August is National Immunization Awareness Month, a time to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. Throughout modern history, vaccines have been crucial in protecting our populations, impeding the continued spread of dangerous diseases like polio, tetanus, measles, and influenza. Vaccination is one of the most important things we can do to protect ourselves, our children, and future generations against illness. In fact, vaccines prevent up to 3 million deaths worldwide every year.
Now more than ever, we are recognizing the critical need of vaccines. After spending nearly a year isolated and fearful of the COVID-19 pandemic, we finally have a vaccine developed to stop the spread of the virus and protect our public health. However, the pandemic is not over. The rise of highly contagious variants, along with lingering COVID hot-spots, pose a significant threat to our population, especially for those who are not yet vaccinated or those who cannot, for health reasons, receive the vaccine.
Read on below for some compelling statistics demonstrating the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- A multistate CDC study shows that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines have been 94% effective against COVID-19 hospitalization among fully vaccinated adults. These vaccines have been shown to provide protection against severe illness and hospitalization among people of all ages eligible to receive them. (Source: CDC)
- Breakthrough infections – when a fully vaccinated person becomes infected with COVID-19 – may occur in just 0.01% of all fully vaccinated people. (Source: ABC News)
- More than 90% of cases, and more than 95% of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 have been among unvaccinated people. In most states, more than 98% of cases were among the unvaccinated. (Source: CNN)
- The Delta variant, a rapidly spreading SARS-CoV-2 mutation, accounts for more than 80% of new U.S. COVID-19 cases – and vaccination is the best protection against this strain of the virus. (Source: Yale Medicine)
- Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history. Evaluated by tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials, and meeting the FDA’s rigorous scientific standards, the COVID-19 vaccines are said to be safe and effective. (Source: CDC)
In the video below, Dr. Neema Stephens, national medical director for health equity at Cigna, helps separate COVID vaccine fact from fiction.
Building a Community of Immunity
At Cigna, we believe so strongly in the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine, that we’re giving away two trips valued at $15,000 each to two lucky vaccinated employees as part of our Community of Immunity Getaway Giveaway. Additionally, for vaccinated employees who are enrolled in the Cigna Medical Plan, we’re offering a $200 well-being incentive award.
“The health, safety, and overall well-being of our employees, customers, patients and clients are directly aligned to our mission,” said Dr. Steve Miller, chief clinical officer at Cigna. “Especially as more contagious COVID-19 variants emerge, getting vaccinated remains the best way to protect yourself and others from the virus and offers the promise of a future of being back together again. Together, we can make a difference in fighting the spread of COVID-19.”
Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is one of the most important things we can do to protect the health of ourselves and others, and will eventually allow us to return to a sense of normalcy. During National Immunization Month and beyond, vaccines are of critical importance, and can quite literally make the difference between life and death.
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