhood immunization programs.
However, the pandemic is a dramatic illustration of the devastating effect that a single disease can have globally in the absence of a vaccine. Getting vaccinated today against infectious diseases and having our children vaccinated is an invaluable legacy for future generations. Eliminating disease now will allow people to live longer and healthier lives in the future.
10. To avoid spreading false news
Research has shown that fake news spread much faster and persist longer only the truthful information. Over the past decades, conspiracy theories and misinformation have eroded public confidence in vaccines, leading to the return of diseases almost eradicated in numerous countries.
By following the recommendations of the scientific and medical communities, you are not only protecting yourself and your loved ones against infectious diseases, you are also setting an example that helps to fight against the spread of false information.
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