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  • Writer's pictureGregory Andrews

Vaccinated for me and my mob

Updated: May 4, 2023

For over two centuries, vaccines have safely reduced the scourge of diseases like polio, measles, smallpox and more recently COVID. Vaccinated children do better at school and the economic benefits of vaccination reach across entire communities. That’s why vaccines are not only a health tool. They’re one of the most cost-effective means of advancing welfare. They act as a protective shield, keeping families and communities safe and strong.

But despite the longstanding benefits and robust scientific evidence, the world is witnessing a vaccination backslide. Vaccine misinformation is one reason. As a result, UNICEF estimates that 25 million children are now missing out on life-saving vaccines every year, placing them at risk of devastating and entirely preventable diseases.

From a public health perspective, just some benefits from vaccines include: reduced deaths from infectious diseases; stronger herd immunity; prevention of antibiotic resistance; reduction of cancers, and eradication of infectious diseases. Vaccines also generate significant social and economic advantages like empowering women and disadvantaged peoples, and improving life expectancies, opportunities and quality.

According to the Centre for Disease Control, people who are up-to-date with their COVID vaccinations are 14 times less likely to die than those who are unvaccinated. Reputable scientists reported last year in the Lancet medical journal that COVID vaccines saved over 20 million lives globally during the first year of the pandemic alone.

Almost 20,000 Australians have sadly lost their lives from COVID. I’ve got too much living to do to join them. And more importantly, I don’t want to risk the lives of the people around me. My 82 year-old mum, my parents-in-law, my aunties and uncles, and community members more broadly. The Dalai Lama is vaccinated against COVID and says it’s “important for everyone”. The Pope says getting vaccinated is an "act of love" and individuals have a “responsibility to care for themselves and [to] respect the health of those around us”.

First Australian COVID vaccination rates are lagging behind those for our general population. I hope that sharing this story about getting my fifth jab today can help change that. Information on COVID vaccinations is available here. Head down to the pharmacy or your local health centre. It will help protect you and everyone.

OK I admit, and as you can see my from photo, it was a bit ouchy. But totally worth it.

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