Vaccinations protect but don't make you invincible

Posted at 12:12 PM, Jun 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 14:12:20-04

BOZEMAN — To be vaccinated or not, that seems to be the question that a lot of people in Montana are still struggling with.

“Whether or not I wanted to have a vaccine, I felt like I had no choice anyway because I’m in a community and it helps keep the community safe,” said Dr. David King with Bozeman Health.

Health officials around the world are encouraging people to get vaccinated, but there’s been some misunderstanding about what that actually means.

“If you’ve been fully vaccinated with one of the two-dose vaccines you have beyond 90% chance of avoiding illness or if you do contract the virus of being asymptomatic or being minimally ill with it,” King explained.

But you can still get COVID-19 after being vaccinated.

“Very few people have been hospitalized, and it’s still not entirely clear just how many may have died after two vaccinations of the two vaccine products,” said King.

As Dr. King mentioned, getting vaccinated does eliminate a lot of the risk.

“Even though I’m fully vaccinated, I can’t take the chance that my immunity could have a hiccup or wane,” he said.

So as more people get vaccinated, we do get closer to ending this pandemic. But that takes time and effort.

“We’ve eradicated some diseases, smallpox for instance. We’ve greatly limited others," King said. "We can do that with this, but to do that we have to have the ability to get it to underserved populations and we have to have a willingness of our population to try to eradicate the disease.”

Vaccines are still available through county health departments, some pharmacies, or possibly your individual health care provider.