I'm an ER Doctor and Here's the Worst Thing You Can Do Now
I am an emergency doctor and I am actively treating COVID-19 and other patients on the front lines. We are in the middle of a spike in viral cases and many hospitals are nearby or at full capacity. Today I was vaccinated with the covid19 mRNA vaccine manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech. I was vaccinated to protect myself, my family, my patients, and the community. In this way, I am helping to contribute to the immunity that will stop the pandemic. Anyone with no contraindication to vaccination should be vaccinated. It is your civic duty. We need at least 50-70% of the population to be infected or immunized to stop the pandemic. The absolute worst thing you can do right now is to refuse the vaccination.
There are currently more than 17 million COVID-19 infections in the US than in any other country in the world. In addition, 315,000 deaths were reported by the CDC - again more than any other country in the world. Read on - and to keep your health and the health of others safe, these safe signs you already had with coronavirus shouldn't be missed.
The vaccine can help save hundreds of thousands of lives
We cannot allow this deadly virus to continue spreading in the hope that it will eventually run its course. Allowing natural spread to ultimately lead to herd immunity is a flawed concept that is not supported by the vast majority of public health experts, epidemiologists, or doctors. Some studies suggest that COVID-19 has an overall mortality rate of around 2%, which is 20 times the 0.1% mortality rate of seasonal influenza. Other sources suggest that mortality can be around 0.5 to 1% lower (still 5 to 10 times more deadly than seasonal flu). Many experts believe that 50-70% of the population would have to be infected for herd immunity.
There are approximately 330 million people in the United States. 50% of them are 165 million people. In order to achieve herd immunity, at least 165 million people would have to be infected. Assuming the lowest death rate of just 0.5%, herd immunity would result in 825,000 deaths. If the death rate is actually 1% it would mean 1.65 million deaths, and if the mortality rate is 2% it would mean 3.3 million deaths. Elderly people and patients with comorbid illnesses would also be disproportionately affected and die in high percentages (possibly up to 14%).
These estimates are pretty terrifying. However, there is a quick and effective option that will help achieve herd immunity goals without unnecessary deaths: vaccination. With mass vaccination, we can put an end to the terrible and devastating pandemic without compromising herd immunity through uncontrolled spread of viruses.
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The vaccine is safe
The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine currently has emergency clearance from the FDA and appears to be both effective and safe. It is a two-dose therapy with an interval of 3 weeks. The companies have submitted safety data to the FDA for two months and published a large prospective placebo-controlled study in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study had around 43,000 participants. The patients received two doses of either placebo or the mRNA vaccine.
Almost 22,000 participants received the vaccine and it 95% prevented Covid-19 one week after the second dose. The safety of the vaccine was very impressive. There were no deaths or life-threatening events from vaccine administration. Most of the side effects occurred after the second dose. Some side effects included injection site pain, fever, tiredness, headache, and chills. Typically, symptoms appeared within 3 days of vaccination and resolved quickly.
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Here's who can get the vaccine
The vaccine is approved for use in patients aged 16 years and over. The vaccine does not contain thimerosal or an egg-based component. With regard to pregnant or breastfeeding women, this group was not included in the tests in the studies. However, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology does support vaccination for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Pregnancy in particular appears to be at risk for severe Covid19, and ACOG supports vaccination for pregnant women. Please keep this in mind and contact your OB if you would like to be vaccinated and are pregnant or breastfeeding.
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Please join me in the vaccination and help end the pandemic
I'll have a second dose of the vaccine in three weeks. I hope everyone who reads this makes the right choice and gets vaccinated. It really is a meaningful and important step to end the current pandemic and return to normal. I hope that the unproven fears of vaccination don't scare or discourage the public from mass vaccination and preventing the virus from spreading further. With the approval of this vaccine, we really took the first steps to end this terrible global public health crisis. So get yours when it's available and don't visit any of these 35 places you are most likely to catch COVID to protect your life and that of others.
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