(StatePoint) More than 500,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and there have been more than 28 million cases nationwide. Doctors say it’s vital that Americans get vaccinated when it’s their turn, and continue to take precautions against infection.
“Vaccinations are safe, effective, prevent illness and save lives. They offer an incredible opportunity for us to help defeat COVID-19 and regain normalcy,” says American Medical Association (AMA) president, Susan R. Bailey, M.D. “But with more contagious variants of the virus circulating throughout the U.S., now is not the time to let your guard down or scale back on the measures that we know will work to prevent further illness and deaths, such as wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, and washing hands.”
To protect yourself and your loved ones, the AMA offers the following guidance:
• At some point, likely in the next few months, it will be your turn to get the vaccine. Talk to your physician about the vaccines, and ask any questions you may have.
• Any and all COVID-19 vaccines authorized will meet the highest standards of quality, safety and effectiveness set by the FDA’s rigorous regulatory review process.
• Be prepared to get vaccinated. Know that vaccines can have minor side effects, including lethargy, mild fever, body aches and pains. When these side effects occur, they typically last a few days. If you have any questions or concerns about side effects, contact your physician.
• Understand that public health measures like masks and physical distancing will still be required until the population is broadly vaccinated.
• Science and ingenuity have given us an opportunity to control or even defeat COVID-19, but wide acceptance of the vaccine is necessary for it to be effective. Encourage loved ones who are eligible for the vaccine to schedule an appointment.
While the roll-out of the vaccine is encouraging, doctors say we’re not out of the woods yet. Continuing to practice COVID-19 safety measures and getting vaccinated as soon as it’s your turn will help protect you and your loved ones from illness.