How do clinicians think? We know that vaccines prevent our children from contracting diseases such as chicken pox, measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, meningitis, and diphtheria. We know vaccines have rare side effects when compared to the death, disability and devastation caused by these diseases. We know that while vaccinated individuals can develop COVID-19, the chances of disease after exposure are significantly higher in the unvaccinated, not to mention serious disease.
The vast majority of patients currently hospitalized locally because of COVID-19 are unvaccinated. We know that some of the touted side effects are much more common and debilitating when they occur in individuals with the actual disease versus in the vaccinated. We know the next variant could be more deadly to our children who are not yet eligible for the vaccine.
At this point in the pandemic, mass vaccination will not eliminate COVID-19, we are too late for that. However, we can slow the spread, save lives and turn COVID-19 into a disease that society can live with.
A clinician knows all these facts and uses that knowledge to make the only recommendation backed by science. Get your vaccine — for yourself, your children, your family, your friends and your community.
Dr. Marc Belcastro is the system chief medical officer at Premier Health. He is board-certified in pediatrics and neonatology.