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August is National Immunization Awareness Month: Do your part by getting your shots

National Immunization Awareness Month is an annual observance held in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. This year, with COVID-19 variants continuing to spread, it’s more important than ever to do your part by getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

This summer, with low community transmission and hospitalization rates in New England, COVID-19 restrictions are easing, especially for those who have received the vaccine. Many of us are leaving our masks at home and enjoying dining out with friends, attending concerts, parties and sporting events and getting back into the office. But the Delta variant is spreading around the world, including in the United States, among the unvaccinated.

“Many people remain hesitant to get their COVID-19 vaccine citing fears about potential side effects and hearsay as a result of misinformation,” says Jiani Guo, DO, a primary care physician at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Community Physicians in Hyde Park. “I try to educate my patients on vaccine safety, efficacy and, most importantly, that vaccination is the key to ending the pandemic for us all.”

“The vaccine doesn’t just prevent you from severe illness and death from COVID-19, it can protect your loved ones around you including family members who are immunocompromised and your children or grandchildren who may be too young to be vaccinated. You can also prevent the virus from mutating into more dangerous variants by getting vaccinated,” says Dr. Guo. “Adverse side effects are generally mild and transient. There is no evidence to support any potential long-term side effects that may arise beyond the initial two-week post-vaccination period. You might feel tired, achy or feverish for a few days, but those symptoms are much more tolerable than being hospitalized on a ventilator or developing chronic fatigue from a COVID-19 infection.”

Dr. Guo urges you to speak with your primary care physician if you still have reservations about taking the COVID-19 vaccine. Please consult your primary care physician rather than your neighbor or coworker for the most accurate and up to date information when it comes to facts about the COVID-19 vaccine. Your primary care physician can also help you determine what other vaccines you might need and when. “I also recommend adults be vaccinated against influenza, whooping cough, pneumonia and shingles, among other illnesses,” says Dr. Guo. “I work with each individual patient to determine their unique preventative care based on their lifestyle and age.”

Dr. Guo is currently accepting new patients. To make an appointment, call Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Community Physicians at Hyde Park at 617-364-9880 and select option 2 or call 617-582-5240.

 

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