The coronavirus continues to spread at record rates, but news of multiple highly-effective vaccines is a possible sign we are rounding the corner of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Doctors explain the many benefits of the vaccine and why getting it is important to you, your loved ones, and your community.
The first doses of the vaccine could be made available by mid-December to high-priority candidates and possibly accessible by everyone else by April, May, or June of 2021, but a recent poll found only 58 percent of Americans said they would get the vaccine. Dr. Anthony Fauci recently warned that unless an "overwhelming majority" get the vaccine our lives will continue to be disrupted by the virus.
"If you want to be part of the solution, get vaccinated and say, 'I'm not going to be one of the people that is going to be a stepping stone for the virus to go to somebody else, I'm going to be a dead-end to the virus,'" he said during a Facebook live stream. Dr. Fauci said he wants 75 percent to 85 percent of Americans to get vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity. He adds, "I would like to see the reluctant people get vaccinated sooner rather than later. If they want to wait a month or two, that's OK... but I don't want them to wait six to eight to nine months."
You might have reservations about getting the vaccine, which is understandable, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has detailed all the benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine, which includes:
- The vaccine will help to prevent you from getting COVID-19, or from getting seriously ill even if you do contract the virus.
- Getting vaccinated will benefit those around you, including your family, coworkers, the frontline workers you encounter, and especially the elderly and those who are in a high-risk category for getting the virus.
- The vaccine is a safer method to build protection from the virus. The CDC notes contracting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection from the virus in the future, but how long this protection lasts is not known, plus, contracting the virus can lead to serious health issues and death. The CDC stresses, "COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness."
- The vaccine is key to ending the pandemic. "Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed," the CDC notes, explaining when combined with masks and distancing, someone's risk of getting the virus drops significantly.
Dr. Fauci says with enough people vaccinated, life could return to normal by the second quarter of 2021. "The children can feel safe going back to school, teachers can feel safe they are not going to get infected, we get back to the economy being robust, restaurants can open to full capacity," he explains, adding, "By the end of the second quarter of  you can have enough protection in this country that the pandemic as we know it will be well, well suppressed below the danger point."
Get more resources on the COVID-19 vaccine, including frequently asked questions and common concerns, from the CDC.