Vaccination is key to containing Delta variant – by Linda Garner, parish nurse.
COVID-19 hospitalizations are increasing almost daily, due in many cases to the Delta variant of COVID-19. Most new cases are in people who have not been vaccinated for COVID. Areas of the country with the greatest incidence of new cases are those with the lowest percentage of the population being vaccinated.
Have you been vaccinated? It is the most important thing we can do to prevent the spread of the disease. You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Those with weakened immune systems, autoimmune diseases, or who are taking immune suppressant medications may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated, and should follow recommendations for those not vaccinated. Fully vaccinated people who have been around someone with COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested unless they show symptoms.
One objection to getting vaccinated is worry about side effects. Most side effects are mild and do not last more than a few days, and many people do not experience any side effects.
Another objection to vaccination is the faulty belief that it is not needed for those who have already had the virus. Studies show that immunity from having COVID does not last as long as that from immunization. Therefore, anyone who has had the disease still needs the vaccine.
We know these things: COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19, including severe illness and death; COVID-19 vaccines can reduce the risk of people spreading the virus; COVID-19 vaccines are effective against variants of the virus that are circulating in the United States, including the Delta variant.