Although we no longer hear much about COVID-19, this disease has not been eradicated and people are still getting infected. Just as it was predicted before the holidays, an increase in infections was observed, largely due to the gatherings and celebrations between friends and family. Moreover, this also coincided with declining vaccination rates. This means that it is now even more important to remember that prevention through vaccination is a fundamental way of preserving health and preventing diseases, especially when:
- Vaccines protect you: Vaccines strengthen your immune system by building protection against dangerous diseases. They are an effective measure to avoid conditions that could seriously affect your well-being. This means that, even if you were to become infected after getting vaccinated, the symptoms will be less serious.
- Vaccines protect everyone around you: Vaccination contributes to community immunity, reducing the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases. By getting vaccinated, you also protect those around you, especially those who are vulnerable or part of high-risk groups (such as older adults with whom you come into contact).
- Vaccines are strategic for epidemic control: As was seen in the decline of COVID-19 infections, vaccines play a crucial role in epidemic control. They are essential tools to prevent the rapid spread of contagious diseases.
Although the pandemic is over, the virus has not stopped evolving. New variants are still being detected, and these are producing symptoms that didn’t come with previous infections. However, it is natural for viruses to evolve. That is why different strains or variants emerge over time. Their ability to mutate is what allows them to adapt and persist in changing environments. Therefore, it is important to continue getting vaccinated with the latest versions of the vaccines. By receiving additional doses, immunity is strengthened and the immune system’s response to new strains is improved.
While new variants may share the same symptoms, these could also range from the ones that are usually experienced when having a cold to others that require medical attention. Here’s an overview of the symptoms so that, if you or someone close to you experiences them, you can get tested immediately and avoid infecting your loved ones.
- Difficulty breathing
- Low oxygen levels
- Temporary loss of taste and smell
- Fever and chills
- Fatigue and muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
Widespread vaccination helps stop the spread of the virus in Puerto Rico. If more people get vaccinated, the less opportunity the virus will have to evolve. So go for the best solution: get vaccinated against COVID-19. If you need help finding a vaccine near you, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website: Vaccines.gov