As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and talk gradually shifts away from rising cases and focuses instead on the rollout of the recently-approved Moderna and Pfizer mRNA vaccines, the value and importance of immunization cannot be understated. It’s understandably difficult to believe in the middle of the pandemic, but there are still other viruses and acquired infections capable of wreaking havoc in our community besides coronavirus. By keeping up with our vaccine schedules, we can all do our part to help keep everyone safe.
No matter your age or general health concerns, vaccines are the safest and most effective way to prevent the spread of disease in our communities. Since vaccines were developed, our community has successfully eradicated smallpox, and helped to keep other deadly diseases such as polio, whooping cough, mumps, and tetanus at bay.
Here’s why you should prioritize continuing to keep you, your family, and our public health safe during the pandemic through routine immunization:
Healthcare infrastructure is already spread thin
Hospitals all over the world are feeling the collective burden of the COVID-19 pandemic more and more with each passing day. Much like we saw in New York City back in March, hospitals in both metro and rural areas throughout the country are seeing record-breaking case numbers, intensive care units near capacity, elective surgery cancelations, and the need for temporary triage areas to help ease the crush of COVID-19 patients. And when a hospital or medical facility becomes overwhelmed, the community in which they are located suffers greatly.
Hospitals and clinics rely on having a certain percentage of available space in order to swiftly treat the sickest and most grievously injured community members who find themselves in the emergency room, but when COVID-19 cases exceed a facility’s capacity, it can become difficult to prioritize which patients are most in need of the facility’s limited resources. The best way to ensure that you are not contributing to the burden placed on your providers and facilities is by keeping up with preventative care, and the most immediate way to do this is by making vaccination a priority. In order to ensure that our hospitals continue to have the resources and time to treat those who need medical attention the most, we as a community must band together to keep preventable disease cases at bay and out of our already-overcrowded emergency rooms.
Protect your community
Vaccines are a cornerstone of public healthcare. When you and your family keep up with your vaccination schedule, you help protect your community at large. Every interaction you have with strangers, family members, friends, co-workers, and teachers is just a little bit safer when you protect yourself from spreading disease.
Contagious diseases other than COVID-19 can harm you
Did you know that measles is one of the most infectious viruses in circulation? And did you also know that there are fewer than 1,000 cases of measles recorded each year in the United States? This is entirely due to the success of modern vaccination. If we as a community dip below a certain percentage of measles vaccination, a rise in cases of this once very widespread virus may happen. The best way we can eliminate outbreaks of preventable disease while the pandemic rages on is to continue routine immunization practices.
Though we have found that masks, social distancing, and other COVID-19 specific interventions have resulted in fewer cases of influenza this year, the threat of flu season is still active, and co-infection is not impossible. This year’s flu vaccine is readily available. Contact us to schedule an appointment to receive your flu shot and help prevent co-infection.
Protect yourself at the doctor’s office
One of the biggest concerns both new and seasoned parents have voiced since the pandemic’s beginning is the fear of exposing their children to COVID-19 during routine medical or dental visits. According to a CDC report released in May 2020, there was a troubling lapse in vaccination among children, particularly between the ages of two and eighteen, compared to the same period in 2019. And though Premier Medical Group, like all healthcare facilities, has gone to great lengths to protect their patients in waiting rooms and while receiving treatment, many are still fearful of stepping foot in a doctor’s office.
With so many sources of news and information to choose from, it can be really difficult to tell the difference between fact and fiction, but one thing that has not changed since the pandemic began is this: vaccines prevent disease, and you can still catch these diseases while COVID-19 continues to spread. The best thing you can do right now to keep yourself safe at the doctor’s office or in any medical facility is to maintain your vaccination schedule.
The CDC recommends it
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), routine vaccination is an essential service, especially for babies, toddlers, and children under the age of 18. Routine vaccination helps protect children from “16 serious diseases,” and helps protect our greater community from allowing those diseases to spread unchecked.
If there is anything good that comes out of the COVID-19 pandemic, let it be this: a renewed trust and reverence for science and immunization. Vaccines were created to protect everyone, to make our communities safer, and to ensure that our healthcare system remains functional and unburdened. If you or a family member is behind on the CDC’s recommended vaccination schedule, make an appointment at Premier Medical Group to change that today.