COVID-19 vaccine: I’m young and healthy. Do I need the vaccine?


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Your COVID-19 Questions Answered. VA is listening to your questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and hosting a blog series on questions from Veterans. Tell us what you think.

I’m young and I don’t have any chronic health conditions. Why should I get the vaccine?

You should get the COVID-19 vaccine even if you are young or if you don’t have any chronic health conditions because the effects of COVID-19 are unpredictable. The CDC reports that even though many people with a COVID-19 infection only have a mild illness, some become very sick from COVID-19. Even for those without an increased risk from advanced age or chronic health conditions, your symptoms can be severe or long-lasting. In extreme cases, you could even die.

You should receive the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure you are protected from a severe illness from COVID-19.

I’m not overweight, and I keep in good shape by exercising frequently. Why should I get the vaccine?

The CDC reports that obesity increases the risk of severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19, but people of every weight remain at risk of infection. While regular exercise is a great way to maintain healthy living, it will not protect you from COVID-19 infection.

Even if you are in good shape, you should still receive the COVID-19 vaccine to protect against severe illness from COVID-19.

In addition to protecting my health, I’ve heard that getting the vaccine can help others too. Why should I get the vaccine?

An additional benefit of getting the COVID-19 vaccine is contributing to “herd immunity,” also referred to as “community immunity.” Community immunity occurs when a large part of a population is immune to a disease, making it much harder for that disease to spread.

It can even protect those who cannot be vaccinated, like babies. The number of people necessary to achieve community immunity is different for every disease. Scientists are working to determine how many people need to be vaccinated to achieve community immunity to COVID-19.

When you receive the COVID-19 vaccine, you will help us reach community immunity and end the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keep an eye out for more answers to your COVID-19 and vaccine questions and remember to follow good health habits in the meantime. To keep it simple, follow the three W’s: wear your masks, wash your hands, and watch your distance from others!

To learn more, you can review CDC information about COVID-19 and vaccination.

References

Note: updated April 7, 2021, with opening sentence.

Author

Veterans Health Administration

Comments

  1. Severo Gurule    

    When will it be available for service connected veterans living in the Philippines? I am registered with clinic in Manila Philippine?

  2. Dennis Pluskota    

    So what you are saying is get the vaccine, no matter what! I don’t believe that for a second. This is a largely un-tested vaccine being distributed under the tag of EMERGENCY-use vaccine. You are not hearing any reports of the negative effects on test subjects, only the glowing praise of how the vaccine works. This vaccine was developed for one strain not the over 5 strains out there. I have ben reading now the vaccine may only be good for SIX months and you may have to get re-vaccinated yearly.

  3. John Thomas Doulette    

    Veterans residing in the Philippines have not been vaccinated. For more than a year VA Manila Outpatient clinic manager Dan Gutkoski was directed to draft/author a local covid vaccine contigency plan. Once vaccines were identified and approve for use within VHA Veterans would start being vaccinated. The Save Lives Act signed into law by President Biden added covid coverage to Veteran’s spouses and their caretakers. As fellow Brothers and sister Veterans continue to be vaccinated statesides, veterans residing in the Philippines continue to wait for Gutkoski to complete and share the local covid contingency plan. Leadership at VISN 21 that oversees the Manila Outpatient Clinic also remands mute about timelines as to when the vaccines will become available to all that reside outside the continental United States. Rest assured my remarks will cause serious blowback from VHA leadership as well. Respectfully would ask that both Committea at both the Senate and House on Veterans Affairs hold VAOPC Dan Gutkoski along with VISN@! Director John Brandecker and Deputy Director Ada Clarke accountble for keeping the greater Veteran community in the dark!

  4. Debora Hunt    

    Is it a good idea to get the vaccine even if you have had the virus and recovered fully with no complications. Is it not true that our own antibodies, T Cell, and Memory Cell immunity is far better than that of a vaccine and can potentially be stunted by the use of the vaccine. I think people who have already had the virus need to be recognized and counted as immune and therefore already contributors towards the herd / community immunity.

  5. Michael t. Smith    

    If I can’t receive the vaccine due to religious beliefs will it affect my benefits?

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