If I’m not worried about getting COVID, why should I get vaccinated?

Health care workers answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Ana G. Cepin, MD on how the COVID vaccines protect both you AND others.

What people have to really consider is what their risk of getting COVID is. And so, I think that people don’t necessarily understand how risky it is. First of all, in terms of getting exposed to COVID in the first place, and then, second of all, what COVID can mean for them. So, people may think that it’s something that’s going to be mild. They may know someone who just had a mild course, and so it’s not something that they’re necessarily afraid of. However, we know that COVID can become very severe for some people, and we don’t know who that’s going to happen for. And so, you don’t want to risk you being the person who ends up with very severe COVID and who could ultimately need to be hospitalized and ultimately even die from COVID. And even if you don’t have a severe disease or end up needing to get hospitalized, there are so many people who end up having long-term effects from COVID infection.

So even people who had mild infections or maybe even didn’t even realize that they had COVID end up ultimately having symptoms that they need to deal with for months and even longer. We don’t have enough information at this point, but there are people who are dealing with so many side effects and so many symptoms related to a COVID illness. And so, that’s what you need to take into consideration when thinking about whether or not to get vaccinated. It’s not a risk you want to take. You want to get vaccinated instead of risking getting COVID.

This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decisions. Click here for vaccine FAQs from the CDC.

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COVID-19 vaccines are available FREE to everyone ages 12 and older in the U.S. regardless of insurance or immigration status.

Use Vaccines.gov to find a location near you.