By Dr. Henning Ansorg, M.D., FACP, Health Officer County of Santa Barbara, Department of Public Health
1) Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 will keep you from getting sick. The available vaccines are very effective in preventing infection and illness from COVID-19. In very rare cases where one does catch the virus, the vaccine will prevent you from becoming seriously ill or needing to be hospitalized.
2) Those who choose to be vaccinated can enjoy more activities. According to the CDPH, can:
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Visit with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single other household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
- Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
- Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
- Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
- Refrain from routine screening testing if asymptomatic and feasible
3) Getting vaccinated helps our entire community. Returning to a more fully opened lifestyle will require herd immunity, which most experts estimate will happen when between 75%-85% of the United States population is vaccinated. We all need to do our part to achieve herd immunity by getting vaccinated.
4) Protecting yourself by getting vaccinated also protects those around you, including those at increased risk of severe illness from the virus, or those who can’t get vaccinated such as infants or people with weakened immune systems from things such as chemotherapy for cancer.
5) COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. The effectiveness of our available vaccines in preventing infection, severe illness and death from COVID-19 is remarkably high. The safety of the vaccines are a top priority and we have procedures in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine that is authorized or approved for use.
For more information about the COVID-19 guidance and the local response, please visit https://publichealthsbc.org. For those that need assistance in making vaccination appointments, please call 2-1-1 option 4 in Santa Barbara County.