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W. Kamau Bell Talks with Doctors About Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Get a COVID Vaccine

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

Are you still waiting to get the COVID vaccine? W. Kamau Bell and these doctors want to talk with you! Think if you’re young and healthy, you don’t need one? Or, if you had COVID you don’t need one? Hear what they have to say about why now is the time to get vaxxed.

I am W. Kamau Bell. And I’m Black, and I’m vaxxed, and I’m back!

I know a lot of you out there still don’t have the vaccine. You’re still worried about it. And some of you think you don’t need to get it.

We’re going to talk to the doctors. Hey doctors!

So, what do you say to people out there, who say things like, “I’m healthy, I don’t need a vaccine.”

I say the coronavirus does not care whether you’re healthy or not. We are all susceptible to being infected by the coronavirus. The best way to stay healthy is to prevent getting an infection. And that’s why we recommend COVID vaccine and all vaccines to prevent infection. So, we don’t want to start once you’re sick. We want to prevent you from ever getting sick.

“Hey, I’m more worried about the vaccine than COVID.”

There is no data to show that the COVID vaccines cause long-term symptoms, but what we know really well, and that we’re concerned about, is that being infected with COVID is a risk factor to have what we call long COVID or prolonged symptoms from COVID that could impair your ability to work or do the typical activities that you like to do during a day.

“It’s been over a year. I haven’t gotten it yet. Why would I get it in the future? Isn’t that how things work?”

The current concern is a Delta variant. The Delta variant is about 60% more transmissible than the previously concerning variant, the alpha variant. And it’s thought to be twice as transmissible as the original strain that we saw early in the pandemic. So, this virus has the capacity to reach twice as many people.

“People who got the vaccine are still getting COVID. What’s the point?”

This is really important. So, we knew from early on that even people who get the COVID vaccine can get infected with COVID, but the reason the COVID vaccines are important, and the reason that we say they’re incredibly effective, is because they protect you from dying of COVID or from even being hospitalized with severe illness if you get infected.

“Look, I already had COVID, so I don’t need the vaccine. I’m good.”

We would still strongly recommend it. And there’s several reasons why. First of all, what’s become clear, is that not everyone who’s been infected with coronavirus will have their immune system develop the ability to prevent getting infected again.

And then the other really important reason to get the vaccine is that we have these variants. So, the variants you may be hearing about, like Delta variant, is the virus changing just enough to become more contagious or to become more severe, and what we’re seeing is that the vaccines prevent those variants.

“Look, I’m just going to wait it out. I’ll get it eventually. But, I’ma wait until I have more information.”

We’ve waited long enough. And I know many of you are still waiting even longer to see if the vaccines are safe, but at this point, in addition to the clinical trial data, that was extremely reassuring. We now have data on over 150 million Americans to tell us that the COVID vaccines are safe for the ages for which they’re approved. And they are the only way that we are going to get out of this pandemic.

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.

Stay up to date with your COVID vaccine, including boosters!

COVID vaccines are safe and effective for everyone ages 6 months and older.

Immunity wanes over time. Keep up your protection against COVID by getting boosted when eligible.

Updated (bivalent) boosters are now available for adults and children 6 months and older.