Why You Should Get Vaccinated
Vaccination is a safe and effective way for you to stay healthy. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccinations from birth through adulthood to provide a lifetime of protection against many serious diseases and infections. Yet many individuals are not vaccinated as recommended, leaving them needlessly vulnerable to illness and long-term suffering.
Many vaccinations are recommended for children, so most college students have already been vaccinated. If you have not yet received all the recommended vaccines, there is still time! You can be vaccinated before starting college.
Here are just a few reasons why it’s a good idea to be vaccinated:
- Vaccines are safe and effective. Many vaccines have been used for many years and have been proven to be safe and effective. Any side effects that vaccines might cause are usually a much smaller risk compared to the diseases themselves. For the most part, side effects are minor (e.g., a sore arm or low-grade fever) and go away within a few days.
- Vaccines do not cause the disease they are designed to prevent; getting a vaccine does not cause someone to “catch” the disease. Vaccines contain either a “killed” virus or a live but weakened virus; it is not possible to get the disease from either of those types of vaccine.
- Young people can get sick, too, including healthy college students. Getting vaccinated can help reduce this risk.
Diseases that were very common before there were vaccines to prevent them, such as whooping cough, measles, and mumps, are still around and still infecting people. Vaccines can help reduce the risk of becoming infected and spreading disease.
“Community immunity” or “herd immunity”works when a high enough percentage of the population is vaccinated (90-95% for some infections), making it nearly impossible for a vaccine-preventable disease to spread. There are some people who are not able to receive vaccines, either because they are too young or because of medical reasons. Community immunity can make it safer for those individuals—if enough people are vaccinated, the risk of transmitting vaccine-preventable diseases is much lower. This is another reason why vaccinations are so important—you are helping to protect those who are not able to be vaccinated. You’re not just protecting your health—you’re protecting the health of others. It’s a win-win
Founded in 1973, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the burden, causes, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases across the lifespan. Learn more at: www.nfid.org.