I am happy to share that it has been more than two weeks since I received my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and I am now fully immunized.
More than half of American adults have already gotten at least one dose to help defeat this deadly pandemic. Scientists, health professionals, and civic leaders have all played a vital role in ensuring the public has access to this vaccine so that we can beat COVID-19.
As a community member, husband, and father, I am grateful for the opportunity to protect my loved ones and neighbors by protecting myself. Vaccination can help us all get back to spending time with those we love.
Why I got the COVID-19 vaccine
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, it is estimated that up to 80 percent of adults need to receive the vaccine for us to achieve herd immunity and stop the virus from spreading. If a portion of the population remains unvaccinated, the virus has an opportunity to mutate and be passed on, further prolonging the pandemic. We have already seen several variants and I believe we need to be fully vaccinated if we want to protect ourselves and minimize this risk.
I know that some people have questions about getting the COVID-19 vaccines. In underserved communities where we have seen the highest rates of hospitalizations due to COVID-19, Philadelphia has some of the lowest rates of vaccination. More recently, we have seen reports that vaccination rates are varied along political party lines. Independence is committed to sharing accurate information and resources about vaccination with all of our members and the larger community.
We all need to stay focused on the data which shows the vaccines are safe, effective and our most powerful tool to stop the spread of COVID-19. I hope that those of you who have been vaccinated will share your reasons for getting the vaccine with family, friends and colleagues as your example may inspire others.
How you can get the vaccine, too
For more information on how to plan to get your vaccines today, I encourage you to visit our COVID-19 information page. You can also visit IBX Insights and our social media channels for ongoing communications about vaccines.
Caring for our members is our top priority at Independence. That is why we encourage everyone above the age of 16 to get the COVID-19 vaccines when and wherever they have access. As part of our commitment to health equity, we are working with partners to help our members and the communities we serve get access to vaccines through community outreach.
We continue to fight to #BeatCOVID19
It has never been more important to stay strong, remain vigilant, and actively participate in this fight by getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Given the importance of this message, Independence is continuing its leadership by launching the next phase of our Beat COVID-19 public service campaign to reach those who are still curious or on the fence about the vaccines.
There is a protector in all of us.
Let’s protect one another. Please join me in getting the vaccines and help us to Beat COVID-19!