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Vaccine Relief and Reluctance

By Dr. Susan Marafino February 2021

I recently received my second dose of the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19, and I breathe a sigh of relief, knowing I will be protected (with 94% efficacy) against the most serious outcomes of COVID-19 infection.

It's an astonishing accomplishment that scientists worldwide pooled their collective experience and years of data to create a vaccine that will get us out of this pandemic, once we reach herd immunity (about 80% population vaccinated). I am grateful for the tireless work of all the infectious disease experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

And yet, I have patients who do not plan to get vaccinated. Some say the vaccine is “just a bandaid”. Others worry about allergic reactions, although this is very rare. We are in a time when our individual actions have such consequences for the collective whole. Until we reach herd immunity - which requires individual action - we will not break the chain of transmission of this virus. Until we starve the virus of a host, we will continue to have to wear masks, distance from one another, and stay vigilant.

The choice is yours.

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