If there’s no way you’re getting vaccinated, then this story probably isn’t for you. But stick around anyway. We have lots of supremely helpful personal health stories — if we do say so ourselves — here.

But if you’re at least keeping the possibility open to maybe thinking about getting the vaccine one day, keep reading.

Dr. Ohmstede is smiling into the camera
Dr. Catherine Ohmstede

Do it for the kids (and the immunocompromised).

That line gets used a lot – and not just about the COVID-19 vaccine. “Do it for the kids” gets used so often, it’s almost become a punchline. And that’s too bad. Because there’s a lot of truth in it. Those of us who are eligible for the vaccine can help protect others who can’t get the vaccine. For instance, there’s no vaccine yet for children under 5 — and if they get COVID, they run the risk of infecting their grandparents

We’ve covered this angle before – in “Dear Unvaccinated: Letter from a pediatrician.” “It’s time for us all to do our part to keep our friends and family safe, end this latest pandemic surge and provide the life we want for our children: school, camp, friendships and the experiences we call life,” Dr. Catherine Ohmstede wrote.

Do it because it's the moral and ethical thing to do.

Healthy Headlines has published stories with this angle before, too, such as Letter from a Christian doctor: God gave us this vaccine. Let's use it.” In this essay, Dr. Peter Mack, an evangelical Christian, wrote: “COVID-19 has tested me, as it has every health care worker. I was thrilled at the development of a safe, effective vaccine and got it as soon as I was eligible. But many of my fellow evangelicals have not rolled up their sleeves. The Pew Research Center reports white evangelicals in the U.S. resist getting the vaccine more than any other religious group.
“I've been disheartened that men and women who share my faith have avoided this lifesaving measure. I'm speaking out today to share why I believe God has sent us this tool and how we honor him by taking advantage of it.”

And for those who don’t embrace religion but consider themselves people who believe in doing the right thing and being part of a community in which we care for one another, ask yourself: What’s the right thing to do here? Shot, or no shot?

Do it because you believe in science.

Another Healthy Headlines story outlines the facts on why getting the vaccine makes sense. Undecided about COVID vaccines? Let’s consider the facts” separates myth from reality. For instance, the following applies to misinformation that has countless people believing that having had COVID makes them immune to having it again.

DeCamillis is wearing a white labcoat
Rebekah DeCamillis

“People who have had COVID-19 often have some immunity after recovering, but the level of protection varies from person to person, and we don't know how long this protection lasts,” said Becky DeCamillis, a physician assistant with Novant Health Infectious Disease Specialists in Winston-Salem.

While we're still learning about the role of natural immunity in COVID infection, vaccination of those who've had COVID has proven to be highly effective, particularly against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Bottom line: "The vaccines have proven to be life-saving, and I recommend for all my patients to be vaccinated if eligible," DeCamillis said. "Those with previous COVID infection are in the unique position to maximize their protection by getting vaccinated as well."

men's health flu shot covid vaccine

Do your part to stop the spread.

Get vaccinated

You might not be lucky enough to get a “mild” case.

The odds of skating through COVID unscathed aren’t as strong as some might think. Within six months of contracting COVID, one in three survivors was diagnosed with a brain, mood or psychiatric disorder, a study early in the pandemic found. Dr. Megan Donnelly, a neurologist at Novant Health Neurology & Headache – SouthPark, had this to say in: They recovered from COVID. But what about their brain?

Dr. Donnelly is wearing a white lab coat and smiling into the camera
Dr. Megan Donnelly

“I would say the actual numbers are much higher for COVID survivors experiencing neurological effects post-COVID.”

“Among other issues we’re encountering in patients are acute delirium or encephalopathy – which essentially means brain fog, confusion or general inability to focus,” Donnelly said. Other post-COVID fallout includes: fatigue and heart palpitations, ringing in the ears, longer-term loss of sense of smell and depression.

Do it, even though you need a booster several months later.

If you’re opposed to the vaccine, then the fact that the booster is recommended – urged, in fact – probably makes you feel the vaccine doesn’t work. Keep reading: “Boosters are needed because the potency of the vaccines wane over time,” said Dr. David Priest, Novant Health chief safety, quality and epidemiology officer. “Decreasing antibodies isn't unique to the COVID vaccines. Take the flu shot, for example, which people are encouraged to get each year.”

Dr. Priest is looking into the camera and smiling
Dr. David Priest

Don’t forget, you probably got vaccine boosters as a kid. And if you’re a parent, you’ve probably gotten them for your kid as well.

Getting fully vaccinated and boosted when eligible substantially decreases your chances of becoming seriously ill from COVID. Yes, breakthrough infections happen. But it will probably keep you out of the hospital.

Do it for yourself.

If you’re still reading at this point, there’s a good chance you believe in taking care of yourself. You probably see a doctor once in a while, eat a salad now and then, take some decent walks, right? This is part of that.

Lastly, get and stay educated.

There’s a lot of information (and misinformation) out there. And it’s being updated as scientists learn more and as the virus continues to mutate. Healthy Headlines has the latest guidance on testing, where to find a self-assessment and how to schedule a test through Novant Health. (Read about that here.) Of course, if you get vaccinated and boosted – plus keep distancing, masking and playing it smart – you may never find the need to click on that story.