With an increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 all over the world, there is an urgent need for getting vaccinated. The number of patients with COVID-19 is rising in a rapid manner that is mainly because of the extremely contagious, Delta variant which is at present undergoing a continuous surge. Mostly the unvaccinated individuals are at greater risk compared to those who are already vaccinated. They are also equally susceptible to catching an infection.
Few “breakthrough” cases of COVID-19 have been reported among the population that has been already vaccinated. However, the maximum numbers of cases of hospitalization and admission in Intensive Care Units are among the unvaccinated subjects. Therefore, the bottom line is that the COVID-19 vaccines show effectiveness in the prevention of both infection and mortality.
Thus, a rise in COVID-19 cases within the population of unvaccinated individuals is of concern as this disease is mostly completely unpreventable. If the vaccine availability was sooner, then most of the global population would have achieved herd immunity and there would be a decline in the number of cases infected with the Delta variant. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC on average, approximately 99.5 % of deaths due to COVID-19 are among unvaccinated individuals.
What Happens If You’re Unvaccinated?
An unvaccinated individual‘s immunological system may eventually lead to the production of strong host response to this virus; however, this process would have taken weeks. To this time, this virus may result in maximum harm and has resulted in serious illness, chronic bodily damage, and death.
When a person is vaccinated and then exposed to COVID-19 virus, their body responds differently. It can start developing memory and adaptive B lymphocytic cells which will be able to create antibodies whenever they are exposed to COVID-19 again. Thus, the body’s T lymphocytic cells may rapidly target as well as destroy the infected tissues.
In case the body’s immunological response is unable to destroy this virus effectively and immediately, a breakthrough infection can result even in an individual who has been vaccinated when compared to any person who has not been vaccinated. However, a breakthrough infection will not destroy the immune protection that is already in place. Vaccinated subjects that already have the virus will often show mild signs or none at all. They also recover from the infection faster.
Reasons Why Some People Don’t Want to be Vaccinated?
There is an anti-scientific state of mind that does not allow a person to get vaccinated or follow recommendations given by their doctors. There are a variety of reasons for people not to get vaccinated. These include:
- Fear about alterations in one’s DNA: This is a myth as the vaccine constituents do not enter the nucleus.
- There is a rumor that the COVID-19 vaccine can cause infertility as well as increase the chance of miscarriage.
- There are many different companies manufacturing vaccines. There are also trust issues related to their safety. However, the method of development by using mRNA remains reliable as it has been used for developing cancer vaccines.
- A lot of individuals expect to develop herd immunity without getting vaccinated.
- Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 infection tend to think that they are protected naturally. However, it has been thought that immunity achieved by the means of vaccination must last for a longer duration when compared to naturally acquired immunity.
Experts dealing with infectious diseases have repeatedly emphasized that COVID-19 vaccines have high protection against the severity of disease as well as mortality. They have cautioned that exposure to intentionally induced infection among unvaccinated people can be extremely risky.
Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated: Difference in Immune Response
Following any immunization, vaccines completely inhibit replication of the virus by induction of “sterilizing type of immunity” by providing protectiveness against symptomatic or severe disease as well as death. The uninfected person has a natural defense system that will fight off the COVID-19 virus. COVID-19 is an invasive organism and can mount a late immune response. The adaptive immune system has been held responsible for an antigen-specific response.
An unvaccinated person’s immune system might eventually produce a stronger response to the virus, but that process could take weeks. By then the virus may have caused a lot of harm and resulted in serious illness, long-term damage, or death.
In a vaccinated individual, exposure to the COVID-19 virus will produce a different response due to a memory-based immunological response. The adaptive B lymphocytes get primed for the development of antibodies that can effectively target infected tissue. Getting vaccine shots effectively reduces the risk of disease severity in an individual.
Centric Healthcare’s nurses provide more knowledge about COVID19 safety precautions that must be followed for vaccinated/unvaccinated individuals. These healthcare professionals act in the best interest of patients. Their role includes educating the patients about informed consent and the risks associated with any vaccine. The nursing staff provides education, and screening services and supports individuals that are in a high-risk category.